Tag Archives: Railway crossing

Capreol, ONT: Extended crossing closures are of wider concern

7 Feb


In Canada trains can occupy a level crossing for an indefinite period while moving plus a stationary maximum time of five minutes. Using incidents of extended closures to road traffic in Cawreol, the case for change is being developed.

Specifically the Young Street level crossing in Cawreol sits on a single track railway, to the south of a single track triangular junction with an east-west line which is double tracked to the west with additional tracks serving a terminal facility and single to the east.

Reports referencing closure to road traffic of the Young Street level crossing for between 30-40 minutes have prompted municipal action for a change to the permissible blockage time of public level crossings to a maximum of 12 minutes which is the sum of time spent moving and standing with excess occupation of a crossing attracting a fine payable to the local administration.


Needham Market, UK:Big fine on its way

19 Sep

During the first day of a sentencing hearing at Ipswich Crown Court, following a plea of guilty at a prior magistrates hearing, it emerged that Network Rail could be faced with a fine of up to GBP6.0 million. This is in the context of a fatal collision between a train and a pedestrian using the Gipsy Lane footpath crossing near Needham Market, Suffolk, on August 24th, 2011.

The magnitude of the fine reflects what has been presented to the court by the prosecution concerning the failure of Network Rail to manage risk arising at the level crossing, which is at a location where the line-speed at the time of the accident was 100mph (160kph). This was despite a July 2011 risk assessment making the case for a speed reduction to 85mph to better control risk  and a subsequent pre fatal accident input by a Network Rail staff member that the sline-speed should be reduced to 55mph.

Related failures of Network Rail raised by the prosecution related to vegetation limiting sighting by users of the footpath level crossing and an incorrectly placed whistle board providing an inadequate audible warning to users of this crossing.

It also emerged that the family of the victim are aggrieved that Network Rail never wrote to express its condolences. If this was the case it is understandable that the family feels that Network Rail callously failed to manage risk at the Gipsy Lane footpath crossing over many years.

The Sentencing hearing was adjourned until September 21st, 2016.


Limerick, Ireland: Leaf fall to blame for crossing run through

2 Dec

Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) has confirmed that it is investigating a serious incident in which a train ran through a level crossing while it remained open to road traffic, including pedestrians.

The investigation into the run-through at the Spa Road level crossing in Castleconnell, Co Limerick at about 19.00 on November 28th, 2015 has been attributed to inadequate adhesion most likely as a result of autumn leaf fall leaving the railhead contaminated with a greasy leaf residue. However, other possible causes, including human factors, will be considered.





Omaha, Nebraska: Union Pacific’s latest crossing safety messages

19 Oct

LXinfoImage146-UPlogo-sourceUPVisit http://www.up.com/aboutup/community/safety/crossing/ to view Union Pacific Railroad’s latest crossing safety messages.

El Paso, TX: Residents want quiet zone and to keep crossings open

2 Oct

El Paso quiet zoneLXinfoImage350-TrainhornsThe El Paso “Five Points quiet zone” project is predicated on eliminating four level crossings (Elm, Birch, maple, Cedar) and upgrading those that remain, with the project scheduled for completion early in 2016.

Although the works to complete the scheme have a way to run there are community concerns that the price they are paying for the quiet zone is too much and that already they are experiencing traffic delays with the diversions around the three of the four permanent closures already implemented. This is exacerbated by the temporary closure of one of the level crossings that are set to remain.

As always, the regulatory position is that the routine sounding of train horns stops when the scheme is delivered and inspected to confirm that the works are fit for purpose.

Santa Fe Springs, CA: State’s most dangerous crossing to be eliminated

22 Sep

LXinfoImage1294-Rosecrans Santa Fe SpringsPlanning is underway to eliminate what is considered to be California’s most dangerous level crossing. The project calls for either a highway underpass or overpass to replace the level crossing which diagonally straddles the Rosecrans Avenue – Marquardt Avenue intersection. subject to the necessary approvals and funding being available construction could start in 2018. The crossing is used by some 130 trains and 45,000 road vehicles daily.

The USD 130 million project to take Rosecrans Avenue under or over the railway is still being designed and four options are being assessed with public meetings on September 30th the next step.

Farmland, IN: Collision with stranded car on closed level crossing

22 Sep

A motorist has been issued a citation by police following his attempt to cross the railway at a level crossing which is presently closed and for which a posted diversion is in place. As a result, the motorist’s car was stranded at the site of the temporarily closed level crossing. The incident on the Main Street level crossing which occurred at about 22.00 on September 18th, 2015 saw the driver exit his stranded vehicle before it was hit by a train.