Thursday, June 29, 2006

INCIDENT: Swan Lane tramway crossing, 08/06/2006

A Midland Metro tram collided with a taxi on the Swan Lane crossing near West Bromwich, West Midlands. The taxi subsequently collided with a lorry. Two people were taken to hospital for treatment.

The RAIB has begun an investigation.

This crossing is protected by traffic lights only. It has a history of accidents due to motor vehicles running the red light, including a fatal accident in 1999.


Light Rail Transit Association, Midland Metro update

Photo of Swan Lane Crossing by kind permisison of Peter Courtenay at

MISUSE: Sussex

An appeal for red-light enforcement cameras to be installed on all West Sussex crossings has been made by a local councillor.

Ted Pemberton has called for cameras to cut down on the number of drivers who run the lights and/or block CCTV crossings.

Surrey Online:

Friday, June 16, 2006

INCIDENT: Hykeham UWC+T 13/06/06

A van was in collision with a passenger train at a user-worked crossing just outside Lincoln.

No casualties are reported following the incident involving the 1435 Leicester to Lincoln service at the Coulson Road UWC+T between Hykeham and Lincoln.

The RSSB later reported that the van driver had not telephoned the signaller for permission to cross the line.

BBC News:
RSSB Safety Performance Report June 2006:

REPORT: RSSB Safety Performance Report, Level Crossings June 2006

The RSSB have released their latest Safety Performance Report for level crossings.

RSSB report in full (PDF):
RSSB report overview (PDF):

INCIDENT: Midgham station crossing 09/06/2006

A man was struck by a train on Midgham station crossing. Reports indicate that he tripped on the recently-installed zig-zag footway, fell unconscious with his arms on the rails and was then struck by a train. The man lost part of his left arm and most of his right hand

BBC News:
Newbury Today, first report:
Newbury Today:
Newbury Today:

REPORT: Scate Moor bridleway crossing 08/01/06

RAIB have released their report into the incident involving a cyclist at Scate Moor bridlepath crossing earlier this year.

No recommendations were made in respect to this accident.


Monday, June 05, 2006


Someone complains to his local newspaper that the barriers at Boothferry Road MCB crossing are closed for several minutes before a train arrives. When the barriers were closed then raised to let an ambulance through, he wonders if the 'rule book'has been broken. And he wonders too why the nearby crosing at Nafferton only closes for thirty seconds.

Well, it's quite simple.

The Boothferry Road crossing is a full barrier crossing controlled by a signaller. The barriers will usually be open to traffic. The rail line will have a protecting signal set to halt an approaching train. To allow a train over the crossing, the signaller lowers the barriers to traffic and then pushes a button to confirm the crossing is clear and set the train signal to green. As this protecting signal is likely to be some distance from the crossing, the barriers are likely to be closed for several minutes.

If the signaller has not yet cleared the signal fo the oncoming train, the barrier can be re-raised (as the protecting signal is still set at red)

So, "Did the signalman break the rules by raising the barrier once it had been lowered? " No - the rule book is broken only if the barrier is raised after the protecting signal had been cleared. See the Rule Book; TW8

"Would risk to life or serious injury have been worsened if the ambulance had been delayed and not let through in order to work by the rule book? - I'm not the paramedic so I don't know about the medical severity of the case. But not letting the ambulance through would not have been a case of 'work to the rule book' - nothing in the Rule Book says that a barrier cannot be raised if a protecting signal is still at red.

"This situation suggests or almost proves under normal circumstances the barriers are lowered needlessly early." - The crossing is protected by a signal. That signal is probably some distance from the crossing - after all, what protection would it serve if it could not allow a train at speed to stop before the crossing? Therefore, the crossing will be closed to traffic some minutes before the arrival of a train. Not needlessly early, but essential.

"The barriers at the level crossing at Nafferton station near Driffield start closing barely 30 seconds before the train reaches it in both directions. A different rule book applies?". No, same rule book but different crossing type. Nafferton is an Automatic Half Barrier crossing (source:, These are not protected by signals and are operated by the approaching train; they are set to give no less than 27 seconds warning.

There are causes for concern with level crossings. This isn't one of them.

Goole Times story:

Boothferry Road MCB courtesy of East Riding Media Library -
Nafferton AHB with kind permission of Neil Holmes -

Saturday, June 03, 2006

PUBLICATION: TW8 revision 03/06/2006

TW8 is the 'Rule Book' for UK level crossing operation. This reissue came into force on the 3rd of June 2006 and features changes regarding the reporting of crossing gates left open, telling the user to phone back after using the crossing, keeping a record of telephone calls, failures of a telephone and when vehicle gates are left open.

Module TW8 (pdf):