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> Muppetry at Thatcham Level Crossing Today, What on earth was going on?
Blake
post Jan 12 2015, 11:37 AM
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Had a **** of a delay at Thatcham level crossing today from about 9.20am and was very late for work. Three trains went and the barriers failed to open...at all! This is the second time in less than a year that this muppetry has happened and the rail company fails to tell drivers what on earth is going on, how long it will take to be fixed or if we need to do a U-turn and divert.

Instead, we are wholly dependent on the goodwill of fellow motorists who alert those further along what became a huge tail back that the barriers are broken.

Shameful performance. Time we had a bridge. It's the only rational solution.
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On the edge
post Jan 12 2015, 01:14 PM
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Bad enough on the train! Mind, you don't get 'signal failures' every other day. It makes the 'wonderful investment in a modern railway' at Reading a big waste of money when they can't even get the basics right consistently.


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motormad
post Jan 12 2015, 04:13 PM
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I went out for lunch the other week and was 45 minutes late, people were getting out of their cars or turning around.
Lucky that I passed over the crossing at around 9:10 then I suppose lol.


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Biker1
post Jan 12 2015, 04:21 PM
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You guys need the app.!!

Good luck with it!! tongue.gif
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Biker1
post Jan 12 2015, 04:24 PM
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QUOTE (Blake @ Jan 12 2015, 01:37 PM) *
Had a **** of a delay at Thatcham level crossing today from about 9.20am and was very late for work. Three trains went and the barriers failed to open...at all! This is the second time in less than a year that this muppetry has happened

Were you told the barriers were broken or are you just assuming?
At about this time you have a Plymouth - Padd HST, an empty stock turbo returning to Reading after dropping passengers at Newbury and an all stations to Reading turbo, all in succession.

What do you want them to do? Open the barriers so you get hit by a train? rolleyes.gif
(If they did that I think it may constitute as "muppetry!)

If they opened the barriers between each train then you have the OTE's on board complaining that they "can't even get the basics right".

You have a crossing at this point of and increasingly busy road and an increasingly busy railway. Someone is bound to be delayed.
QUOTE (Blake @ Jan 12 2015, 01:37 PM) *
the rail company fails to tell drivers what on earth is going on, how long it will take to be fixed or if we need to do a U-turn and divert.

Instead, we are wholly dependent on the goodwill of fellow motorists who alert those further along what became a huge tail back that the barriers are broken.

What you need is the app.!!

QUOTE (Blake @ Jan 12 2015, 01:37 PM) *
Time we had a bridge. It's the only rational solution.

Agreed. (But highly unlikely.)
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Blake
post Jan 12 2015, 05:11 PM
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QUOTE (Biker1 @ Jan 12 2015, 04:24 PM) *
Were you told the barriers were broken or are you just assuming?
At about this time you have a Plymouth - Padd HST, an empty stock turbo returning to Reading after dropping passengers at Newbury and an all stations to Reading turbo, all in succession.

What do you want them to do? Open the barriers so you get hit by a train? rolleyes.gif
(If they did that I think it may constitute as "muppetry!)

If they opened the barriers between each train then you have the OTE's on board complaining that they "can't even get the basics right".

You have a crossing at this point of and increasingly busy road and an increasingly busy railway. Someone is bound to be delayed.

What you need is the app.!!


Agreed. (But highly unlikely.)


No Biker1: Unless there is a miracle, I can't see how an app (which is pre-programed) can give up to the minute information, especially when the barrier is broken. I only expect the barrier to be open if there are no trains passing as it mostly does.
The fact that the rail company leaves a colossal traffic jam to build up for miles on each side of the tracks is a classic example of muppetry of the highest order! Surely they could invest in some electronic signs to advise of problems.

This is the second time in less than a year that I have experienced this total shambles. There is no excuse for this in the 21st century.
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On the edge
post Jan 12 2015, 05:13 PM
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Actually Biker1, there would be a good few of us. Crossing gates are simply control equipment, or signalling and being serious for a moment, there is a serious issue here. We've had railway signalling for well over 100 years and electronics since the 1920s yet still we hear daily 'due to signalling problems' excuses. Yes, road traffic lights fail - but seemingly with far less frequency. On the face of it, road traffic lights are possibly more complex. It's not just round here of course, it's a national problem, indeed the London Underground seems to suffer even more. So, does this happen elsewhere? I've travelled by train in Europe and haven't noticed such failures. What's wrong with our UK engineers? Is it really 'lack of investment' or simply poor management?


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Andy Capp
post Jan 12 2015, 06:59 PM
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What is useful about the app is that you can get an overview of likely busy spots in the approaching hour. It is not full-proof, but it is the only thing we've got and likely to be the only thing we will get.

NOTE: this view is only available in Android it seems. iPhones have a slightly different view.

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Biker1
post Jan 12 2015, 07:10 PM
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QUOTE (Blake @ Jan 12 2015, 07:11 PM) *
No Biker1: Unless there is a miracle, I can't see how an app (which is pre-programed) can give up to the minute information, especially when the barrier is broken.

I was being facetious! wink.gif
QUOTE (Blake @ Jan 12 2015, 07:11 PM) *
I only expect the barrier to be open if there are no trains passing as it mostly does.

So the problem is? blink.gif
QUOTE (Blake @ Jan 12 2015, 07:11 PM) *
The fact that the rail company leaves a colossal traffic jam to build up for miles on each side of the tracks is a classic example of muppetry of the highest order! Surely they could invest in some electronic signs to advise of problems.

This is the second time in less than a year that I have experienced this total shambles. There is no excuse for this in the 21st century.

I am not going to keep arguing the point but I'll have one last try............
The railway is busy, the road is busy. How do you suggest that NR "leaves a colossal traffic jam to build up for miles on each side of the tracks"?
Like it or not, trains have priority at level crossings.
They DO NOT purposely leave the barriers down when not necessary.
They CANNOT raise the barriers if a train is signalled through.
Do you suggest they stop 110 / 90 mph trains to let the traffic through?
If so, how do you suggest they do that?
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Biker1
post Jan 12 2015, 07:15 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Jan 12 2015, 07:13 PM) *
We've had railway signalling for well over 100 years and electronics since the 1920s yet still we hear daily 'due to signalling problems' excuses. Yes, road traffic lights fail - but seemingly with far less frequency. On the face of it, road traffic lights are possibly more complex.

Railway signalling (MAS) is much, much more complex that road traffic signals.
Here is a starters if you are interested and have nothing else to do in bed tonight!! smile.gif
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nerc
post Jan 12 2015, 07:42 PM
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The crossing was still closed at 10.10am and some people sat there all that time instead of turning round.
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On the edge
post Jan 12 2015, 09:43 PM
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QUOTE (Biker1 @ Jan 12 2015, 07:15 PM) *
Railway signalling (MAS) is much, much more complex that road traffic signals.
Here is a starters if you are interested and have nothing else to do in bed tonight!! smile.gif


OK Biker1 having at least scanned the write up, I agree!

By the way, it does seem an interesting site, so I'll put off what I was thinking of doing in bed tonight...... tongue.gif


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x2lls
post Jan 13 2015, 12:37 AM
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Good argument Biker.


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Andy Capp
post Jan 13 2015, 01:31 AM
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The biggest nuisance from a road user perspective are the slow moving trains. In particular, the Hanson trains and the like. I've frequently been held up for 3 to 5 minutes waiting for one of them to trundle past.
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x2lls
post Jan 13 2015, 02:06 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Jan 13 2015, 01:31 AM) *
The biggest nuisance from a road user perspective are the slow moving trains. In particular, the Hanson trains and the like. I've frequently been held up for 3 to 5 minutes waiting for one of them to trundle past.


lol


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Biker1
post Jan 13 2015, 09:02 AM
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QUOTE (nerc @ Jan 12 2015, 08:42 PM) *
The crossing was still closed at 10.10am and some people sat there all that time instead of turning round.

If that was the case then there was a problem with the barriers and I apologise for any misunderstanding.
When the barriers fail then I fully understand people's frustration.
In this high-tech world we seem to be even more susceptible to failure.
In the days of manual signalling when the signals were operated by levers and the crossing gates by a wheel in the adjacent signal box I bet things were more reliable!!
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Biker1
post Jan 13 2015, 12:32 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Jan 13 2015, 02:31 AM) *
The biggest nuisance from a road user perspective are the slow moving trains. In particular, the Hanson trains and the like. I've frequently been held up for 3 to 5 minutes waiting for one of them to trundle past.

But much better and safer than hundreds of heavy lorries on the roads holding things up eh? smile.gif
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Washwaterman
post Jan 13 2015, 12:50 PM
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My favourite subject... Having spent many an hour waiting at the level crossing I have come to the conclusion that the major problem is the length of time the crossing is down.
Waiting 5 minutes for a train to arrive at the station is unacceptable surely in these modern times drop the barriers 1 minute before the train arrives and as the train is stopped in the station raise the barriers.

Although this won't help when the barriers are down for some 20 minutes as the ghost train goes through then the barriers raise, or do we wait until people are killed or injured when a vehicle ploughs into a queue of unsighted cars south of the station.

But as always this subject is not treated with the importance it deserves.
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Andy Capp
post Jan 13 2015, 03:32 PM
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QUOTE (Biker1 @ Jan 13 2015, 12:32 PM) *
But much better and safer than hundreds of heavy lorries on the roads holding things up eh? smile.gif

We have them too.
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Biker1
post Jan 14 2015, 10:52 AM
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QUOTE (Washwaterman @ Jan 13 2015, 01:50 PM) *
Having spent many an hour waiting at the level crossing I have come to the conclusion that the major problem is the length of time the crossing is down.

No!, you don't say!! ohmy.gif
QUOTE (Washwaterman @ Jan 13 2015, 01:50 PM) *
Waiting 5 minutes for a train to arrive at the station is unacceptable surely in these modern times drop the barriers 1 minute before the train arrives

No, can't do that. All to do with safe stopping distances etc. You need to look at facts a bit more before making assumptions.
QUOTE (Washwaterman @ Jan 13 2015, 01:50 PM) *
and as the train is stopped in the station raise the barriers.

They do. (If the trains is heading towards Reading and there is no other train coming).
QUOTE (Washwaterman @ Jan 13 2015, 01:50 PM) *
Although this won't help when the barriers are down for some 20 minutes as the ghost train goes through then the barriers raise,

20 minutes? The Ghost Train? what on earth are you talking about?
You need to look at facts a bit more before making assumptions.
QUOTE (Washwaterman @ Jan 13 2015, 01:50 PM) *
But as always this subject is not treated with the importance it deserves.

By who? It's discussed on here enough.
Here is a page where you can submit comments / suggestions regarding the crossing to NR.
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