Friday, September 18, 2015

Railway boom gate times

It seems the train folk are going to have boom gates lowering earlier when a train is imminent at 46 level crossings. The new trains to be delivered next year accelerate faster and so there is concern that there is not enough of a margin between when the boom gates are activated and the arrival of the train. We have to trust that they have a valid point and accept this, I suppose. As frustrating as sitting in your car at level crossing can be, you need to use some logic about it, accepting that you are perhaps one person in a car while up 1,000 people pass by in the train. God forbid that all those people would be on the road in cars too.

But something could very easily done to speed up the level crossing waiting time for motorists and that is the often ridiculously long period between when the train clears the crossing and the booms begin to rise.

This footage was taken at Gardiner Station. Works are underway to put the trains underground at this location as the level crossing does cause massive traffic problems. The train must travel slowly as it crosses tram tracks.

You don't need to watch all of this video. At 2.52 the rear of the train clears the crossing. 19 seconds later at 3.01 the booms begin to rise. That is heading towards half a minute and for what reason? I would have thought 5 seconds or less is enough. It is probably a full minute before the booms are fully raised and the traffic lights turn green and traffic can move again. This could be cut down to much less with today's technology, even yesterday's technology.



I think I have posted this video before or one similar of a redundant but still operational level crossing near Pakenham in Gippsland, Victoria.

For some amusement, construction of the Pakenham Bypass began in April 2005 and I assume the crossing was closed soon after, yet by October 2008, the bells and lights were still operating and the booms still coming down, in spite of there being no road. I believe the equipment has been removed now. Sometimes our train organisations are less than perfect.


20 comments:

  1. I would rather they were a minute late than even thirty seconds early. And, if we can wait for swans/ducks/old ladies we can probably wait for a train too.

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    1. EC, I don't wait for old ladies, only ducks and swans.

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  2. Andrew it is veryinteresting tp see a video from your place. I see taht type of transpot every day and I use it.

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    1. Gosia, our traffic congestion is so bad, people have returned to using public transport a lot.

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  3. Lot's of bells and whistles, it is a bit of a waste.
    Glad I don't live near one of these just to much noise.
    Merle......

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    1. Merle, living on a train line many years ago was bad enough for us.

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  4. Ha ha, love that video of the road to nowhere protected by all the bells and whistles and boom guards. That's funny! You would not want to live here. The railroads own this town where I live. Queen St., a major thoroughfare, to cross the highway running through town, has tracks used as a switching yard by the railroads. They go back and forth building trains in the middle of the intersection. Freight trains here. We only have the one passenger train that goes north and south through Oregon now and then with few passengers. Downtown, in the felony flats district, tracks criss cross everywhere and one can be delayed forever as sometimes they just seem to park on the tracks blocking streets. You must have lots of spare time and patience to live here. We do end up with lots of people killed on the tracks. Some use the trains to kill themselves.

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    1. Felony flats, haha. Much more freight seems to be carried by trains in North America than here. I will have a look with Google about where you are talking about.

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    2. Here's the google maps link, quite lengthy, but it is Queen Ave. at Pacific Blvd. You can see the many train cars above the tracks there. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Albany,+OR+97322/@44.6239148,-123.109301,651m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x54c06b5afb12d285:0x421bc756ab3ec0e5!6m1!1e1

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    3. Most interesting. Trains can go north, north east, south and south east. We have long trains but they are mainly in the outback for transporting coal and they are not really seen in built up areas.

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  5. You're quibbling over thirty-sixty seconds?

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    1. River, it is not a huge amount of time, but it is the pointlessness of it.

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  6. You've missed your calling in life Andrew, you should have been an efficiency expert.

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    1. Jac, that usually involves sacking people and taking away jobs, so perhaps not for me.

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  7. Would be a lot of cars on the roads without trains & trams..especially in the large cities.

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    1. Margaret, it is quite unimaginable.

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  8. What Elephant Child said :) Makes you wonder how many other anomalies go unnoticed, not that this one could possibly go unnoticed :)

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    1. Grace, and no doubt it was carefully maintained over the period it was there but not needed.

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  9. Ugh some weeks I feel I spend far too much time sat at level crossings. One in particular it's not unusual to wait 15+ minutes as different trains go past. I've timed the wait on more than one occasion.

    I found the road to nowhere boom gates kinda fun. :)

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    1. Lordy Fen, where you travel to work is a hard drive to contemplate.

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