Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

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Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Jeanie on Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:26 pm



Smithy Bridge Road has been closed for at least 3 hours today because the new level crossing gates have stuck in the closed position.  This was on the www.littleboroughlocal.co.uk forum . They should never have taken the Man away, someone is going to get killed on this crossing !!!

LittleboroughLocal | News, events and information for residents and visitors of Littleborough
www.littleboroughlocal.co.uk          LittleboroughLocal is a community web site to provide residents and visitors to Littleborough with all the latest news, events and ...

This crossing is very different to others, the view is limited until you are actually on the crossing, as someone on the forum stated " what if the gates had stuck the other way."  This needs an urgent review and the signal man reinstated ASAP !

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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  keithatrochdale on Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:40 pm


This crossing has been closed a lot lately, what for I wonder?


This is a time bomb ticking!

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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Atlas on Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:05 am

Have you contacted 'Network Rail' with your concerns? A copy to 'Railways Inspectorate' wouldn't do any harm either. Question 
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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  cyfrifia on Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:44 am


New automated level crossing equipment in use at Smithy Bridge
on the first day of operation 27 January 2014.

It's a particularly dangerous level crossing, all gone pear shaped.

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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Dalelad on Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:18 pm

Surely all level crossing are particualrly dangerous!

The fact that it's failed in a safe position suggests that there are built in failsafes?
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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  cyfrifia on Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:36 pm

The fact that it's failed would seem to be a: Failure.

Yes, level crossings are always dangerous, the one at Smithy Bridge is in a tricky spot and has problems with lines of sight.

Network Rail classifies pedestrian deaths and vehicle collisions as "Level crossing misuse", implying that the design and construction of all level crossings is perfectly good, and all accidents are the fault of the public.
http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/4817.aspx

Many UK level crossings are under engineered and not very well designed.

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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Dalelad on Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:25 pm

And the fact that it has failed safe would suggest there are failsafes built in.
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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  keithatrochdale on Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:13 pm

Dalelad wrote:And the fact that it has failed safe would suggest there are failsafes built in.

Not necessarily, it shows that it is very unreliable and age cannot even be used as an excuse.





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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Old Regulator on Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:27 pm


The crossing is indeed one of the new radar controlled ones, the steep road makes an alternative bridge problematic.  Currently the ‘man’ is on site, in the signal box and is in charge whilst the crossing is proved, as in all new technologies.  As mentioned above the fact that it is in the safe position means the design is working.  As for the ‘what if it stuck open,’ a bit more mischief here, if the barriers are up the trains will be halted 2 red lights away from the crossing, in Rochdale Station and Littleborough Station, and unlike motorist, trains are halted if a red light is passed at danger.  As for not designed for purpose and the poor old motorist always being blamed, come off it.  Trains cannot swerve around the barriers or turn along the road off the lines like scores of motorist have done, or pedestrians tragically ‘duck’ under the barrier to be struck by a speeding train.  Network Rail are replacing as many as possible but the cost for legislating for the bloody fool is large.

This radar operated type has been successful in other parts of the country, but I suppose Ned Ludd would have thoughts about progress.

And before someone gets angry I too think the removal of signalmen/ladies is lamentable but some may say I am an anorak.


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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Dalelad on Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:29 pm




Thanks OR. I honestly can't understand how people can think that they've done this just to save a salary at a price of reduced safety. Why would they?
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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  cyfrifia on Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:23 pm

Train operating companies try hard to serve the public and ensure safety, as long as the law is breathing heavily down their neck. Otherwise they don't seem to give a dooh-dah.

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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Jeanie on Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:47 pm

Dalelad wrote:

Thanks OR. I honestly can't understand how people can think that they've done this just to save a salary at a price of reduced safety. Why would they?


Come on, they did it with the Hospital to save money, which is all proving to be going pear shaped! and that is what life is all about these days, saving money regardless off safety and sadly, until it affects you personally, you will remain blinkered.


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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Dalelad on Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:05 pm

Jeanie, you don't know if me or my loved ones have been affected by NHS cuts/incompetence or not so you aren't in a position to judge me on that one.

Apart from that, just because 'they' did it to the NHS, it doesn't then follow that the train companies would choose to save a salary knowing it would cost people's lives. I really can't fathom how you believe that they've decided to deliberately make it less safe. The train would stop before it got there anyway. Or is that something else 'they' have said that's not true? How do you decide what to believe?
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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Atlas on Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:48 am




Now one is better informed of the situation I would concur with those who express doubt that the crossing is inherently unsafe. There can always of course be dangers with bad engineering, bad workmanship or a lack of good maintenance. Nothing in life is 'perfect'. One should, in this case, watch results as I too would be very surprised if the 'fail-safe' failed on such a new structure. As for Hospitals and Railways - no comparisons can be drawn. They operate from very distinct different vessels. Smile
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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Old Regulator on Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:38 am

Just to clarify. Network Rail is not a train operating company but, wait for it, a public body funded by central government having been ‘re-nationalised’. Our rail industry has a safety record second to non and is much more regulated by an independent authority than the NHS, but like Atlas I fail to see the connection.

It would be prudish of me to point out that the railway, 175 years old in July next, was there long before the use of motor cars and Smithy Bridge road was probably a pack horse route, hope someone can find out for me, when the railway was built. The station by the way was on the other side of the road in those days.

As a point of interest, hopefully, the old station was a ‘watering point’ for refugee trains, Russian pogroms I think, and the trains en-route Hull to Liverpool for ships to the then welcoming USA, stop to allow fresh clean water for the emigrants. Buckets of water were ordered to be placed along the up platform by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway company and a ‘special eye’ was to be kept to discourage passengers fleeing into the countryside. I often wonder if any did ‘escape’ what the welcome from local folk would have been. Isn’t local history, based on fact, A wonderful thing?

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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Dalelad on Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:55 pm

For those who are interested, I've received the following reply from Network Rail regarding the barriers being  down.

'Thank you for your phone call to our national helpline regarding the above.

'There have been a number of signalling faults (not connected to the installation of the new crossing) that has resulted in the barriers being in the down position for safety reasons.

I would ask you to bear with us as we are working to resolve the current faults.

I trust this is helpful.

Yours sincerely'...

So nothing to do with a lack of a man in the signal box.
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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Hinch on Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:26 pm

Well done DL. Always best to dig the facts out. You do seem some prats at that crossing though, dodging across as the barriers come down. Saw a man in a white van and a motorcyclist doing it a few weeks ago.
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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  keithatrochdale on Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:48 pm

Hinch wrote:Well done DL. Always best to dig the facts out. You do seem some prats at that crossing though, dodging across as the barriers come down. Saw a man in a white van and a motorcyclist doing it a few weeks ago.

Ok so they admit it keeps breaking, I would have thought that it should be 100% reliable to be safe?

And if you have seen so many people abusing it in your short usage, then to my mind it is unsafe; it is only a question of time before there is an accident. It should not allow people to take such chances.
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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Dalelad on Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:16 pm

No they don't admit that Keith, but as you made your mind up a while ago I didn't think you would be affected by the facts.

If someone decides to try to cross when the red lights are flashing, and the barriers are coming down, how the heck is that the fault of anyone but the idiots who do it?
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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  cyfrifia on Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:23 am

You don't have to be an idiot to get killed or injured on either roads or railways. There should always be the motive and effort to make these things safer. What about the old chap with alzheimers, or the child over excited and thinking of something else, safety arrangements should be as good as they can be, and better than they are.

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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Atlas on Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:51 am




You are back in 'cloud cuckoo land' again cyfrifia. What have I told you about not taking your pills - and having illusions that money grows on trees? Tch. Not only have you got a relatively free and peaceful life - you want to be totally safe as well! Beggars belief really. Should have been born when I was -. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes


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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  cyfrifia on Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:27 am

You are right about money and trees, Atlas, it's obvious how skimpy and cost saving some of the engineering around level crossings is, while other aspects of railways devour huge amounts of money.

Injuries seen in railway accidents tend to be particularly tragic and gruesome, anyone who has seen a few might agree that safety standards and measures need to be better.

As for unrealistic expectations, the lower the expectations, the lower the standards will be. True poverty is poverty of expectations.


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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Atlas on Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:09 am




I'm not saying that you shouldn't aspire. But the realities of life must have a bearing on one's expectations. We haven't the resources to provide a completely 'safe' enviroment. Life has its dangers and we should all be 'aware' and take precautions whenever and wherever possible. Most accidents are caused by some form of 'carelessness'. Elimate that and you will eliminate the vast majority. And don't rely on others to do it for you. As for the 'rest' - - - part of life on the planet. She is in control and we are but the servants and trustees and will bend to her will. Fair fortune. Wink Smile Smile Smile
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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  Dalelad on Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:06 am

cyfrifia wrote:You don't have to be an idiot to get killed or injured on either roads or railways. There should always be the motive and effort to make these things safer. What about the old chap with alzheimers, or the child over excited and thinking of something else, safety arrangements should be as good as they can be, and better than they are.
Up to a point. The same at risk people could just as easily walk out in front of a car or bus. We don't advocate the fencing off of all roads to mitigate this risk do we? As Altas says, we have to be realistic.

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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

Post  cyfrifia on Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:06 pm


It'll probably be all right.

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Re: Smithy Bridge Level Crossing

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