November 2010 in Network Rail and Suppliers
A reporter is concerned about the use of high speed train horns and whistle boards at Sadler's User Worked Crossing (UWC) at Norton Junction, Worcestershire.
Having looked both ways prior to and whilst crossing over, the reporter was alarmed to hear the approaching train's horn blow when in the four foot area. The reporter uses this crossing regularly as a pedestrian and is concerned by the speed at which they had to move out of the train's path, having not heard the horn prior to crossing.
A pedestrian is unable to see the Up line trains until they pass the signal box, which highlights the importance of hearing a warning. Families with small children regularly use this crossing. The reporter is concerned that upon hearing the train horn and seeing the train approach they might be unable to move out of the train's path quickly enough.
For Network Rail:
For First Great Western:
Network Rail would like to thank the reporter for bringing their concerns to our attention.At the most recent risk assessment visit, carried out in May 2010, user sighting time (i.e. the warning time users get by stopping/looking/listening) was found to be almost exactly the same as the traverse time (i.e. the accepted time under Her Majesty Railway Inspectorate guidelines that it takes to walk between the positions of safety on either side of the crossing).
Sadler's level crossing does not therefore need whistle boards
and none are provided. Drivers would therefore only sound the horn
under the general requirement in the Rule Book to do so if they see
anyone on or near the line.
The crossing has a good even surface across the track, which minimises the traverse time.
It should be stressed that the above applies only to the footpath element of the crossing. Telephones are provided for users with vehicles or driven animals to check with the Signaller that there is enough time to cross.