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Old July 29th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #1
Wallaroo
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MISC | Railway Crossings

Whats the maximum allowed speed for trains through railway crossings and stations in different countries?

Last edited by Wallaroo; August 3rd, 2008 at 11:24 PM.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 08:46 PM   #2
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225km/h in the UK authorised. In France between Tours and Bordaux the linespeed maxes out at 220km/h, and there are level crossings on that route.

Heres a vid taken in the UK - the camera bloke is standing halfway up a footbridge for pedestrians at a level crossing. Seeing the number and speed of trains its no surprising the pedestrians asked for a footbridge! The linespeed here is 225 km/h which the electric trains are capable of, but due to a health and safety directive above 200km/h requires 2 drivers, which the train company won't pay for, and it would cause timetabling problems anyway as the other trains can only do 200km/h.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 12:25 AM   #3
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Thats an incredible high speed to go through a railroad crossing IMO. Have there not been any accidents where a car got in the way, or where the railroad crossing barriers failed?

I believe trains are restricted to only 120 km/h at level crossings in Denmark, at least I have never seen a train go faster through them than that.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 07:19 AM   #4
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I think it's 160km/h here.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:22 AM   #5
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Do any trains go faster than that in Australia since the QR Tilt Train was limited?
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaroo View Post
Thats an incredible high speed to go through a railroad crossing IMO. Have there not been any accidents where a car got in the way, or where the railroad crossing barriers failed?

I believe trains are restricted to only 120 km/h at level crossings in Denmark, at least I have never seen a train go faster through them than that.
There are tonnes of level crossings like this in Britain.

I can only imagine that the fact that there are so many means people are more used to them and simply don't get in the way.

I haven't heard of many incidents of cars getting stuck on them, it could just not be reported?
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Do any trains go faster than that in Australia since the QR Tilt Train was limited?
fastest trains here are 160kmh. The vast majority of rail transport here operates at 100-130km/h.

Last edited by 你8; July 30th, 2008 at 09:45 AM.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaroo View Post
Thats an incredible high speed to go through a railroad crossing IMO. Have there not been any accidents where a car got in the way, or where the railroad crossing barriers failed?

I believe trains are restricted to only 120 km/h at level crossings in Denmark, at least I have never seen a train go faster through them than that.
Yes - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3991147.stm this one was on a stretch of line where the max speed is only 160km/h.

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All eight carriages left the tracks in the accident

As the Great Western Mainline cuts through the Berkshire countryside, there are regular level crossings along the way.

Usually unmanned, they are still common where a minor road crosses a railway line - even a busy one.
This accident is a deadly example of what can happen when a car ends up on a high-speed railway line.
The driver of the train would have had just seconds to stop - nowhere near enough time. He had no automatic warning of the car ahead on the line.
Only if the barrier had been open would red signals have been triggered to slow and stop the express from its speed of 100 miles an hour.
Safety measure
The significance of this crash is clear from the fact that it is the first time in nearly 20 years that train passengers have died in a level crossing accident. It is generally car drivers who are killed in such incidents.
Yet a few months ago, the head of Britain's railway inspectorate, Dr Alan Sefton, said level crossings were the "greatest potential risk" to the safety of the railways.
Eighteen people were killed, on foot or behind the wheel, at rail crossings last year.



Crossing safety 'must be probed'
Rail level crossing discouraged


Some have single barriers that block only half of the road in each direction. This is intentional - it allows drivers who have ended up on the track by accident to get to safety.

But it does mean it is almost impossible to stop a driver who may be intent on taking the risk. A car can be simply driven around the barriers onto the track.
One local resident emailed the BBC to say some drivers would do this at Ufton Nervet, if they could see there was no train coming.
Following the Berkshire tragedy, rail trade unions have called for level crossings to be removed from high-speed lines. That would be extremely expensive. And the rail industry would regard it as an over-reaction. The truth is that most accidents like this one are caused by car drivers. Rail chiefs believe what is needed most of all is a campaign to educate them of the risks.

There are some links on the right of that BBC page for further info about the incident - and some other related stories.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 03:54 PM   #9
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Where tram and train lines intersect, the limit is either 15 or 30km/h, with an extremely bumpy ride. It also requires an operator in the signalbox to manually change the voltage on the overhead lines between 1500V (trains) and 600V (trams).

Back in the 1920s, there were large scale projects to eliminate these, but in the years since, these have become a lot more expensive and a lot more inconvenient. That said, there are only four or so such crossings left in the country, although waiting for the entire length of a train to pass at such a low speed is painful.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
Yes - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3991147.stm this one was on a stretch of line where the max speed is only 160km/h.



There are some links on the right of that BBC page for further info about the incident - and some other related stories.
That proves me wrong then...
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invincible View Post
Where tram and train lines intersect, the limit is either 15 or 30km/h, with an extremely bumpy ride. It also requires an operator in the signalbox to manually change the voltage on the overhead lines between 1500V (trains) and 600V (trams).

Back in the 1920s, there were large scale projects to eliminate these, but in the years since, these have become a lot more expensive and a lot more inconvenient. That said, there are only four or so such crossings left in the country, although waiting for the entire length of a train to pass at such a low speed is painful.
We have one of those in Tallinn. Fortunately it's a minor railway that crosses the tram line.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 10:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
225km/h in the UK authorised. In France between Tours and Bordaux the linespeed maxes out at 220km/h, and there are level crossings on that route.
There are no level-crossing any longer between Tours and Bordeaux and between Le Mans and Nantes. In France, the maximum spped is 160 km/h with level crossing and...320 km/h inside stations (Champagne Ardennes TGV for exemple). But of course, tracks that are used at 320 km/h are not along platforms.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 11:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
225km/h in the UK authorised. The linespeed here is 225 km/h which the electric trains are capable of, but due to a health and safety directive above 200km/h requires 2 drivers, which the train company won't pay for, and it would cause timetabling problems anyway as the other trains can only do 200km/h.
225 km/h (140mph) running was planned for both the UK East Coast and West Coast main lines. However this will not be achieved until in-cab signalling has been installed (this won't start for another 8 years or so). So the current limit is 200 km/h (125mph) including through stations and level crossings.

The US Acela Express runs at 240km/h (150mph) through stations:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRjvF...eature=related
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Old July 31st, 2008, 12:47 PM   #14
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In cab signalling is not required for 225km/h on some stretches on the east coast mainline. If you look at the video above that I posted you can see that sometimes the green lights are flashing - this is the "5th aspect", signifying to the drivers that the train is clear for 225km/h. HMRC regulations state that above 200km/h lineside signals pass to fast for a single driver to be guaranteed of spotting every one and not accidentally miss any, hence two drivers are required. However, should Nationakl Express wish, if they put a second driver in the cab of a class 91 I don't think there is anything to stop them pushing it to 225km/h over these sections with the flashing green lights. Extending the 5th aspect signalling was abandoned however (in the early 90s), so its just this bit between I think Huntingdon, Peterborough and Grantham.

Out of interest, under the IEP process the DfT and Network Rail are considering raising the maximum speed on some sections to 245km/h (approx 155 mph - they don't want to reach 250 km/h because that would require all sorts of high speed rail alterations under EU directives) once in cab signalling is implemented. There is a doc somewhere on the DfT website showing the potential speed increases possible without realigning the route.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 04:02 AM   #15
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I'm not sure of the exact limit for railway crossings, but in general any line that allows a speed of 140km/h or more doesn't have any railway crossings. Only bridges and tunnels are used then.

As for stations: again, not completely sure, but as far as I know 160km/h happens to some stations. Speed does seem to be limited if a local train is going to call at the station within a specified timespan. If a train is allowed to drive more on a line, there usually aren't any other stations where the train passes through without stopping.

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Old August 1st, 2008, 05:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
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HMRC regulations state that above 200km/h lineside signals pass to fast for a single driver to be guaranteed of spotting every one and not accidentally miss any, hence two drivers are required.
Why is that a problem when there is that warning system that makes a beep before a green signal (sorry for my ignorance, I forgot the name.)
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Old August 1st, 2008, 02:16 PM   #17
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I dont get why they cant just have a signalling system controlled by GPS... Easy. Hmm i suppose you cant sent data with that can you?

I dunno.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 02:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iampuking View Post
Why is that a problem when there is that warning system that makes a beep before a green signal (sorry for my ignorance, I forgot the name.)
Beats me. Although the warning bleepy thing can be disabled at track level - the thing on the track could fail or be damaged by a badger. Even then I thought that meant the train emergency stops. Its a good question.

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I dont get why they cant just have a signalling system controlled by GPS... Easy. Hmm i suppose you cant sent data with that can you?

I dunno.
Well, thats what is apparently specified in ETRMS. The limitation being the bandwidth capable of reciving all live vehicle movement changes, constantly readjusting target speed data and communicating this to the right vehicles. It seems at busy junctions this quickly exceeds the bandwidth available.

If you want to get really technical have a go at this article here http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/sq...02007%20p3.htm

Its really quite an informative if slightly irate article.

Quote:
And there's also the fact that while GSM-R can just about cope with the demands of ETCS Level 2 on main lines, it will run out of bandwidth in busy areas with lots of trains having to be controlled. You really need GPRS for Level 2, let alone Level 3 to handle a major throat.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 11:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfabyanos View Post
In cab signalling is not required for 225km/h on some stretches on the east coast mainline. If you look at the video above that I posted you can see that sometimes the green lights are flashing - this is the "5th aspect", signifying to the drivers that the train is clear for 225km/h. HMRC regulations state that above 200km/h lineside signals pass to fast for a single driver to be guaranteed of spotting every one and not accidentally miss any, hence two drivers are required. However, should Nationakl Express wish, if they put a second driver in the cab of a class 91 I don't think there is anything to stop them pushing it to 225km/h over these sections with the flashing green lights. Extending the 5th aspect signalling was abandoned however (in the early 90s), so its just this bit between I think Huntingdon, Peterborough and Grantham.

Out of interest, under the IEP process the DfT and Network Rail are considering raising the maximum speed on some sections to 245km/h (approx 155 mph - they don't want to reach 250 km/h because that would require all sorts of high speed rail alterations under EU directives) once in cab signalling is implemented. There is a doc somewhere on the DfT website showing the potential speed increases possible without realigning the route.
Roger Ford, Modern Railways commented in his 'Informed Sources' article from June 2006:

http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/sq...006%202006.htm

"When Virgin announced that it had asked Network Rail to look at the costs and benefits of running Pendolino's at 135mile/h on the West Coast Main Line my immediate reaction was to ask whether they had spoken to HMRI. That they hadn't struck me as distinctly odd.

In the press release which formally launched the initiative Virgin claimed ‘while speeds of 140 mile/h and above will require new trackside signalling linked to in-cab signalling equipment on the trains, trains can operate at 135 mile/h using existing signalling'. To which the answer is, ‘not according to HMRI'.

Just to make sure, I asked HMRI, now part of the Office of Rail Regulation for their current view on speeds above 125mile/h on existing lines. As of 25 April ‘ our position is that human factor considerations indicate that optical sighting of signals cannot be relied upon at speeds over 125m/h'.

Which was as I thought, because we went through all this back in the 1980s when InterCity specified the East Coast Main line electrification for 140 mile/h. The overhead line support masts were configured to allow the future addition of a compound catenary and the traction and rolling stock was deigned for the same speed.

British Rail also proposed using flashing green signals to provide a fifth aspect a technique, known as ‘preannonce' (acute accent over e) by French Railways when the Capitole pioneered 125mile/h running on classic lines in the 1960s. A flashing green aspect would indicate that a train could run enhanced line-speed, 140mile/h on the ECML, to the next signal. A steady green aspect would require the driver to brake to line speed.

While 22 miles of the ECML between Helpston and Stoke was fitted with flashing green aspects, its use was limited to high speed testing for IC225. And that was that. Testing apart, HMRI decreed that above 125 mile/h cab signalling was mandatory"


Roger Ford added in his recent article on the IEP (Modern Railways, July 2008 that the East Coast Main Line 'was cleared for speeds of 140mph (225 km/h) and above only for testing under possession plus ..one demonstration run..' (London to Edinburgh 393 miles (628km), 26/09/91, 3 hours 29 minutes)

I think we can therefore assume that the West and East Coast Main Lines will be restricted to 125mph (200 km/h) for the foreseable future, regardless of whether or not the new IEP trains have 155mph (250km/h) potential.

Last edited by Chafford1; August 2nd, 2008 at 12:27 AM. Reason: Added link
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 12:31 PM   #20
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Thanks. There's no mention in Mr Ford's article about the two-man driving team, so I will try to chase that one up to see if there is any basis in that. Mr Ford tends to be correct about everything so I'll agree that the current limit is more set in stone than I had thought.
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