Marion Station Underpass

 
  Ex-NSW Rail Beginner

That does not look like a sign applied by a statuatory authority, I would ask whomever bought it and placed it there to kindly take it home... Surely it ought to be placed at the top of the ramps not at the bottom of them? I mean it's an underpass, by definition all traffic is going to originate from the level... Just another reason to be skeptical of it's origin for me.
Aaron
I know that this is a blatant violation of Rule 14  But

- Mate , I'm with ya , I'm absolutely certain it was not placed there by a statuatory authority.

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  Jumbo2001 Junior Train Controller

Just from a drivers perspective here, I think the underpass idea is fantastic. Anyway to completely eliminate the ability for pedestrians to interface with the railway is good. I don't know if it is a slight amount of utopia, or what, but the electronically controlled gates that they have at Oaklands (and all around the network) are fantastic in theory, but infact have one giant flaw that school students particularly exploit!

That is the fact that it has an 'Emergency Exit" which can be very easily opened, and it circumvents the entire safety procedure, meaning that they can run out infront of a train (because children inherently will take more risks) to catch it, and risk their lives for the sake of getting it.

It concerns me that the community appears to have totally missed this point, and is willing to expose school students at Wesminster (and a lesser part Marion Primary) to risk because of a concern that an underpass (regardless of being wide open) is a giant risk for their community.

But hey, thats just my opinion, but take heed, those controlled pedestrian gates aren't a silver bullet solution, and create their own problems but the ability to circumvent the entire working of them.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Paul

I think you should listen to Jumbo's opinion as a driver.

It will he or his colleagues who have a child splattered bug like over their windscreen.

A childs' skull impacted at 100 kph explodes like a watermelon, hopefully the windscreen stays intact and the driver only loses his/her nerve and not their life; they will most likely lose their job, not from disciplinary action but from traumatic stress.

If you can DPTI to agree to a bridge with steps  at the down end and a gated access at the up end, good luck.
Active crossings at both ends are not on.

Ian
  Seldom_21 Junior Train Controller

Location: South Australia
Ian, I think a change of wording or toning it down; as words to the effect of "child splattered bug like" and "A childs' skull impacted at 100 kph explodes like a watermelon" come across crass and quite crude. Any parent (of which I am NOT one) who has had to deal with the tragedy of loosing a child in this way would be rightly offended by this language. Personally, the best option that protects all members of the community should be the option chosen; personally, I believe if it saves one life it does, as Ian said, have significant impacts upon the drivers. Cost should be irrelevant, safety, however should not.

personal views only
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Standard tactic when the argument can't be won on merit, go for emotional blackmail and damn the facts.

The relevant facts, of course, are that road crossings outside schools where students using the crossing are supervised by SAPOL-trained student monitors and a school staff member have a zero fatality rate over the entire history of student monitor operation - despite having many more vehicles per hour traversing the crossings and no active gates. Logically, student monitors and a staff member supervising a gated level crossing would be even safer - just as it is for the level crossings already located near schools that already execute their duty of care in that manner whether they have gates or just a maze.

Go on turbo Tom, do the right thing by the people who have spoken out against your maverick department and their little empire in their ivory tower! Build the level crossing gates, save us millions and send Luigi the little Mussolini off to go and gold plate his local centrelink office!
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Arguments should always be rational but never are, that's why they are arguments.

Add to my "splattered child" things like:-

  • Graffiti tunnel
  • Hang out for perves, drug dealers and other undesirables (according to your taste).
  • Muggings, murders
  • Urine soaked floors
  • Dog faeces
  • Persons mown down by bicycles rushing through.

The anti underpass lobby started the hyperbole first and that is probably how Paul got his crowd together.

Justapax, you try to argue from a logical basis consistent with most of your contributions to discussion and then lunge into an almost libellous tirade against Luigi Rossi.

If you have some real and incontrovertible dirt on this bloke such that he is not fit to do his job send me a pm and others here with it.
If it is a person grievance own up to it.

Thankfully there are mavericks in this state otherwise nothing gets done.

As for insensitivity. The front of a train is not very understanding.
One of my children escaped onto the railway line at a pedestrian crossing. It was only that he was riding an orange plastic tractor which made him visible to the oncoming train such that the driver could take action. I was alerted by the train's horn and sound of it braking and arrived in time to see my child on the other side  of the crossing, a view framed by the underside of the Red Hen DMU. I don't take the matter lightly.

Ian

BTW, I use my real name
  jm1941 Chief Commissioner

Location: Mount Gambier
Ian, I think a change of wording or toning it down; as words to the effect of "child splattered bug like" and "A childs' skull impacted at 100 kph explodes like a watermelon" come across crass and quite crude. Any parent (of which I am NOT one) who has had to deal with the tragedy of loosing a child in this way would be rightly offended by this language.
Seldom_21
Seldom_21, sorry mate, I realised this is your personal view only, do not take it to heart, but have a little re-think about it.
Ian is quite right in stating what he said and the way he said it. This is the problem with today's delicate pandering language about rail accidents when loss of a life, it is mostly perfumed down, so it has no effect of the REAL thing. No IMPACT at all. Obviously what Ian said made you sit up and take notice.

Of course a parent would be upset, or anyone as to a "child splattered bug like" but it is a plain FACT and to the real point as if you have been a railway employee who has seen or been involved with a terrible tragedy like that. It does needs some honest fierce words said as if it is to drive home "THE HARD MESSAGE" that trains on Xings, all folk need a 100% concentration, or you'll be "splattered like a bug" as well, no questions asked. Trains get blamed for killing and maiming people, but it's not trains, but folk who through one moment of stupidity of not thinking that causes all the misery for all those involved with the tragedy.

So yes, also being an ex railway employee myself who as a ticket collector not long in the job, standing next to driver in 1963 on an express suburban redhens to Dry Creek and nearing Ovingham crossing a young lad ran out in front of our set of redhens and yes it was just spat (if you prefer thud) with body parts along the track and half a skull in the couplings and having to put pieces of newspaper over all the parts so trains on the up track not view any of it.  To some here reading this will be probably be quite offended, but it is the real point of view, not a perfumed word toned down just because it might upset someone. Say it as it is, has best impact. The message strongly said would be driven home far better and more folk may be still around today. Yes, nasty for a parent, but its also a forever memory of the tragedy for the Rail employees and other services that help clean up the mess.

My personal viewpoint from personal experience, memory of it still with me today, 50 years later.

Regards,
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

John

I was given a rather graphic account of the Ovingham accident  by a school mate who was a passenger on the train.

Thanks for the support. I have made my reply.

There are drivers who a quivering heaps and never drive again after such incidents. At least two lives ruined let alone the family, you never forget.

My child who escaped death due to an orange toy tractor now has sons of his own. Recently they had family shots at the Belair signal box. He posted some pictures on Facebook, including one of the two grandchildren sitting between the rail tracks. I hit the roof, imagining that it was photo shopped; what an example for the boys? I was horrified to find that it was for real. People never learn and do not realise that trains don't stop and that you can't always hear them.
The photo was taken off Facebook and hopefully erased for ever.

Ian
  Seldom_21 Junior Train Controller

Location: South Australia
As a former country man where young fatalities came as a result of road trauma made life certainly black and white for some members of our community; I too took that view, but was opened up to how devastating words can be to a grieving parent or family member. Grief works in funny ways, some see it black and white, others take everything to heart; I'm certainly not criticizing Ian's words, but rather, from anecdotal experience of saying the wrong thing to a grieving parent, more so trying to present a view point that the black and white bluntness and coldness, albeit resembling the truth, can be detrimental. My rail experience has only ever been as a passenger, not someone who has worked in the rail industry, and I certainly respect and admire the wealth of information and anecdotal experiences that you bring, I guess having seen/dealt the effects of rail trauma on drivers and even yourselves, I find it quite hard to fathom. So, please Ian, don't take my earlier comment as a criticism, or brash, if it came off as such, rather I speak of my own experience, admittedly different to yours.

Cheers,

Seldom
  witsend Chief Commissioner

Location: Front RH Seat of a School Bus
For reference, on my first day as a trainee driver, we were righting Light Engine to Islington, and nearly cleaned up someone crossing the rails near the Kings Rd Level Crossing, not at the crossing, but because they slipped through a hole in the fence near the school just north of kings rd. We were accelerating away from Salisbury with its Permanent Speed Restriction at 70km/h, and would have been doing a 100km/h easy. If they'd tripped, I'm not sure I'd have been driving trains. That near miss rattled me.

TBH, Marion is on a Blind Corner from the Adelaide Direction. I can understand the reason for and see merit in the underpass, I can also see the merit in the at grade active crossing. I don't know what the right solution is for the station. The maze at the western end always intrigued me. With the silent approach of the electric trains, frankly, I'd support the underpass, as they will sneak up. I waited for a Spark at Zig Zag, and didn't hear it until the echo down the sleepers, and suddenly it was there, an 8 Car V-Set.
  dvdplaza Chief Train Controller

Saw a picture of this "subway" in the Messenger yesterday - it isn't a subway at all, just a wide open cutout with two tracks going over it.  Totally and utterly open, no closing in or concealed space or anything - very impressed and, while previously rather reserved, now completely fail to see what the problem is?!  Very well done, should be implemented at all stations.
  Mufreight Train Controller

Location: North Ipswich
Ian, I think a change of wording or toning it down; as words to the effect of "child splattered bug like" and "A childs' skull impacted at 100 kph explodes like a watermelon" come across crass and quite crude. Any parent (of which I am NOT one) who has had to deal with the tragedy of loosing a child in this way would be rightly offended by this language. Personally, the best option that protects all members of the community should be the option chosen; personally, I believe if it saves one life it does, as Ian said, have significant impacts upon the drivers. Cost should be irrelevant, safety, however should not.

personal views only
Seldom_21

As an ex train driver who has been involved in a number of fatalities and who still suffers to this day as a consequence there should if there is any alternative be no pedestrian access to the running tracks.  Experience has shown that the same parent who complains bitterly about having to walk a little further to use an overbridge or underpass is the first in line to sue or blame the operating authority when little Tom gets hit by a train because he did not wait.
  pafcmachine Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide SA
I'll add a couple of comments.

Obviously, DPTI are responsible for the operation of the network and rightly seek to reduce the risk of accidents or incidents occurring.

The best way in this case is to totally separate passengers and the local community from the corridor by grade separation ie installing an underpass. My guess would be the cost of an overpass (that complies with modern standards) would be prohibitive.

As previously stated the auto gates are not the panacea as they are easily circumvented and are noisy in terms of thier audible warning which impacts adjacent residences. They also require ongoing maintenance so any upfront capex savings are swallowed up over the years with opex.

I don't deny the local community having their say and input but it needs to be informed.

It appears to me that the underpass is the safest, most cost effective solution.
  AFULE Chief Train Controller

Location: South Australia
I'll add a couple of comments.

Obviously, DPTI are responsible for the operation of the network and rightly seek to reduce the risk of accidents or incidents occurring.

The best way in this case is to totally separate passengers and the local community from the corridor by grade separation ie installing an underpass. My guess would be the cost of an overpass (that complies with modern standards) would be prohibitive.

As previously stated the auto gates are not the panacea as they are easily circumvented and are noisy in terms of thier audible warning which impacts adjacent residences. They also require ongoing maintenance so any upfront capex savings are swallowed up over the years with opex.

I don't deny the local community having their say and input but it needs to be informed.

It appears to me that the underpass is the safest, most cost effective solution.

Grade separation is the only way to go, current and retired driver like myself don't want at-grade crossings whether they are Pedestrian or road.

Unfortunately underpasses have a negative stigma attached to them as a dirty hidden unsafe place, where as over passes allow for them to be enclosed by transparent cladding which allows the occupants to be seen and there by reducing the fear factor.

It's a policy issue that the NON rail people in DPTI have to address.

pafcmachine
  Ex-NSW Rail Beginner


Obviously, DPTI are responsible for the operation of the network and rightly seek to reduce the risk of accidents or incidents occurring.

The best way in this case is to totally separate passengers and the local community from the corridor by grade separation ie installing an underpass. My guess would be the cost of an overpass (that complies with modern standards) would be prohibitive.

As previously stated the auto gates are not the panacea as they are easily circumvented and are noisy in terms of their audible warning which impacts adjacent residences. They also require ongoing maintenance so any upfront capex savings are swallowed up over the years with opex.

pafcmachine
This may well all be true, but Marion is a small isolated station , what crossings are DPTI putting into the mega transport hub of Clovelly park, which appears to be the $63 million dollar home of a 600-car park and ride facility ? - well according to their video they are putting in a single auto-gated level crossing at the Northern road-crossing end of the station, about as far away from the car park as you can get. Many people parking for trips into the CBD will park PAST the southern end of the station , be required to walk to the station, along the station, then past the station , over the road gated crossing , and then walk back to the station to get a CBD bound train ??? Trespass incentive anyone ???

Also the Tonsley line crossing that is on a blind rail curve when the train is heading south, and is used by a very significant number of School kids each school day, to and from the Ascot Park station is going to be ---- an automated gated crossing.

And the new crossings on the Tonsley line for Daws road - all automated crossings.

its all a bit of a SNAFU I think
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
I have every sympathy with the helpless train driver who has to sit at his controls while his heavily braked train runs over a person who should not be on the tracks. It must be traumatic in the extreme. It is, however, little different from what is occurring daily on the roads or the effect on ambulance, police or volunteer CFS personnel when they have to pick up the pieces of road crash victims, and is an inherent possibility that they take on in their everyday employment. It would be pleasing indeed were they never to encounter it, and I would certainly not like to be in their position if they do.

I cannot understand why the gated crossings at each end of a station platform which exist at other stations are so very bad. They are certainly the quickest and easiest method of access, particularly for disabled people. I can well understand why people took illegal short cuts through holes deliberately made in the chain wire fences at Marion. The multiple switchbacks of the overhead bridge designed to offer a relatively low gradient to wheel chair users are an absolute pain in the neck for able bodied passengers.

I would make the refuge space for those who are caught on the tracks by an approaching train (without any reasonable excuse) accessible ONLY from the gated crossing. The present so-called emergency gates should be welded shut. There is plenty of room for a wheelchair and/or several people to be perfectly safe in the enclosure. They need only to be outside the area passed over by the train ie. that covered by the loading gauge.

If Marion is so dangerous that it must have an expensive underpass with the inherent dangers that have already been pointed out in other submissions, what is to happen at many other stations? Only a blind optimist would expect that we would see them all treated in the same way, and I for one prefer the mazes or gated crossings that are already there for my convenience.

It is up to parents and school authorities to ensure that students are educated about dangerous conduct and to provide monitors at school opening and closing times as is done in millions of similar such circumstances around the world.

We can only do so much to protect fools from themselves!
  pafcmachine Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide SA
At the end of the day DPTI, or more correctly the Rail Commissioner is responsible.

None of us, and especially no members of the local community will be called up in front of the Coroner should someone be collected (even if it was their fault) at an at grade crossing that the department has installed in lieu of an existing grade separated crossing.

The Department must demonstrate they have taken measures AFAIRP (as far as is reasonably practical) to reduce the risk associated with the crossing.

In this case I'd hazard a guess you be pretty hard pressed to justify an at grade crossing (even if automated) vs a grade separated one.

The difference between Marion and the Tonsley line is that at Marion, there's an existing grade separation which is to be removed ad replaced with (in my opinion) I higher risk option, and on Tonsley the existing passive mazes will be upgraded to active.

No doubt there are some social risks with both underpasses and overpasses, however you certainly won't get run over by a train in either of them.

There is a long history of people in Adelaide being hit and killed by trains at non activated level crossings (Salisbury, Oaklands, ovingham, lonsdale most recently) whereas I don't think anyone here has been
able to find any real evidence of people being killed in a modern, open, well lit subway (with security) of the type being proposed.
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

Yeah I can imagine the complaints the Noarlunga Line commuters are gonna be doing when the train drivers have to slow through Wayville, Goodwood and Marion stations causing alot of delays especially in peak hour.
  witsend Chief Commissioner

Location: Front RH Seat of a School Bus
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/west-beaches/pedestrian-underpass-approved-for-marion-rail-station-despite-widespread-opposition-to-the-plan/story-fni9llx9-1226698004679
"Arelex"


A $3.5 million pedestrian underpass at the Marion Railway Station will be built, despite widespread opposition from residents, local schools and Marion Council.

The State Government said plans for an underpass were approved by Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis and the Development Assessment Commission last week.

Work is expected to begin on the 4m wide by 30m long underpass later this month.

The underpass will replace an existing overpass, which will be removed because of work associated with the electrification of the Seaford line.

Marion resident Samantha Kerr said she was "angry and disappointed" at the decision as it went against the wishes of the community.

"We were expecting a different result, especially as so many people came together to show their opposition to the underpass," Ms Kerr said.

She said the community was united in its opposition to the underpass, over safety concerns and fears it would attract vandalism and criminal behaviour.

"We were told the underpass would be put on hold pending a review but it is difficult to see that what we've said has been listened to or taken into consideration,'' she said.

"We are not just a couple of residents, it was hundreds of residents, the head of Westminster School, the local member Pat Conlon and Marion Council."

Mr Koutsantonis said safety of commuters was behind the final decision.

"In choosing the design approved by the Development Assessment Commission, we have at

all times stressed that the highest priority is the safety of rail customers, staff and the public," Mr Koutsantonis said.

"I am confident the approved design is the best and safest solution for this location.

"Grade separation removes the possibility of pedestrians and trains being at the same time

and space where a collision is physically possible."

The government was forced to put its underpass plan on hold in June after a groundswell of opposition from nearby residents who wanted electronic gates, similar to those at the Oaklands Railway Station.

Westminster School argued for a replacement of the overpass, and Marion Council's preferred option was electronic gates and an underpass.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
She said the community was united in its opposition to the underpass, over safety concerns and fears it would attract vandalism and criminal behaviour.

This is obvious given the publicity in the local press to the wishes of local people, Westminster School, and the Marion Council.

Mr Koutsantonis said safety of commuters was behind the final decision. "In choosing the design approved by the Development Assessment Commission, we have at all times stressed that the highest priority is the safety of rail customers, staff and the public," Mr Koutsantonis said. "I am confident the approved design is the best and safest solution for this location. Grade separation removes the possibility of pedestrians and trains being at the same time and space where a collision is physically possible."

Now we can EXPECT the construction of underpasses at ALL stations in the system including stops on the Glenelg tramline and the entrances to all schools situated on busy roads. When will this blithering idiot realize that we simply cannot afford expensive solutions to PROTECT PEOPLE FROM THEMSELVES. That also goes for the very-unlikely-ever-to-be-afforded worst solution to the Oaklands crossing, condemning us to climb thirty odd steps every time we want to catch a train and create an eyesore, when there is the simple solution of taking the roads over the existing convenient station, fixing its weather problems in the process. There are oodles of vacant land all around it to interchange between Morphett abd Diagonal Roads away from the crossing.

I sympathize with train drivers who are traumatized by 'accidents' (which are no such thing), but every bus driver has the same hazard to face. It is sad, but IT GOES WITH THE JOB.

Every week I heard a wireless broadcast called 'Health and Hygiene' at school. The presenter said on every single programme "Accidents do not happen. They are caused".

It's not too late for this man who has no known expertise or previous interest in transport matters to LISTEN TO THE COMMUNITY. Gated crossings, with the easily opened escape gate from the already provided escape enclosure welded shut, and monitored access at school opening and closing times (with a good hiding for those who ignore the crossing guards), are effective and a damned sight cheaper than his underpass.

And if he's so keen on underpasses, why is he not taking the opportunity of the current reconstruction of the Goodwood station  platforms to lessen the now illegal gradient of the ramps which forces me to walk up them alongside my electric mobility vehicle – a procedure that I can assure you is no pleasure.
witsend
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
What it all breaks down to really is simply a lack of commonsense in most people today, they are all bullet proof and proud of it. But a car or train hitting them is not going to do that  much damage to the vehicle but a human body is going to come off second best. People have no time for anything today level crossing runners prove it in cars better to wait a minute or so than lose your life just to save a couple of seconds here and there. The same goes for pedestrian crossings it would not matter what they did some lunatic would still climb a fence or something to save a few seconds and probably lose their life doing it. Instead of hushing up these incidents they want to make it better known that if you jump into the path of an oncoming train you could get splattered. Covering up these things only make it look like they never happen so everyone then goes and does it till their number comes up. They dont need the finer details broadcast but just the major stuff to ram the point home to the public.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
they want to make it better known that if you jump into the path of an oncoming train you could get splattered.
"David Peters"
Actually, no, that's the exact opposite of the message they want out there. There's a reason suicides are not reported, and advertising the option is not a good idea.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Actually, no, that's the exact opposite of the message they want out there. There's a reason suicides are not reported, and advertising the option is not a good idea.
Aaron
I never mentioned suicides Aaron that is still a good idea to keep them quiet but I have seen with my own eyes someone jump a fence to catch their train at Woodville, this clown did not know about the emergency gates by the looks. He just jumped over both the closed access gates as if he did it every day, which is likely judging by the ease with which he did it, plenty of practice. These are the ones that should be advertised as a senseless waste of a life, although some would agree that it is just removing more stupidity from the gene pool though.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I never mentioned suicides Aaron that is still a good idea to keep them quiet but I have seen with my own eyes someone jump a fence to catch their train at Woodville, this clown did not know about the emergency gates by the looks. He just jumped over both the closed access gates as if he did it every day, which is likely judging by the ease with which he did it, plenty of practice. These are the ones that should be advertised as a senseless waste of a life, although some would agree that it is just removing more stupidity from the gene pool though.
"David Peters"
It's not whether it's by design or misfortune that matters, the rule is you do not advertise a 'method that works' to those in vulnerable states that could lead to a 'by design' exit. Ask around why the rail safety campaign a few years back got canned early when rail related deaths went up, few of them by misfortune, most of them by design, and yet it was a campaign aimed strictly at misfortune.

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