Saturday Overland involved in level crossing collision

 
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
It looks as if the Overland will not make it much past Inverleigh after it collected a motor vehicle at the Mahers Rd level crossing.
The driver of the car was air lifted to Hospital with head injuries, and all on board the train seem to be fine, albeit now in a coach rather than a more comfortable train.

story below courtesy of The Age

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/car-catapulted-after-smashing-into-train-20130831-2sx36.html

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  PClark Chief Commissioner

I notice that the Age article refers to the Overland as a twice-weekly service, a fact confirmed by GSR's website.

When was the frequency reduced from tri-weekly?
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
I am only stating the obvious here I guess, but the reduction in services from thrice to twice a week was only fairly recently-I was only reading about the announcement by GSR in a recent edition  (July I think it was) of Railway Digest.

Sorry I can't be more specific in regards to dates as the mag has been returned to the library. Someone else here may know.
  G41 Chief Commissioner

Location: Footplate of any K class
Yet again, a passenger service suffers (not to mention the hundreds of paying customers, and the impact on the driver) due to the stupidity and incompetence of some motor vehicle drivers!
When will they learn!
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Looks like 9308 went to the rescue of the Overland. http://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/bunbury-street/photo/9635251278 returning into Melbourne at 15:53.

The Am3 is already through Gheringhap this afternoon. http://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/mobile/photo/9634951618

There is no Overland on the Stawell Railcam so it either missed the train or the train is still between Gheringhap and Stawell.  Can anyone provide further information?

Regards
Brian
  stuie83 Train Controller

Location: Stawell
the stawell cam missed it and through stawell at 5.17pm
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

To some it may not be clear if the boom gates were down at the time.

I suggest that the gate mechanism screwed around the support post towards the track is a fair indication the gate  was down and hit by the vehicle. See The Age photo.

How much investigation do the police have to do?
In days of yore the train crew just pushed the vehicle out of the way and got on with the trip.

Too easy for the present day police to exercise their power to cause maximum inconvenience.

Ian
  stuie83 Train Controller
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Interesting report on the accident in the Geelong Addy:
http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2013/08/31/371912_news.html

This bit in particular:
"It is believed the man was driving a white Rodeo 4WD alongside the Overlander train on a dirt road and swerved right as he came over a hill, crashing through the boom gates at a level crossing and into the path of the train."
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
To some it may not be clear if the boom gates were down at the time.

I suggest that the gate mechanism screwed around the support post towards the track is a fair indication the gate  was down and hit by the vehicle. See The Age photo.

How much investigation do the police have to do?
In days of yore the train crew just pushed the vehicle out of the way and got on with the trip.

Too easy for the present day police to exercise their power to cause maximum inconvenience.

Ian
steam4ian

One article shows a boom gate mechanism - the other article says it didn't have boom gates. Nothing seems to be snapped off in the Age photo so I wonder if the posts had been installed but booms yet to be fitted?

Wonder if it was an elderly gunzal train chasing?
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
To some it may not be clear if the boom gates were down at the time.

I suggest that the gate mechanism screwed around the support post towards the track is a fair indication the gate  was down and hit by the vehicle. See The Age photo.
"steam4ian"


Would seem the Geelong Advertiser report can't proof read their own story
"... swerved right as he came over a hill, crashing through the boom gates at a level crossing..."
followed a few sentences later with...
The crossing only has red stop signals, as opposed to boom gates. It is not known if they were working.

How much investigation do the police have to do?
In days of yore the train crew just pushed the vehicle out of the way and got on with the trip.

Too easy for the present day police to exercise their power to cause maximum inconvenience.

Ian
"steam4ian"

Actually they have quite a bit to do Ian. When an incident involves serious injury as this one has, police have to assume it will become a fatality and that a coroners inquest will result.
The ATSB investigators would have caused of a "disruption" than the police
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
One article shows a boom gate mechanism - the other article says it didn't have boom gates. Nothing seems to be snapped off in the Age photo so I wonder if the posts had been installed but booms yet to be fitted?

Wonder if it was an elderly gunzal train chasing?
"Ballast_Plough"


The Age article shows a photo of the boom lift mechanism with part of the white and red boom on the ground behind it, and a close look at the mechanism shows wiring to the boom red lights still attached to the frame.
The Geelong Advertiser Photo clearly shows the broken boom
  trainlover Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide.
The Overland finally got to Keswick passenger terminal saturday night at 10.55 pm.

4 hours and 55mins late.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
The Overland finally got to Keswick passenger terminal saturday night at 10.55 pm.

4 hours and 55mins late.
trainlover
Hence its nickname Wink

At least on this occasion everyone lived to tell the tale and the authorities will decide who is to blame even if it seems apparent to us.

More protection is required for rural crossings.  We will never fully protect the idiot from himself but many crossings are still an open invitation to take a chance and many locals still seem to have the attitude that they've never seen a train.  The 80kph speed limit now applied at many locations is an unenforced joke; unless the cops are parked there everyone carries on at 100-plus.  I actually slowed down to observe the limit near Rosedale recently and was overtaken by a B-double on a single-lane road.  Not only exceeding the limit but driving on the wrong side whilst crossing the railway.  

Working in motor insurance I've also spoken to more than one person who claimed the train should have stopped and given way as "the road has right of way"!!!!!

Addressing the Overland's service cut this was implemented in July apparently as a commercial decision of GSR whose announcement at the time apologised to those pre-booked on the axed trips and advising they would be contacted to offer alternatives or refunds.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

Hence its nickname Wink

At least on this occasion everyone lived to tell the tale and the authorities will decide who is to blame even if it seems apparent to us.

More protection is required for rural crossings.  We will never fully protect the idiot from himself but many crossings are still an open invitation to take a chance and many locals still seem to have the attitude that they've never seen a train.  The 80kph speed limit now applied at many locations is an unenforced joke; unless the cops are parked there everyone carries on at 100-plus.  I actually slowed down to observe the limit near Rosedale recently and was overtaken by a B-double on a single-lane road.  Not only exceeding the limit but driving on the wrong side whilst crossing the railway.  

Working in motor insurance I've also spoken to more than one person who claimed the train should have stopped and given way as "the road has right of way"!!!!!

Addressing the Overland's service cut this was implemented in July apparently as a commercial decision of GSR whose announcement at the time apologised to those pre-booked on the axed trips and advising they would be contacted to offer alternatives or refunds.
Gwiwer
I disagree that "more protection"is required, more protection for who?

I put it to you that a level crossing is an intersection, if we go down your path of "more protection" then where will it end?

If you are driving down a road and come to an intersection with a highway that is only protected by give way signs then there is an expectation that you will give way.

using your call for more protection, what would you have in place for this intersection, boom gates?
  Bullucked Assistant Commissioner

I disagree that "more protection"is required, more protection for who?

I put it to you that a level crossing is an intersection, if we go down your path of "more protection" then where will it end?

If you are driving down a road and come to an intersection with a highway that is only protected by give way signs then there is an expectation that you will give way.

using your call for more protection, what would you have in place for this intersection, boom gates?
theanimal
Here Here. This is the best example of the absurdity of peoples arguments for "more protection" at level crossings. Plonk a speed and red light camera at every crossing, justify it as road safety and sit back and count the money. I'm sure they'd pay for themselves in no time at all. Doubtless, with an incoming Liberal government all trucking companies will be made exempt from the level crossing road rules.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
More protection is required for rural crossings.
"Gwiwer"

Elementary protection is provided by the Mark One Eyeball, and the Earholes, 2 off in a set. You cannot protect the idiot from himself.
"I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate, exotic fruit; touch it, and the bloom is gone." (Oscar Wilde)
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
"I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate, exotic fruit; touch it, and the bloom is gone." (Oscar Wilde)
Valvegear

Brilliant, thank-you, that made my day... he was a master of dry wit, wasn't he.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Just out of interest, here is what the Road Safety Act (1986) says about approaching a level x-ing:

68B Deliberately or recklessly entering a level crossing
when a train or tram is approaching etc.
(1) A driver of a vehicle must not, deliberately or recklessly, enter a level crossing if—
(
a) warning lights (for example, twin red lights or rotating red lights) are operating or warning bells are ringing; or
(b) a gate, boom or barrier at the crossing is closed or is opening or closing; or
(c) a train or tram is on or entering the crossing;
or
(d) a train or tram approaching the crossing can be seen from the crossing, or is sounding a warning, and there would be a danger of a collision with the train or tram if the driver entered the crossing; or
(e) the driver cannot drive through the crossing because the crossing, or a road beyond the crossing, is blocked.
Penalty: 30 penalty units.

(2) On convicting a person, or finding a person guilty,of an offence under subsection (1), the court must—

(a) if the offender holds a driver licence or permit, suspend the licence or permit for a period of not less than 3 months; or
(b) if the offender does not hold a driver licence
or permit, disqualify the offender from obtaining one for a period of not less than 3 months.
Link: http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/Domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/LTObject_Store/LTObjSt7.nsf/DDE300B846EED9C7CA257616000A3571/1A07C0CCA68B4822CA257B9B000185F3/$FILE/86-127aa152%20authorised.pdf Clause 68B

So, the onus is on the driver of ANY vehicle to give way to an oncoming train....only the stupid will try and beat a train, or cross without looking. And there is even a rule about not entering a x-ing if it is blocked. Point is, why should society protect people from their own stupidity when there are rules already in place to prevent people from killing themselves by crossing a level x-ing without giving way to an oncoming train?
  ab123 Chief Train Controller

Point is, why should society protect people from their own stupidity when there are rules already in place to prevent people from killing themselves by crossing a level x-ing without giving way to an oncoming train?
Somebody

Elementary protection is provided by the Mark One Eyeball, and the Earholes, 2 off in a set. You cannot protect the idiot from himself.
Somebody


Its all well and good to go on about how there is already measures in place, but obviously they aren't working 100% of the time.

No, you can not protect idiots from themselves, but you should be trying to protect innocent people/victims from the actions of idiots. I don't want to be killed at work because some moron decided to run a level crossing!

We don't live in a perfect world where only idiots cause harm to themselves, they can harm many others.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Its all well and good to go on about how there is already measures in place, but obviously they aren't working 100% of the time.
ab123
Dear boy, when you invent the idiot-proof railway crossing safety system, you can retire a billionaire the next day. No system can possibly work 100% of the time because of the human element. What planet are you from?

No, you can not protect idiots from themselves, but you should be trying to protect innocent people/victims from the actions of idiots.
ab123

Just give us the details of what you want done, sunshine.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
We will never protect the idiot from him or herself entirely.  Neither should we spend vast sums trying to do so.  The post above makes the point perfectly as to why we should spend money on trying to mitigate the effects of idiotic acts for all others who are affected.

That is where different degrees of crossing protection can be implemented.  Reducing speeds from 100 to 80 for a short distance clearly doesn't work; almost all drivers ignore the lower limit and many travel on country roads at 120 or more routinely.

Some countries place an advanced warning light on the road.  A steady yellow around 100m before the crossing, and matched with a large warning sign,lights up when a train reaches the predictor and remains lit until the train has cleared the crossing.  A few seconds after the yellow the reds come on at the crossing. That gives drivers an extra warning stage and gives drivers of large and heavy vehicles which require greater braking distances longer to stop safely.

Boom gates are an option in many cases though on very lightly trafficked roads their cost may not be justified when considered against the accident history at the particular crossing and the assessed level of risk.  Tin sticks lowering over half the road stop nothing.  They need skirts which form a much more visible physical barrier and in locations where the crossing could be supervised by CCTV (however remote the supervising location) they could close the entire road. It is normal in other countries for the "entry" side booms to lower slightly earlier than the "exit" side to give those already on the crossing adequate time to clear it.

Yes this all costs money but what price do we place on the lives aboard a speeding train?  One idiot in a car has the potential to take the lives of tens or hundreds of others in a single reckless act.  I don't want to be the victim.  And I don't want to speak to any more victims.  It's always hard dealing with death and loss but it's part of the job I choose to do.  That doesn't make it easy or pleasant.  And it's all too often the result of a single mindless idiot doing something they either thought they could get away with or didn't think about at all while blundering along the road.
  thefatcontroller Assistant Commissioner
  ab123 Chief Train Controller

Dear boy, when you invent the idiot-proof railway crossing safety system, you can retire a billionaire the next day. No system can possibly work 100% of the time because of the human element. What planet are you from?


Just give us the details of what you want done, sunshine.
Valvegear

Have a look at the post below yours.

I'll put it simply, I don't want to die doing my job because some idiot did the wrong thing at a level crossing. If other things can be done to lessen the risks then good, do them.

Yes there will always be an element of risk, but it is stupid to just sit back and do nothing because you can 'never have a situation with no risk'.

What planet am I from? One in which I live in the practical world, not the theoretical.

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