Train Vs Truck Colac

 
  Matruck Junior Train Controller

Location: Lilliput,Victoria
I'm a member of a facebook group for truck driver's and according to another person's post the truck driver's wife has said he is doing ok in hospital so that's a bonus, As to what happened we'll soon find out once the investigations are completed.
Where i live i have to cross the Syd-Melb line at Springhurst every morning and afternoon to and from work the crossing is in a 80klm section of road and the crossing has light's and bell's ( Or what ever they are officially called sorry ) But wether it be from my small amount of time on the railway or my time as as a truck driver even in my car i'll still slow before the crossing and have a bo peep either way as i don't trust the crossing to work as advertised and running into a train i'd imagine would bloody hurt a lot if not worse.
I wouldn't trust any government who said by such and such a time we'll have all crossing's properly protected the train line was there first in the majority of case's and it is a case of poor driver education across the board i've even seen a video of car driver's at Chiltern just up the road from where i live deliberately driving around the boom gate's when they were down and light's flashing.
Till they make people responsible for their action's and stop treating us all as idiot's then these type of incident's will continue to happen i think.
Cheers Mick.

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  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Listening to the media today I can't help but get the feeling the finger is starting to be pointed toward V/Line.  The discussion is now around level crossing upgrades, not the facts around a stop sign and a truck driver who could not obey the road rules?  Could we be on the path toward another Kerang?
How do you know that the truck did not stop at the STOP sign ?  it is well possible to Stop then get caught on the crossing with a slow truck accelerating from a dead halt  .  

The question to be answered is by either VLP or Victrack is why does it take 18 months from funding to install a set of boom barriers ?  It is hardly the first installation in the State .  If we  can now install 3 by the end of  2016, and  a further 14 by April 2017  why has it taken so long for us to address the 3  most dangerous lx which were funded and announced very early in 2015  ?  Failure to treat as priority in the case of  VLP / Victrack has now cost a very serious incident with totally avoidable personal injury, and a further cost of  $  m  in repairs to track and rollingstock .
kuldalai
2 year delivery time would be put down to the way the Public Service department employees go about their day to day jobs, with the layers and layers of bureaucratic nonsense, endless studies and reports !

As with Caulfield - Dandenong project the Government has proven that If It wants things done, It can get things done very quickly.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Interesting the signs on the news tonight facing the road, presumably on both sides of the track...clearly state.

                                                                                      STOP
                                                              Look for trains

What part of that sign can't people understand Question

It's not rocket science.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
We all know that these days it costs squillions to install a simple flashing lights and bells setup at minor level crossings.

But lets face it, there are hundreds of gravel and dirt roads crossing railways in Victoria and therefore it would cost hundreds of squillions to install lights and bells at every one of them and the state will never have the spare cash to do them all.

However, perhaps there is a simpler and possibly more affordable solution? On these minor roads the reservation is usually quite wide. So it might be feasible to put a bend / dog leg thingy into the road on either side of most level crossings by slewing the road to one side of the road reservation and then bending it to the other side. This would force traffic to slow down and angle their view towards both directions.

A small time contractor with a dozer and a truck load of gravel could easily do that work in a day, therefore it would probably be vastly cheaper than installing lights and bells, allowing more level crossings to be improved for a certain level of funding than the pricier alternative.

This is just a thought, but unless there is a bureaucratic reason why it can't be done, it just might have legs?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
We all know that these days it costs squillions to install a simple flashing lights and bells setup at minor level crossings.

But lets face it, there are hundreds of gravel and dirt roads crossing railways in Victoria and therefore it would cost hundreds of squillions to install lights and bells at every one of them and the state will never have the spare cash to do them all.

However, perhaps there is a simpler and possibly more affordable solution? On these minor roads the reservation is usually quite wide. So it might be feasible to put a bend / dog leg thingy into the road on either side of most level crossings by slewing the road to one side of the road reservation and then bending it to the other side. This would force traffic to slow down and angle their view towards both directions.

A small time contractor with a dozer and a truck load of gravel could easily do that work in a day, therefore it would probably be vastly cheaper than installing lights and bells, allowing more level crossings to be improved for a certain level of funding than the pricier alternative.

This is just a thought, but unless there is a bureaucratic reason why it can't be done, it just might have legs?
Bogong
If you look at old maps, a lot of non right angle level crossing did have this dog leg setup.

Post WW2 when motor cars and trucks became very common and roads were vastly upgraded from poorly aligned dirt tracks to fast all weather roads the dog were removed to speed up the road traffic.

Many people have commented on radio that may heavy trucks have rather poor vision/line of sight for the driver out the left hand side of the cab, seams to been some poor design errors with truck cab design In the past.

Though a tragic highway crash that occurred many years ago In central Victoria sore the Victorian Coroner rule that Y type road Intersections were unsafe and must be phased out (timeframe unknown) Intersection upgrades these days sees Y Intersections realigned with the minor/ending road joining the main road at a right angle.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
We all know that these days it costs squillions to install a simple flashing lights and bells setup at minor level crossings.

But lets face it, there are hundreds of gravel and dirt roads crossing railways in Victoria and therefore it would cost hundreds of squillions to install lights and bells at every one of them and the state will never have the spare cash to do them all.

However, perhaps there is a simpler and possibly more affordable solution? On these minor roads the reservation is usually quite wide. So it might be feasible to put a bend / dog leg thingy into the road on either side of most level crossings by slewing the road to one side of the road reservation and then bending it to the other side. This would force traffic to slow down and angle their view towards both directions.

A small time contractor with a dozer and a truck load of gravel could easily do that work in a day, therefore it would probably be vastly cheaper than installing lights and bells, allowing more level crossings to be improved for a certain level of funding than the pricier alternative.

This is just a thought, but unless there is a bureaucratic reason why it can't be done, it just might have legs?
Bogong
By the time that you negotiate the dog legs / S bends a train could have snuck up behind you. A 90 degree crossing in a reasonable length of straight track with a clear view in both directions should be sufficient. Ideally you should be able to see at least a kilometre allowing ample time for anyone to stop or if on the crossing to clear it before the train arrives.
  tom9876543 Train Controller

We all know that these days it costs squillions to install a simple flashing lights and bells setup at minor level crossings.

But lets face it, there are hundreds of gravel and dirt roads crossing railways in Victoria and therefore it would cost hundreds of squillions to install lights and bells at every one of them and the state will never have the spare cash to do them all.

However, perhaps there is a simpler and possibly more affordable solution? On these minor roads the reservation is usually quite wide. So it might be feasible to put a bend / dog leg thingy into the road on either side of most level crossings by slewing the road to one side of the road reservation and then bending it to the other side. This would force traffic to slow down and angle their view towards both directions.

A small time contractor with a dozer and a truck load of gravel could easily do that work in a day, therefore it would probably be vastly cheaper than installing lights and bells, allowing more level crossings to be improved for a certain level of funding than the pricier alternative.

This is just a thought, but unless there is a bureaucratic reason why it can't be done, it just might have legs?
By the time that you negotiate the dog legs / S bends a train could have snuck up behind you. A 90 degree crossing in a reasonable length of straight track with a clear view in both directions should be sufficient. Ideally you should be able to see at least a kilometre allowing ample time for anyone to stop or if on the crossing to clear it before the train arrives.
YM-Mundrabilla
I agree 100% with Bogong. The best solution is to put dog leg on both sides of the train track, forcing trucks to slow to 20km/h.
If truck drivers have 1km visibility, they may look at the distant train and decide they have enough time / space to beat the train.... and get it wrong. YM, I think your idea is asking for trouble.
"By the time that you negotiate the dog legs / S bends a train could have snuck up behind you" is an illogical statement - YM what are you smoking!? A train can't "sneak up behind you", the final part of the dog leg will have the road and truck at right angles to the train track, truck driving at a slow speed. The truck driver hopefully will look carefully in both directions, before slowly crossing the railway track.

All unprotected crossings should be fixed asap, a dog leg is a cheap, quick and practical solution.
  DL_Daily Locomotive Driver

However, perhaps there is a simpler and possibly more affordable solution? On these minor roads the reservation is usually quite wide. So it might be feasible to put a bend / dog leg thingy into the road on either side of most level crossings by slewing the road to one side of the road reservation and then bending it to the other side.  
Bogong
What you describe is exactly what was done by John Holland rail and the local council at a minor rail crossing at Koonadan on the leeton griffith branch line for that exact reason, to slow traffic and make them "LOOK" and stop before crossing...

shows the old road overlay and the new layout can be seen beneath.


Edits
Changed spur to branch
Added sat map image / link.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
The vast majority of level crossing crashes are caused by equipment failure in the road vehicle.
It may be faulty vehicle brakes, a stalled engine, a stuck wheel, or, more likely, the equipment between the driver's ears.
I know of one case where two brothers were cleaned up in separate crashes five days apart, both at the same crossing, by rice trains a few km south of Deniliquin.
How can you stop that?
  skitz Chief Commissioner

The vast majority of level crossing crashes are caused by equipment failure in the road vehicle.
It may be faulty vehicle brakes, a stalled engine, a stuck wheel, or, more likely, the equipment between the driver's ears.
I know of one case where two brothers were cleaned up in separate crashes five days apart, both at the same crossing, by rice trains a few km south of Deniliquin.
How can you stop that?
Valvegear

Its interesting to see to focus go to the installation of crossing protection.  Its falls into the 'coulda, shoulda, woulda' category.   There will be hundreds of crossings just like this waiting for the alignment of circumstance and loss of control for an accident to happen.  Its not realistic to expect that all crossing will be eliminated (total fix) and there will always be an element of risk that by definition means that accidents will always be possible.  Everything can be perfect, so far as what is reasonably practical, to mitigate the risk and yet your number may still come up.  

In regard to all the level crossings, in the mean time, the best defence is the humble stop sign and the compliance to the stop sign.


The issue of compliance is targeting where the issue becomes a problem.  If it were a car, the consequence are still bad but in all probability limited to just the car.  The car gets squished, bad outcome for the occupants but the train most likely will stay on the rails and the train survives - the consequences are limited.

A truck however has a whole different consequence scenario as we see time and time again.   They are physically less compatible as an interface due to size - there is no surprise here.  The point being, that in the absence of crossing protection, the compliance issues surrounding stop signs and the consequences needs to be far better targeted at the truck due to the fact the consequences are due to the truck.

I would suggest that we are all guilty as a driving population of not being sensitive to the dangers of level crossings in country areas.  It just does not trigger the 'danger' like a normal intersection would.   The point I wish to make is that the message of level crossing compliance needs to be specifically targeted at the truck driver.  Whether it be from culpability, complacency or simple driver error - the presence of a level crossing should induce the strongest of danger responses - even though the train usually is not present.  Its a point of education.

The message needs to be made specific to that audience for the main reason is that is where the consequence lies.   Target TV adds at truck drivers.  Put messages on the covers of their log books.  the walls of truck stops.  Ensure that non compliance is actively enforced.   Non compliance would equally be met with a far stiffer penalty than compared to a car.  Again, due to the responsibility being greater.


While on the subject I also wonder why train strobing ditch lights triggered by the horn circuit are not standard on all trains - cheap, effective.



The issue must be met both ways - better crossings/trains AND better culture/attitude of the truck driver.   We all know this accident is unacceptable but being proactive in this has to be from a total community approach.  Its a clear case that all parties must take responsibility of what they have contributed to the situation and get blame and expectation of the other party out of the conversation.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
We all know that these days it costs squillions to install a simple flashing lights and bells setup at minor level crossings.

But lets face it, there are hundreds of gravel and dirt roads crossing railways in Victoria and therefore it would cost hundreds of squillions to install lights and bells at every one of them and the state will never have the spare cash to do them all.

However, perhaps there is a simpler and possibly more affordable solution? On these minor roads the reservation is usually quite wide. So it might be feasible to put a bend / dog leg thingy into the road on either side of most level crossings by slewing the road to one side of the road reservation and then bending it to the other side. This would force traffic to slow down and angle their view towards both directions.

A small time contractor with a dozer and a truck load of gravel could easily do that work in a day, therefore it would probably be vastly cheaper than installing lights and bells, allowing more level crossings to be improved for a certain level of funding than the pricier alternative.

This is just a thought, but unless there is a bureaucratic reason why it can't be done, it just might have legs?
By the time that you negotiate the dog legs / S bends a train could have snuck up behind you. A 90 degree crossing in a reasonable length of straight track with a clear view in both directions should be sufficient. Ideally you should be able to see at least a kilometre allowing ample time for anyone to stop or if on the crossing to clear it before the train arrives.
I agree 100% with Bogong. The best solution is to put dog leg on both sides of the train track, forcing trucks to slow to 20km/h.
If truck drivers have 1km visibility, they may look at the distant train and decide they have enough time / space to beat the train.... and get it wrong. YM, I think your idea is asking for trouble.
"By the time that you negotiate the dog legs / S bends a train could have snuck up behind you" is an illogical statement - YM what are you smoking!? A train can't "sneak up behind you", the final part of the dog leg will have the road and truck at right angles to the train track, truck driving at a slow speed. The truck driver hopefully will look carefully in both directions, before slowly crossing the railway track.

All unprotected crossings should be fixed asap, a dog leg is a cheap, quick and practical solution.
tom9876543
A dogleg , to me is not needed, but to get the road at 90% is, with a speed limit change, rumple strips, signs.

As many will recall the  Five mates crossing/bridge north of Albury was built after a  terrible car vs xpt crash.The crosssing had bells, lights, ripple strips, speed reduction, signs and a dogleg. They tried it all, but the bridge might have fixed it. ( I say might as a car/truck can still go up the rmap and fall off ontot the tracks, as happened in the UK)

Soyou can see I have contrdicted myself to a degree. Without solid barriers rising to protect the train, a level crossing always has the capacity to see cars and trucks enter the  area.

Education, fines, "safety camera" may be one way, but the Gov have not gone that way.

So what's keeping you from being hit, well it's yourself. Check, double check. slow down. Do what is legally required. Expect a train !

Regards,
David Head
  Highrailer Assistant Commissioner

Location: Somewhere out on the track......anywhere around the country
Why are there so many that seem to want to point the finger at the crossing and not the driver of the truck ?
It has the signage which has to be observed, failing that we have what has just happened at this crossing.

Has anyone given a thought to the thousands of insersections around the state that have the same signage as country level crossings have ?
Just imagine a driver of a truck taking no notice of them and "T" boning a loaded school bus, id hate to imagine what the toll would be and it hasn't happened yet that I know of.

The point I'm trying to make here is that if the signage at an intersection can be obeyed, why cant the same signage be obeyed at level crossings ?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
A dogleg , to me is not needed, but to get the road at 90% is, with a speed limit change, rumple strips, signs.

As many will recall the  Five mates crossing/bridge north of Albury was built after a  terrible car vs xpt crash.The crosssing had bells, lights, ripple strips, speed reduction, signs and a dogleg. They tried it all, but the bridge might have fixed it. ( I say might as a car/truck can still go up the rmap and fall off ontot the tracks, as happened in the UK)

Soyou can see I have contrdicted myself to a degree. Without solid barriers rising to protect the train, a level crossing always has the capacity to see cars and trucks enter the  area.

Education, fines, "safety camera" may be one way, but the Gov have not gone that way.

So what's keeping you from being hit, well it's yourself. Check, double check. slow down. Do what is legally required. Expect a train !

Regards,
David Head
dthead

Don't forget, according to those in the industry who were in the know... the '5 mates' were actually racing the XPT which travels at 160KPH in that part of NSW.

Not seeing the XPT had nothing to do with at as they knew it was there.

Mike.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I would suggest that we are all guilty as a driving population of not being sensitive to the dangers of level crossings in country areas.  It just does not trigger the 'danger' like a normal intersection would.
"skitz"
Speak for yourself!!!!Very Happy
Being the son of a VR Rolling Stock Engineer, and hence  a lover of steam engines, I started watching railways and level crossings very carefully from about the age of 5 because . . . there just might be a train to see. Now, 70 years later, nothing's changed except that it won't be a steam loco unless there's a special out.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

I would suggest that we are all guilty as a driving population of not being sensitive to the dangers of level crossings in country areas.  It just does not trigger the 'danger' like a normal intersection would.
Speak for yourself!!!!Very Happy
Being the son of a VR Rolling Stock Engineer, and hence  a lover of steam engines, I started watching railways and level crossings very carefully from about the age of 5 because . . . there just might be a train to see. Now, 70 years later, nothing's changed except that it won't be a steam loco unless there's a special out.
Valvegear


Sorry, I should have chosen some better words, but I am sure you understand my point where there are too many that recognise the danger of a level crossing where it is usual for the train not to be present.


Maybe we should just get rid of the train - problem solved (runs for cover......).   Road trauma is far more palatable (keeps running!!!!)
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Sorry, I should have chosen some better words, but I am sure you understand my point where there are too many that recognise the danger of a level crossing where it is usual for the train not to be present.
skitz
Don't worry; I know exactly where you're coming from, but I couldn't resist a lighthearted dig.
You only have to sit behind traffic at lights; the lights go green and the car in front sits still because the nut holding the wheel is just not concentrating on driving the car. He's in La La Land instead. Herein lies the problem; a huge number of motorists (I will not dignify them by calling them drivers) fail to understand that their number one priority is driving the vehicle. Instead, they concentrate on how good it was last night, what Bert said to Gladys at lunch, what time is my TV show on, who's on the radio now and so on ( and don't start me on phones!)
With this lack of awareness, it is inevitable that there will be all manner of crashes.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
I heard Jacinta Allen interviewed by Raf Epstein on 774.  I'm not defending her for a moment, and she may well have been talking BS, but she made the point that lights, bells and booms do not work unless electricity is available at the site.  She said it was a remote location where electricity had to be brought in, that preliminary design work had been undertaken for this crossing, including provision of electric power which was now complete.  The next stage was to actually install the equipment, and this was planned to happen before the end of the year.  It was not planned for earlier because of a number of other competing projects, and lack of sufficient resources.  Call it spin, but the point about electricity is valid.  There must be many other similar crossings in remote areas with no electricity nearby.  In warmer/sunnier places I have seen crossings with solar panels and battery storage, but probably these would not be reliable in Victoria in winter.

It's pointless to speculate about what happened - it will all come out eventually.  It's tempting to say that there are no dangerous crossings, only dangerous drivers, but that's a huge generalisation which ignores the facts of a particular case.
  Catdog Station Staff

Location: Koyuga, Victoria, Australia
From a truck driver's perspective there are some very dangerous uncontrolled level crossings and visibility/alignment are both major problems.  I will use the lx at Llanelly on the Bridgewater-Dunolly Rd as an example.  Visibility heading from Dunolly direction is ok.  Coming from the Bridgewater direction is another matter.  To have any chance of seeing if any trains are coming from left, i need to drive on to the wrong side of the road and jack knife the prime mover to the left to have any chance of seeing what is coming.  Even then visibility is still not good and I sit at the crossing with the windows open listening for a horn before I convince myself to cross.

I am not familiar with the crossing where this incident has occurred so I am not going to make any comment about whether visibility issues for trucks were a factor or not. I'll leave that to the crash investigators to sort out.

Driver behaviour of all vehicles needs to be addressed.  You only have to look at any of the uncontrolled crossings on the Echuca-Toolamba line to see how little regard people have for the dangers present.  The crossing near where I live in Koyuga is protected by a stop sign and has poor visibility in one direction.  95% of traffic does not stop at the crossing, and a fair percentage of it doesn't slow down more than is necessary to negotiate the slight dogleg over the tracks.  This is a problem with both cars and trucks.

Education alone will do nothing as society becomes more and more impatient, and many people seem to be of the opinion that they are far too important to spend a few extra seconds and obey the rules.  Many motorists seem not to care how much danger they put themselves in to as long as they are not delayed for fraction of a second.  Society as a whole needs an attitude adjustment and i'm not sure how to achieve it.

I suppose you can't fix stupid, but duct tape can muffle the sound Razz
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I suppose you can't fix stupid, but duct tape can muffle the sound
Catdog
That's why there Is a road death & Injury toll.

As many truck drivers will point out, the general publics addiction to smart phones Is having a disturbing Impact on the behaviour of many people on and around the road.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Catdog, does that mean trucks need a redesign for better visability ?

Regards,
David Head
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

We all know that these days it costs squillions to install a simple flashing lights and bells setup at minor level crossings.

But lets face it, there are hundreds of gravel and dirt roads crossing railways in Victoria and therefore it would cost hundreds of squillions to install lights and bells at every one of them and the state will never have the spare cash to do them all.

However, perhaps there is a simpler and possibly more affordable solution? On these minor roads the reservation is usually quite wide. So it might be feasible to put a bend / dog leg thingy into the road on either side of most level crossings by slewing the road to one side of the road reservation and then bending it to the other side. This would force traffic to slow down and angle their view towards both directions.

A small time contractor with a dozer and a truck load of gravel could easily do that work in a day, therefore it would probably be vastly cheaper than installing lights and bells, allowing more level crossings to be improved for a certain level of funding than the pricier alternative.

This is just a thought, but unless there is a bureaucratic reason why it can't be done, it just might have legs?
Bogong
There is potentially .  During Mulders time there was a reported successful trial of a device that sent an audible signal to car radios within vicinity of lx whether radio was on or off to alert the car driver that a train was approaching . The equipment added $ 50 to car cost, and  $ 5,000 to each loco or  lx installation .  Mulder was most enthusiastic but it never got funded or even live trialled on a dedicated line .
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

I heard Jacinta Allen interviewed by Raf Epstein on 774.  I'm not defending her for a moment, and she may well have been talking BS, but she made the point that lights, bells and booms do not work unless electricity is available at the site.  She said it was a remote location where electricity had to be brought in, that preliminary design work had been undertaken for this crossing, including provision of electric power which was now complete.  The next stage was to actually install the equipment, and this was planned to happen before the end of the year.  It was not planned for earlier because of a number of other competing projects, and lack of sufficient resources.  Call it spin, but the point about electricity is valid.  There must be many other similar crossings in remote areas with no electricity nearby.  In warmer/sunnier places I have seen crossings with solar panels and battery storage, but probably these would not be reliable in Victoria in winter.

It's pointless to speculate about what happened - it will all come out eventually.  It's tempting to say that there are no dangerous crossings, only dangerous drivers, but that's a huge generalisation which ignores the facts of a particular case.
Lad_Porter
If someone had got off their backside earlyi n 2015 and ordered the power connection to the site it would be there months ago waiting for the installation .  VLP / Victrack just have no sense of urgency .  After  18 months the much vaunted solar power  bb installation at  Huntly has still NOT been commissioned.  Presumably the things a DUD and we have to wait for mains power to be run to the site .  Whatever the reason incompetent  management by someone .
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

"... that sent an audible signal to car radios ..."
kuldalai
My only experience of this is in the Burnley and Domain tunnels, where it works so well - not!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Whatever is adopted needs to be fail safe and the radio option is not and cannot be fail safe. In addition it must not transfer responsibility and/or liability from the vehicle driver to anyone else.

It always seems to me that the main thrust of so many investigations into incidents of this nature is to transfer responsibility from the vehicle driver to the railway or at least mitigate the road driver's responsibility. There is always a statement that the train driver was tested for drugs/alcohol but rarely, if ever, a statement to this effect for the road driver. This is a slur pure and simple on the rail industry and its employees.

We used to think that level crossing protection was fail safe but we seem to have managed to overcome this position in Victoria.
  damooops Junior Train Controller

Location: The Revenue Raising State
G'day all.
For everyone's information there is a light engine running down to the site today to remove the damaged rollingstock to Newport workshops sometime tomorrow.
N462 and P14
Cheers all.

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