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VentureForth

There's a lot in this image... (re: crossings)

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With all the talk of how to properly do crossings with the FEC, I came across this Google Street view in Ballarat, Australia. There's a LOT going on in this image - from the semaphores to the full barrier gates, to the tower and the station... Wow.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@-37.5581626,143.8584894,3a,72.2y,312.42h,91.31t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1scl-G7nNdW7nGNr-bXVkv7Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

 

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No wonder they need such protections - all the drivers are on the wrong side of the road!

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Unless the posts holding up the gates have some kind of compact motor in them, the gates are operated manually. But clicking on the nearby station in Google Maps shows that Ballarat has good commuter service to Melbourne, about a train each way hourly outside rush hour. So somebody's climbing down from that tower twice an hour to lower turn the gates? :unsure: And the street traffic in a downtown area is waiting while the gates are manually turned? Doesn't sound like a viable approach, and certainly not viable for a busier train line.

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In days past, crossing gates like this were common in the UK too. Except maybe on some heritage lines, I don't think there are any left in opration.

 

I think many were manual but there were also remotely operated versions that were driven by cables or chains.

 

I can^t say for sure if the one in the photo is one of those.

 

I have also seen something similar in Argentina, where many of the railroads were British built and thus many British operating parctices and designs were used.

 

One of the advantages was that it made it more difficult to trespass on the tracks, especially important when you're herding cattle across for example.

 

In one of the Norman Wisdom movies there is a somewhat unrealistic scene where a milk cart gets trapped between the gates as they close,and is then wrecked by a Blue Pullman train.

Edited by cirdan

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There are some grade crossings on the 'L' system in Chicago that have movable gates across the track. Those are definitely automatically operated.

 

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There are some grade crossings on the 'L' system in Chicago that have movable gates across the track. Those are definitely automatically operated.

 

 

Why did the bells stop after a bit? Some kind of local noise ordinance?

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There are some grade crossings on the 'L' system in Chicago that have movable gates across the track. Those are definitely automatically operated.

 

 

Why did the bells stop after a bit? Some kind of local noise ordinance?

 

 

I believe that's standard at CTA grade crossings - the bells ring while the gates are lowered, and perhaps a bit longer, but do not keep ringing while the gates remain down. At least that's been my experience at grade crossings on the Brown Line.

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Most crossings across the country are like that if they are equipped with gates. Now just FLS crossings the bell rings the entire length. However there are some FLS Gate crossings with a constant bell.

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Unless the posts holding up the gates have some kind of compact motor in them, the gates are operated manually. But clicking on the nearby station in Google Maps shows that Ballarat has good commuter service to Melbourne, about a train each way hourly outside rush hour. So somebody's climbing down from that tower twice an hour to lower turn the gates? :unsure: And the street traffic in a downtown area is waiting while the gates are manually turned? Doesn't sound like a viable approach, and certainly not viable for a busier train line.

The gates in Ballarat are electronic and automatically operated; there are no personnel involved.

 

They were intended to be removed and replaced with modern protection hardware, but the City intervened and preserved the antique gates with electronic mechanisms.

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Unless the posts holding up the gates have some kind of compact motor in them, the gates are operated manually. But clicking on the nearby station in Google Maps shows that Ballarat has good commuter service to Melbourne, about a train each way hourly outside rush hour. So somebody's climbing down from that tower twice an hour to lower turn the gates? :unsure: And the street traffic in a downtown area is waiting while the gates are manually turned? Doesn't sound like a viable approach, and certainly not viable for a busier train line.

 

 

Ballarat is where I currently live.

 

As Blackwolf correctly points out, the gates are electronically-driven, not manually-operated.

 

But traffic-issues are not much of a bother. Not all Ballarat-Melbourne trains go beyond the Ballarat station (seen on the east side of the picture), and so don't trigger the gates. Only the few which go on to Ararat (a smaller regional city about an hour away west) and Wendouree (part of Ballarat's western suburbs) require the crossing activated.

 

Additionally, there are a couple of roads around the crossing allowing a rat-run if required. You can see one, starting on the signal-box corner (the SW corner of that train/road intersection), which takes you to the bridge you can see over the line a few hundred metres to the west, and so allowing northern travel from that street, or eastern back to the street the crossing runs over - Lydiard Street North. You can see that intersection on the intersection's NW corner. And anyway, the city only has a population of 100,000 and no-one is ever much in a hurry :-)

 

The trains are much shorter as well. A typical peak-hour train will be just seven cars long. Outside the peak, a three-car is common.

 

The station is much grander than current traffic requires. It was built when trains were the cutting edge of transportation, and the only feasible way of supplying the city and taking away its produce.

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