Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Near misses at Train Level Crossings in the UK

The age of steam engines brought upon the industrial revolution that saw Great Britain emerging as the world superpower in the 19th century. During that period, railway companies were laying down tracks at a breathtaking pace but could barely keep up with the demand for swift transport across Britain.

Fast forward to the 21st century. Many tracks now lay abandoned and some gradually became mere footpaths. Even though the railroads no longer drive the country's economy, many commuters rely solely on the trains that trail through dense population centres as a means of transport.

In order to keep a lid on the running costs, many train crossings remained as level crossings. In the first 9 months in 2008 alone, there were 13 fatal accidents in the UK and the number is increasing. The authorities maintained that in most cases, the train level crossings are misused and are considering taking action against those errant users.

If you think that that's just another bureaucratic attempt to cover up the facts, look at this video clip compiled with the CCTV footage at level crossings.

WARNING: some of them can be heart stopping.

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Emm said...

I think these people are reckless and selfish. Can you imagine the trauma a train driver must go through if he or she is involved in a fatal collision? It is just not right.

Dutchie said...

Goodness me ! Looking from this angle, it does look very reckless indeed.

Very often I see people too impatient to wait for the train to pass by first n make a dash over the crossing. Or cars going over the crossing with little space to reverse back against a backlog of other cars ... On ground level we mostly dont see the danger looming out suddenly. I must admit that I'm immuned to the clanking of bells when the wooden bars r lowered but I do wait bec I could use a breather after a long walk there !

Hoo Don said...

Living in the UK as I do somebody told me about this train video that they saw on the TV news. Absolutely amazing, the first one of the youth crossing the rail tracks has to be the nearest anyone can escape death without getting a scratch. I wonder if he went back for his shoe.

Martin in Bulgaria said...

This is one of the reasons I left the UK!

C K said...

Those people who made a mad dash just weren't thinking. It's really irrational if you were to look at the time saved and the risk involved. Nuts!

You know what? I've never (ever) encountered one of these crossings before. When I was a kid, there was a railway behind my estate. Some kids used to play around that area quite a bit but needless to say, my parents forbid me from even going near that area.

@Hoo Don,
Shoe? I thought that the train took his foot off! I would have pissed in my pants if I were him.

Have you got any near miss experience?

Emm said...

I'm not too sure - whenever I cross at a traffic light at the very last minute or cause a car to slow down for me, I know what I have done. It is a selfish thing to do although not as dangerous. Don't you ever do that?