Railway crossings e1486476616958

Dealing with Railway Crossings and Tramways

In this blog, I will talk about how we are expected to use Railway Crossings and Tramways.

Railway Crossings and TramwaysTo start with I want to talk about railway crossing. As drivers need to be aware when dealing with railway crossings is that when approaching or using the crossing you are not allowed to overtake, park near a crossing. {HC291)

Drivers need to take care of different types of crossings those with overhead electric power cables, controlled and uncontrolled crossings. Lastly, I’ll look at what to do if you were to breakdown on a crossing.

Overhead Electic power cables

Extra care needs to be taken if you are driving a vehicle that is tall or has ladders sticking up because if any part of the vehicle should touch the electrical cables and thy were live. Then the power could flow through the car to the ground and cause damage to the vehicle or people touching it.

How to know there is a hidden crossing ahead

Here is the sign to look for with a countdown of 100 meters between each sign.

Automatic Level crossings

As you approach a crossing, there will be signs warning you that they are there. It is important that you obey any signals they give you. Red means stop do not try to gamble to try and beat a train when crossing. The train will not be able to stop in time, and they will make a mess of any vehicle crossings they hit. Like with any traffic lights if they turn to amber as you are crossing don’t stop carry on.

There are two types of one set with just two gates covering only half of the road and the second set of four gates that actually block the road on both sides.

What happens if the lights and crossing stop you from crossing for a long time?

The red lights mean there is another train is coming, so it is best to wait. However, if after say 5 minutes the lights are still flashing, then it would be best to contact the local signal operator to see if there is a problem. It is better to wait a while than try to cross against the red lights and get killed.

Dealing with a breakdown

Should your car break down while crossing gets all the passengers out as quickly as possible Do not return the vehicle until told to by the local signal operator? Once everyone is safe to use the contact phone that will be near the level crossing to inform the railway company of the problem.  Do not let anyone move the vehicle until you have been given the all clear. Trains take a long time to stop and when travelling at say 40mph are travelling at approximately 12m/s.  So you might not see a train coming until it is too later for you to get out of the way.

I realise that your car may be valuable to you but when your life and other passenger’s life are more valuable. Their safety must come first.

Beware of Red lights on Railway Crossings and Tramways

Do not cross the crossing if there is a red light showing. If you are not sure, then contact the local signal operator to get the all clear.

Dealing with Tramways

You must not use any carriageway that has been reserved for Trams or Light Railways. They are the fixed routes that they only they can follow. So please do not drive or park on these routes because you can cause a lot of traffic problems.

Be aware of what signs and signals that will warn you that they are about.

Always give way to them because they might not be able to get out of your way. Beware of the tramway or light railway stops. There might be people waiting on the vehicle pathways which might be in the middle of the road. Pedestrians are likely to cross to the waiting areas without looking.

If you are riding a bicycle or motorbike the embedded rails and different road surface can cause them to slip or get stuck on the rail tracks. This also applies to Railway Crossings and Tramways

These vehicles tend to be soundless when travelling. So keep your eyes and ears open, so you are aware when they can be about.

speed limit for trams

signs to be seen with traffic lights





As with railways some of the light railways or trams need overhead cables to work. So they might not have railway tracks to restrict their movement. The overhead electric wires have the same type of dangers as with the railways beware of big vehicles or ladders etc.

To Find out more about the BTEC Level 1 please follow this link

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