Thursday, 19 April 2012

Crossings Out

Our little railway crossing is currently being "upgraded" from a manually controlled system whereby a signalman walks out of his box to open and shut gates to an automatic system controlled by remote sensors and monitored by a single operator in London.

This will be demolished to rubble by Christmas (no charity lines have been able to come up with the cost of moving it to a new site):

And this housing for the controls including an emergency generator will be its replacement:

Now I'm certainly not a Luddite who opposes the march of progress as I'd be very much in favour of a National renaissance of rail transport. If we could re-Nationalise the Rail system and produce a super-fast linear motor bullet train going through the village I'd be all in favour.

It just seems that the piecemeal approach such as this gives us the worst of all worlds and is indicative of why Mr Sarkozy is sadly quite correct in pointing to Britain's lack of Industry and over-reliance on Bankers.

Here's a few random thoughts...

1. Apart from the loss of heritage that replacing an old, pleasant building with a caravan sized metal box entails, the investment cost for the new signalling and gates for 5 crossings runs to well in excess of £15 million.

2. That investment money is almost certainly borrowed from abroad.

3. Most of the new equipment is made in Sweden, Germany and France where they have supported their manufacturing industries, particularly transport producers.

4. The 6 or 7 Railtrack employees who work as signalmen on a 3 shift 7 day system will either be made redundant by Christmas or will be forced to travel long distances (by road) to cover positions on other lines.

Signal failure.


Rosie said...

So utterly depressing. If it was "Yes Minister" it would be funny.

dinahmow said...

Rog, I don't think I've seen "very rude words" on your blog and I shouldn't like to be the one to change that, but JFC! What the F are politicians doing?

Martin said...

Completely batty!

Nota Bene said...


Sir Bruin said...

I'm having a bit of a nerd moment. Network Rail are currently managing the UK infrastructure. The five manned crossings on that line will be replaced with CCTV and object detection controlled from Cambridge. Maximum line speed is 75mph, so you won't be seeing any bullet trains. Thought you'd like to know.
How nerdy was that?

Zig said...

my daughter is stuck at Clapham Junction as we 'speak' she has been there for 2 hours and all the trains to wiltshire are cancelled because of the weather - it's only rain ffs! How do they get it all so wrong so often - perhaps it is rocket science?!

Rog said...

Rosie: Yes. And they're all dead. Apart from the bloke who had his hand up Basil Brush.

Dinah: JFC? That's a Fundamentalist version of KFC I suppose?

Martin: Totally Nora!

NB: Oui!

Sir B: Don't try and confuse me with facts when I'm in mid rant. Network Rail's senior management team appear to think they are privatised by the size of their bonuses and salaries.

Zig: It must be the wrong sort of rain. It's enough to make anyone wilts.

Zig said...

fabulous - the next train out is 05:58 - anyone live near Clapham?

Rog said...

Zig: That's a bummer. Can't they sort out some coaches or buses for the stranded?

Zig said...

no the're now refunding tickets! She's going back into London and coming tomorrow morning now - sigh.

mig bardsley said...

It's all gone downhill since Beeching.

Anonymous said...

Such a pretty building and such an ugly replacement box. Time for some lateral thinking - but that would be too flexible for most.

Christopher said...

Is it too late to organise a pressure group to save it? Couldn't you do with a day job, Rog?

Sir Bruin said...

Apologies for interrupting your rant, young sir. I certainly agree with you that it is a shame that the equipment has to be manufactured abroad.

Rog said...

Zig: They said it was due to a lightning strike and I thought it must be the RMT.

Mig: Yes there's some glorious cycle ways and footpaths round here that were rail links in the 1960's.

Gab: Yes, they should have just stuck the new stuff in the old box. Simples.

Christopher: I'm in enough trouble round here already Chris.

Sir B: In my capacity as Victor Meldrew I counted 7 white vans on the job this morning and they'd all got different titles but all had the word "SOLUTIONS" in them. I don't believe it!