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Gates 1, Lorry 0.

Martin Wynne

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Anyone care to explain how this happened? Presumably crossed as the gates were closing, but how did it get past the first gate?

stourport_xing_crash_1955.jpg


A451 / SVR level crossing at Stourport-on-Severn. 5th July 1955.

"Rail and road traffic were held up for three-quarters of an hour".

How long would it be today?

Martin.
 
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Martin Wynne

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Were the gates synchronized?
Hi Andy,

Yes, mechanically. The signalman turned the gate wheel, and all 4 gates moved in unison. He could also see what was happening and stop turning, or change direction:


I'm not sure if the mechanism is reversible. In other words if the lorry trapped one gate, would driving forwards operate all 4 gates? Is there a safety shear pin in the wheel drive? Anyone?

cheers,

Martin.
 
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AndyB

Member
Hi Andy,

Yes, mechanically. The signalman turned the gate wheel, and all 4 gates moved in unison. He could also see what was happening and stop turning, or change direction:


I'm not sure if the mechanism is reversible. In other words if the lorry trapped one gate, would driving forwards operate all 4 gates? Is there a safety shear pin in the wheel drive? Anyone?

cheers,

Martin.

I'm fairly confident they wouldn't be able to reverse the worm-drive to the big wheel in the cabin :)

Which raises another question: Did the big wheel "push and pull" the gates or did they rely on gravity in one direction?

More questions, few answers!

Cheers,
Andy
 
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Martin Wynne

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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

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Did the big wheel "push and pull" the gates or did they rely on gravity in one direction?

Hi Andy,

The gate swivels were set up to turn freely, hence the massive gateposts. I don't think gravity plays any part, otherwise opening all 4 heavy gates against it would be hard work. Even a strong wind was known to make it difficult.

The gate drive rods and cranks must clearly be very robust, if after the argument with the lorry all was working again within 45 minutes.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Tony W

Member
Location
North Notts
There is an interesting DVD published by Fastline Films covering Mechanical signalling and level crossings (FF01).
This covers Level Crossing Gates and their mechanisms in some detail as they were made as training films.
One aspect I found fascinating was how many different designs of gate wheel mechanism there were depending on the railway company.
The rodding appears to be the same as used for point switches. Also remember that the nose of the gates are latched at ground level when at the end of travel, so probably explains why the upright part broke the way it did and ended up sticking out of the bottom edge of the cab window.
Regards
Tony.
 
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AndyB

Member
Thanks very much for that James.

A masterpiece of mechanical engineering! It's a pity most of it is normally invisible. The bearings on the gate hinges must be really good to handle the cantilever load without producing a lot of friction.

Cheers!
Andy
 
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