Railway Survey

At our recent AGM and Assembly meeting in May there was a lively discussion about the level crossing in the village, and specifically the wait times being experienced there by villagers, neighbours and visitors.

Network Rail have responded to questions about this from the Parish Council stating that the crossing is working as designed, and that the wait times are due to the sensors that ensure the crossing is clear of obstructions, and the proximity of Dean station, which can extend the time the barriers are down due to the time it takes for stopping trains to get back up to speed. They do not propose to make any alterations.

We agreed at the meeting that it would be helpful to have some data on the wait times being experienced at different times of the day, and so therefore we have set up this web page to collect that information.

Please contribute by adding comments below stating your name, date and time of your wait at the crossing, plus the duration of your wait as accurate as you can manage. Also state how many trains passed and in which direction they were travelling. You can report multiple waits in one comment if you wish.

We will collect this information and present it back to Network Rail when we have sufficient data to draw some conclusions.


5 thoughts on “Railway Survey”

  1. Tuesday 18th July arĂ²und 1pm waited 14 minutes, only saw one train. This was prior to Thursdays emergency work, when no signs to say crossing closed, so had to use farm track to turn around. My biggest moan is the number of trains which stop on the line from West Dean to Romsey, waiting for the green light to proceed to the level crossing. It happens on a weekly basis yet on occasions the train from Romsey to West Dean passes the stationary train. Then of course the train revs up, very noisy and smelly. So how can Network Rail say things are working correctly.

  2. Today 9 October 2017 approached the Dean Hill Crossing at 8.59 a.m. as the barriers were coming down. Nearly 3 minutes before first train came through. In total of just over 7 minutes for second train and barrier to be lifted.

  3. We live near to East Dean church and cross the train-line about 30-40 times per week on average, due to school, work and family commitments. 6 days a week we cross c7.20am and back an hour later then repeat this around 5-6pm (4 crossings in total). Other non routine crossings are on top of this. We calculate that typically we are held up once in every 4-5 occasions. Most of these are for one train with an average wait time of 3-4 minutes. About one in five are “double” train waits and these typically last 5-10 minutes. Last Thursday (October 12th) was particularly bad. I had a wait for three trains (yes honestly) of over ten minutes in one instance during the day. Later that evening, taking my son to Scouts, we were caught at 7pm for 4 minutes for one train (he was therefore late), then again on the collection journey home just after 9pm for a double train, waiting 10 ten minutes.

    We noticed some time ago that the wait at this junction is consistently and significantly longer than at Dunbridge. We gather this is due to the location of signalling at East Dean. This would suggest that the situation could be relieved in whole or part. We would urge this as a measure of public safety since the reputation of this crossing may predispose unsafe last minute crossing and/or speeding in order to avoid lengthy waits. Given there are no alternative E-W routes enabling travellers to bypass this crossing, there is also concern regarding the impact of such delays on urgent journeys passing through this important link between Test Valley and the A36.

  4. I go over the crossing at least twice but usually more like four times each day. The barriers are down probably one third of occasions I cross. The issue is that when they are down, the wait times can be very long. It is typically 3 minutes when there is a single train, but when there are 2 times go out to 5 or 6 minutes. This is long enough that if there is a third train, the barriers do not go up in between and we are then up to as much as 10 minutes. I think my worst wait was 12 minutes.
    I have to say that when there is a single train, the wait is reasonable but the main issue is having an extended period between 2 trains without the barriers rising. I can’t believe there isn’t time to open them and have them come down again. I haven’t measured this for obvious reasons but a couple of these situations in an hour could mean the crossing is closed and the route unusable for 25 – 30% of the time.
    I also cross at Dunbridge on most journeys and the wait times there are really short.
    I would echo the earlier comment that having to face a potential 10 minute delay is really going to encourage people to try and jump the warning lights when they start. This has to be a major safety issue in itself.
    The current situation is in my view a completely unreasonable sharing of the crossing between Network Rail and other road users.

  5. We cross the line at least 10 times a week. Since the upgrade to the barrier it has become noticable that the delay whilst waiting and the regularity of the barriers being down have increased.
    I don’t know if the number of trains using the line has changed in that time, but it is noticeable that there are frequently long waits before a train(s) passes.

    I think it would be reasonable to publish some figures as to the number of trains, and the average time the barriers are down now to before the upgrade, the time the Dunbridge barriers are down, and explain any differences.

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