Automated train ‘horn’ alert at Pulborough rail crossing

Covtec in use at a footpath crossing in Whitstable. Image contributed.

Covtec in use at a footpath crossing in Whitstable. Image contributed.

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An audible warning device has been installed at a footpath level crossing in Pulborough.

The crossing is one of three in Sussex so far to gain the safety system to alert pedestrians of approaching trains.

Each solar-powered unit reproduces the sound of a train horn and is triggered automatically as a train approaches, providing a secondary warning in the event that a crossing user does not hear the train horn (see video).

John Halsall, South East route managing director at Network Rail, said: “Level crossings remain the biggest source of risk on the rail network.

“We want everyone who lives or works near the railway to be safe, which is why we’re investing in a variety of projects to improve level crossing safety as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“This involves major investments such as new footbridges as well as a range of smaller yet effective improvements such as new technology which also help us reduce risk and save lives.”

Footpath crossings are common in rural locations away from roads, where the user is required to stop, look and listen for a train before crossing.

The Covtec alert system already in place at footpath crossings in Rustington, in West Sussex and Rye in East Sussex along with four other locations in Kent, with hopes of rolling out the kit at other sites.

Paul Coleman, South East route level crossing manager at Network Rail, said: “These new audible warning units are solar powered and don’t require a lot of maintenance, so they’re a practical and efficient way to improve safety at footpath level crossings.

“We have now installed a total of thirteen of these devices across the South East, with plans for more to come.”

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