Shrill bells and flashing, warning lights are being heard and seen more and more in Holland, on roads approaching railway level crossings.
Shrill bells and flashing, warning lights are being heard and seen more and more in Holland, on roads approaching railway level crossings. Instead of five barred gates, or hand operated level crossing gates, fully automatic devices are being fitted to the Dutch Railways.
When a train is within 3/4 mile of crossing the front wheels of the engine trigger a device that automatically energies the warning bells and lights, and causes a barrier to be lowered across the road, stopping any traffic from crossing the railway lines. Along the top edge of these barriers there are other smaller lights that wink, warning the motorists and pedestrians that a train is approaching the level crossing. At each and of the barriers there is a gap that allows anyone walking across the lines to escape in an emergency. About 15 yards from the crossing is another contact that the end carriages of the trains touch and so open the gates
The times factor with this new type of gate is only 45 seconds, thus long periods of waiting usual with the older type of level crossing mechanism are eliminated.
The British Railway authorities are exploring the possibilities of these automatic gates in view of the large number of accidents to motorists crossing at unattended crossings in recent weeks.