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I watched Top Gear on Sunday. The first item was about level crossing safety, no problem so far.

We were treated to footage of a 31 with Network Rail messages down the side doing a very thorough job of destroying a Renault Espace, with slow motion replays etc. All very good at getting the message about tangling with trains at crossings across.

I have no problem with it so far.

Cut to Clarkson, wearing hi-vis gear and two safety helmets and looking like a complete idiot.

Clarkson speaks and comes up with drivel along the lines of " if you don't wear high vis clothing when crossing a railway you'll end up dead"

Why not make a sensible comment instead of mocking.

What do you think?

Regards

John
 

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Remember, he had the 2 helmets and high viz jacket on before they began the train crash.

I thought his comments were a bit dumb at first, but you could also look at it this way (bear with me on this one). As he has pointed out recently, health and safety guidelines have started to become a bit insane lately. If you remember the road repair episode a few weeks ago, he asked why they now still needed a man to walk behind a lorry when all the lorries now had rear view cameras installed. The reply from the health & safety guy was that it made reversing twice as safe! That was a bit like the spinal tap amplifiers that went up to 11...well they must be louder, they go up to 11.

My point is that the train crashing was so obviously devastating that it pretty much was all that needed to be said. If you are dumb enough to ignore the barriers and cross a level crossing, then there is a very high likelyhood that this is what is going to happen to you. No further comment needed really.

I'm glad he didn't feel the need to insult viewers intelligence by having to point out the obvious. I really hope they keep up the irreverance, because it makes it a far more effective program as a result in my opinion, and I think they got the message across very effectively. They also reran the impact during the credits at the end to reinforce the message.
 

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I like top gear but Clarkson is starting to grate my teeth. Getting to big for his boots I think.

Not very good for the occupants of the vehicle though. I'm amazed it wasn't pushed under the front boggie, could have caused a right mess to both loco and what was left of the ballast!! I bet they didn't expect that, looked like a suffer splitting a wave.

Darren
 

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Given the Pendolino incident less than 48 hours earlier maybe the story should have been postponed for a week given the slant used to get the point over.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I didnt mind the fact that they were showing it just after a crash. i just wish they wernt so stupid about it.

Talking of the pendolino incident, What a train!
200 people were in a serious accident at 90mph and only one elderly woman died.
My sympathies go to her family but what a train! thats incredible.

Peter
 

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Yes, too right about the Pendo crash.

As for the 31, it seems that they didn't want in on their programme, and it was shuffled on and off without much comment. It was a very graphic reminder, but ruined by Clarkson being unnecessarily stupid.

The footage was filmed last year, and had already been postponed due to some level crossing incidents. I am a train driver and have had a couple of near misses on unmanned crossings, and have seen the headlights of cars turn towards me at night as they zig zag round the barriers.

If it makes a couple of morons (the top gear target audience) think twice then good.

I was more annoyed about their wanton damage by reversing a tractor to a parked Astra later on. And I'm paying a licence fee for these upper class twits to do this for a living.
 

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QUOTE Talking of the pendolino incident, What a train!
200 people were in a serious accident at 90mph and only one elderly woman died.
My sympathies go to her family but what a train! thats incredible.

Agreed. Its totally amazing that there were not more casualties. And we should remember that the driver stayed at the controls attempting to bring the train to a controlled stop.

The Top Gear train was unmanned. There was a loco following up behind. Was the Top Gear train operated by remote control or was it left to freewheel to a stop? It did seem to take a very long time to slow down.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 27 Feb 2007, 16:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The Top Gear train was unmanned. There was a loco following up behind. Was the Top Gear train operated by remote control or was it left to freewheel to a stop? It did seem to take a very long time to slow down.

The loco in the background was used to propel the crash test loco up to speed, then braked to allow the front loco to coast into (through) the car. The stopping distance of a light engine without brakes would probably not have been any further than that of a heavy train on emergency brakes. Bear in mind that the train driver would not be aware of a car running the crossing until it came into his line of sight, that is to say almost the exact moment of impact, so no brake application would be made before the crash. At 90+ mph the time taken for the driver to pull the brake handle and for the air or vacuum in the pipe to take effect would mean that it would be well past the point of impact before any braking effect took place. Add to this the possibility of the (train) driver being incapacitated by the impact and you then have to wait for the deadman's device to apply the brakes if no damage to the brake pipes is cause by the collision.
 

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QUOTE (BRITHO @ 27 Feb 2007, 13:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Cut to Clarkson, wearing hi-vis gear and two safety helmets and looking like a complete idiot.

That's because he is ! (actually, he's not really a complete idiot - parts of him are missing !)
 

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QUOTE (chengin @ 27 Feb 2007, 14:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>My point is that the train crashing was so obviously devastating that it pretty much was all that needed to be said. If you are dumb enough to ignore the barriers and cross a level crossing, then there is a very high likelyhood that this is what is going to happen to you. No further comment needed really.

I'm glad he didn't feel the need to insult viewers intelligence by having to point out the obvious. I really hope they keep up the irreverance, because it makes it a far more effective program as a result in my opinion, and I think they got the message across very effectively. They also reran the impact during the credits at the end to reinforce the message.

Personally, I think the irreverance was deliberate, taking into account TG's target audiance to get the message over.

Wonder why they chose the Espace - does it still have a chassis & plastic body ?

What does p
me off is JC's constant harping on about older people - yes, some of them do silly things, but when wearing my truck drivers hat I have to say that generally I have to take more avoiding action when the other driver is young (either sex). Wonder if JC will have the same veiwpoint when he is old


& another thing - IMHO none of the TG cretins can drive - you only have to compare their pathetic efforts with "The Stig" (or whatever he's called) to work that out.

Back to trains - it's a credit to modern rolling stock the way the Virgin Pendolino kept its integrity. My thoughts are with the lady who tragiclly died & her family.
 

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Further info on the set-up for the level-crossing crash:
Filmed on the line in North Lincolnshire between Barnetby and Gainsborough where it crosses the B1206 at Hibaldstow, SE of the town of Brigg; chosen because the line does not see traffic Mon-Fridays (!!) and there were alternative roads for the vehicular traffic.
31 107 was chosen becasue it was a non-runner (under its own power, that is).
31 233 was the pusher loco. Speed was circa 60mph at impact.
Espace was chosen as a 'family' vehicle possibly used on the school run to use the film on a different audience.
(Information from 'The Railway Magazine' October 2006.)

Re its presentation on Top Gear - good idea
Presented by Mr Clarkson
not so good - he once was pleasently just a bit gung-ho, now he's OTT and I no longer watch Top Gear unless I'm aware in advance of something that interests me.
Regards,
John Webb
 

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>Talking of the pendolino incident, What a train!
To put it perspective, there were two road death news items on the BBC website on Saturday - 3 killed on the A38 in Derbyshire and 1 on the M25. These are just the four that made it the "bit part" section of news/england. On an average day 6 others will also have been killed on the roads.

>The loco in the background was used to propel the crash test loco up to speed, then braked to allow the front loco to coast
That's the method used for the train crash in "The Fugitive". That's right, they didn't use models!

>Wonder why they chose the Espace
It may because the latest Espace has the highest NCAP occupant safety rating for MPVs - 5 star I believe.

David
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 27 Feb 2007, 17:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>And we should remember that the driver stayed at the controls attempting to bring the train to a controlled stop.

Gary

Humm.... not wishing to belittle the driver as the experience must have horrendous to say the least but it's my guess that he simply applied a full brake application and froze hoping against hope - after all, what else could he do bearing in mind he must have known the train was no longer on the rails. As for Branston saying the driver stayed at the controls in order to try to 'steer' the train to safety... well that statement speaks volumes about Mr Branson's grasp of all things railway.
 

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Not seen it yet but have bookmarked the repeat of Thursday. I was a bit disappointed to find out about the involvement of Buttheads motoring program in the production but I have to say the reaction from certain gutter press to the "timing" of the showing is nothing short of childish. Bearing in mind the message is supposed to be a public safety one delivering a serious message.
Personally I fail to find much of an informative element to the program these days. The US special showed that America doesn't have the market cornered on dickheads.
 

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QUOTE (Gofer @ 27 Feb 2007, 22:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Humm.... not wishing to belittle the driver as the experience must have horrendous to say the least but it's my guess that he simply applied a full brake application and froze hoping against hope - after all, what else could he do bearing in mind he must have known the train was no longer on the rails. As for Branston saying the driver stayed at the controls in order to try to 'steer' the train to safety... well that statement speaks volumes about Mr Branson's grasp of all things railway.

I was about to post pretty much exactly the same words. In a road vehicle or an aeroplane or even on a runaway steam loco the driver/pilot's actions during an accident can make a big difference. But with a modern train once the emergency brakes are on the driver has abolutely no control and about the only way he might be able to help is to hit the hazard lights and make an emergency radio call in the hope of stopping anything approaching on the other track. So he is fully justified in seeking the safest place or even baling out, though at 95mph that would not be an option and with the limited time and the risk of being thrown about he probably wasn't in a position to do anything.
 

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Probably need a real train driver to answer this one :

Would the emergency brakes be applied automatically as soon as the leading vehicle left the tracks - or would that depend on the unit involved or other factors ?

Whatever the answer it must have been a very, very frightening experience for the driver - so lets not continue to speculate untill we know some actual facts from someone who knows !
 

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Hazard lights? Conjures up images of a derailing pendolino screaming down the embankment with flashing orange lights on each corner!!!
Serious face
Would applying the emergency brakes to a derailed/ing train actually work? In this case the entire thing is off the rails so effectively you'd be braking on the sleepers/banking/ballast.
 
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