Quieter trains may be good for passengers riding in them, but they can increase the risk for pedestrians using level crossings along the line as they will sound different, and quieter, to the trains they are used to.
This is why Network Rail and Transport for London are reminding pedestrians using level crossings on the London Overground line between Romford and Upminster to stay safe as a new train is introduced to the route from Monday 5 October.
While the crossings are no less safe to use, the new Class 710 train has some different features which may impact the way people use these level crossings – the train colour at the front has changed from yellow to orange, they are fitted with LED lights, which look different to the traditional lights on the old trains, and they are quieter and may sound different to the older trains.
Rory O’Neill, Transport for London’s General Manager for London Overground, said: “This new London Overground train looks different and is much quieter than the existing one, so we recommend care is taken to ensure the safe continued use of the pedestrian crossings on this route.
“For our customers, these new trains will help ensure a reliable service is maintained and will feature walk-through carriages, air-conditioning, live network information and improved accessibility.”
Nothing has changed at the crossings, so pedestrians can cross safely as long as they follow the usual guidance:
- Concentrate – it’s easy to get distracted, especially by phones, music and conversation. If you’re in a group don’t assume that someone else is looking out for you.
- Stop, look and listen – follow signs and instructions. Don’t assume there is only one train or use previous experience to guess when the train is coming. Trains can come from either direction at any time.
- Check both ways before crossing – if there is a train coming, don’t cross. It can be tempting to run over the crossing or jump the barriers rather than wait for a train to pass. Don’t do it – you’re putting lives at risk.
- Cross quickly – keeping children close and dogs on a lead. If your dog escapes your control and runs onto the railway, don’t be tempted to run after it.
Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, Ellie Burrows, said: “The new trains will provide improved comfort and maintain reliability for passengers on this line.
“For our level crossing users, the new train will look and sound different, so it’s important not to take any risks and to follow the signs, warnings and guidance at the crossing, as always.”
The new trains are similar to the ones already in service on the Gospel Oak to Barking line except they only operate from a 25kV AC overhead power supply – the Gospel Oak trains can also operate on 750V DC third rail.