Letters: Blame lies with manufacturer

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With regard to your report on the failures at Mill Green level crossing, it is not Network Rail’s fault that these failures keep occurring.

The problem is the unacceptable rate of failures within the brand new signalling control system. Therefore the blame should be laid with the German manufacturer of the equipment, Siemens Electronics.

These failures are occurring at an unprecedented rate and Network Rail staff are so inundated with them that they have had to second engineers in from other areas.

Readers should note that if crossing barriers are down for a long time (ten minutes plus), that phone numbers are provided at the crossings on a notice whereby they can contact Lincoln signalling centre. The exception to this is Hawthorn Bank. At other crossings with auto half barriers or full barrier obstacle detected crossings, phones are provided. If you do call do not blame the staff who reply. Blame Siemens Electronics.

There have also been failures at Hawthorn Bank whereby the barriers would not lower and passenger trains have been stood in the countryside for over an hour, as well as cancelled trains. This has also happened at St James Deeping.

As for Phil Cole’s comment I would point out that if barriers at full barrier crossings are not lowered, electronic protection circuits mean that signals cannot be cleared and will remain at red, thus stopping all trains.

At half barrier crossings there has never been a case of a train running through with barriers raised when working automatically due to the ‘fail safe’ design of the electronics.


Hawthorn Bank