Queensland Rail Has Worlds Most Interesting Flat Crossings!
photocredit: David Gubler/bahnbilder.ch
Queensland Rail is totally changing how rail lines cross each other!
Flat Crossings (or level junctions depending on where you’re from) have been a staple in railroading for ages. The reason of course, is they do their job, and they do it well. While many might tout the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” there are others who constantly seek improvement. The folks at QR are part of that school of thought.
One of the main issues with flat crossings is the high risk of derailment at high-speeds! They are designed to let multiple trains cross the same path which can cause difficulties for a train’s wheels if the engine crosses over too fast.
Cape gauge track has a gauge of 3 ft 6 inches!
The cape gauge track you see in the clip below is cleared for speeds of up to 160km/h (99 mph)! With trains traveling at such high speeds this track, amongst others just wont do with a flat crossing! This high-speed line, along with many other narrow and cape gauge lines in Queensland, have had their flat crossings replaced with these drawbridge style crossings!
So how does it work?
- The Cane Driver operates a trackside switch to request a QR controller to let the ‘bridge’ down.
- If there is no QR traffic the controller sets a route for the Cane Driver.
- QR mainline signals change to ‘stop’ and the draw bridge lowers.
- Once the train passes, the drawbridge raises and QR mainline signals change to ‘proceed’.
Personally we think this is an amazing way to have crossings!
How about you do you think we could use more of these globally? Share your thoughts with us in the comments, We’d love to hear from you!