Train horns

I have been notified by Network Rail of their intention to impose a requirement that trains sound their horns at Smith’s level crossing to the south of Wokingham so they raise the speed of trains on that section of track.
I have replied that I think this is a very bad idea, as this track runs close to residential areas. They should keep the current speeds until such time as they have provided a quiet technological answer to running at faster speeds in safety.

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  1. Mark steers
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for picking this up. It is beyond belief that Network Rail believe it is a good idea to increase speed and by sounding horns in a residential area….all for the sake of a few seconds shorter journey.

    What is incredibly frustrating is the NR posted the notice and have given no time for residents to respond before implementing this with absolutely no consultation or consideration of the impact on quality of life. I really feel for those who are yards from the train line.

  2. Colin Harwood
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    The trains have started using their horns today and this new and foreign noise is extremely intrusive. Having lived in our current house for nigh on 30 years I cannot understand why this initiative has just been introduced. Extremely annoying and in my opinion totally unjustified. Colin Harwood, 81 Gipsy Lane, Wokingham

  3. Anita McPhilimey
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    As a resident that this directly affects I fully support your plea to Network Rail to find an alternative to this that does not disrupt our close knit community. This crossing has been in place for many many years. If Network Rail want to speed up the train then put in place a solution that works for all the residents, having train horns 100 times a day is NOT ACCEPTABLE! Please Network Rail do the right thing and find an alternative that works for you AND THE RESIDENTS this directly affects.

  4. Andrew Le Breuilly
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Thank you John for your support. This is a great concern to the local residents who are in close proximity to the railway line.

    I quote below the reply I received from Network Rail when I complained about the issue.

    “We are still investigating the possibility of installing a warning light system but we cannot guarantee an outcome at this stage. ”

    It seems remarkable that Network Rail have had years to investigate a warning light system but only considered this option after announcing the installation of whistle boards. It is my understanding that whistle boards are a last resort in residential areas.

    It feels like the decision to install whistle boards was a snap decision by NR that has shown no consideration for the local residents. Let us hope they reconsider.

  5. Philip Lawman
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks for your support regarding this issue. Over 150 residents have signed a petition which has been sent to Network Rail and we would like to know why they need to make this change now, five years after they did the risk assessment, what are the other options such as trains continuing to go a little slower over this level crossing which is what has been the solution until now. They have stated that these whistle boards will be removed when Knoll Farm has road access from the new housing development, which planned to be in about 3 years time, and are very aware of the noise issues this will cause to residents but have decided to spend the money implement the whistle boards and just ignore all residents questions/concerns/complaints raised.

  6. Mike Konig
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    As a resident of Gipsy Lane I completely agree with John redwood. The level of noise will be disruptive to residents and the environment, and with the crossing due to be closed once the new road is opened in a few years time it appears to be completely unnecessary. Mike Konig

  7. David Nash
    Posted November 27, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your intervention.

  8. Andrew Pearce
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your support. This new policy negatively impacts many residents in South Wokingham (not just Gipsy Lane), and Network Rail need to reconsider unless they want many unhappy residents knocking on their door.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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