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New bells for Carterton railway crossings

Friday, March 11, 2011

New electronic bells are to be installed at the level crossing in Carterton on Monday next week (April 4, 2011).

The bells, similar to those currently installed at Victoria Street, will be installed at the Pembroke Street, Belvedere Road, Rhodes Street, and Kent Street level crossings in Carterton.  

New alarm monitoring equipment that automatically makes a cell phone call if a fault occurs at the crossing will be installed at the same time.

The new electronic bells will sound slightly different and are generally quieter than the old mechanical bells.  

An advantage of the new style bells is that they are designed to direct the sound down closer to the crossing and also they may be adjusted to a lower sound level if necessary to minimise noise nuisance to nearby residents.  

The bells at Carterton crossings are currently turned off between 10.30 pm and 7.00 am, but when the new “quiet” bells are installed, the time clocks will be removed so that the bells will operate for all trains.

Currrently, there is a freight train about 4am and the two commuter services during the early morning.

Having the bells operate for night trains will be safer for pedestrians, especially those that use the crossings before 7 am.   

The new bells should cause less noise nuisance for local residents because they will be on the “quiet” adjustment all day, including in the early hours of the evening. Some motorists may notice that when they are stopped waiting for a train at a level crossing they cannot hear the new bells.  

This is completely normal as the bells are provided primarily as a warning to pedestrians and are not designed to be heard inside road vehicles especially if the car windows are closed.

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