Booms get green light

2019-08-20 06:00
Prasa signal project leader, Jerome Lubbe, community project leader, Henk Egberink and Prasa special project manager, George Kiewiets give the new trackside equipment at Kenilworth Train Station a thumbs up.

Prasa signal project leader, Jerome Lubbe, community project leader, Henk Egberink and Prasa special project manager, George Kiewiets give the new trackside equipment at Kenilworth Train Station a thumbs up.

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The booms at the Kenilworth Train Station are back in operation.

Engineers tested and handed over the trackside equipment, booms and LED flashlights, which replaced the previous outdated technology, for safe operations of road users and trains. The handover took place on Friday 2 August and the new system was active by Sunday 4 August.

“In the interest of public safety we recommend that all road users take note of how the booms function and not to tamper with the booms when they get impatient,” said Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott. “Trains as mass transport mode legally have right of way at level crossings and road users should heed road traffic signs and safety protocol on approach to level crossings.”

The system operates as follows:

. approaching trains automatically alert the crossing attendant who then activates the flashlights;

. the lights flash for eight to 10 seconds and act as a warning to road users to stop as trains are approaching the intersection;

. the entry booms close immediately after the lights stop flashing and the exit booms five seconds later – this is to indicate to vehicles already in mid-crossing that the booms behind the vehicle have already dropped and the booms in front of the vehicle will close within five seconds.

. after both sets of booms have dropped the lights will flash to indicate that the road is closed for vehicular and pedestrian use.

The previous operating hours have been reinstated with the level crossing closed during peak hours: 06:20 to 8:20 and 17:00 to 18:15.

The booms stopped working towards the end of last year (‘Disaster waiting to happen’, People’s Post, 14 May).

In a previous interview with Scott, she said it had taken a lot of time to fix the booms because, as a state-owned entity, Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and Metrorail must procure contractors compliant with treasury regulations.

V To report perpetrators attempting to vandalise equipment, call the Metro technical centre on 021 449 4026.

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