On February 17th 2017, Elsecar Heritage Railway achieved Road Approval to reopen its railway level crossings at Tingle Bridge Lane, Hemingfield and Smithy Lane, near Cortonwood, in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Road approvals confirm the design for road traffic safety, including barriers, road markings and signs.
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, working with South Yorkshire Police, has granted permission for the road safety scheme under the processes prescribed by The Office and Rail and Road regarding establishing Rail/Road Level Crossings. This critical legal approval means that the reopening of the heritage railway line from Elsecar to Cortonwood takes a major step forward. With the planning details for how road traffic will be managed at the two level crossings finalised and approved, Elsecar Heritage Railway can now move to the rail stage of the process.
Andy Earl, Chairman of Elsecar Heritage Railway says; “Gaining this critically important approval has been a long time coming and has involved a huge amount of very detailed work in traffic surveying, understanding traffic flows across the week, and within the day, and assessing the most appropriate traffic safety measures for the two Level Crossings. I am delighted and excited that with this approval we can now move forward to the next planning and approval stage and we see the opening of our extension move closer.”
At Tingle Bridge Lane a full automatic barrier crossing will be used, which will be operated by the train crew. Rail and road traffic will be separated by full road width barriers which will close automatically when a train is ready to cross the road. At Smithy Lane, a quieter road, crossing gates will be used which will be closed manually by the train crew.
With this road approval, the railway can now make application to The Office of Rail and Road for approval of the rail safety systems which will protect trains crossing the roads. These critical safety approvals take many hours of preparation and consideration, therefore it is not expected that next stage approval will be given for approximately one year.
This road crossing approval brings the whole railway (now effectively in three parts) closer to unification into a single two mile heritage line.
Notes to Editors:
Details of Office of Road and Rail safety approvals can be found here:
Details of Elsecar Heritage Railway’s Extension can be found here:
The history of the railway line between Elsecar and Cortonwood can be found here:
More details are available from Andy Earl: