Just found an unusual Level Crossing setup, well I mean I've never seen this before.
It's a level crossing with no lights, but has full barriers and yodel alarm.
Have a looksy at Blakeston Lane at http://bit.ly/Rq2HGU
A few more - although Glen rightly identifies that most
similar crossings are located adjacent to their controlling signal boxes, there are one or two examples that are a fair distance from the box:Ashwell Gatehouse MCBR
, controlled from Ashwell SB (just visible along the line to the left), and Gringley Road RC
, controlled from Thrumpton SB around the curve to the left (from where I don't think it's possible to see the crossing). Certainly in the former case (and I suspect Gringley Road will be similar), the barriers are raised on request then (usually) lower automatically after a short period - both are fitted with emergency plungers in case a vehicle does become trapped. Not sure whether there's any significance in the difference between the MCBR and RC designations. Interestingly, Ashwell Gatehouse is in the block section between Langham and Ashwell on the Down line, so its protecting signal is at Langham SB.
Simplistically the signalman just had to look for a gap in the traffic. Gates then were invariably swung from the side (where they had closed off the railway) rather than lowered from above. The old big wheel mechanism up in the signalbox (and for which you needed good muscles), when turned, would close by under-road cable the half-gates on the two approach sides first, when those were fully closed continuing to turn the wheel closed those over the other half of the road. When they were opened again the reverse applied.
At most wheel-worked crossings, all four gates would swing (approximately!) simultaneously. I've only ever come across two exceptions, though I'm sure there will have been more. At Firsby
(closed long before my time!), the wheel would be wound fully in one direction to close one of the gates across the Skegness branch platform (the left hand set in the photo) and a pair of gates over the main lines (to the right). A lever would then be operated, before the wheel would be wound halfway back to close the remaining gates. Stow Park
is another unusual example, with just a pair of large wheel-worked gates that operate simultaneously - the angle of the crossing means that the gates don't conflict at the midpoint of their travel as they usually would!