Speedy maintenance on daily commute

This article was published in 2016, in Newsletter 125.

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I’d like to say thank you for some very quick maintenance work. I use the Milton Fen Road level crossing daily to join the Haling Way from Milton – it’s slower than other routes to the city centre but remarkably more pleasant. The route is well used, with people on cycles outnumbering drivers at least 2:1 as it is a dead end unless you’re on foot or a bike.

I’d noticed around Christmas time that after a train came through the crossing the gates were oddly slow at lifting again. If there’s another train coming the lights and sirens should become more frequent so that it is obvious that there really is another train coming. But that wasn’t happening and often the gates would eventually lift, nothing else having come through.

In early January, it seemed to be getting slower and slower to lift. One morning I’d had enough and, once I had got safely through, stopped and rang the signalman at the phone provided to report that there might be a problem. He was very helpful and put me through to a higher authority. The second person said it might be that the treadles were sticky. I said that, next time there was a maintenance gang in the area, could they look at them as it was still just about working but wasn’t ideal. Cycling home that evening, I had to wait for a train at the level crossing. The gates raised after the train in the manner they should do. Clearly someone had been despatched that day to sort out the problem. I’m impressed that it was fixed so quickly despite it at that time not being totally broken but just slow. I’ve no idea who to contact to say thank you for such a prompt resolution but at least I can put it here.

Heather Coleman