Close proximity to fast trains

using a crane on a railway platformThis photo is of me at Berkhamsted station using the crane provided to install a single monitor bracket to the steel pole which has been reduced in height, note that we are very close to the track and 25KV overhead cables.

The pole has been reduced to just over two metres from the original three and the cables have been threaded through the pole from underground.

Holes have been drilled at bottom left and right for the duct grade heavy duty cables to exit the bracket, waterproof boxes needed to be fixed over the holes and normal 5mm diameter CCTV cables run through the frame for the monitor housing which would be hung from the top bar.

We were so close to the overhead cables that you could feel the hairs on your body stand on end, if you put your bare arm parallel to the post, you could feel a tingling sensation from every hair follicle and hear a humming sound.

When the hairs were a millimetre away, small sparks jumped the gap. And a buzzing sound has heard.

It was still unnerving when fast trains passed by, but the trestles were pretty solid when you were on them and the crane did not move.

The arrangement to have the crane collected and transferred from station to station worked, after a fashion. Padlocks with the same keys had been used to chain and lock the brackets as they were delivered to each station, the same padlocks and chains would be used to lock the crane and bracket until our arrival, however, the crane and brackets were often left in the car park where a vehicle had easy access.

Sod’s law dictated this was always at the wrong end of the station and on the wrong platform, hence we had to lug everything either down the steps and through a tunnel, or up the steps and over the bridge, with the public surrounding us as we went.

Everyone knows you do not cross the yellow line on the platform, except to board a stationary train, with good reason.

However the location of everything we had to work on, meant we had to ignore this rule.