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2 hours ago, Southernman46 said:

RIMINI

Railway Infrastructure Maintenance Is Now Impossible.

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6 minutes ago, TheSignalEngineer said:

Railway Infrastructure Maintenance Is Now Impossible.

 

What does SSOWPs stand for then :wink_mini:

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12 hours ago, jim.snowdon said:

After all, the train was not, by itself, responsible for the events.

 

Jim

Thats not definitive yet.

we don't know the full story.

sadly someone has to watch the onboard video.

 

However there has been historical precedence.. green train minimal yellow against a green back ground, quieter than predeccessors, faster than predecessors... 1960’s ?

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2 hours ago, TheSignalEngineer said:

Railway Infrastructure Maintenance Is Now Impossible.

 

First thing that went through my mind when I read the acronym in the post.

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5 hours ago, Southernman46 said:

Following my post above - I've had a good think and have produced the below as a war story to add some colour - the times when ........................................

 

1) 1981 - Being on the other end of a long steel bar which my fellow apprentice tucked under a train to maneuverer it around the corner of the training school en route to the store - Colleague's error

 

Reminds me of one of our re-railing gangers, he was using a heel bar through a bolt hole to turn up 60'-0" plant rails so they could be picked up by a Stumec wagon. When one of the rails rolled over, the bar flew round with it and the heel end of the bar cut open the crotch of his jeans like it was a razor blade. It also cut open the crotch of his underpants like it was a razor blade. But did not leave a mark on him, I have never seen someone so happy at work before or since.

 

That this sort of thing can happen is one of the two reasons you should never turn up rails with a bar through a bolthole. The other is that particularly if you are using a hexagonal bar you can mark the inside of the hole, causing a stress raising knick which may lead to a star crack type failure of the rail end.

 

As a follow on from this incident it was asked OK if you are not allowed to turn rail with a bar through a bolthole how do you do it?

 

For flat bottom rail the answer is that there are special turning up bars that lightly  grip on the head and foot, but these don't fit Bull head.

So muggins got the job of ringing round all the PW Section Supervisors to ask how they were turning up bullhead rails and they all without exception said "We used to do it with a bar through a bolthole, but that is not allowed anymore." Before pausing and suggesting some unlikely other way of doing it that would be slow and need numbers of men they did not usually have on site.

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2 hours ago, adb968008 said:

Thats not definitive yet.

we don't know the full story.

sadly someone has to watch the onboard video.

 

However there has been historical precedence.. green train minimal yellow against a green back ground, quieter than predeccessors, faster than predecessors... 1960’s ?

...plus high intensity headlight(s). However, the comment was in the context of why it, and its passengers, needed to be kept there for three hours, and the line closed for considerably longer than that. Yes, the debris needs to be collected up and the train's forward facing camera footage preserved, but three hours keeping the passengers cooped up on board is a long time. Would it have damaged any evidence to have got the train moved to at least the next station and the passengers got on their way?

 

Jim

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2 minutes ago, jim.snowdon said:

...plus high intensity headlight(s). However, the comment was in the context of why it, and its passengers, needed to be kept there for three hours, and the line closed for considerably longer than that. Yes, the debris needs to be collected up and the train's forward facing camera footage preserved, but three hours keeping the passengers cooped up on board is a long time. Would it have damaged any evidence to have got the train moved to at least the next station and the passengers got on their way?

 

Jim

The next station would have been Bridgend, and getting there would have involved driving across the site of the incident. I think most on here would find that more than a little distasteful.

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That rather depends on where the train came to a stand relative to the point of impact, and that, we do not know (and will not know until the report comes out in the fullness of time).

 

But, whilst everyone's attention is on the unfortunate souls who were hit, we should not forget to consider the welfare of the greater number stuck on the train, who should not be kept there for longer than is absolutely necessary.

 

Jim

 

 

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8 minutes ago, jim.snowdon said:

three hours keeping the passengers cooped up on board is a long time. Would it have damaged any evidence to have got the train moved to at least the next station and the passengers got on their way?

 

Not with the affected crew surely? Presumably you need a replacement driver with route knowledge? How long would that take and from how far away?

 

The interviews with passengers on the news all said they didn't mind the delay once they knew the circumstances.

 

Martin.

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Posted (edited)

I must admit 3 hours sounds a long time, Ive known incidents elsewhere take 1.5-2 hours. But then how do you exit the train... walk a few miles to the next station, await a replacement train with ladders ? Await organised buses, Its not that instant... first up appropriate authorities have to arrive and understand the situation before agreeing what to do... The location wasnt exactly city centre.

 

The driver must have been in a bit of shock, having to wait for help to arrive.. his minutes were and probably still are feeling like hours.

 

having been on board trains involving fatal incidents by rail more than once, at that point of reality your mind wanders elsewhere, than just sitting looking at your watch huffing. Ive never seen anyone complain in those situations, its usually those further up the line who hear the words but haven't experienced the close mortality of it that make most noise.

 

Not moving the train makes sense, remember we don't know why the accident happened, whilst the obvious is easy to fingerpoint, what makes our railways so safe is the full investigations that often uncover seemingly non-contributory events that if additionally addressed offer greater safety in the future by preventing others accidents beyond  the obvious conclusions.

 

Edited by adb968008
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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, jim.snowdon said:

That rather depends on where the train came to a stand relative to the point of impact, and that, we do not know (and will not know until the report comes out in the fullness of time).

 

But, whilst everyone's attention is on the unfortunate souls who were hit, we should not forget to consider the welfare of the greater number stuck on the train, who should not be kept there for longer than is absolutely necessary.

 

Jim

 

 

 

The train was not damaged - the air con and toilets were still functioning and being an IET there would have been refreshments of some sort on board. As such there was zero risk to the passengers staying on board the train for an extended interval - particularly as most apparently were very understanding of the situation.

 

Very different from a situation where a train ha no power / facilities / cooling / heating where removing the passengers would become something of a higher priority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by phil-b259
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Shuddersome though it is to think of, I can think of at least one fairly compelling reason why you might not want to move a train that's hit a human being until the emergency services/investigating authorities/clean up crew have finished their work. 

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7 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

 

The train was not damaged - the air con and toilets were still functioning and being an IET there would have been refreshments of some sort on board. As such there was zero risk to the passengers staying on board the train for an extended interval - particularly as most apparently were very understanding of the situation.

 

Very different from a situation where a train ha no power / facilities / cooling / heating where removing the passengers would become something of a higher priority.

 

IET & refreshments in the same sentence, thats a very big stretch of imagination... the vending machine at your average station is stocked with a larger and more sustinenic range.

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11 hours ago, jim.snowdon said:

...plus high intensity headlight(s). However, the comment was in the context of why it, and its passengers, needed to be kept there for three hours, and the line closed for considerably longer than that. Yes, the debris needs to be collected up and the train's forward facing camera footage preserved, but three hours keeping the passengers cooped up on board is a long time. Would it have damaged any evidence to have got the train moved to at least the next station and the passengers got on their way?

 

Jim

 

A number of factors, some already mentioned, would have affected when and whether the train could have gone forward to the next station, or alternatively the passengers detrain at site for road transport.

 

To move the train;

Competent Driver required, and transport to site.

Confirmation that train was undamaged and fit to move.

Confirmation that no remains were under train (would the Hitachi instruction referred to previously have affected examining the underside of the train ?)

Confirmation that no remains on the train were visible to the public at stations or elsewhere.

Release of the train by the Police.

Release of the train by RAIB.

 

To detrain the passengers;

Is the location suitable and safe for detraining ?

Can road transport access the location within a reasonable distance ?

Can passengers access road transport without passing or disturbing the scene of the incident ?

Sufficient road transport must be on site (for 180 people) before anyone can be detrained.

 

The line certainly was closed for much longer than normal for a fatality, however given the nature of this dreadful incident, ie staff who were trained, competent and authorised to be on the track, it was essential to carry out a full investigation into the circumstances.

 

 

 

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On 04/07/2019 at 08:28, jim.snowdon said:

we should not forget, either, the 180-odd people who were left stranded on that train for around three hours, or the line being closed for much longer than that, presumably at the behest of the BTP for reasons that appear inexplicable. After all, the train was not, by itself, responsible for the events.

 

I wonder if that was related to any requirement to obtain Hitachi personnel to administer safety procedures on the train?

 

The Nim.

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11 hours ago, jim.snowdon said:

That rather depends on where the train came to a stand relative to the point of impact, and that, we do not know (and will not know until the report comes out in the fullness of time).

 

But, whilst everyone's attention is on the unfortunate souls who were hit, we should not forget to consider the welfare of the greater number stuck on the train, who should not be kept there for longer than is absolutely necessary.

 

Jim

 

 

The place where it stopped in relation to the impact is an interesting point and has puzzled me although there the train is accelerating away from a station stop so wouldn't have been going all that fast so could perhaps have stopped in a short distance.

 

This sort of situation is always a very awkward one but I do hope in this case that time was not wasted waiting for 'somebody from Hitachi' to get to site and declare that whatever needed to be done under their train could be done and the trains could be moved.  Speaking, unfortunately, from experience these situations are stressful enough, particularly when staff fatalities are involved and to have passengers sitting there adds a whole other level of stress and worry for a potentially large group of people who aren't really involved.   Thus I can thoroughly understand Jim's point about the passengers and while they were not the only people who had to be thought about there should, in my view, have been something done to more quickly clear them, and therefore the train, from site.

 

However we don't know the detail and there does appear to be pointwork under that train which could well have added complications to dealing with the incident.  But overall I hope that the RAIB will also address in their report the impact on the passengers of being held at the site for so long and the reasons for it.  Definitely an unusual length of time for such an incident in my experience. 

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Lets wait for the dust to settle before we all start to become accident investigators and micro manage procedures that we don't know the full truth of. Having been in a incident that was reported many years ago I know too well the crap and miss information that starts (adb968008 may remember).

 

All we should comment on is our feelings towards the families at this time.

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Posted (edited)

I think Caradoc has the basics of the situation.  Before the train can be moved from the spot it came to a stand, it must be ascertained that there is no damage to equipment beneath it, and that the remains have been removed.  This must be done in poor light and in limited space and in circumstances where one is already highly stressed by the nature of the event; remember we are talking about working beneath vehicles designed to be worked on over lit inspection pits.  Remains may have got into places not easily accessed, and have to be removed from positions where they foul moving parts; the inspection is a most unpleasant task, but must be done by a qualified C & W inspector familiar with the stock, who presumably had to be brought in from Swansea or Stoke Gifford.  The location is away from approach roads and must be accessed by walking along the railway for several hundred yards.  

 

A per way inspector needs to examine the points under the train before it can be moved over them as well, for similar reasons.  One of the BBC online reports stated that there were no injuries to passengers aboard the crashed (sic) train; the truth is that it is most probable that the 'crashed' train sustained no damage at all and neither did the track, but would you want to sit in it on the run to Bridgend without someone competent to make the judgement's say so?  I wouldn't.  3 hours sounds not unreasonable when this sort of thing is taken into consideration.  Plus the Transport Police have jurisdiction once a crime scene has been declared and roped off; nobody can move until they are satisfied that all evidence has been recorded and collected.

 

We are about a mile east of Port Talbot Station, and the train would presumably have been accelerating from the stop to the line speed of 90mph before the start of the climb to Stormy Down at Margam Moors, another mile or so away.  I'd expect the speed to have been in the order of 50-60mph before the driver shut off and applied the brakes.  I've had a few anxious moments in cabs myself when staff on the ground don't seem to be reacting or taking avoiding action quickly enough, and seen some near misses.  The men would have been wearing hi-viz, but shimmer from the rails on a hot day may have prevented the driver's realising they were there at long range.  

 

The train's engines remained running and airco working, toilets were fully functioning, and cool and hot drinks were available; passenger welfare on the train seems not to have been an issue and the BBC reports contain passengers' comments praising the way the railway staff cared for them.  They also mention drawing the blinds to prevent a group of schoolchildren seeing the accident site, which suggests to me that the rear of the train at least came to a stand over it after an emergency brake application, and the BBC photos support this.

Edited by The Johnster
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A typical railway fatality involves a trespasser, so once the police are satisfied there are no suspicious circumstances then how long it takes to move the train is entirely within the railway's control. 

However, a workplace fatality is always going to involve the possibility of prosecuting someone so it remains a crime scene for much longer. Even with all the arrangements made - crew relieved, damage fixed etc, you still can't move until the police tell you you can. 

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16 minutes ago, Wheatley said:

Even with all the arrangements made - crew relieved, damage fixed etc, you still can't move until the police tell you you can. 

And therein lies the rub. Still, we will have to wait for the report from RAIB to know any more.

 

Jim

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41 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

the truth is that it is most probable that the 'crashed' train sustained no damage at all and neither did the track

 

It's been reported that the track workers were wearing ear defenders. If true it's possible they were using some significant piece of equipment, which could have damaged the train or the track.

 

Martin.

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Good point; something like a pneumatic drill could do a good bit of damage flying around under a train.  None of the passengers reported hearing any noise or feeling any knocks, initially thinking the train had stopped in the normal course of events, but, again, you’d want to be sure that it wasn’t fouling anything before you moved the train.  

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The train wasn’t  moved until late on as that’s when BTP / RAIB handed it back and authorised it to move. The ECS then went straight back to North Pole.

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Very saddened by this.

i still feel safer walking along the cess than the odd time I’ve had to wait for recovery beside my car on a dual carriageway .

thankfully I very rarely have to either cross lines or work in the 4 foot

 

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