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Offline Zeno

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Black July
« on: July 25, 2013, 08:02:54 AM »
It seems this is a tragic summer for the rail tracks all around the world: first in Canada, then in France, now in Spain.

In Canada it was a crude oil train crash, provoking the loss of 47 (?) lives; then in France, south from Paris, a passenger train crash, where 6 lives were lost. Yesterday there was a huge accident in north west region of Spain (Santiago, Galicia), where a passenger train also crashed. As per now, at least 77 lives have been lost, and there are over 100 people injuried.

What's wrong in our (all over the world) tracks? Anyway, let's send a warm hug to all affected people and their families.

Offline gauthier

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Re: Black July
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2013, 11:44:19 AM »
Nothing wrong, accidents do occur ... randomly. Some years ago, there was a black summer for planes too.


Hug to them too  :-*

Offline ӔO

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Re: Black July
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2013, 03:46:00 PM »
at least two of those, canada and spain, seem like they were caused by driver error, but also because of cost saving measures.

For canada, there was only one driver for the train and no one else to check if the brakes were on when the train was parked.
For spain, it looks like the driver was going far too fast and there was no train protection system to prevent speeding.


My condolences to the families who have lost and best of luck to the survivors.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Black July
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 07:29:50 AM »
Human error is a tough thing to accept with these types of accidents because they ARE preventable (additional checks to ensure brakes are enabled, automated enforcement of speed limitations, sailing a cruise ship too close to shore to show off).  That train entered the curve far too fast... that's a fairly tight curve and thus its 80 km/h speed limit.  I know computers aren't perfect either but at least they follow the rules.

My heart goes out to everyone affected by these tragedies.

Offline Ters

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Re: Black July
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 02:42:15 PM »
I don't know the specifics in the latest case in Spain, even single news articles contradicts themself, but the tragic things with most accidents like this is that it usually isn't just one thing that failed. There are usually several safety proceedures or systems meant to prevent them, but all of them fail or are offline at the same time.

I know computers aren't perfect either but at least they follow the rules.

Doesn't help when it was humans that put the rules there. The failures just become more spectacular and pointless.

Offline Flemmbrav

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Re: Black July
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2013, 08:46:06 PM »
next accident,
this time it´s in switzerland,
two trains run frontal together, >40 injured persons
My condolences to all who are involved

sorry for bad english, this summer is too hot for mee

Offline ӔO

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Re: Black July
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 09:04:57 PM »
There was also an Italian tour bus that fell off a highway and left at least 38 dead.


I don't know the specifics in the latest case in Spain, even single news articles contradicts themself, but the tragic things with most accidents like this is that it usually isn't just one thing that failed. There are usually several safety proceedures or systems meant to prevent them, but all of them fail or are offline at the same time.

Doesn't help when it was humans that put the rules there. The failures just become more spectacular and pointless.

From the news, it seems that the driver liked to speed and brag about his risky endeavours.

Offline greenling

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Re: Black July
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 09:10:33 PM »
The Italian tour bus Was over 17 year old he was not technical ok he have not working breaks.
So said a new reporter in TV.

Offline Ters

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Re: Black July
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2013, 09:59:04 PM »
The media has time and again written lots of things in the wake of big disasters (or just in general). I don't pay attention to anything but the fact that an accident has happened and where. At times, I have been better at guessing the truth than they have been. I'll wait for the official reports.

Offline Markohs

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Re: Black July
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2013, 09:37:38 AM »
Well, in Spain the driver made a huge mistake, he was confused and thought he was driving on other rail track section. When he noticed he was entering a 80 km/h rail curve, he was running at 190 km/h, he didn't brake in time, he should have started braking 3km before. Human error.

 *BUT* What I find hard to understand is how all the media attention is going to the driver, the track should have automatic braking systems to prevent this error from happening. The train should have stopped itself even if the driver had suffered for example a heart attack or fainted. The problem it's not the train itself, it was the track contracter (ADIF and RENFE), that failed to implement convenient track safety. And our government is trying to focus all media attention on just the driver. It's acting in the same way our current government works, lying and dennying the evidence to we the citizens, and hoping the problems fade alone.

 I hate this happened to Talgo, being the excelent train manufaturer it is, and the chance of this stopping contracts it was making around the world (on USA, Saudi Arabia, Russia...). I hope this dosn't go against this company, that makes one of the safest and best trains in the world.

 I'm not an engineer, nor a train expert, but my guess is a japanese shinkansen, a german ICE or any passenger car whould maybe have derailed in that curve at that speed. It's 100 kmph overspeed.

From the news, it seems that the driver liked to speed and brag about his risky endeavours.

 Yes, he posted in his FB a photo of the speedometer at 220 kmph, and bragged, highly unprofessional. But well, I guess this is a bit out of context, who whoudn't be excited driving a train at that speeds, and maybe make a photo to show to friends. His error was ofc putting it in FB, that was just stupid.

 The driver did a huge mistake, I recently read he said he'd have prefered to die himself in the accident, he's quite smashed. He's just human, and he'll pay for his mistake, but don't make him a super-villian, please. We all make mistakes.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 09:59:57 AM by Markohs »

Offline Zeno

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Re: Black July
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2013, 09:59:58 AM »
Absolutely agree. Media and whoever on back of it (goverment of course, maybe also others) are trying to focus the citizens' attention on this guy, just to avoid being kicked their bums with all the stuff they didn't right. That's always the same story...

Offline Markohs

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Re: Black July
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2013, 10:05:50 AM »
I read somewere our past dictator franco said in the past something like:

"There are two kind of problems, problems that take some time to solve alone, and problems that not even time solves".

Looks like our president thinks the same. ;)

Offline Ters

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Re: Black July
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2013, 11:24:30 AM »
This isn't the only train driver that has posted his speedometer online. Others brag about the length of their trains. I don't see it as unprofessional in itself, but it depends on the wording in any acompanying text. Media chooses the most shocking way to present it of course.

Offline gauthier

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Re: Black July
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2013, 12:00:02 PM »
Absolutely agree. Media and whoever on back of it (goverment of course, maybe also others) are trying to focus the citizens' attention on this guy, just to avoid being kicked their bums with all the stuff they didn't right. That's always the same story...
+1
It's exactly the same in my country, whatever the party which is in the government.
At least, regarding the accident in France, SNCF (national train company) and its president took all the responsibility for this, avoiding the pathetic media's game of "Whose fault it is ?".

Offline ӔO

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Re: Black July
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2013, 04:19:56 PM »
yes, the media does like to turn its attention what gives them the most ratings.


User errors are preventable if the system is designed to prevent mistakes.
Unfortunately, such safety systems cost a lot of money to implement and, unfortunately, no one wants to pay for it.

Offline Markohs

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Re: Black July
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2013, 05:43:54 PM »
Unfortunately, such safety systems cost a lot of money to implement and, unfortunately, no one wants to pay for it.

 Well, most of the high-speed rail system (AVE) has ERTMS system implemented here in Spain, that makes those kind of accidents (almost) impossible, the accidented trainwas a fast train, but not part of the high speed train network.

 Yes, they cost lots of money, but last two spanish governments thought it was a good idea bringing high speed to the whole spanish provinces, even only 2 or 3 of those lines are sightly profitable (Madrid-Seville,Madrid-Barcelona, and Madrid-Valencia, in that order I think).  All the rest of lines are losing tons of money, and many have been already been removed, left to rot, more or less.

 Politicians...

Offline sdog

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Re: Black July
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2013, 05:50:42 PM »
*BUT* What I find hard to understand is how all the media attention is going to the driver, the track should have automatic braking systems to prevent this error from happening. The train should have stopped itself even if the driver had suffered for example a heart attack or fainted. The problem it's not the train itself, it was the track contracter (ADIF and RENFE), that failed to implement convenient track safety. And our government is trying to focus all media attention on just the driver. It's acting in the same way our current government works, lying and dennying the evidence to we the citizens, and hoping the problems fade alone.

Well, most of the high-speed rail system (AVE) has ERTMS system implemented here in Spain, that makes those kind of accidents (almost) impossible, the accidented trainwas a fast train, but not part of the high speed train network.

Having a safety system almost everywhere on a route is more dangerous than none at all. The accidents happen right at those interfaces. The operators rely on a system and are less concentrated. The safety being absent at one point is not something that can be easily overlooked.

Now there's a big show, where they present the operator like a lamb before a sacrifice.

Offline Ters

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Re: Black July
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2013, 06:25:19 PM »
It's easy to blame the driver when the driver is to blame. It's easy to avoid blame when you were not present at the time of the accident, or at all. That's also how politicians keep going, by keeping their distance from where the consequences of their actions are. Inaction seems also easier to get away with than action.

Hopefully the facts will be found. After 13 years, there is still a (less and less active) dispute as to whether a signal was red or green prior to a fatal accident here in Norway. Officially, it was red, but the driver's defenders insist it was temporarily green, likely due to a technical fault. Against protests, safty procedures had been scaled back a few years earlier. Previously, both driver and conductor had to check the signal, now only the driver had to. This was acceptable for ATC lines, but this line didn't have it.

Offline IgorEliezer br

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Re: Black July
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2013, 01:38:27 AM »
Speaking of accidents... Normally accidents, no matter how serious they might be, don't make me jawdrop since I know negligence and slouch are culturally "okay" in my country. It doesn't matter if we're talking about State or private owned companies (despite the largely accepted "fetish" that says private owned things are always better).

This one has just happened in Rio de Janeiro and did make me jawdrop: a water main busted in the city, made one kill and destroyed dozens of houses.



This is just stupid. Who's going to take the blame for it? Freaking moles?!

http://g1.globo.com/rio-de-janeiro/noticia/2013/07/adutora-se-rompe-e-alaga-casas-em-campo-grande-zona-oeste-do-rio.html (in Portuguese, where the pic came from)
http://g1.globo.com/rio-de-janeiro/fotos/2013/07/veja-os-estragos-provocados-pelo-rompimento-de-adutora-de-agua-no-rio.html (slideshow in Portuguese)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23510595 (in English)

EDIT: I haven't watched TV all day long... and don't feel like doing so since I do know all drama the media might be making out of it. Sick!

EDIT 2:

A pax train derailment 5 hours ago, in São Paulo. It seems the train was empty, no victims. :S

« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 02:09:22 AM by IgorEliezer »

Offline An_dz

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Re: Black July
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2013, 03:37:26 AM »
A pax train derailment 5 hours ago, in São Paulo. It seems the train was empty, no victims. :S
The problems with the trains in São Paulo are almost becoming normal. And the service is pricey.

I think the worst was at JMJ (WYD) in Rio, where the subway system got a blackout and the bus system stopped. We are prepared for FIFA World Cup next year. :facepalm:

This one has just happened in Rio de Janeiro and did make me jawdrop: a water main busted in the city, made one kill and destroyed dozens of houses.
The same thing always. The pipe was probably built thousands of years ago but never got any repair or inspection since then.

Offline el_slapper

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Re: Black July
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2013, 09:53:15 AM »
(.../...)
The same thing always. The pipe was probably built thousands of years ago but never got any repair or inspection since then.

An universal problem. It is politically more rewarding to build new things than to maintain old ones in working state. Here in France, there was a lot of noise against the government when it did decide to stop building high-speed trains, & focus on maintenance. Especially, local "barons", elected mayors & presidents of regions, were furious.

The accident of Bretigny, possibly linked to lack of track maintenance, gave the governement some air. But, soon, it will be forgotten, & lobbying in favor of more highspeed lines will come back, I fear.

Offline Ters

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Re: Black July
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2013, 10:26:15 AM »
We've solved that conflict by doing little of both maintenance or building of new lines. It's much better to use road transport anyway. Although there are more accidents on the roads, the impact of each is much less. We can apparently afford losing some lives as long as the goods keep flowing.

Offline Markohs

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Re: Black July
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2013, 10:35:35 AM »
Having a safety system almost everywhere on a route is more dangerous than none at all. The accidents happen right at those interfaces. The operators rely on a system and are less concentrated. The safety being absent at one point is not something that can be easily overlooked.

Now there's a big show, where they present the operator like a lamb before a sacrifice.

 Yep, I can understand what you say, but the problem is here they use two different types of track signaling, the ETRMS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Rail_Traffic_Management_System and ASFA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anuncio_de_Se%C3%B1ales_y_Frenado_Autom%C3%A1tico .

 The accident happened in a few km after the transition from ETRMS to ASFA, and it's clear in my oppinion that the ASFA signaled track section wa not doine properly, because according some professionals I've read they lacked a pre-signal to force the automatic brake of the train. To me it's clear the engineer that designed that curve did not do his work correctly, or maybe the politician that pressed him to open the track on time to show on the newspapers forced him to save the cost of the aprox 11.000 EUR that pre-signal whould have costed.

 Herre is a graphic (in spanish) that explains the situation more or less, and makes clear that curve must be braked MANUALLY.

http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2013/graficos/jul/s3/sistemas_de_senalizacion.html

EDIT: Just read in a real train fans forum, with many people that have worked in RENFE and around the world, there was already a "accident" in the past on that same curve, and a train accidentally took that section at 150 kmph, but that train managed to not derail, it was a S-130 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RENFE_Class_130 . So it's clear there is something clearly wrong in that curve signaling.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 11:10:43 AM by Markohs »

Offline Ters

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Re: Black July
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2013, 11:09:45 AM »
We had something similar in Norway fairly recently. During trials of the new FLIRT trains, a driver failed to slow down before a curve, derailed and hit a rock face. No fatalities, except the train itself (the speed was lower, since it was in Norway). It was also not on what I would call a main line, and also a line scheduled for major upgrading/replacement, hence not up to date with safety systems. The driver was perhaps also unfamiliar with the line, or perhaps just distracted with the testing going on. I don't think they bothered finding a scapegoat for that accident.

Offline Zeno

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Re: Black July
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2013, 11:13:26 AM »
We've solved that conflict by doing little of both maintenance or building of new lines. It's much better to use road transport anyway. Although there are more accidents on the roads, the impact of each is much less. We can apparently afford losing some lives as long as the goods keep flowing.
Although the mortality index is huge compared to trains or airplanes... but you said it right, the impact of *each* is much less. Crazy world.

Offline sdog

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Re: Black July
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2013, 03:41:22 PM »
Now factor in the higher mortality of population living in the area due to road trafics particle emissions.

People tend to be more afraid of unlikely specatcular things then things that are likely to happen to them. (except safety engineers and clinically depressed)