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Old February 24th, 2007, 02:29 AM   #1
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Tilting Pendolino Train Crashes in UK

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6391633.stm

One dead in Cumbria train crash

Services between Preston and Carlisle were suspended
A passenger has died and dozens have been injured after a train derailed and some of its carriages slid down an embankment in Cumbria.
Ambulance crews said three were in a critical condition in hospital.

Nine carriages were left on their side after the crash at Grayrigg near Kendal, with passengers saying some were left "stuck up in the air".

The Virgin train, the 1715 from London Euston due to arrive at Glasgow Central at 2154 GMT, crashed at 2015 GMT.

Neither Virgin nor Network Rail have yet been able to say what might have caused the crash.

RAF helicopters, police and fire crews have been sent to the scene of collision, between Oxenholme and Tebay in the Lake District.

The train had about 180 people on board, the fire service said.

A spokesman for the University Hospitals Of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust said there had been one fatality.

He said five passengers with severe injuries had been taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

The Royal Preston Hospital said 12 passengers had so far been airlifted in. It has three casualties described as being in a "critical condition", and one serious.

All but one of the train's carriages had totally come off the tracks, a Cumbria Ambulance Service spokeswoman said.

Passengers coming off the train were assessed on the scene and any minor injuries would be treated there if possible, she added.

One of the passengers, BBC executive Caroline Thomson, said the train "did a sort of bump - and I was thinking don't worry this fine - but then the swaying became very dramatic.

"It suddenly appeared to hit something and then lurched very, very badly from side to side in a very dramatic way. This a very scary experience."

The Pendolino tilting trains have been introduced by Virgin over the last three years and have a top speed of 145 mph.

Network Rail said the line speed for the area where the crash took place was about 95 mph.

Virgin services between Preston and Carlisle have been suspended until further notice and alternative arrangements for customers, using road vehicles, are being made.

All Scotrail sleeper services to London have also been cancelled, with passengers being transferred to coach services.

Another passenger on the train, Ruth Colton, said: "I was just reading a book and it started to get really bumpy like we were being battered by heavy winds or something and then suddenly the carriage flipped over.

"We all had to climb out the top of one of ours... There's some carriages stuck up in the air and some are just lying on their side".

People worried about friends or relatives on the train are asked to ring a British Transport Police family liaison centre on 0800 40 50 40.

Passengers, meanwhile, are being advised to ring National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 before starting journeys.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 04:14 AM   #2
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amazing that only one woman died.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 10:51 AM   #3
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CRH (China Railway High-speed) will be paying attention to this...they just received a batch of Pendolinos for some high-speed lines.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 11:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superchan7 View Post
CRH (China Railway High-speed) will be paying attention to this...they just received a batch of Pendolinos for some high-speed lines.
There was nowt wrong with the train, the train saved peoples lives because it includes many safety features and the fact it was built to be strong and not to breakup. If it had been an older train some of them cars might be snapped in half. They reckon it was a set of faulty points so any train that went over them could have come off the tracks and not just the Pendolino. I don't think China have much to worry about.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 12:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysimo123 View Post
There was nowt wrong with the train, the train saved peoples lives because it includes many safety features and the fact it was built to be strong and not to breakup. If it had been an older train some of them cars might be snapped in half. They reckon it was a set of faulty points so any train that went over them could have come off the tracks and not just the Pendolino. I don't think China have much to worry about.
There's a certain irony that whilst a lot of people in the UK would like to see trains run again by the government, in this particular instance the choices and business decisions made by Virgin i.e. choosing Pendolinos, saved people's lives against what seems to be an error of the state on maintaining the tracks...
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Old February 25th, 2007, 12:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarflonlad View Post
There's a certain irony that whilst a lot of people in the UK would like to see trains run again by the government, in this particular instance the choices and business decisions made by Virgin i.e. choosing Pendolinos, saved people's lives against what seems to be an error of the state on maintaining the tracks...
Yep, it looks like Network Rail could be in alot of trouble.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 01:15 PM   #7
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Apparently not even a window smashed on the carrriages, they are insanely well-engineered by the look of it. Sad about the loss of a life, but in many ways the way that only one person died is fantastic considering how the carriages were tossed about. Older carriages would have crumpled and sheared, and we'd be looking at dozens dead.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 01:20 PM   #8
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Some images...







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Old February 25th, 2007, 01:43 PM   #9
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Full marks to Virgin, those Pendolinos are excellent. With most other trains we'd be looking at photos of carrages in pieces and twisted metal. The passenger compartments of all those carrages are in one piece. Amazing. Network rail are arseholes though. I'm not sure if I would support the re-nationalisation of the railways if given the option, I don't think the government would be any better at running them than anyone else. I'd rather Virgin run them to be honest.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 01:52 PM   #10
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Full marks to Virgin, those Pendolinos are excellent. With most other trains we'd be looking at photos of carrages in pieces and twisted metal. The passenger compartments of all those carrages are in one piece. Amazing. Network rail are arseholes though. I'm not sure if I would support the re-nationalisation of the railways if given the option, I don't think the government would be any better at running them than anyone else. I'd rather Virgin run them to be honest.
I agree. Its lunacy the way two different bodies are responsible for running / maintaining trains and track. I too think fully nationalised railways would be prone to accidents, industrial strife and poor service... The answer for me is to hand the entire section of railway over to a company like Virgin, that is trains, tracks, signals and stations. I'd bet anything that if Branson was responsible for the maintenance of that set of points they'd be checked and rechecked daily... this wouldn't have happened simply because he would be accountable for the negligence and it would be too damaging to his business.

As it stands, he'll come out of this rightly saying "It wasn't my fault", the inquiry will point the finger at a bunch of sub-sub-sub contractors to Network Rail, they'll lose their contract, and that will be that. The negligent contractors will move to other contracts with other companies, and nothing will ever really change. Perhaps a lowly site manager might be hung out to dry, but until the chairmen of these contract firms end up in the dock for manslaughter then nobody within them will really give shit as long as they're reporting profits to their shareholders.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 03:20 PM   #11
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Some images...







Scary....
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Old February 25th, 2007, 04:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubeman View Post
I agree. Its lunacy the way two different bodies are responsible for running / maintaining trains and track. I too think fully nationalised railways would be prone to accidents, industrial strife and poor service... The answer for me is to hand the entire section of railway over to a company like Virgin, that is trains, tracks, signals and stations.
I agree completely. I used to think that the reason why we had so many problems with our railways was because they were privatised. I then found out when I went to Japan that most of their railways (except JR) are also privatised. If privatisation is to blame for the problems with Britain's railways, then why is it that Japan's railways, which are also largely private, are some of the safest, fastest and most efficient in the world. I looked into this and it seems that the reason is (at least partly) what you say above. Whole lines in Japan are privatised; that means trains, tracks, signals, stations (or areas of stations), the works. If something goes wrong with a line in Japan, there's no question about who's to blame. In addition, the different line operators are directly competing with each other on price, efficiancy, speed etc., their profits depend upon it. Ok, now there may also be cultural factors in Japan as well; cultures of efficiency, dedication to excellence, responsibility to passengers etc., something I wish we had more of. In addition, the national owned railways - JR, also directly compete with the private lines and therefore they have to operate efficiently as well, I think the only way in which JR have a monopoly is with the Shinkansen, which is excellent. It seems like most of their other lines are open to direct competition from private lines.

The difference between privatised Japanese railways and semi-privatised British railways couldn't be more significant. There's absolutely no incentive for Network Rail to be as efficient as JR because it's not open to competition and isn't going to lose profits and private operators only have contracts to run trains on publically owned tracks, therefore if something goes wrong blame gets shifted about and ultimately noone is held responsible. They have little incentive to improve service, invest in new rolling stock etc. Even when there are good operators who invest in new stock (ie. Virgin with the Voyagers and Pendolinos), Network Rail doesn't uphold it's end of the agreement and provide them with infrastructure that is capable of making use of the new rolling stock (if I remember correctly, the deal was that Virgin would invest in the Pendolinos which can run up to 140mph and Network Rail would upgrade the lines to be able to run them at 140mph by the time the new trains were brought into service. Virgin honoured the deal and now we have some very good trains, Network Rail didn't honour the deal and those great new trains are restricted to just 95mph and have to run on terrible tracks that aren't even electrified north of Carlisle).

I no longer blanketly blame privatisation for the state of our railways, instead I blame the fact that everything here is half arsed, the fact that we never do anything PROPERLY.

Rant over!
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Old February 25th, 2007, 09:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysimo123 View Post
There was nowt wrong with the train, the train saved peoples lives because it includes many safety features and the fact it was built to be strong and not to breakup. If it had been an older train some of them cars might be snapped in half. They reckon it was a set of faulty points so any train that went over them could have come off the tracks and not just the Pendolino. I don't think China have much to worry about.
I'm not saying the train is to blame; I'm just stating an obvious implication.

I'm not too familiar with this train type; what makes it so "strong" as Sir Branson claims and as implied with these pictures?
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Old February 25th, 2007, 11:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superchan7 View Post
I'm not saying the train is to blame; I'm just stating an obvious implication.

I'm not too familiar with this train type; what makes it so "strong" as Sir Branson claims and as implied with these pictures?
Am guessing the engineers who built them will have used stronger materials and also designed a stronger overall structure.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 03:39 AM   #15
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The Pendolino, designed as a low-maintenance high-speed train

PARIS, Feb 24, 2007 (AFP) - The train that derailed in Britain late Friday, killing one person and injuring five others, was a high-speed "Pendolino" model constructed by Alstom and operated by Virgin Trains.

The name is derived from the Italian word for pendulum and the train leans over to handle curves at high speeds to counteract the centrifugal effect of going round a corner, just like a motorbike.

The system allows for speeds of up to 35 percent higher than standard trains on railroad lines that only have to be slightly modified, according to Alstom.

To adapt standard rail lines to a tilting train, curved rails are given inclined planes and railway cars must be adapted.

When the train approaches a curve, a computer sends a command for it to lean over into the corner anywhere from four to eight degrees.

The most recent Pendolino trains have a maximum speed of 250 kilometres per hour. The latest version of France's TGV high-speed train is set to have an average speed of 320 kilometres per hour.

Though the decrease in travel time is less than with the TGV, the costs are also lower. The TGV requires new tracks that do not turn or require the train to slow down, often leading to expensive changes to infrastructure.

Alstom Ferroviaria, the world's leading manufacturer of high-speed trains based on tilting technology, became part of Alstom in 2000 following its purchase from Fiat.

Pendolino trains are manufactured at Alstom sites in Savigliano in Piedmont, Italy, and in Sesto San Giovanni, near Milan. The Pendolino was first put in service in Italy in 1988.

Companies such as Bombardier and Siemens also manufacture tilting trains.

Besides Italy and Britain, the trains also operate in Germany, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, the United States, Finland and Sweden.

Alstom's Pendolino train in the Czech Republic had several problems in 2006 following software issues.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 03:40 AM   #16
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A list of past train and subway crashes in Britain
By The Associated Press
23 February 2007

A list of some serious train accidents in Britain in recent years.

-- May 10, 2002: An express train derails at Potters Bar station, north of London, killing seven people and injuring 70.

-- Oct. 17, 2000: Four people die when an express train derails because of broken track near Hatfield, north of London.

-- Oct. 5, 1999: Two subway trains packed with commuters collide during rush hour at Ladbroke Grove, London, killing 31 people and injuring about 400 as carriages tumble off the tracks and burst into flames.

-- Sept. 19, 1997: A passenger train collides with a freight train at Southall station in west London, killing seven people and injuring about 150.

-- Dec. 12, 1988: Three subway trains crash during morning rush hour at Clapham Junction, south London, killing 35 people.

-- Feb. 28, 1975: A subway train crashes in a dead-end tunnel at Moorgate station in central London, killing 43 and injuring 74.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 08:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
A list of past train and subway crashes in Britain
By The Associated Press
23 February 2007

A list of some serious train accidents in Britain in recent years.

-- May 10, 2002: An express train derails at Potters Bar station, north of London, killing seven people and injuring 70.

-- Oct. 17, 2000: Four people die when an express train derails because of broken track near Hatfield, north of London.

-- Oct. 5, 1999: Two subway trains packed with commuters collide during rush hour at Ladbroke Grove, London, killing 31 people and injuring about 400 as carriages tumble off the tracks and burst into flames.

-- Sept. 19, 1997: A passenger train collides with a freight train at Southall station in west London, killing seven people and injuring about 150.

-- Dec. 12, 1988: Three subway trains crash during morning rush hour at Clapham Junction, south London, killing 35 people.

-- Feb. 28, 1975: A subway train crashes in a dead-end tunnel at Moorgate station in central London, killing 43 and injuring 74.

Slightly bizarre interpretation of what a 'subway' train is!!!

Ladbroke Grove was a HST crashing into a commuter service at 100mph, and Clapham Junction was a 3-train crash of commuter trains.

Strange not to include crashes as Great Heck (2001, 10 dead) and Ufton Nervet (2004, 7 dead)... Presumably because they were due to vehicles obstructing the track as opposed to industry negligence.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 09:01 AM   #18
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I'm not too familiar with this train type; what makes it so "strong" as Sir Branson claims and as implied with these pictures?
It said on the news (so this is prone to media inaccuracy) that each car is made from a single piece of extruded aluminium 'like a racecar' and the windows are laminated, plus there is a crumple zone to protect the driver during a collision.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 09:03 AM   #19
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I agree completely... ...Rant over!
I agree with your rant

You highlight a fundamental difference between our cultures which sadly means we'll probably never see the efficiency of Japanese railways here.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 04:10 PM   #20
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Victoria has recently introduced "fast regional rail". Not quite as fast as that.

In Victoria, in the last week, there've been 14 deaths ... from transport accidents. Population: about five million.

All on the road.
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