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Old July 15th, 2010, 03:01 PM   #421
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The Tracks were checked and they passed. Catenary was just checked a few weeks ago and its fine. Heres an Acela & Amtrak Regional in 120mph zone

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Old July 18th, 2010, 11:52 PM   #422
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My brain ache must be back coz I believed this thread hinged on safety but I see that (1) fencing's a rarity on the Acela's outback segments and (2) even the camera itself bounced around too much wedged right beside the track.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 09:03 AM   #423
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spending monwey in IDIOT PROOF protections is always better than spending it on psichological treatment for train drivers and massive dosis of industrial solvents to remove blood stains from EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can't make things idiot proof. Idiots are too ingenious.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 09:06 AM   #424
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Last time I was in the UK I saw on TV that a "dangerous guy" had trespassed into the railway ... trains in an area of about 100 miles werethen STOPPPPPED untill the prevaricator was identified and removed.
I was an an ECML train a few weeks ago that got delayed for half an hour because of trespassers. The train first had to crawl through several blocks, and then even stop for 15 minutes so the police could take a statement from the driver...
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 07:44 PM   #425
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Glacier Expess derails, 1 killed

GENEVA – Switzerland's popular Glacier Expess tourist train derailed Friday in the Alps, killing one person and injuring 42 others on its spectacular journey between Zermatt and St. Moritz.

Police said six of the injured were in serious condition and most of the passengers were Japanese tourists. Rescue workers were seen loading a few injured passengers onto medical helicopters to be flown out for treatment in Lausanne and Geneva. Police declined to identify the person who died.

Rail interruptions, let alone accidents, are rare in Switzerland. The Glacier Express — dubbed the "slowest express train in the world" — is known as much for its majestic mountain climbs as for its pedestrian 18 mph (30 kph) average speed.

Valais authorities said two of the train cars drove off the tracks and a third tipped over, but the cause of the accident wasn't immediately known. The three cars were at the back of the train and the derailment took place near the town of Fiesch and the mouth of the Aletsch glacier, Europe's largest icemass.

Rail traffic remained closed near the accident site Friday evening and local police were investigating.

The 80-year-old Glacier Express runs several times a day all year round, carrying some 250,000 passengers a year.

It starts in Zermatt, at the base of Switzerland's iconic Matterhorn mountain, and rumbles through terrain over a mile (1.6 kilometers) above sea level, surrounded by many of the highest Alpine peaks. After 7 1/2 hours, 291 bridges and 91 tunnels, it ends in St. Moritz — one of the world's ritziest winter resorts. Train cars have special large windows that sweep high onto the roof so tourists can take in the vast mountain vistas.

A celebration of Swiss engineering, the Glacier Express offers breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers, viaducts across rushing streams and switchback rail lines that sometimes go in full circles to spiral up or down the steepest slopes.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100723/...train_accident
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 08:26 PM   #426
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This is sad. I hope they found the causes of this accident and adjust safety/maintenance procedures accordingly.

Does Switzerland have an agency like the NSTB to investigate transportation accidents? (I'm not doubting they have the capabilities to do so, just asking whether is there a formal agency in charge of accidents investigation only).
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 09:43 PM   #427
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
This is sad. I hope they found the causes of this accident and adjust safety/maintenance procedures accordingly.

Does Switzerland have an agency like the NSTB to investigate transportation accidents? (I'm not doubting they have the capabilities to do so, just asking whether is there a formal agency in charge of accidents investigation only).
I wouldn't be sure but the NTSB has assisted in international investigations of transportation incidents.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 11:00 PM   #428
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Article about the accident on the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger site with many pictures:
http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/panorama...story/16873556







One of the possible causes is track deformation caused by a big drop in temperature over the last days.


This is actually the 2nd big accident on this line in short time, last November an avalanche hit a regional train on the Oberalppass causing the cars to drop 26 meters down the mountain. Luckily there were only a few people on the train, out of the 9 passengers only 2 had light injuries.
http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/panorama...story/26826246

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Old July 24th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
This is sad. I hope they found the causes of this accident and adjust safety/maintenance procedures accordingly.

Does Switzerland have an agency like the NSTB to investigate transportation accidents? (I'm not doubting they have the capabilities to do so, just asking whether is there a formal agency in charge of accidents investigation only).
They do:
http://www.uus.admin.ch/de/index.htm

And I'm sure they will investigate this to the bottom.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 11:16 PM   #430
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It turned out to be a human error, the driver accelerated to early. At the spot of the accident the maximum speed is 35 km/h (remember it's a meter gauge mountain railway) but train was going 56 km/h when the last cars derailed. It's supposed to speed up to 55 km/h on the more straighter part of the line after the bend the accident happened, but not here yet.

There's also some controversy about internal notice that says that drivers shouldn't slow down when they notice rail deformation to keep up with the tight timetable of the Glacier Express.

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/panorama...story/16284544
http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...story/30172402
http://www.tagesschau.sf.tv/Nachrich...gang=front_na1
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Old August 11th, 2010, 12:17 AM   #431
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That is why we need full ATC in all rail lines, so such carnage could be avoided in the future. Manual operations have no place in railways of 21st Century!
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Old August 11th, 2010, 08:43 AM   #432
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That is why we need full ATC in all rail lines, so such carnage could be avoided in the future. Manual operations have no place in railways of 21st Century!
I also propose a maximum speed of 20 kph for automobiles that are still driven by humans. The "carnage" on the roads has to end. Manually operated cars have no place in the 21st century.

Seriously now.
Avoiding accidents is important. But not at any cost. You have to look at the cost per life saved. The amount of money available to invest in safety measures is not unlimited, and there are a lot of projects imaginable where the cost per life saved would be a lot lower than equiping the MGB with full ATC.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 09:03 AM   #433
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That is why we need full ATC in all rail lines, so such carnage could be avoided in the future. Manual operations have no place in railways of 21st Century!
Same for cars.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #434
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That is why we need full ATC in all rail lines, so such carnage could be avoided in the future. Manual operations have no place in railways of 21st Century!
From reading some of your previous posts, I thought your position on rail safety was the American-style "reinforce all trains so that they can survive asteroid impacts(and weigh as much as an asteroid in the process)" rather than wasteful and expensive preventative measures such as ATC, in-cab signalling, etc.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 01:40 PM   #435
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From reading some of your previous posts, I thought your position on rail safety was the American-style "reinforce all trains so that they can survive asteroid impacts(and weigh as much as an asteroid in the process)" rather than wasteful and expensive preventative measures such as ATC, in-cab signalling, etc.
We need to take an approach that is 2-folded:

(1) avoid collisions/derailments first and foremost

(2) when collisions happen, make them survivable

This is how the airline industry acts. Air safety is designed to avoid crashes, but when they happen, they are becoming more survivable (from the early seat belts do floor lighted dots that show emergency exits to fire retardants mixed with fuel to change in materials cabins are fitted with).

For instance, they should make seat belt use compulsory on most trains, and design seats to avoid crushing passengers. They should start thinking about putting some kind of luggage bins overhead, or forbidding the carrying of heavy items above the heads.

Fortunately, electric trains (and in the future electric road vehicles) start with a huge safety advantage: they don't carry fuel and therefore are not prone to explosions and after-crash fires.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #436
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This is just ridiculous. Fortunately the rest of the world doesn't share your lunatic ideas.

First and furthermost we should get car travel to a similar safety level as train/air-planes.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #437
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
We need to take an approach that is 2-folded:

(1) avoid collisions/derailments first and foremost

(2) when collisions happen, make them survivable

This is how the airline industry acts. Air safety is designed to avoid crashes, but when they happen, they are becoming more survivable (from the early seat belts do floor lighted dots that show emergency exits to fire retardants mixed with fuel to change in materials cabins are fitted with).
The railway industry acts like that too. And with good results. Rail travel is very safe, several orders of magnitude safer than car travel, and also safer than airline travel in most countries.

Quote:
For instance, they should make seat belt use compulsory on most trains, and design seats to avoid crushing passengers. They should start thinking about putting some kind of luggage bins overhead, or forbidding the carrying of heavy items above the heads.
You really want to kill more people? Because that is what you are proposing to do.
Trains are so much safer than cars that the best way to save lives is not to make trains safer than they already are, but to get more people to use them. You don't do that by making the trains less convenient.
One tour operator in Switzerland reacted to the Glacier Express accident by transporting is't tour groups by coach in stead. That actually exposes his customers to a significantly higher risk.
When talking about railway safety one should not forget that:
- Trains are already extremely safe. Getting them even safer will in many cases cost huge amounts of money, and will have very small returns.
- Anything that makes train usage less convenient so that people switch to other modes costs lives.
- Accidents will always happen. We should not try to prevent every imaginable accident from happing, because whatever we do, something we didn't think of will happen anyway. It's important to have good emergency response systems in place. In the case of this accident the first helicopter was on scene within 10 minutes. In total 9 helicopters and few dozen ambulances responded. Investing in good emergency response systems is a lot better then trying to second guess what the next accident is going to be.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 02:32 PM   #438
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The railway industry acts like that too. And with good results. Rail travel is very safe, several orders of magnitude safer than car travel, and also safer than airline travel in most countries.
Rail safer than airline travel? I really don't think so, when you take 10-years date or so (to avoid impacts of specific accidents). I'm sure it is not safer if you measure "risk" by fatalities per distance per traveler, but if you consider fatalities per journey per traveler, than it might be the case, as rail journeys usually don't go further than a dozen km while flights can easily go up from 2.000 km.

If you consider quality-life hours lost due to injuries, rail appears as even less safe than air. Of course, for intrinsic reasons, road travel is far more dangerous (though mortality rates per kmXpax have been reduced more than 40% in the last decade). But the additional risk of road travel is like the price to pay for its unmatched mobility and role in our consumption-driven, individualistic society

Quote:
- Accidents will always happen. We should not try to prevent every imaginable accident from happing, because whatever we do, something we didn't think of will happen anyway. It's important to have good emergency response systems in place. In the case of this accident the first helicopter was on scene within 10 minutes. In total 9 helicopters and few dozen ambulances responded. Investing in good emergency response syste.
Both approaches are not mutually exclusive. Again, taking an example from air industry, you don't want airplanes to crash on the runway, but if they do, or if they make an emergency landing, you do want to have rapid response team in place within no more than 1 minute.

In any case, each new accident provides a clue about how to avoid the next one.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 03:56 PM   #439
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If you consider quality-life hours lost due to injuries, rail appears as even less safe than air. Of course, for intrinsic reasons, road travel is far more dangerous (though mortality rates per kmXpax have been reduced more than 40% in the last decade). But the additional risk of road travel is like the price to pay for its unmatched mobility and role in our consumption-driven, individualistic society
The main problem of car travel is the huge amount of victims that don't want or need this mobility.
Death or injuries caused by trains on people that didn't used rail services are very minimal. While cars - and to a certain degree air-planes - are a major thread of bystanders.

It's inacceptable that others have to take the risk for those that want to live up to the "mobility and role in our consumption-driven, individualistic society".
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Old August 11th, 2010, 05:26 PM   #440
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The main problem of car travel is the huge amount of victims that don't want or need this mobility.
Death or injuries caused by trains on people that didn't used rail services are very minimal. While cars - and to a certain degree air-planes - are a major thread of bystanders.

It's inacceptable that others have to take the risk for those that want to live up to the "mobility and role in our consumption-driven, individualistic society".
Well, it is hard to go down this line to extremes. It would easily go to minefields like "having 3 children in an overpopulated planet is morally wrong" or "electricity is so evil we should abandon it altogether to return to a natural life in touch with Nature and its own rhythms" or any other weirdness.

Some risks are just inherent of moder life - being hit by a car is one of the them -. In every developed "rich" country which is not a city-state cars account, AT LEAST, for 67% of traveled distance X people. In US, as we all know, it accounts for 89% of traveled distance and 95.2% of traveled distance on work-job commute

Not that I'm saying traffic deaths are acceptable, just that we can just think of stopping a mean of transportation because it is "dangerous", indeed, we improve them. Airplanes will keep falling and crashing from time to time, but we just keep flying. The fact someone decides never to put foot on a plane will not make him/her protected from a crashed airplane that falls straight into his house.

Same for cars and trains.

My whole point is that some safety systems and precautions are cost-effective and not-so-difficult to implement. How much would it cost to have seat-belts installed in all trains? I doubt it would cost much. How much would it cost to have ATC installed in all train lines? Not that much, if the program is rolled over some in 20 years.

Cars now have ABS, EGS, airbags. Seat belts were unheard of the the 50's, but now are ubiquitous.

If trains were equipped with seat belts, we could start thinking of increasing their acceleration assuming everyone is seated. Even titling trains would be able to "tilt" more provided passengers are required to remains seated and with seat belts fastened for the journey, for instance. Then when the train stops at a station, the sign would go off and they could then unfasten their seat belts.

Are these measures (seat belts + full ATC in all rail lines) too stretched? Doesn't seem to.
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