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Old August 11th, 2010, 05:44 PM   #441
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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.
Well, for most countries in Europe, and most years the number of passegners killed in train accidents is 0. And while rail journeys don't go as far as air journeys the number of train journey taken is a lot higher.
I'll have to get some hard statistics though.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 05:54 PM   #442
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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.
Cost effectiveness is not just about cost. It's also about results. Installing seat belts in trains will cost a non zero amount of money, but will probably save 0 human lives. That is very cost ineffective. Especially if you also factor in the cost caused by the extra inconvenience.

The same with installing ATC everywhere. The budget for such measures is not unlimited. So you have to weigh the investment against the potential results, and against the needs of other projects.
Also the large majority of people getting killed or injured in rail related accidents are not passengers. Most casualties occur in level crossing accidents. If you want to reduce the number of lives lost in a cost effective way you should push for grade separation. And you'll find me in agreement there.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 07:03 PM   #443
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If you want to reduce the number of lives lost in a cost effective way you should push for grade separation. And you'll find me in agreement there.
I'm all for grade separation and tunneling of urban rail stretches.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 08:12 PM   #444
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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.
It was you who set the measurement that high, I just apply the same on cars.
The risks for others by cars could be reduced very much by a few regulations. Most improvements in the past are mostly concerning the passengers themselves. (Seat belts, Airbags). Reduction of risks for others have mostly done by rules, but rules like speed limits are often not controlled enough that people actually follow.
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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
But they cause far more than 67% of deaths or heavy accidents.
I know that now risks can be cut down to zero. But I think we should invest our money where you can save as much people with it as possible.
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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.
I never said we should stop it.
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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.
The number of saved persons by adding seatbelts will be close to zero.
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Cars now have ABS, EGS, airbags. Seat belts were unheard of the the 50's, but now are ubiquitous.
Only seat-belts are mandatory of those. And air-planes only have two point seat-belts. And you don't have to wear them the whole flight.
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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.
It seems you know little about train technology. The limit in acceleration is not the passenger but the friction between steel and steel. And tilt trains couldn't go faster because the comfort would drop drastically even if seated.

On the other hand, a lot of buses still don't have seat-belts, it would be much more important to add seat-belts on all buses first.
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Are these measures (seat belts + full ATC in all rail lines) too stretched? Doesn't seem to.
Sear belts yes. Full ATC will be possible in the future. But then we should also think about the same for cars - the speed limit will be transmitted to the controller in the car from the one on the street, automatically setting the limit of the engine.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 08:43 PM   #445
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Death or injuries caused by trains on people that didn't used rail services are very minimal.
This is only true when you don't count level crossing collisions.


Seatbelts won't work since the risk that a train has an accident is very low, people will just not use them. Although it's something that people have to get used to in order to accept them. As for this train accident it could have saved one life, but since people in this train like to move around to have the best view they wouldn't be used anyway.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 09:50 PM   #446
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This is only true when you don't count level crossing collisions.
In Switzerland all level crossings will have barriers in the future. As long as you have a closed barrier a train can't cause an accident, but any person crossing over a closed barrier. Now with automatic barriers we can't have accidents like the one in 1986 in my town.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 09:39 AM   #447
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This is only true when you don't count level crossing collisions.
Indeed. But we were discussing risk exposure from the point of view of passengers. the vast majority of casualties in accidents involving railways do indeed involve non-passengers. However I'd like to note that someone being killed after being hit in his car on a railway crossing is a "automobile casualty" too.
This is why I think reducing the risk to the public posed by trains in general is a good idea. That means less level crossings, and good protection for those that remains. It means good underpasses and signalization in stations. This is a lot more cost effective when it comes to saving lives than reducing the already very low risk exposure of passengers.

Last edited by K_; August 13th, 2010 at 12:21 PM.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 02:56 AM   #448
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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.

Europe also has its fair share of very heavy trains and the USA has its share of light ones. In any case, somewhere in the middle is best for keeping passengers safe in collisions. Many newer Europeans intercity cars weight about 50 tons, the same as a North American train. Look at the new Russian SAPSAN which weighs 70 tons per car, more than the Acela. That's certainly not europes only heavy train either.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #449
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Europe also has its fair share of very heavy trains and the USA has its share of light ones. In any case, somewhere in the middle is best for keeping passengers safe in collisions. Many newer Europeans intercity cars weight about 50 tons, the same as a North American train. Look at the new Russian SAPSAN which weighs 70 tons per car, more than the Acela. That's certainly not europes only heavy train either.
Sapsan is probably the heaviest high speed train in Europe. But on a weight per seat (Sapsan: 1T) basis it is still a lot lighter dan Acela (1.9T). You have to look at total train weight. Sapsan has power distributed over the whole length of the train, where Acela has power cars (which at almost 100T aren't exactly light).
I don't know why Sapsan is that heavy. Normally in Europe high speed trains are relatively light. ICE-3 sets are about 50T per car. TGVs are even lighter. The TGV duplex is about 0.7T per seat...
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Old August 13th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #450
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Sapsan is probably the heaviest high speed train in Europe. But on a weight per seat (Sapsan: 1T) basis it is still a lot lighter dan Acela (1.9T). You have to look at total train weight. Sapsan has power distributed over the whole length of the train, where Acela has power cars (which at almost 100T aren't exactly light).
I don't know why Sapsan is that heavy. Normally in Europe high speed trains are relatively light. ICE-3 sets are about 50T per car. TGVs are even lighter. The TGV duplex is about 0.7T per seat...
Interesting to know... on average, trains weight more per seat than passenger cars (unless you are talking about stand-alone drivers using extended SUVs).
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Old August 14th, 2010, 04:13 AM   #451
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Sapsan is probably the heaviest high speed train in Europe. But on a weight per seat (Sapsan: 1T) basis it is still a lot lighter dan Acela (1.9T). You have to look at total train weight. Sapsan has power distributed over the whole length of the train, where Acela has power cars (which at almost 100T aren't exactly light).
I don't know why Sapsan is that heavy. Normally in Europe high speed trains are relatively light. ICE-3 sets are about 50T per car. TGVs are even lighter. The TGV duplex is about 0.7T per seat...

I know Sapsan is the heaviest, but there are loads of European EMU's that have car weights between 50 and 60 tonnes as well as many of the newer passenger coaches like this one in poland (link below) 50T - 54T as it says on the left. since it's measured in metric tonnes most american cars weigh about the same if not slightly less. Both american and european trains are heavy. Some double decker european cars are in the 70-90 ton range aswell.

http://www.vagonweb.cz/fotogalerie/P...nopuz-158A.php
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Old August 14th, 2010, 11:27 AM   #452
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I know Sapsan is the heaviest, but there are loads of European EMU's that have car weights between 50 and 60 tonnes as well as many of the newer passenger coaches like this one in poland (link below) 50T - 54T as it says on the left. since it's measured in metric tonnes most american cars weigh about the same if not slightly less. Both american and european trains are heavy. Some double decker european cars are in the 70-90 ton range aswell.
Can you give me an example? The Swiss IC2000 doubledeckers are around 45-48T each. The suburban doubledeckers are about 45T. A NMBS M6 is 50T. These are the values I find. 90T for a passenger vehicle in Europe? That I find unlikely as it would have to have 6 axles...
The Acela Express motor car is 100T, and the intertmediate cars are 60T. In Europe locomotives mostly weight around 80T. The Alp-64 weighs 90T, 10T more than it's European cousin. IC coaches rarely are heavier than 50T in Europe. 45T seems to be common. So the often heard statement that US strength requirements add about 10T to each vehicle seems to be confirmed by the figures.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 11:28 AM   #453
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Interesting to know... on average, trains weight more per seat than passenger cars (unless you are talking about stand-alone drivers using extended SUVs).
Indeed. But then a SUV doesn't have a bathroom you can just get up and walk to at 300kph...
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Old August 14th, 2010, 02:58 PM   #454
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There are different techniques that can be used to prove that trains are more dangerous than cars. One that emanated from a British right wing think tank some years ago was to take into account the time exposed to the risk.

It worked like this. Suppose there was a train service between two cities one hundred miles apart, which were linked by a rail service with an average start to stop speed of fifty miles per hour. Suppose also that for every million passenger miles travelled, there was one injury or fatality. Then, if you travelled on this train between the two cities, your chances of being killed or injured during your journey would be one million divided by one hundred i.e. one in ten thousand.

Suppose now that the rail service is upgraded and the average start to stop speed of the train is increased to one hundred miles per hour but the accident rate remains constant at one for every million passenger miles. Then your chance of being killed or injured during your journey remains at one in ten thousand.

However, if you look at the accident rate in any hour, the fast train is twice as dangerous as the slow train as the risk is one in ten thousand as opposed to one in twenty thousand (as the slow train takes two hours to make its journey).

This approach is entirely logical and is also quite justifiable when applied to train crews who will travel longer distances on faster trains but is completely misleading when applied to passengers.

The fact remains that trains are many times safer than cars and that the risk to anybody who is not a passenger, railway employee or trespasser is practically zero. In the case of road transport the risk to pedestrians is greater than it is to car drivers or passengers.

Level crossings are the only major interface between the non-rail user and the operational railway and, where accidents occur it is almost always the result of dangerous driving on the part of the motorist. In Britain, almost all level crossings are barriered and most accidents are caused by motorists slaloming around the half barriers.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 07:50 PM   #455
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Can you give me an example? The Swiss IC2000 doubledeckers are around 45-48T each. The suburban doubledeckers are about 45T. A NMBS M6 is 50T. These are the values I find. 90T for a passenger vehicle in Europe? That I find unlikely as it would have to have 6 axles...
The Acela Express motor car is 100T, and the intertmediate cars are 60T. In Europe locomotives mostly weight around 80T. The Alp-64 weighs 90T, 10T more than it's European cousin. IC coaches rarely are heavier than 50T in Europe. 45T seems to be common. So the often heard statement that US strength requirements add about 10T to each vehicle seems to be confirmed by the figures.

No, they only have four axles.. the double decker RENFE's max out at 86 tonnes per car, (74 Tonnes tare) plus I don't know the name of them but these new italian double deckers max out at 95 tonnes per car (78 tonnes tare weight) Pic below (Also used in Morroco)

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...w=1024&bih=605


Plus the new Italian ETR train weighs 58-62 tonnes per car. Plus many of the newer (not older) Intercity carriages are up in the 50 ton range for single levels rather than the old 38-42 ton range as they used to be.

The German Ice train also weighs 53-58 tonnes a car.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 08:05 PM   #456
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Single level coach

48-53T

http://www.vagonweb.cz/fotogalerie/A...Bmz-2190-5.php

These RENFE high speed trains weigh about 60 short tons per car

http://www.vagonweb.cz/fotogalerie/E/RENFE_104.php

PKP ICC 50-54 tonnes

http://www.vagonweb.cz/fotogalerie/P...nopuz-158A.php

Ukrainian railcar, 55 tonnes empty

http://www.vagonweb.cz/fotogalerie/UA/UZ_WLABm.php



I hope I do not have to post more pictures



Those Swiss double deckers are about as light as a double decker car could be without falling apart, One may really have to question the structual integrity in a crash.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 02:57 AM   #457
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Sorry I thought there would be the picture of the side of the car (where the weight is) right there but you can find it in that little group of you look. I can't copy and paste pics from this computer.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 06:21 AM   #458
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When trains are too light, things like this happen, that crunch at the front is not safe for the conductor... just wanna keep train riders safe, that's all

http://www.antennasud.com/sezioni/ne...iario-colposo/

However this was an older train, newer trains, even in europe can usually handle a collision like this.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 07:21 AM   #459
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Usually these accidents happen because road drivers enter the level crossing even when there is no space after it to clear the tracks. It is forbidden by law to do this, but it is a common practice
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Old August 16th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #460
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When trains are too light, things like this happen, that crunch at the front is not safe for the conductor... just wanna keep train riders safe, that's all
However this was an older train, newer trains, even in europe can usually handle a collision like this.
And the newer trains prove that you don't need to make a train heavier to make it survive a crash better. The new TSI norms require a "survival space" for the driver.
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