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Old August 4th, 2014, 01:09 PM   #2321
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
The main benefit of TPS is not really that it stops trains when a red signal is
passed. It's much more the fact that the deceleration of the train is
controlled when a signal is passed at caution (yellow) to ensure it will be
able to stop at the red that follows.
But what about the latest developments in signaling, like CBTC, which don't have , striclty speaking, "block signs" but dynamic signaling that considers speed, length, track specs and breaking capabilities of trains?
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Old August 4th, 2014, 02:25 PM   #2322
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
dynamic signaling that considers speed, length, track specs and breaking capabilities of trains?
I see that as an enhancement that will allow to increase the capacity of
a railway line, but I don't believe it will bring more security. The points to
protect will still be at fixed positions... In any case, none of this is already
fully specified, and far from field deployment. Where do we sit regarding
ETCS level 3 today ?
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Old August 5th, 2014, 08:59 AM   #2323
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
The main benefit of TPS is not really that it stops trains when a red signal is passed. It's much more the fact that the deceleration of the train is controlled when a signal is passed at caution (yellow) to ensure it will be able to stop at the red that follows.
All signals involved were likely equipped with PZB. PZB ususally includes a 'magnet' 250m in front of the signal and a 'magnet' at the signal itself. When active they force the train to follow certain braking patterns and/or enforce a brake penalty. German rules also require the signals to be a certain distance from the danger point, as to create enough braking distance in case of a SPAD. However, German signalling allows for 'Ersatzsignal' (= alternative movement authority signal), to allow a movement that is not included in the standard signalling. This however does bypass some security checks, which could be what happened here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
Where do we sit regarding ETCS level 3 today ?
As far as I know, except for a very limited implemtation of L3 regional in Scandinavia, no other significant projects excist.
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Old August 7th, 2014, 08:22 PM   #2324
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The Mannheim district attorney issued a first press release concerning the reason of the accident. Link.

The freight train overran a red signal, the train control system then initiated an emergency stop as designed. However, the engineer then acknowledged the forced stop - and drove on. On his way, he passed two more signals showing "STOP", however these were of this kind, thus not equipped with PZB magnets. It's beyond me how someone can just acknowledge the forced stop and just drive on, I mean in that situation there's just one reason why your train is stopped: you ran a red signal.
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Old August 7th, 2014, 09:10 PM   #2325
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Have they investigated "contextual factors", like the engineer was about to run out of allowed driving time, train was late and engineer wanted to arrive on time at home, he was suffering from some temporary cognitive impairment etc?
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Old August 8th, 2014, 03:14 AM   #2326
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The most common cause for disabling or not reacting properly to a safety warning is having to deal with too frequent false positives, which turn a one-shot warning signal into a repetitive stimulation and sequent action.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
If left straight as you suggest, this could have led to a head-on collision,
much worse that the accident that actually happened. As you said, it is
not possible to have a 100% safe switch position with this track plan, but
I think DB engineers made the right choice.
Well, my opinion was stated before realising that those tracks are not part a freight siding but are in fact mainline tracks entering the station, with a pretty odd layout.
IIRC all the tracks involved in the accident are almost permanently used in just one direction, so the risk of a frontal impact is not very high, but someone who knows the station may report a different usage.
What I understand from the track scheme is that the one used by the IC is the straight route from the NBS to track 2, so it will allow higher speeds than the outer track (the green one) since this goes through a diverging switch (@60 or 80 max).

So, in the end:
- if traffic is monodirectional, better keep the switch straight to avoid conflicts with the faster NBS traffic (unless the green track is much more used than the blue one);
- if it is not, more data about actual train movements is needed to calculate the risk.
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Old August 8th, 2014, 08:56 AM   #2327
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rower2000 View Post
The freight train overran a red signal, the train control system then initiated an emergency stop as designed. However, the engineer then acknowledged the forced stop - and drove on.
Usually the perpetrator of a SPAD has to contact (or is contacted by) the signaller to tell him what to do. What on earth possesed him to simply acknowledge and continue? Having said that: The Netherlands had two major accidents the last few years because of trains passing red signals. One involded a freight train of which the driver had a stroke but still continued driving, the other one a passenger train of which the driver was distracted. Contrary to the German system, Dutch signals without ATB-VV allow you to pas red signals as long as you don't exceed 40 km/h while doing it.
Anyone has more knowledge of how ETCS handles signal failures?
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Old August 8th, 2014, 09:14 AM   #2328
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Old August 8th, 2014, 11:21 AM   #2329
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Quote:
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Anyone has more knowledge of how ETCS handles signal failures?
Disclaimer: I am not a qualified ETCS engineer, but I know something about it.

Under ETCS, trains do not run from signal to signal but are given a so called 'movement authority' (MA). The MA defines up to what point a train is permitted to drive, the on-board equipment calculates a braking curve to ensure that the train will not be able to pass that point*. For the calculation to be accurate, the engineer has to type in some information before starting a trip (especially relevant for freight and loco hauled passenger trains, for EMUs the information will be mostly fixed).

Under ETCS L2 there is a nearly constant stream of information flowing between the train and the shore infrastructure (the Radio Block Centre, RBC) over the GSM-R network. It's of utmost importance that there is excellent GSM-R coverage along the tracks.

Should the data link get interrupted, the train is allowed to continue for a little while as a recovery period is defined in which the train can re-establish the connection. If the connection can't be restored in time, the brakes are applied and the train is brought to a standstill.

After standstill, the engineer can continue driving in 'Staff Responsible' (SR) mode, meaning that there is no ETCS supervision at all and that the engineer is fully responsible for the safety of the train. The maximum speed permitted in SR mode is a 'national value', depending on the country in which the train is running.

SR mode should only be used when the train is unable to get a MA, and as far as I know the signaller has to give permission to run in SR mode.

* In some cases it can still happen, such as with slippery tracks.
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Old August 8th, 2014, 11:37 AM   #2330
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Quote:
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SR mode should only be used when the train is unable to get a MA, and as far as I know the signaller has to give permission to run in SR mode.
This is a process that currently works visually and/or verbally and thus prone to error. But the way you describe it would mean that in the very unlikely event of a major GSM-R malfunction not a single train is able to move an inch anymore after it has used up it's movement authority, regardless of where it is. Or is there an altenate procedure for that? Anyway, I see lots of potential for things that could go wrong.
As far as I know SR is also used for trains that do not exactly know where they are (yet), because they haven't passed a balise yet.
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Old August 8th, 2014, 06:30 PM   #2331
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From Rail Journal:

Quote:
http://www.railjournal.com/index.php...ml?channel=542

DB awards contract to build 4km Rastatt tunnel
Friday, August 08, 2014





GERMAN Rail (DB) has awarded a €312m contract to a joint venture of Ed Züblin and Hochtief to construct the 4270m Rastatt tunnel as part of the project to upgrade the Karlsruhe – Basle corridor for 250km/h operation

The twin-bore tunnel will be connected every 500m by transverse tunnels. Due to the geological and hydrological conditions and the shallow depth to a maximum of 20m, construction is considered technically challenging. DB says by using special materials and measures such as temporary embankments, soil stabilisation or soil freezing, "the most difficult sections are absolutely manageable."

Work will start in November to prepare for the arrival on site of tunnel boring machines in April 2015, which are expected to start drilling in October 2015. The tunnels should be bored though by the end of the first quarter of 2018.

DB plans to invite bids in March 2015 for a contract to fit out the tunnels. This work will be completed in 2020 followed by testing to allow trial running to start in 2022
Great progress BTW
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Old August 8th, 2014, 08:16 PM   #2332
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About 5 years late, but I guess better late than never.
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Old August 8th, 2014, 09:03 PM   #2333
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Well at least Germany are improving the connection towards this border, whilst they completely disregard all the other connections.
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Old August 8th, 2014, 10:02 PM   #2334
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Part of the HSL plans Köln-Frankfrut include a complete re-work of the yards and final approach near Köln Hbf, and reconfiguration of the access plan to Frankfurt HBf., which together I read would yield an additional time gain of 11 minutes with all the flyovers in place for through trains.

What are the status for these projects?
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Old August 8th, 2014, 10:10 PM   #2335
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Well at least Germany are improving the connection towards this border, whilst they completely disregard all the other connections.
Which border connections?
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Old August 8th, 2014, 10:15 PM   #2336
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Well at least Germany are improving the connection towards this border, whilst they completely disregard all the other connections.
It took a lot of "convincing" and I don't think it would have happened without GBT. Good luck with the same for the Brenner Base tunnel.
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Old August 10th, 2014, 03:29 PM   #2337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rower2000 View Post
The Mannheim district attorney issued a first press release concerning the reason of the accident. Link.

The freight train overran a red signal, the train control system then initiated an emergency stop as designed. However, the engineer then acknowledged the forced stop - and drove on.
This sounds weird. A forced stop (if it was one) can´t be interrupted by the driver.
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Old August 10th, 2014, 08:13 PM   #2338
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Which border connections?
We're now waiting decades already to have the Munich - Salzburg connection improved (especially the Mühldorf - Freilassing section). This also includes the Brenner feeder between Rosenheim and Kiefersfelden, where Austria cannot continue construction as Germany doesn't even know where they would want the boarder connection to be.

The only connection Germany has built to Austria lately is the utterly stupid and complete waste of tax money A94.
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Old August 10th, 2014, 08:47 PM   #2339
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This sounds weird. A forced stop (if it was one) can´t be interrupted by the driver.
Cannot be interupted, yes, but once the train comes to a halt the driver can acknowledge the brake penalty and drive on. However for a freight train that would take minutes rather then seconds, because the entire brake line must be refilled. The signalling system should have caught the SPAD by then.

It feels more like the driver passed the red signal using the Befehl40 switch and only realised his mistake once it was to late. The severed train then automatically went into emergency braking.
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Old August 10th, 2014, 10:34 PM   #2340
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Quote:
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We're now waiting decades already to have the Munich - Salzburg connection improved (especially the Mühldorf - Freilassing section). This also includes the Brenner feeder between Rosenheim and Kiefersfelden, where Austria cannot continue construction as Germany doesn't even know where they would want the boarder connection to be.

The only connection Germany has built to Austria lately is the utterly stupid and complete waste of tax money A94.
Sounds like politics getting in the way.
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