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Old November 16th, 2015, 12:10 AM   #981
RZ height & transport
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OMG, what's this?!
I guess the train started to bow to the left, collapsed against the bridge and thus catapulting the rest of the train. The combination of speed and a bit of height made most of the cars fly over the canal. The motor car in the water isn't that much damaged on the front so I guess this must be the back of the train.
I wonder why the train was running on the track on the right instead of the track on the left, which is standard in France. Is the security system on French high speed tracks build for this use?
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Old November 16th, 2015, 01:16 AM   #982
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Originally Posted by RZ height & transport View Post
I wonder why the train was running on the track on the right instead of the track on the left, which is standard in France.
Except in Alsace, which was under german government - 1870 / 1918 during main railways construction.
So the TGV, leaving the high speed line (where it runs left side), was just passing on right side tracks to go to old line
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Old November 16th, 2015, 01:21 AM   #983
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RZ height & transport View Post
OMG, what's this?!
I guess the train started to bow to the left, collapsed against the bridge and thus catapulting the rest of the train. The combination of speed and a bit of height made most of the cars fly over the canal. The motor car in the water isn't that much damaged on the front so I guess this must be the back of the train.
I wonder why the train was running on the track on the right instead of the track on the left, which is standard in France. Is the security system on French high speed tracks build for this use?
The front power car was destroyed in the collision against the bridge.
I think that it was the source of the fire.

About the configuration of the train, in this kind of incident, having an articulated trainset don´t mean anything (crashing in a curve at around 350 km/h...). In all the derailments at high speed of TGV´s, in straight lines, nobody was killed and trains remained aligned because of their configuration.

All LGV´s have conmutable tracks, so each track can be used as independent one track lines.

Oh, by the way, in Alsace and Lorraine, trains run at right (like in Germany), and as this is near the end of the high speed line, I suppose that trains change sense in a "saut de mouton". In conventional main line, those are used to change the side of running without change tracks.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 01:39 AM   #984
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I saw some other pictures with the bogies completely separated from the cars. I wonder how many G would a train going at 350km/h in that curve be subject to; and what is the design speed limit there.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 01:52 AM   #985
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This curve is for 160 km/h max speed.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 05:40 AM   #986
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Not all tests are planned to shoot for the fastest speed, a lot of tests are done to verify mundane things like vibration, power consumption, etc. So it's too early to say whether safety systems have been disabled. IMO I'd be surprised if they are, because no matter what are you testing, safety should remain the number one priority. Disable the system so a train can potentially go overspeed in a curve over a bridge is criminal negligence.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 06:48 AM   #987
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
Not all tests are planned to shoot for the fastest speed, a lot of tests are done to verify mundane things like vibration, power consumption, etc. So it's too early to say whether safety systems have been disabled. IMO I'd be surprised if they are, because no matter what are you testing, safety should remain the number one priority. Disable the system so a train can potentially go overspeed in a curve over a bridge is criminal negligence.
I also highly doubt the driver was inexperienced or inattentive. Testing environments always feel different than commercial ones.

If it is driver error, it is likely a lack of "feel for the line". This is, after all, a brand-new rail line and it's doubtful anybody's run it enough times to have a feel for it yet. Overspeed is usually driver error ... if not, well that just makes the causes even more intriguing.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 09:24 AM   #988
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Originally Posted by Rebasepoiss View Post
I, on the other hand, really hope that all the safety systems were turned off and it was a driver error. The allowed risk for tests is probably magnitudes higher than the allowed chance of an accident on a passenger service.

If it turns out that the systems were enabled and it was a system error, it would set back opening the line for possibly a very long time and be a concern for other high speed rail lines as well.
I strongly disagree with your opinion, as I think one should never wish for any person to be responsible for such accidents, especially in the context of mentioned self-interest of opening the line on time. Also, hoping that the safety systems were turned off sounds absolutely insane even in a test context.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 09:49 AM   #989
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
Disable the system so a train can potentially go overspeed in a curve over a bridge is criminal negligence.
Tests have to be conducted at a speed 10% higher than the design speed of
the line. So for those tests at least, overspeed prevention mechanisms have
to be disabled.

But of course, not all tests are done for speed testing reasons, and for most
other tests, safety systems can remain activated.

We do not know what the purpose of this specific circulation was, so it is
impossible to know whether safety systems were disabled or not. We do not
even know whether those systems are already functional : after all, the line is
expected to enter revenue service in 5 months only...
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Old November 16th, 2015, 10:34 AM   #990
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
By the way which system would normally guarantee that a train doesn't overspeed in spots where LGV turns into a regular line? That Spanish line had nothing at all except a diligence of the driver?
In France, this is ensured by the TVM safety system. When a train is about to leave a Ligne à Grande Vitesse, it receives a braking curve which forces it to decelerate to the line speed of the connection. Once it's on a lignue classique, the "KVB" system takes over control. If the connecting track section is occupied, the TVM system will slow the train down even further so that it comes to a halt at the first signal.

In Spain the situation is different from a technical as well as a functional point of view. In the Santiago crash, the train was travelling on a high speed line which was protected with both ETCS and the Spanish ASFA-200 system. While ETCS is more modern, ASFA is installed as a fallback system in order for trains to run even if they are not fitted with ETCS.

The ETCS section ended about 4 kilometers before the curve. Shortly before the curve, the high speed line joined a classic line for the route to Santiago - and this situation was supposed to be only temporary. I think that applying ETCS to the curve as well would have been to complex, as this would mean huge changes to the signalling infrastructure for that classic line.


So, when the train was approaching the curve it was no longer protected by ETCS. As 4 km should normally be enough for a train to decelerate from 200 km/h to 90 km/h, a tighter exit speed was probably not enforced by ETCS. That is, if the train was protected by ETCS at all, I have read some reports about the S/730 not having a functioning ETCS installation but I am unable to confirm this.

As the train was now in an ASFA only zone and there were no trains in the adjacent block, the signal showed a green aspect allowing the driver to proceed. The design for the ASFA system was never intended to apply speed restrictions, as the assumption is that the train driver is well-aware of the limitation of the infrastructure.

ADIF has applied a workaround to prevent similar accidents from happening: they have placed a few ASFA beacons at safe braking distance from the curve, these beacons permanently emit a yellow aspect which forces the driver to slow down. This mitigates futre derailments at high speed in that curve.

Why hasn't that workaround been applied before? I am not sure, but if I have to take a shot: ever since the first train ran in Spain, the driver has had the responsibility not to overspeed. As this has gone well, the system designers probably did not take into account the risk of a driver overspeeding in this particular curve. Or if they did take the risk into account, it was asssessed to not be a major concern as it "has never happened before". And then Murphy came along...
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Old November 16th, 2015, 11:12 AM   #991
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k6uelind View Post
I strongly disagree with your opinion, as I think one should never wish for any person to be responsible for such accidents, especially in the context of mentioned self-interest of opening the line on time. Also, hoping that the safety systems were turned off sounds absolutely insane even in a test context.
I disagree with you. From a technical point of view you can only hope that it wasn't a system error because that would mean that something essential is wrong at least on this line or - even worse - in general.

Since we learned that one part of the test runs is running at 10 % overspeed (which corresponds to 352 km/h) and we know that the train ran at that speed when it derailed, to me it seems quite logical that this test run was a test run at 10 % overspeed. This would mean that the safety systems ensuring vmax were switched off. This makes it quite probable that it was a human error that could only occur in this particular testing situation. And that it is the only positive thing in this accident, which is horrible for everybody involved.

Of course it sounds awkward to say you "hope" for a human error, but from a system and technical point of view (safety of railway systems, opening of the line) a safety system failure would have larger consequences.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 11:30 AM   #992
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Since we learned that one part of the test runs is running at 10 % overspeed (which corresponds to 352 km/h) and we know that the train ran at that speed when it derailed
Do we, really ? Didn't the SNCF president say in an interview that we did not
yet know at which speed the train was travelling ?

btw, if the train collided with the bridge, not sure at all this one is still in good
shape... so the date foreseen for the first revenue service of the line might
have to be reviewed. Specially if it happened a that speed.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 11:52 AM   #993
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According to a news report from the Le Parisien, the train was traversing a transition zone between the high speed line and the classic line, where deceleration was to occur from 352km/h to 176km/h before approaching the bridge traversing the Marne au Rhin Canal. Here is a schematic map of the area in question:
http://www.sncf.com/ressources/carte_large_v3.jpg
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Old November 16th, 2015, 12:34 PM   #994
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Originally Posted by [atomic] View Post
this is the Location in OSM
looking at the skidmarks in the picture above they must have come from the west and then the train pretty much flew across the canal.
What i find strange is that the derail must have happened where the curve begins which means crazy overspeening or something on the tracks..
In an article in our local newspaper (hat was probably copied in there from a larger news agency) they mentioned the train was travelling at around 350kph, which would definitely be "crazy" overspeeding given this turn is part of the LGV's intersection with the old mainline...
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Old November 16th, 2015, 12:55 PM   #995
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All this talk of signalling equipment being turned off for overspeed testing ignores the fact that the 430 in TVM430 refers to the maximum speed in km/h the system can operate at...

It is interesting that this accident happened at a likely boundary between ERTMS/TVM430 and the classic KVB system. There have been incompatibilities reported before.

Anyway, this is all complete speculation until we get some facts about the crash, hopefully soon.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 01:02 PM   #996
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
Do we, really ? Didn't the SNCF president say in an interview that we did not
yet know at which speed the train was travelling ?

btw, if the train collided with the bridge, not sure at all this one is still in good
shape... so the date foreseen for the first revenue service of the line might
have to be reviewed. Specially if it happened a that speed.
Local media reported about that speed, I wouldn't say it is certain though. The SNCF president at least did say that no safety systems were active and that this couldn't occur in a regular train ride.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 02:41 PM   #997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsg97 View Post
In an article in our local newspaper (hat was probably copied in there from a larger news agency) they mentioned the train was travelling at around 350kph.
Which is certainly nothing we can trust, because journalists usually know zilch
about railways, and there was a communiqué published by SNCF a few days
ago, explaining that tests on the new line would start, at speeds up to 350.
The journalist probably copied that over, with no further thinking. There is
no way to know what speed it was at the time of the crash, before the
train recorders have been read.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 02:53 PM   #998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 33Hz View Post
All this talk of signalling equipment being turned off for overspeed testing ignores the fact that the 430 in TVM430 refers to the maximum speed in km/h the system can operate at...
Not at all. When SNCF asked to CSEE to develop a new signalling system,
they started from the existing TVM300 specs, and augmented the name
from TVM300 to TVM400. Then they developed several variants, TVM410,
420... up to 450. 430 was the variant SNCF decided to implement. It has nothing to do with speed.

And even if it was the case, the signal sent by the ground to the train indicates precisely the speed the train is allowed to run at. So maximum
320 km/h on this line, and much less - 160 km/h - at the place the accident
did happen. To allow a train to drive faster than that, the speed monitoring
system must be disabled.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 03:01 PM   #999
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why hasn't RFF gone for full ERTM on its LGVs?
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Old November 16th, 2015, 04:11 PM   #1000
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http://mobile.reuters.com/article/id...rbssEnergyNews

Train driver denies excessive speed.
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