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Old July 27th, 2013, 12:26 AM   #1701
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Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
Has it been confirmed whether ERTMS was activated on the HSR portion of the track? If it wasn't, that's a major clue as to what might have happened. It is hard to imagine that a properly functioning ERTMS would not have forced a deceleration of the train prior to entering the conventional track with such an imminent tight curve.
ETCS on this line is programed to slow down the train to around 100 km/h BEFORE the transition to ASFA which is 4 km from the curve. The conclusion is that either there is a serious software error or the more likely scenario is that the engine driver never engaged ETCS when the train departed Ourense. Why he never did, who know, but they swiched engine driver in Ourense so possibly there is the answer to the accident.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 12:29 AM   #1702
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Therefore I agree with attus. The system where high-speed track is ended by sharp bend and driver takes full responsibility of slowing down is mistake by itself.
I don't know, I think the thread is, sorry, derailing into the absurd. Consider a proposition such as "the system where high-speed rail [or just regular rail] is regulated by red lights and driver takes full responsibility of stopping before it is a mistake by itself". Funny, isn't it? But the case at hand gets even worse than not stopping at the red lights. Running the lights takes an instant of distraction, failing to slow down a train by 110 km/h takes some 30 seconds (I'm estimating very roughly) of distraction, and missing an acoustic signal.
To those who pointed at the need to provide against an heart attack: there was a second driver on board (again, according to what I read), let alone the "dead man button". For the umpteenth time: I agree that an additional layer of safety was needed anyway, so personally I consider ADIF-RENFE to be somehow at fault as well.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 12:31 AM   #1703
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gincan View Post
ETCS on this line is programed to slow down the train to around 100 km/h BEFORE the transition to ASFA which is 4 km from the curve. The conclusion is that either there is a serious software error or the more likely scenario is that the engine driver never engaged ETCS when the train departed Ourense. Why he never did, who know, but they swiched engine driver in Ourense so possibly there is the answer to the accident.
Thank you.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 12:37 AM   #1704
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gincan View Post
ETCS on this line is programed to slow down the train to around 100 km/h BEFORE the transition to ASFA which is 4 km from the curve. The conclusion is that either there is a serious software error or the more likely scenario is that the engine driver never engaged ETCS when the train departed Ourense. Why he never did, who know, but they swiched engine driver in Ourense so possibly there is the answer to the accident.
Something is fishy with this story.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 12:54 AM   #1705
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Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
Service (not yet fully) recovered.
A very sad scene indeed, reminds me of this picture.

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Old July 27th, 2013, 12:59 AM   #1706
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gincan View Post
ETCS on this line is programed to slow down the train to around 100 km/h BEFORE the transition to ASFA which is 4 km from the curve. The conclusion is that either there is a serious software error or the more likely scenario is that the engine driver never engaged ETCS when the train departed Ourense. Why he never did, who know, but they swiched engine driver in Ourense so possibly there is the answer to the accident.
Interesting speculation but with a point needing attention : in all other places
I know, if I remember well, at entrance of high-speed sections, the dedicated
signalling system never needs to be engaged manually by the driver - it all
happens automatically, triggered by signals coming from the track. So I'm
surprised that in this particular case, a manual action by the driver was
necessary and could have been forgotten.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 01:37 AM   #1707
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The train was NOT running under ERTMS/ETCS-1.

Between Ourense and Santiago, the Alvia class 730 do not use it yet, they use the ASFA Digital, like other Alvia trains do on the Euromed services on the upgraded Barcelona-Tarragona-Castellon-Valencia-Alicante line, to name one.

With ASFA Digital (which is used as a second emergency system on Spanish HSLs, in case ERTMS/ETCS fails), it is entirely down to the driver to reduce speed.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 01:43 AM   #1708
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
Interesting speculation but with a point needing attention : in all other places
I know, if I remember well, at entrance of high-speed sections, the dedicated
signalling system never needs to be engaged manually by the driver - it all
happens automatically, triggered by signals coming from the track. So I'm
surprised that in this particular case, a manual action by the driver was
necessary and could have been forgotten.
I don't know if it is automatic or manual, all I know is that if ETCS was in use then this accident could not have happened unless there was a software or a hardware error. Hardware error I find impossible, software error has happened before with ETCS so it is a possibility.

http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/s...erailment.html


If it is indeed automatic then the driver is even more responsible since he actively shut of the system that would have prevented this accident.

Last edited by gincan; July 27th, 2013 at 01:48 AM.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 01:56 AM   #1709
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Originally Posted by Blunderbuss View Post
especially that you admited yourself that the ERTMS wasn't on, because the driver forgot to switch it on. Thank you for clearing that out.
I don't understand.

If he forgot to switch it on then he couldn't go faster than 200km/h:

http://www.rtve.es/noticias/20130726...e/725623.shtml

El tren viene circulando por un tramo de 200 de kilómetros por hora con el "moderno" sistema ERTMS , que controla la circulación -condiciones de la vía, del tren, circulación y velocidad-, capaz de conducir y frenar automáticamente; y pasa a hacerlo por otro de 80 km/h controlado por ASFA, un sistema para vías convencionales que solo señaliza , ha explicado. Si no sobrepasas los 200 kilómetros, no te frena automáticamente.


If speed is over 200km/h ASFA brakes automatically.

I don't believe that he didn't noticed that...
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Old July 27th, 2013, 02:04 AM   #1710
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 437.001 View Post
The train was NOT running under ERTMS/ETCS-1.

Between Ourense and Santiago, the Alvia class 730 do not use it yet, they use the ASFA Digital, like other Alvia trains do on the Euromed services on the upgraded Barcelona-Tarragona-Castellon-Valencia-Alicante line, to name one.

With ASFA Digital (which is used as a second emergency system on Spanish HSLs, in case ERTMS/ETCS fails), it is entirely down to the driver to reduce speed.
But why? Why don't S/730 trains (I'm assuming it also applies to S/130) switch to ETCS when it's available?
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Old July 27th, 2013, 02:24 AM   #1711
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I wonder what must've been distracting the engineer.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 02:54 AM   #1712
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Originally Posted by Iwan View Post
I don't understand.

If he forgot to switch it on then he couldn't go faster than 200km/h:

http://www.rtve.es/noticias/20130726...e/725623.shtml

El tren viene circulando por un tramo de 200 de kilómetros por hora con el "moderno" sistema ERTMS , que controla la circulación -condiciones de la vía, del tren, circulación y velocidad-, capaz de conducir y frenar automáticamente; y pasa a hacerlo por otro de 80 km/h controlado por ASFA, un sistema para vías convencionales que solo señaliza , ha explicado. Si no sobrepasas los 200 kilómetros, no te frena automáticamente.


If speed is over 200km/h ASFA brakes automatically.

I don't believe that he didn't noticed that
...
Maybe he knew that. That's why the train's speed was between 190-200 km/h.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 03:28 AM   #1713
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Of course he knows that. He's been working at RENFE for over 30 years, he must have been aware of how the safety systems work and what their limitations are. Yet still, I don't think there is any malicious intent from the driver. I also don't think he is a daredevil or "addicted to the kick of high speed".
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Old July 27th, 2013, 03:56 AM   #1714
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Now I understand - I've read spanish thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
Of course he knows that. He's been working at RENFE for over 30 years, he must have been aware of how the safety systems work and what their limitations are.
He should drive the train respecting all known limitations, if he has instinct of self-preservation.

This is a characteristic of the profession - driver is always responsible for safety - no matter how f...d up system is...

Quote:
Yet still, I don't think there is any malicious intent from the driver. I also don't think he is a daredevil or "addicted to the kick of high speed".
++
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Old July 27th, 2013, 04:07 AM   #1715
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
But why? Why don't S/730 trains (I'm assuming it also applies to S/130) switch to ETCS when it's available?


It´s not available, because it´s not reliable yet.

Class 730 do not use it between Ourense and Santiago, since it gives trouble.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 04:10 AM   #1716
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
Of course he knows that. He's been working at RENFE for over 30 years, he must have been aware of how the safety systems work and what their limitations are. Yet still, I don't think there is any malicious intent from the driver. I also don't think he is a daredevil or "addicted to the kick of high speed".
Daredevil or not... well, I´ll say no more.

Btw, seems that the death toll has been lowered to 78.
Not-so-bad-news among the awful news, if one could say such a thing.

Let´s all keep fingers crossed, there are still many very seriously injured people in hospital (more than 30).
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Old July 27th, 2013, 05:05 AM   #1717
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Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
I wonder what must've been distracting the engineer[s] .
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Old July 27th, 2013, 10:49 AM   #1718
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Originally Posted by Peloso View Post
I don't know, I think the thread is, sorry, derailing into the absurd. Consider a proposition such as "the system where high-speed rail [or just regular rail] is regulated by red lights and driver takes full responsibility of stopping before it is a mistake by itself". Funny, isn't it?
No. A vast majority of railways all around the world HAS some tools that force the train stop at red signal, even if the driver himself does not brake the train. Did you not know it?
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Old July 27th, 2013, 11:40 AM   #1719
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Originally Posted by Blunderbuss View Post
From what I've read it seems that ASFA works only as a "SPAD protector" - it will stop a train that passed a signal showing the red aspect.
The German PZB system is in it's essence also only a SPAD-protector. However they have engineered some called a 'Geschwindigkeitsprüfabschnitt'. It basically consists of a detector, a timer and a red-light beacon. When the train passes over the detector the timer is started and after a certain amount of time the red-light beacon is switched off. If the train is too fast it passed the red-light beacon while it's still active and a brake penalty results. Does a similar construct exist for ASFA?
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Old July 27th, 2013, 02:23 PM   #1720
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
Interesting speculation but with a point needing attention : in all other places
I know, if I remember well, at entrance of high-speed sections, the dedicated
signalling system never needs to be engaged manually by the driver - it all
happens automatically, triggered by signals coming from the track. So I'm
surprised that in this particular case, a manual action by the driver was
necessary and could have been forgotten.
This is what I've been thinking.

What use is an automatic protection system if it requires a human action to engage it?
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