Damage to Hotham Valley Railway

 
  22-Calibre Beginner

I am disturbed to learn of the damage caused to the HVR track at Scarp Road level crossing by a careless, reckless road transport driver.

Hotham Valley's News Page - http://www.hothamvalleyrailway.com.au/news.htm reports the following:

On the morning of Thursday 14th March, an un-laden Deane Contracting low loader damaged the HVR line between Dwellingup and Isandra when part of the trailer struck the down rail, tearing it from some 38 sleepers.
This sort of damage is becoming an annual event this being the third such incident in less than 3 years.
Unfortunately Mr Deane is currently disputing any liability for the damage.


Please note the bottom line!   The company owned by Mr Deane claims to be one proud of its professional behaviour and committed to safety.

Have a look at the damage shown on the HVR News Page.   This is damage worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The incident was (alegedly) NOT reported to either HVR or the local authorities or the police by the driver of the truck or his employer, but (alegedly) by a local resident who came across it.

Consider this:  
Had a train been running that day, with no report of damage being forthcoming, there is a very significant possibility of the wreckage of a W Class, one or more carriages, and several white crosses marking the spot at the bottom of the embankment.   A very real possibility!  Professional?   Safety committed?   Is the "responsible" businessman serious in the light of his claim of "no liability"?

I urge all readers of this forum to lobby Mr Deane to stand up to his responsibilities.   Write.  Email.   And lobby your Parlaimentary Representative too.   In my view, this sort of behaviour is grossly negligent and must be stopped.

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  903 Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth WA
Good points raised here.

It is interesting to read their web page and see that they believe they have a code of ethics

[table][tr][td][b][i]CODE OF ETHICS[/i][/b] [ol][li]To promote professionalism and growth in the earthmoving and construction industry.[/li][li]To promote ethical business practices at all times.[/li][li]To display integrity in all our business dealings.[/li][li]To strive for continued quality improvement through good business dealings.[/li][li]To strive to identify and satisfy the needs of our customers, to deliver right the first time, on time, every time.[/li][li]To promote, provide and deliver the highest quality service to all our customers.[/li][/ol][/td][/tr][/table]


For a company who would be insured against such accidents/incidents, you think that it would be professional, ethical and show integrity to make good with the cost of remediation rather than leave it to HVTR to fix out of their own pocket.

I also noted on their web page that their staff hold Westrail Track Access Permits, so one would think they would have understood the possible ramifications of their actions in failing to immediately notify someone from the railway.

Very , very sad indeed.
  QBB 2889 Locomotive Fireman

I am disturbed to learn of the damage caused to the HVR track at Scarp Road level crossing by a careless, reckless road transport driver.

Hotham Valley's News Page - http://www.hothamvalleyrailway.com.au/news.htm reports the following:

On the morning of Thursday 14th March, an un-laden Deane Contracting low loader damaged the HVR line between Dwellingup and Isandra when part of the trailer struck the down rail, tearing it from some 38 sleepers.
This sort of damage is becoming an annual event this being the third such incident in less than 3 years.
Unfortunately Mr Deane is currently disputing any liability for the damage.


Please note the bottom line!   The company owned by Mr Deane claims to be one proud of its professional behaviour and committed to safety.

Have a look at the damage shown on the HVR News Page.   This is damage worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The incident was (alegedly) NOT reported to either HVR or the local authorities or the police by the driver of the truck or his employer, but (alegedly) by a local resident who came across it.

Consider this:  
Had a train been running that day, with no report of damage being forthcoming, there is a very significant possibility of the wreckage of a W Class, one or more carriages, and several white crosses marking the spot at the bottom of the embankment.   A very real possibility!  Professional?   Safety committed?   Is the "responsible" businessman serious in the light of his claim of "no liability"?

I urge all readers of this forum to lobby Mr Deane to stand up to his responsibilities.   Write.  Email.   And lobby your Parlaimentary Representative too.   In my view, this sort of behaviour is grossly negligent and must be stopped.

22-Calibre
What is the website address so I can email them?
  andrew1996 Train Controller

Location: Fremantle
What is the website address so I can email them?
QBB 2889
Google "Deane Contracting". It will be the first option.
  Hotham Valley Junior Train Controller

I am disturbed to learn of the damage caused to the HVR track at Scarp Road level crossing by a careless, reckless road transport driver.

Hotham Valley's News Page - http://www.hothamvalleyrailway.com.au/news.htm reports the following:

On the morning of Thursday 14th March, an un-laden Deane Contracting low loader damaged the HVR line between Dwellingup and Isandra when part of the trailer struck the down rail, tearing it from some 38 sleepers.
This sort of damage is becoming an annual event this being the third such incident in less than 3 years.
Unfortunately Mr Deane is currently disputing any liability for the damage.


Please note the bottom line!   The company owned by Mr Deane claims to be one proud of its professional behaviour and committed to safety.

Have a look at the damage shown on the HVR News Page.   This is damage worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The incident was (alegedly) NOT reported to either HVR or the local authorities or the police by the driver of the truck or his employer, but (alegedly) by a local resident who came across it.

Consider this:  
Had a train been running that day, with no report of damage being forthcoming, there is a very significant possibility of the wreckage of a W Class, one or more carriages, and several white crosses marking the spot at the bottom of the embankment.   A very real possibility!  Professional?   Safety committed?   Is the "responsible" businessman serious in the light of his claim of "no liability"?

I urge all readers of this forum to lobby Mr Deane to stand up to his responsibilities.   Write.  Email.   And lobby your Parlaimentary Representative too.   In my view, this sort of behaviour is grossly negligent and must be stopped.
22-Calibre

Dear 22-Calibre, et, al,

Thankyou for your concern and interest. We too are "disturbed" over what has taken place and the subsequent events etc.

Whilst it is correct that neither the truck driver nor the compaany made any attempt to report the incident to HVR, the person that did report it to the Police, although a local farmer which is the capacity in which we understand the Police believed it was being reported, was in fact the driver of the escort vehicle. Mr Deane has subsequently stated that this was Deane Contracting's reporting of the incident and therfore all that was needed to be done by them, was done.

Given the potential implications, it is HVR's view that all those involved and/or with knowledge of any incident that comprimises the safety of any railway has a responsibility to ENSURE that the rail owner/operator has recieves the most immediate advice possible of such a situation. Clearly this was not done by Deane Contracting nor the Police whom I just happened to come across in Dwellingup roundly one and a half hours after the incident. As has been pointed out, had a train been operating the delays in advising HVR could have resulted in an inability to avoid a serious accident. It is expected that in due course the reporting aspects of this occurrence are to be investigated. What it has raised is that perhaps rail operators should have a reporting and contact protocol in place with entities such as the Police who are quite reasonably the first entity that someone might call in such circumstances.

As far as any acceptance of liability or contributory neglegence, Mr Deane has made it quite clear to myself that he is unwilling to engage with HVR to resolve and restore the damage nor accept any liability what-so-ever. Mr Deane's statement to me was -quote - "I'm not going to pay $500 or $1000 excess out of my pocket to our insurer" followed by  "if you want a fight, bring it on". So as you can see the current position of Deane Contracting has been made quite clear.

In due course, HVR will be formally persuing the matter with Deane Contracting.

Regards,
Ian Willis
  doggie015 Junior Train Controller

Location: On a bus going from esplanade busport to canning bridge so I can catch a train to Esplanade station
Dear 22-Calibre, et, al,

Thankyou for your concern and interest. We too are "disturbed" over what has taken place and the subsequent events etc.

Whilst it is correct that neither the truck driver nor the compaany made any attempt to report the incident to HVR, the person that did report it to the Police, although a local farmer which is the capacity in which we understand the Police believed it was being reported, was in fact the driver of the escort vehicle. Mr Deane has subsequently stated that this was Deane Contracting's reporting of the incident and therfore all that was needed to be done by them, was done.

Given the potential implications, it is HVR's view that all those involved and/or with knowledge of any incident that comprimises the safety of any railway has a responsibility to ENSURE that the rail owner/operator has recieves the most immediate advice possible of such a situation. Clearly this was not done by Deane Contracting nor the Police whom I just happened to come across in Dwellingup roundly one and a half hours after the incident. As has been pointed out, had a train been operating the delays in advising HVR could have resulted in an inability to avoid a serious accident. It is expected that in due course the reporting aspects of this occurrence are to be investigated. What it has raised is that perhaps rail operators should have a reporting and contact protocol in place with entities such as the Police who are quite reasonably the first entity that someone might call in such circumstances.

As far as any acceptance of liability or contributory neglegence, Mr Deane has made it quite clear to myself that he is unwilling to engage with HVR to resolve and restore the damage nor accept any liability what-so-ever. Mr Deane's statement to me was -quote - "I'm not going to pay $500 or $1000 excess out of my pocket to our insurer" followed by  "if you want a fight, bring it on". So as you can see the current position of Deane Contracting has been made quite clear.

In due course, HVR will be formally persuing the matter with Deane Contracting.

Regards,
Ian Willis
Hotham Valley
I hope that you win the eventual fight. It is quite clear that Deane Contracting is at fault here and if you need a court order for them to acknowledge that then it should be easy for you to get said court order. If need be you can always go to the media to drum up support. Current affairs shows LOVE stories like this
  QBB 2889 Locomotive Fireman

Can someone please explain how a truck can actually do that to the tracks. Especially at a crossing which is designed to have vehicles cross it?
  tuckerbox Junior Train Controller

Location: Collie
Get WORKSAFE on their backs. Take it from My experience.
They are Deadly.
  witzendoz Junior Train Controller

Location: Fremantle
Can someone please explain how a truck can actually do that to the tracks. Especially at a crossing which is designed to have vehicles cross it?
QBB 2889
Low loader, there have been many accidents with them getting stuck on crossings and being him by trains.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR7n72FXD1Q

Alan
  903 Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth WA
Can someone please explain how a truck can actually do that to the tracks. Especially at a crossing which is designed to have vehicles cross it?
QBB 2889

From what I can understand, the truck driver was approaching the crossing as speed to get up the other side which is a very steep gravel hill and I guess he was worried about maintaining traction or getting stuck on the hill so stopping at the stop signs appears not to have been important to him. As he crossed the crossing and he managed to cut the corner a bit tight dropping his trailer wheels into the drain which lowered the trailer enough for the legs on the stands to catch on the rails as he passed over thus tearing the rail out.  Now whilst I have no proof that he didnt stop at the crossing, this does not appear to be a low speed incident given the damage that was done.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Maybe HVTR can fix the track on their own, and in return get DEANE to do earthmoving when required as a pay back for repairs. Seems a better option from my seat. Insurers dont like claims, usually an increase in premiums result. If this goes to court, no one wins except lawyers.

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