Seatbelts in locos

 
  L1150 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Pakenham Vic.
From the XPT derailment thread:  https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11400959-0-asc-s50.htm   Interesting topic that  was a  off topic as a seperate topic really, so was split to here. Dthead
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This is a question to those on here who actually have driving experience of the XPT. Do the crew seats in the cab have any kind of seat belt or similar. If they don't, do you think the outcome would have been different for the Driver and Pilot if they had? (Mods: If this second part of my post is outside your guidelines please delete)

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  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
This is a question to those on here who actually have driving experience of the XPT. Do the crew seats in the cab have any kind of seat belt or similar. If they don't, do you think the outcome would have been different for the Driver and Pilot if they had? (Mods: If this second part of my post is outside your guidelines please delete)
L1150
Whjat about the passengers?  Aircraft have seat belts, buses have seat belts .......?
  cwdbmd Beginner

Whjat about the passengers?  Aircraft have seat belts, buses have seat belts .......?
Lad_Porter
Quoting a 2007 report by the UK Rail Safety and Standards Board, "passengers’ survivability would have been compromised if they had been restrained in their seat by seatbelts".
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
This is a question to those on here who actually have driving experience of the XPT. Do the crew seats in the cab have any kind of seat belt or similar. If they don't, do you think the outcome would have been different for the Driver and Pilot if they had? (Mods: If this second part of my post is outside your guidelines please delete)
What about the passengers?  Aircraft have seat belts, buses have seat belts .......?
Lad_Porter
Aircraft have bumps in the ski and on landing experience rapid deceleration during initial braking  and often side to side especially at the rear so much so passengers not bracing themselves will be thrown out of seats (I've seen it happen).

Buses are transport media in a semi controlled environment and subject to zero notice hard braking deceleration at any point in time and should a collision occur rapid braking forces that requires passengers to be restrained for their own safety.

Trains very very very rarely are exposed to braking forces and/or derailment slowing forces so strong that its a risk - benefit ratio likely hood event that's not warranted. Case in point is the XPT, 38 years of more than 18 services a day for the last 38 years and how many times has this occurred?

Without knowing we can assume the injuries passengers are most likely those who were standing, in the toilets, getting food etc at the time of the incident for which seat belts would not have helped.

As for the crew, lets wait and see why they died before 2nd guessing and if seat belts would help.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Are seatbelts in the drivers cabin common anywhere?

I didn't think this was common practice.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
This is a question to those on here who actually have driving experience of the XPT. Do the crew seats in the cab have any kind of seat belt or similar. If they don't, do you think the outcome would have been different for the Driver and Pilot if they had?
L1150
I've not driven the XP's but have travelled pass in them in the Coey's seat. No, they don't have any harness, nor does any other loco I've worked. Depending on the severity of the damage will dictate whether they would make a difference. There have been several reports both here and internationally where the crew suffered injuries from being bounced around the cab as it derailed but it would require the seat and its' attachment to the cab structure to be engineered to withstand around 6G.

There have been several accidents in Australia in the last 20 years or so where the vehicles have ended up on their sides or worse.
  • NP43 at Baan Baa - 2 car Xplorer rolled over
  • VCQ5 at Berajondo - Cairns tilt train - power car rolled over
  • 3MP5 at Rawlinna - Split the points - Locos and crew van rolled over
  • 735 in Tasmania - Overspeed down a grade - Locos rolled over
  • 9T92 at Julia Creek - Washaway and the loco rolled over


In some of those instances, and that isn't all of them in the ATSB database, the crew were injured during the derailment that likely wouldn't have happened if they were strapped in to a decent seat & harness. As to how many crew would wear a harness if it were provided? No idea...
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic

In some of those instances, and that isn't all of them in the ATSB database, the crew were injured during the derailment that likely wouldn't have happened if they were strapped in to a decent seat & harness. As to how many crew would wear a harness if it were provided? No idea...
KRviator
in such a highly unionised industry, and the unions blowing the safety trumpet all the time, where they to be fitted, and mandatory while the loco is moving, or the operator is seated, i would be surprised if compliance wasn't high.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne

In some of those instances, and that isn't all of them in the ATSB database, the crew were injured during the derailment that likely wouldn't have happened if they were strapped in to a decent seat & harness. As to how many crew would wear a harness if it were provided? No idea...in such a highly unionised industry, and the unions blowing the safety trumpet all the time, where they to be fitted, and mandatory while the loco is moving, or the operator is seated, i would be surprised if compliance wasn't high.
Galron
You're obviously not a train driver.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
This is a question to those on here who actually have driving experience of the XPT. Do the crew seats in the cab have any kind of seat belt or similar. If they don't, do you think the outcome would have been different for the Driver and Pilot if they had?
I've not driven the XP's but have travelled pass in them in the Coey's seat. No, they don't have any harness, nor does any other loco I've worked. Depending on the severity of the damage will dictate whether they would make a difference. There have been several reports both here and internationally where the crew suffered injuries from being bounced around the cab as it derailed but it would require the seat and its' attachment to the cab structure to be engineered to withstand around 6G.

There have been several accidents in Australia in the last 20 years or so where the vehicles have ended up on their sides or worse.
  • NP43 at Baan Baa - 2 car Xplorer rolled over
  • VCQ5 at Berajondo - Cairns tilt train - power car rolled over
  • 3MP5 at Rawlinna - Split the points - Locos and crew van rolled over
  • 735 in Tasmania - Overspeed down a grade - Locos rolled over
  • 9T92 at Julia Creek - Washaway and the loco rolled over


In some of those instances, and that isn't all of them in the ATSB database, the crew were injured during the derailment that likely wouldn't have happened if they were strapped in to a decent seat & harness. As to how many crew would wear a harness if it were provided? No idea...
KRviator
I think if they were installed yes the drivers would wear them if the conditions of employment make it a requirement and enforced. However the need to wear them and how many it would help save????

As for the XPT, it ran into the trees, seat belts don't prevent cab intrusions.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front

In some of those instances, and that isn't all of them in the ATSB database, the crew were injured during the derailment that likely wouldn't have happened if they were strapped in to a decent seat & harness. As to how many crew would wear a harness if it were provided? No idea...in such a highly unionised industry, and the unions blowing the safety trumpet all the time, where they to be fitted, and mandatory while the loco is moving, or the operator is seated, i would be surprised if compliance wasn't high.You're obviously not a train driver.
Fatty
In this case, I see both sides. Personally, I would prefer to be strapped in, that being said - not every loco is comfortable enough to support that for an extended period.

The 92 Class and its' derivatives were ideal in that regard, the seat, footrest and controls were perfectly placed and are a credit to Goninans and the blokes who designed the NR class cab. I could - and did - get settled in at the start and didn't really move except for a potty break for 10-odd hours.

My current steed is off-the-shelf American and is, literally, a PITA. The controls are too far away, the console slopes down to your knee too early, the seat doesn't adjust the way the Bremshey seats do and the padding is too hard and in the wrong place for most crews' posture so being harnessed in to something like that isn't feasible.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
In this case, I see both sides. Personally, I would prefer to be strapped in, that being said - not every loco is comfortable enough to support that for an extended period.
KRviator
I have never felt like I've needed to be restrained in the cab. There's no need to be and, in my opinion, restraints would be a safety hazard.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Fatty
Can I ask why?
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Can I ask why?
RTT_Rules
In my opinion drivers need to be able to quickly move from the seat to a position of safety - the vestibule or out a window for example.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Are seat belts on locos a solution looking for a problem?
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Two points to make, as a driver on that line.

1. Usual working at Wallan was replaced by paper-based system. Several V/Line drivers expressed concerns about process. VLP trains copped extensive delays, other operators copped less delays. Perhaps the V/L drivers were justified in their prudence.

2.  Seat belts? They would be truly awful on a loco, with the rough ride leaving us bruised from the vertical bouncing. And in railcars, that delays our escape options (and makes it that much longer before we yell “follow me, try to keep up!”). Seriously, they mitigate some risks, but can create new hazards.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Two points to make, as a driver on that line.

1. Usual working at Wallan was replaced by paper-based system. Several V/Line drivers expressed concerns about process. VLP trains copped extensive delays, other operators copped less delays. Perhaps the V/L drivers were justified in their prudence.

2.  Seat belts? They would be truly awful on a loco, with the rough ride leaving us bruised from the vertical bouncing. And in railcars, that delays our escape options (and makes it that much longer before we yell “follow me, try to keep up!”). Seriously, they mitigate some risks, but can create new hazards.
hbedriver
As another driver on that line I totally agree.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

Are seat belts on locos a solution looking for a problem?
YM-Mundrabilla
Yes..... and operators will be falling over themselves to show that they are "doing something". Zero harm and all that. Pissing your pants will be optional but fitting your belt won't.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Two points to make, as a driver on that line.

1. Usual working at Wallan was replaced by paper-based system. Several V/Line drivers expressed concerns about process. VLP trains copped extensive delays, other operators copped less delays. Perhaps the V/L drivers were justified in their prudence.

2.  Seat belts? They would be truly awful on a loco, with the rough ride leaving us bruised from the vertical bouncing. And in railcars, that delays our escape options (and makes it that much longer before we yell “follow me, try to keep up!”). Seriously, they mitigate some risks, but can create new hazards.
As another driver on that line I totally agree.
Fatty
This might be true or might not be, although I very much doubt they would slow anyone's escape and especially if there is a difference between escaping after being thrown to the floor or escaping after being restrained by a seatbelt. However I doubt their compulsory wearing would have a measurable impacts on safety for train drivers based on stats alone and in the case of drivers who have been killed, probably not at all.

FYI - I just googled "excuses for why seat belts should not be compulsory in cars" and got similar responses from USA and India websites.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
This might be true or might not be, although I very much doubt they would slow anyone's escape and especially if there is a difference between escaping after being thrown to the floor or escaping after being restrained by a seatbelt. However I doubt their compulsory wearing would have a measurable impacts on safety for train drivers based on stats alone and in the case of drivers who have been killed, probably not at all.
RTT_Rules


How much time have you spent behind the controls of loco? We're talking about moving to a position of safety before something has happened - not in the aftermath.


FYI - I just googled "excuses for why seat belts should not be compulsory in cars" and got similar responses from USA and India websites.


Yep, cars and locomotives are exactly the same. :rolleyesgif:
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
This might be true or might not be, although I very much doubt they would slow anyone's escape
RTT_Rules

Not sure I agree. I feel a seat belt would be an additional hinderance to the business of escaping the seat in an emergency, whether it's an oncoming grain truck at a level crossing or ramming the back of a stationary train. Imagine realising you need to escape, you're already panicking, you may only have seconds, and then you have to try and unclick the button and remove the belts, which is already unnatural in that you want the seat belt protection in a car accident, before putting as much distance as possible between one's self and the point of impact.

And that's not that easy either, whether you're having to dodge around the NR control stand or extricate yourself from the confines of the 81 class cockpit. Are you better off staying in the seat? Well we can't ask the driver of 7MP5 in the Jumperkine collision but given what happened to him I'd suggest not.
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic

You're obviously not a train driver.
Fatty
no, but have worked in highly unionised industries, and union guidance is usually followed, because if you don't, the union isn't usualy in a hurry to help if/when things go south. Yes i wonder about how practical it would be as a train driver, but that's probably not the point of the premise.
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

The two G class they wrote off at Ararat some years back (517/518) was a marvellous unplanned demonstration of all sorts of things. The two crew in the moving loco applied emergency braking, then after they had done everything else possible hit the floor behind the seats prior to impact. Several thousand tonnes of mass collided at 70km/h. The crew both survived, and subsequently returned to work.

An N class struck a sand truck near Moriac a few years back. Another impact with a heavy and strong object; the cab filled with sand,  the driver was behind his seat and survived (although a little sand-blasted).

In both cases, their ability to survive was based on getting out of the seat. Had they stayed in those seats, the destruction of the windscreens (which of necessity are large, but thus prone to be a weak spot) would have allowed potentially lethal objects to penetrate their space.

Getting out of the seat prior to impact and onto the floor still seems a better survival strategy than staying locked into a dangerous place as dictated by someone who will never be there. No to seat belts.

Trains are different to road vehicles, in that they can offer that additional space which can make the difference between survival or not, also that you can get to a point of doing everything possible, after which you are only a witness. Living witnesses are always better. Road vehicles are not designed with an impact of thousands of tonnes in mind.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Getting out of the seat prior to impact and onto the floor still seems a better survival strategy than staying locked into a dangerous place as dictated by someone who will never be there. No to seat belts.
hbedriver
Exactly this. I've put the brakes into emergency and got out of the seat to a position of improved safety twice. Once when it looked like we were about to clean up a cane haulout tractor and the other a truck hauling a dog trailer filled with I don't know what. Both times we missed but on both occasions I didn't want to see what could of come through the windscreen at us.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne

You're obviously not a train driver.no, but have worked in highly unionised industries, and union guidance is usually followed, because if you don't, the union isn't usualy in a hurry to help if/when things go south. Yes i wonder about how practical it would be as a train driver, but that's probably not the point of the premise.
Galron

I would expect my union to fight very strongly against the introduction of seatbelts into locomotives.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
This might be true or might not be, although I very much doubt they would slow anyone's escape and especially if there is a difference between escaping after being thrown to the floor or escaping after being restrained by a seatbelt. However I doubt their compulsory wearing would have a measurable impacts on safety for train drivers based on stats alone and in the case of drivers who have been killed, probably not at all.


How much time have you spent behind the controls of loco? We're talking about moving to a position of safety before something has happened - not in the aftermath.


FYI - I just googled "excuses for why seat belts should not be compulsory in cars" and got similar responses from USA and India websites.


Yep, cars and locomotives are exactly the same. :rolleyesgif:
Fatty
Hi
No, not a driver, although I've had a number of "cab rides" including the QR electric Tilt train.

Where is the position of safety you talk about? short of ducking under the dash board? Certainly in the cabs I've been there is no where to go apart from ducking down and hoping for the best. The old movies of jumping off the train we all know is most likely a death sentence, if not the fall then the wreck ontop of you.

if we look at the XPT accident, I think most know the physics of why that train is on its side. Why the drivers are didn't survive it what looks like "minor" roll over I don't know. Cab intrusion or blunt force trauma? Could seat belts have helped, I have no idea but we certainly know no seat belts didn't save them. In other accidents would seat belts have lead to deaths where there wasn't?, no idea.

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