4BM4 derailed north of Coffs Harbour

 
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

'... What cost/design interval balance should be used? ...'

Don't worry the ATSB will come up with an answer in about three years.
YM-Mundrabilla
Not the remit of the ATSB.

Sponsored advertisement

  Lockspike Chief Commissioner


The late lamented local Ganger would have known but it will all cost money!
YM-Mundrabilla
Aye; and he knew where to look firstly.
He was also expected to turn out without being called, whenever the track was at risk. The downside for him was to be able to do so, he was expected to remain local to his length 24/7/345. He was not eligible for an on-call allowance.
  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Still very wet and more rain coming so the train cleanup is going to remain a challenge.  A road will need to be built to the site.

You wonder if having rail based cranes would allow this work to happen easier?
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Still very wet and more rain coming so the train cleanup is going to remain a challenge.  A road will need to be built to the site.

You wonder if having rail based cranes would allow this work to happen easier?
NSWGR8022
Considering how long it takes for derailment sites to be released to the rail authority and train operator these days, two 400t road/rail (std gauge) mobile cranes could cover the whole std gauge network.
Between times, they could do regular crane work.
  PeeJay Junior Train Controller

Location: Riverstone NSW
Considering how long it takes for derailment sites to be released to the rail authority and train operator these days, two 400t road/rail (std gauge) mobile cranes could cover the whole std gauge network.
Between times, they could do regular crane work.
Lockspike


I doubt the track could hold a 400t crane. If they could transfer it by rail to site, remove the rails and drive the crane off the rails and onto a prepared bed that might work. But then they still need very large flatbed trucks to remove the damaged locos and equipment (wheelsets inoperable etc.) so just easier not to use rail I guess.
  hairylegs2 Station Master

I wonder about the engine numbers and sequence if NR 39 was leading and is on its side:
  • Where are the second and third engines in the aerial photos?
  • Why was it long end leading?
Just wondering if it is the third loco that is on its side or did I just make all of this up.
Happy, as always, to be corrected.
If you watch the fb video in the 2rd reply the lead 2 locos NR43 & AN3 are about 200 metres further along the track, with NR39 is lying on it's side.
nscaler69
I live locally so today I went and had a squiz. It is a very busy work site; lots of trucks and earth moving machinery. NR43 and AN3 are still there. NR43 has the two leading axles of the leading bogie derailed, and also the trailing axle of the trailing bogie derailed. AN3 has all wheels still on the rails. This afternoon at least three 200+ tonne mobile cranes arrived, so NR43 is probably rerailed by now. This operation will be costing an awful lot of money; stab on the dark, I reckon several million. I will write something later about how this would have been done 40 years ago. Suffice to say for now that it would have been done a lot quicker, and a helluva lot cheaper back then.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Really a great update and appreciated. Looking foreword to the next update.
  hairylegs2 Station Master

It was a washaway. The track was washed off its alignment. Very lucky that the two leading locos got over it.
Not correct.  

The ballast was washed away leaving the track unsupported.  Water flowed from right to left in the photo.  Weight of lead locos caused distortion of trackwork in the vertical and horizontal planes due to lack of support from the ballast, leading to full derailment of the following engine and vehicles.  Track has ended up on the upstream side of its original alignment.  Observation and experience of streamflow and erosion can discern the failure and derailment mechanism.  

Simples.
c3526blue
"The ballast was washed away leaving the track unsupported." That is by definition a washaway.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

I doubt the track could hold a 400t crane. If they could transfer it by rail to site, remove the rails and drive the crane off the rails and onto a prepared bed that might work. But then they still need very large flatbed trucks to remove the damaged locos and equipment (wheelsets inoperable etc.) so just easier not to use rail I guess.
PeeJay
Unless you are talking fencing wire rails, track can handle such largely static loads, especially as the stabilisers take a large portion of the load.
Damaged locos and stock can all be taken out by rail. That's the way it was done before the advent of large road cranes and earthmoving equipment, in time frames that make today's recovery efforts look foolish.

I guess those with the knowledge are now long retired or pushing up daisies.
  hairylegs2 Station Master

Really a great update and appreciated. Looking foreword to the next update.
freightgate
Here's a start. The derailment happened sometime during the night of Wed 24 and Thur 25 Feb. The actual time is a matter of dispute between casual observers. If this had happened when there were still loco depots at Taree and Casino, the respective depots would have been notified shortly afterwards, and the emergency crews called out. The recovery trains from both Taree and Casino depots would have departed sometime on Thur 25/2, arriving at Nana Glen later on 25/2.

The derailed axles on NR 43 would have been rerailed using the German jacks on 25/2, and NR43 and AN3 would have been moved to Nana Glen loop. The recovery crane on the South end would then have started moving the wrecked containers and wagons away from the per way.

On the North end the un-derailed wagons would have been cleared from the section on 25/2, allowing the Casino recovery crane access, and it too would have started cleanup work on 25/2.

Notwithstanding the continuing rain, the train wreckage would have been cleared by the end of 26/2. The damage to the per way is not great and temporary repairs would have been completed by the end of 27/2, with trains running again, albeit at reduced speeds, by 28/2. Today is 1/3 and the cleanup is just beginning. That's progress for you.
  cityrail-rulez Chief Train Controller

First of all, I'm glad the crew is alright!

What I'd like to know is why didn't ARTC track inspection crew check the corridor before allowing the freight train through the section? As they would have known that there was heavy rainfall and flooding in the area, common sense would tell you to go out there and check the track before allowing trains to pass through the section

A few years back, I can't remember how far back! But when there was heavy rainfall and flooding along the North Coast. The ARTC called out track inspection crews and there were washaways, which the ARTC had to close the North Coast line to make repairs "I think it took about a week?" what makes this recent accident so frustrating is that the ARTC didn't bother to send out track inspection crews to ensure safety... Just makes no sense!!

It's certainly not the first time the ARTC... Lets say "Stuffed up"!
  LowndesJ515 #TeamRog

Location: Not in Victoria
First of all, I'm glad the crew is alright!

What I'd like to know is why didn't ARTC track inspection crew check the corridor before allowing the freight train through the section? As they would have known that there was heavy rainfall and flooding in the area, common sense would tell you to go out there and check the track before allowing trains to pass through the section

A few years back, I can't remember how far back! But when there was heavy rainfall and flooding along the North Coast. The ARTC called out track inspection crews and there were washaways, which the ARTC had to close the North Coast line to make repairs "I think it took about a week?" what makes this recent accident so frustrating is that the ARTC didn't bother to send out track inspection crews to ensure safety... Just makes no sense!!

It's certainly not the first time the ARTC... Lets say "Stuffed up"!
cityrail-rulez
Armchair experts come out to play again.

Firstly, were there weather alerts issued to ARTC that night from the BOM? I never received any emails from ARTC about weather alerts. A few weeks earlier there were weather alerts on the Main South and Coota - Parkes line. Any Weather Alerts get sent out straight away and they take it pretty seriously.

XPT only went through the location just before this freight train, if there was an issue surely it would have been reported.

Flash Floods happen. I was driving a train only 12 months ago into a location, it was pouring down. I looked to my right and saw a log doing about 100km/h down a hill and thought id better slow down. Luckily I did as there was a wash away infront of me. I had no warning of that, just gut instinct.

The washaway that just happened at Bellata on Saturday, the Xplorer came through in the morning and everything was ok. Member of the public a short time afterwards reported track swinging in the breeze at that location with a Grain Train bearing down on the location.
  hairylegs2 Station Master

First of all, I'm glad the crew is alright!

What I'd like to know is why didn't ARTC track inspection crew check the corridor before allowing the freight train through the section? As they would have known that there was heavy rainfall and flooding in the area, common sense would tell you to go out there and check the track before allowing trains to pass through the section

A few years back, I can't remember how far back! But when there was heavy rainfall and flooding along the North Coast. The ARTC called out track inspection crews and there were washaways, which the ARTC had to close the North Coast line to make repairs "I think it took about a week?" what makes this recent accident so frustrating is that the ARTC didn't bother to send out track inspection crews to ensure safety... Just makes no sense!!

It's certainly not the first time the ARTC... Lets say "Stuffed up"!
Armchair experts come out to play again.

Firstly, were there weather alerts issued to ARTC that night from the BOM? I never received any emails from ARTC about weather alerts. A few weeks earlier there were weather alerts on the Main South and Coota - Parkes line. Any Weather Alerts get sent out straight away and they take it pretty seriously.

XPT only went through the location just before this freight train, if there was an issue surely it would have been reported.

Flash Floods happen. I was driving a train only 12 months ago into a location, it was pouring down. I looked to my right and saw a log doing about 100km/h down a hill and thought id better slow down. Luckily I did as there was a wash away infront of me. I had no warning of that, just gut instinct.

The washaway that just happened at Bellata on Saturday, the Xplorer came through in the morning and everything was ok. Member of the public a short time afterwards reported track swinging in the breeze at that location with a Grain Train bearing down on the location.
LowndesJ515
Flash floods certainly do happen! Which is why in the old days there were local fettling gangs, and whenever there was heavy rain the local ganger would go out, day or night, to inspect his length for flood damage. To do so was part of his duty, and there was no involvement from the BOM. Now there are no local fettling gangs, and as a direct result of that we get catastrophic derailments.

Obviously we won't be going back to the old way of local fettling gangs, but the ARTC will need to come up with some clever technological solution to stop this sort of thing happening.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Visit the ARTC timetable site and plot all the trains that passed or were due to pass that spot in either direction shortly before or shortly after the flood. In this case it was 4BM4 but those timetables will show the trains that may have instead hit the problem had the water come earlier or slighty later or a train was running early or late.
  splod Junior Train Controller

Location: Darwin, NT
It was a washaway. The track was washed off its alignment. Very lucky that the two leading locos got over it.
Not correct.  

The ballast was washed away leaving the track unsupported.  Water flowed from right to left in the photo.  Weight of lead locos caused distortion of trackwork in the vertical and horizontal planes due to lack of support from the ballast, leading to full derailment of the following engine and vehicles.  Track has ended up on the upstream side of its original alignment.  Observation and experience of streamflow and erosion can discern the failure and derailment mechanism.  

Simples.
c3526blue
"The ballast was washed away leaving the track unsupported." That is by definition a washaway.
"hairylegs2"

I think it was the "The track was washed off its alignment" part to which c3526blue was objecting.  Some ballast was washed away, leaving the track unsupported but still on its alignment.  The weight of the loco and train moving across the site of the washaway then caused the unsupported track to be displaced in the opposite direction to which the water was flowing.
  hairylegs2 Station Master

It was a washaway. The track was washed off its alignment. Very lucky that the two leading locos got over it.
Not correct.  

The ballast was washed away leaving the track unsupported.  Water flowed from right to left in the photo.  Weight of lead locos caused distortion of trackwork in the vertical and horizontal planes due to lack of support from the ballast, leading to full derailment of the following engine and vehicles.  Track has ended up on the upstream side of its original alignment.  Observation and experience of streamflow and erosion can discern the failure and derailment mechanism.  

Simples.
"The ballast was washed away leaving the track unsupported." That is by definition a washaway.

I think it was the "The track was washed off its alignment" part to which c3526blue was objecting.  Some ballast was washed away, leaving the track unsupported but still on its alignment.  The weight of the loco and train moving across the site of the washaway then caused the unsupported track to be displaced in the opposite direction to which the water was flowing.
splod
Fair point. But since the track on the washaway was was disturbed by the violent derailment, it is not possible to know now whether the track had been displaced by the flood water or not. In the end that actually doesn't matter. The derailment was caused by flash flooding due to torrential rain. The flood damage to the track was not detected, thus a train passed over it and derailed.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
First of all, I'm glad the crew is alright!

What I'd like to know is why didn't ARTC track inspection crew check the corridor before allowing the freight train through the section? As they would have known that there was heavy rainfall and flooding in the area, common sense would tell you to go out there and check the track before allowing trains to pass through the section

A few years back, I can't remember how far back! But when there was heavy rainfall and flooding along the North Coast. The ARTC called out track inspection crews and there were washaways, which the ARTC had to close the North Coast line to make repairs "I think it took about a week?" what makes this recent accident so frustrating is that the ARTC didn't bother to send out track inspection crews to ensure safety... Just makes no sense!!

It's certainly not the first time the ARTC... Lets say "Stuffed up"!
Armchair experts come out to play again.

Firstly, were there weather alerts issued to ARTC that night from the BOM? I never received any emails from ARTC about weather alerts. A few weeks earlier there were weather alerts on the Main South and Coota - Parkes line. Any Weather Alerts get sent out straight away and they take it pretty seriously.

XPT only went through the location just before this freight train, if there was an issue surely it would have been reported.

Flash Floods happen. I was driving a train only 12 months ago into a location, it was pouring down. I looked to my right and saw a log doing about 100km/h down a hill and thought id better slow down. Luckily I did as there was a wash away infront of me. I had no warning of that, just gut instinct.

The washaway that just happened at Bellata on Saturday, the Xplorer came through in the morning and everything was ok. Member of the public a short time afterwards reported track swinging in the breeze at that location with a Grain Train bearing down on the location.
Flash floods certainly do happen! Which is why in the old days there were local fettling gangs, and whenever there was heavy rain the local ganger would go out, day or night, to inspect his length for flood damage. To do so was part of his duty, and there was no involvement from the BOM. Now there are no local fettling gangs, and as a direct result of that we get catastrophic derailments.

Obviously we won't be going back to the old way of local fettling gangs, but the ARTC will need to come up with some clever technological solution to stop this sort of thing happening.
hairylegs2
I seem to recall there were derailments from washaways, even in the old days.
  420renegade Station Staff

seems some think ARTC are to blame for everything including the shrinkage of the rail network
you are aware they are not allowed to keep operational profits and requests for corridor improvements are approved or rejected by the federal government of the day.

also all north coast bridges and culverts are still under Transport NSW ownership and funded by them for maintenance which john Hollands  rail construction division does for transport NSW.
even if that location was entirely continuous culverts damage may still have occurred, the location received 426mm of rainfall over a very short period.

to think having some cranes on hand would have this cleared in days is ludicrous, trucks and earth moving gear is needed to recover the debris.
modern oh&s requirements slows things down but the older rail types forget how many injuries and deaths use to occur back then.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner



Obviously we won't be going back to the old way of local fettling gangs, but the ARTC will need to come up with some clever technological solution to stop this sort of thing happening.
hairylegs2
Following the Edith River washaway in the Northern Territory in 2011, a series of stream detectors were installed. These are set at various heights and alarm to Train Control.
  hairylegs2 Station Master

to think having some cranes on hand would have this cleared in days is ludicrous, trucks and earth moving gear is needed to recover the debris.
420renegade
It may seem ludicrous these days, but that is what used to happen. I saw some pretty major derailments in the '70s and '80s which were cleared enough to get the track open pretty quickly. Keeping the trains running was more of a priority then.

The trucks and earth moving machinery are being used create access for the road cranes, and to make pads for them to set up on. When the rail break-down cranes were used, that was not needed.

Pre ARTC, derailments were mostly cleared in-house. In the latter years some earth moving equipment was sometimes hired, but in earlier years the NSWGR did it all themselves, without trucks or bull dozers. And they did it quickly and cheaply.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
to think having some cranes on hand would have this cleared in days is ludicrous, trucks and earth moving gear is needed to recover the debris.
It may seem ludicrous these days, but that is what used to happen. I saw some pretty major derailments in the '70s and '80s which were cleared enough to get the track open pretty quickly. Keeping the trains running was more of a priority then.

The trucks and earth moving machinery are being used create access for the road cranes, and to make pads for them to set up on. When the rail break-down cranes were used, that was not needed.

Pre ARTC, derailments were mostly cleared in-house. In the latter years some earth moving equipment was sometimes hired, but in earlier years the NSWGR did it all themselves, without trucks or bull dozers. And they did it quickly and cheaply.
hairylegs2

Pre ARTC trains travelled at half the speed they do now and at half the length. Freight sat around in sidings for days on end so keeping trains running would have been a bit of irony.  I also challenge you do provide figures that it was done cheaply - particularly given that the NSWGR and i.ts antecedents were huge loss makers. The interstate freight business was losing a million dollars a day in the early 90s

It's not just ARTC that doesn't have their own cranes, neither does Sydney Trains or the CRN.

A two week shutdown of the Sydney to Brisbane route ain't good by any stretch of the imagination - but a return to the good old days of the NSWGR - faaaaark me Shocked
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner


to think having some cranes on hand would have this cleared in days is ludicrous, trucks and earth moving gear is needed to recover the debris.
modern oh&s requirements slows things down but the older rail types forget how many injuries and deaths use to occur back then.
420renegade
I have seen some hair-raising things at derailments and other works, things that I will not tolerate on site today.

If oh&s is substantially slowing the work, it hasn't been implemented correctly.

Now, first fingers in the pie are the constabulary, where everyone is suspect until they can determine no crime has been committed. They are good at catching miscreants ... .

I do concede that more emphasis is applied to the incident investigation these days, and that is a good thing. The 'investigation' used to be cursory and determined by a boys club, apportioning blame being the primary objective.
I have the greatest respect for the ATSB investigators, I only wish they were resourced more adequately to get their final reports out sooner.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik

to think having some cranes on hand would have this cleared in days is ludicrous, trucks and earth moving gear is needed to recover the debris.
modern oh&s requirements slows things down but the older rail types forget how many injuries and deaths use to occur back then.I have seen some hair-raising things at derailments and other works, things that I will not tolerate on site today.

If oh&s is substantially slowing the work, it hasn't been implemented correctly.

Now, first fingers in the pie are the constabulary, where everyone is suspect until they can determine no crime has been committed. They are good at catching miscreants ... .

I do concede that more emphasis is applied to the incident investigation these days, and that is a good thing. The 'investigation' used to be cursory and determined by a boys club, apportioning blame being the primary objective.
I have the greatest respect for the ATSB investigators, I only wish they were resourced more adequately to get their final reports out sooner.
Lockspike
I have seen some hair-raising things at derailments and other works, things that I will not tolerate on site today.  Agree

If oh&s is substantially slowing the work, it hasn't been implemented correctly. Agree

Now, first fingers in the pie are the constabulary, where everyone is suspect until they can determine no crime has been committed. They are good at catching miscreants ... . There are few less experienced / less competent people involved.

I do concede that more emphasis is applied to the incident investigation these days, and that is a good thing. The 'investigation' used to be cursory and determined by a boys club, apportioning blame being the primary objective. True - was it Way and Works (CCE) or was it Rolling Stock (CME)? Rarely any alternative.

I have the greatest respect for the ATSB investigators, I only wish they were resourced more adequately to get their final reports out sooner. Yes to the ultimate degree of technicality and no to bureaucratically (timewise) sometimes to report on the obvious.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

to think having some cranes on hand would have this cleared in days is ludicrous, trucks and earth moving gear is needed to recover the debris.
It may seem ludicrous these days, but that is what used to happen. I saw some pretty major derailments in the '70s and '80s which were cleared enough to get the track open pretty quickly. Keeping the trains running was more of a priority then.

The trucks and earth moving machinery are being used create access for the road cranes, and to make pads for them to set up on. When the rail break-down cranes were used, that was not needed.

Pre ARTC, derailments were mostly cleared in-house. In the latter years some earth moving equipment was sometimes hired, but in earlier years the NSWGR did it all themselves, without trucks or bull dozers. And they did it quickly and cheaply.

Pre ARTC trains travelled at half the speed they do now and at half the length. Freight sat around in sidings for days on end so keeping trains running would have been a bit of irony.  I also challenge you do provide figures that it was done cheaply - particularly given that the NSWGR and i.ts antecedents were huge loss makers. The interstate freight business was losing a million dollars a day in the early 90s

It's not just ARTC that doesn't have their own cranes, neither does Sydney Trains or the CRN.

A two week shutdown of the Sydney to Brisbane route ain't good by any stretch of the imagination - but a return to the good old days of the NSWGR - faaaaark me Shocked
bingley hall
And only locos like 44/45 classes and their later variants. The rolling stock was generally smaller so no comparison to today's operations. In regard to recovery equipment it makes sense to hire road cranes rather than having wreckers etc belonging to the railway used very infrequently. The road cranes are far more flexible and lifted the NR out without doing any dangerous shoring up etc to jack up and be lifted by rail based wreckers.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Wonder how many years since the last culvert inspections?

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: