"peak hour" graffitti attck

 
  3l diesel

On Monday 5/5/2014, Ch 7 news ran an article about a "packed peak hour" train being stopped at Granville for 10 minutes while a couple of graffiti vandals got stuck into it. Any further info on this one? Was it that day or a held over news item? Was it peak hour? In 10 minutes didn't somebody on the train call 000? It just seems that 10 minutes for a pretty casual sort of attack (the mobile phone footage from the passengers shown on TV didn't indicate the vandals were in a hurry to move on). Were the vandals supported by lineside "cockatoos"?

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  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bAAL2aeLnw

For reference, I presume this is the story to which you refer?

As for someone on the train calling '000', I don't think it would do much good, as the passengers might not be able to detail where the vandals have accessed the rail corridor. It is the responsibility to the driver and guard to contact operations to ensure other rail traffic is stopped (they're shown in the danger zone of an adjacent line). I say this because it only takes one of these clowns to get hit by a train, and there's a sob story on the news about how he was such a good boy, and then plenty of footage of his friends all crying and laying flowers.
  bambul Station Master

Location: Sydney
I was on that train, took some photos and video of the incident. I then uploaded it to YouTube, then was contacted by Channel Seven and the Parramatta Sun about it. So here's all the details (feel free to ask for clarifications).

It was the 4:47PM train from Seven Hills (from memory) on Saturday, and it stopped between Harris Park and Granville. I'm still not sure why it stopped, or if the reason was the vandals doing something to make it stop. I noticed 2 men running up to the train and took the photos, then began filming a minute or two after the train had stopped. The footage went for 4 minutes, until the 3 men (there was a third one taking photos) had run off. The train then began moving a further 5 minutes after that, and we arrived at Central 10 minutes after the timetabled arrival time.

I uploaded the video on Saturday night, but was not contacted until Monday. I don't know if it was ever mentioned that it occurred at peak hour - it certainly didn't happen during peak hour as it was a Saturday.

Another passenger notified the guard quite early and the police were investigating the matter as of Monday afternoon.

My full 4 minute video is here:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76tqXZdLAgs
  Rarki Station Master

I was also a passenger on this train (the 16:53 from Westmead), travelling in the rear carriage which came to a stop near where the Cumberland Line curves away towards Merrylands. I didn't think it necessary to ring 000 as I assumed the police would have been notified once the guard notified control. I didn't take any footage although others in my carriage did. The vandals exited the rail corridor near the M4 overpass (possibly onto Tottenham Street looking at a map) having run back along the length of the train.

One of the vandals threw a piece of ballast at the train hitting the rear of the last carriage. I don't know whether they were throwing it at the people banging on the windows and hurling abuse, or whether the guard had her compartment door open and they were throwing at it her. You read of this sort of thing happening but to experience it in person is another thing entirely.

Viewing the raw footage above I see the vandals left some discarded aerosol cans on the tracks and weren't wearing gloves. I hope the police were able to get some prints off them. Additionally, these morons usually can't resist the urge to upload their own footage/photos, hopefully providing the police with sufficient evidence of their crimes by doing so.
  bambul Station Master

Location: Sydney
I was also a passenger on this train (the 16:53 from Westmead), travelling in the rear carriage which came to a stop near where the Cumberland Line curves away towards Merrylands. I didn't think it necessary to ring 000 as I assumed the police would have been notified once the guard notified control. I didn't take any footage although others in my carriage did. The vandals exited the rail corridor near the M4 overpass (possibly onto Tottenham Street looking at a map) having run back along the length of the train.

One of the vandals threw a piece of ballast at the train hitting the rear of the last carriage. I don't know whether they were throwing it at the people banging on the windows and hurling abuse, or whether the guard had her compartment door open and they were throwing at it her. You read of this sort of thing happening but to experience it in person is another thing entirely.

Viewing the raw footage above I see the vandals left some discarded aerosol cans on the tracks and weren't wearing gloves. I hope the police were able to get some prints off them. Additionally, these morons usually can't resist the urge to upload their own footage/photos, hopefully providing the police with sufficient evidence of their crimes by doing so.
Rarki

It was thrown at the door after a passenger started giving the finger to one of he individuals outside. I didn't get it on my video on the previous post, but you can hear the bang at the 3:10 point when it made impact with the door.
  matthewg Train Controller

Presuming that the train was stopped by the vandals, ultimately it constitutes a hijack situation. Any word yet on the police follow up? I suppose you good folk on board at the time didn't need to be concerned about an extra 10 minutes travel time whilst these people had their time... Probably like kidnapping girls in Nigeria, success will breed success and we can expect more of the same in the future. If and when the vandals are caught, one wonders how the courts will react....
3l diesel

It's not unknown for these vandals to interfere with the signalling to make the train stop. (Signals are 'fail safe', so it not all that hard to do something to make a red light appear).

While they might get treated lightly by the law for the actual graffiti vandalism, interfering with a rail safety system is a serious breach of federal rail safety law and if caught will cause them more grief than the painting job.

A big part of the problem is the police appear to not think this sort of thing is worth their time investigating, they are too busy going after crims they know they can get a proper custodial conviction for, instead of a wrist slapping 'well you were naughty boys, don't do that again' type of conviction for graffiti vandals.
  steve_w_1990 Junior Train Controller

Location: Trying to fix something on the PTA Network
What are the rules in Sydney in regards to being able to pass a malfuntioning signal at danger?

In those sort of situations I would have thought the driver would call up the area controller, inform him/her of the malfuntioning signal and get permission to pass the signal at danger (if the route ahead was clear) and be on their way.

It's also interesting to note that these vandals know how to tamper with the railway safeworking equipment and get a signal to stay at danger so they can vandalise the trains. It makes me think there must be someone in the railways thats passing this information onto these fools. Either that, or they spend a hell of alot of time studying how railway safeworking systems work and ways to make it malfunction. (might be part of their "honarary piece of human garbage acceptance exam").

They also don't seem to be in a hurry to get their work done, probably because they know the chances of someone turning up and actually catching them is very unlikely. Even if they do get caught, there doesn't seem to be too much of a detterant in place to stop the vandals reoffending as this problem has been going on for years, and nothing seems to get done to stop it, short of building razor wire fences around all the loco depots.

The other problem with these idiots is the bleeding heart do-gooder lawyers who stand up for them. The old saying "you do the crime you do the time" just doesn't seem to stick anymore. It more or less becomes a case of "you do the crime and we'll give you 10 verbal warnings, 30 juvenile cautions, a good behavior bond, bail, a suspended sentance, weekend detention, and then maby some time if you're unlucky".
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
What are the rules in Sydney in regards to being able to pass a malfuntioning signal at danger?

In those sort of situations I would have thought the driver would call up the area controller, inform him/her of the malfuntioning signal and get permission to pass the signal at danger (if the route ahead was clear) and be on their way.
steve_w_1990

That is quite likely what would happen, however this takes time to be done safely, and it only takes them a couple of minutes to spray the train and leave. Normally by the time the train is moving (and stopped again with the emergency brakes being activated by the train stop), they're long done and long gone.

It's also interesting to note that these vandals know how to tamper with the railway safeworking equipment and get a signal to stay at danger so they can vandalise the trains. It makes me think there must be someone in the railways thats passing this information onto these fools. Either that, or they spend a hell of alot of time studying how railway safeworking systems work and ways to make it malfunction. (might be part of their "honarary piece of human garbage acceptance exam").

I'd suggest one "figured it out", possibly with insider information, and then the information has spread. Like we share photospots and train running info on forums like these, they would share their own "tips and tricks" on their own Facebook pages and forums, I'd suspect...


[...] nothing seems to get done to stop it, short of building razor wire fences around all the loco depots.

Problem is, most of this is done on running lines now, so unless you can make the entire rail corridor 100% secure, it's very hard to stop. The best deterrent is to punish those who are caught severely, and clean the graffiti off as quickly as possible...

You'll never remove the problem 100%, but you can stamp it out. The Liberal government seems to be having some success in this, as outside of school holidays, trains with large "tags" on them are becoming rarer each day.
  smithagain Junior Train Controller

I was under the impression a train will stop if there is a person on or near the track. There is no need for these morons to know anything technical about signals.

(As this type of info is posted on Sydney Trains website - in the form of service interruptions/delays "due to a person on the tracks" - I don't think I'm giving away any secrets).
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

I was under the impression a train will stop if there is a person on or near the track. There is no need for these morons to know anything technical about signals.

(As this type of info is posted on Sydney Trains website - in the form of service interruptions/delays "due to a person on the tracks" - I don't think I'm giving away any secrets).
smithagain

You have 2 different situations mixed up. Mostly, when trains are stopped, it is due to a trespasser that is in immediate danger and likely to deliberately harm themselves. In the case of graffiti artists, they do whatever they need to do to bring the signal to red and then vandalise the train when it comes to a halt. This only takes them several seconds and they hide until the train comes to a halt. It does not take long to clear the signal but enough time for them to carry out their act of stupidity.

There is also a big difference between someone trespassing on the 6 tracks between Central and Strathfield, were you would need to walk within the danger zone, and say up the Blue Mountains were trespassers often take short cuts within the rail corridor but not in the danger zone.

In the first instance trains would be stopped but in the second instance the crew would notify Control, who would notify police to investigate.

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