Passengers take to the tracks after train brings down overhead cables

 

News article: Passengers take to the tracks after train brings down overhead cables

Passengers stranded inside a suburban train after it hit overhead cables have risked their own safety by climbing outside the carriages and onto the tracks within metres of dangerous electrical wiring.

  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Despite being very dangerous this is a serious failure of the network overhead causing damage to windows on the rolling stock and forcing passengers to wait hours for help.  Some passengers actually left the carriages and walked down the tracks which is dangerous as the standard gauge line also runs through there.

The image for Metro is just getting worse and worse with the Transport Safety Authority now planning to investigate.

There is also a 3rd party company who has been retained for a review who will presumably review the maintenance records for the train and the infrastructure.  If they complete this and find Metro liable for poor maintenance are they the company likely to get any maintenance work from Metro in the future?

Passengers take to the tracks after train brings down overhead cables

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  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Rule 1 - if live cables are touching the carriage, stay inside it. Don't get out and touch anything.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Despite being very dangerous this is a serious failure of the network overhead causing damage to windows on the rolling stock and forcing passengers to wait hours for help.  Some passengers actually left the carriages and walked down the tracks which is dangerous as the standard gauge line also runs through there.

The image for Metro is just getting worse and worse with the Transport Safety Authority now planning to investigate.

There is also a 3rd party company who has been retained for a review who will presumably review the maintenance records for the train and the infrastructure.  If they complete this and find Metro liable for poor maintenance are they the company likely to get any maintenance work from Metro in the future?

Passengers take to the tracks after train brings down overhead cables
x31
It seems that long unexplained delays are increasing, IMO this is increasingly unacceptable. I quite understand passengers leaving the train and making their own way.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
It was known immediately the overhead was down, yet it took several hours for the pax to be evacuated Question

Unacceptable Exclamation

METRO knew exactly the problem AND knew pax wouldn't hang around waiting for them to get their act into gear and would start to leave the train by whatever means was available, but it was sheer good luck the train wasn't 'live' from the overhead.

If METRO had any kind of contingency for these occurrences they would send out the SES, Vic Police and Ambos to advise the pax, check on their status as was the case within less than 30 mins when I was on a train that had a fatal around 3 years ago.

Just how difficult and time consuming is it to isolate the overhead Question

Mike.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Good to see the armchair experts out here again advocating rail workers putting themselves at risk because other people are stupid.

Emergency services were actually on scene within 12 minutes; that’s the level of selfishness and impatience that we’re dealing with here.

It’s a serious problem that the PA wasn’t available - I was under the impression that was on the battery backup system, which was clearly operational by the presence of emergency-level lighting in some of the interior photos of the train. If not, the question has to be asked, why not?

It has been observed that a guard on the train might have been able to reassure passengers, but of course they would have been restricted to half the train if available at all, so it’s not a perfect answer.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Rule 1 - if live cables are touching the carriage, stay inside it. Don't get out and touch anything.
Valvegear

Would the overhead after snapping have been energised or would the power have been isolated from that section as should have been the case?

The first thing would have been isolation and then recovery of the passengers and then rollingstock.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

How were these passengers even able to get out of the train in the first place?
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Rule 1 - if live cables are touching the carriage, stay inside it. Don't get out and touch anything.

Would the overhead after snapping have been energised or would the power have been isolated from that section as should have been the case?

The first thing would have been isolation and then recovery of the passengers and then rollingstock.
x31
Not always, unfortunately. There have been cases where the substation CB's have not opened in response to OHLE over-current events, ISTR two reports mentioning it I've read previously, but can only find this one at the moment.

EDIT: Actually, I found the other report HERE, but it was where a pantograph bridged an air gap and melted through, though the DCCB's correctly opened in this case.
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
How were these passengers even able to get out of the train in the first place?
simstrain
Does NSW not have emergency door releases on their trains? Sounds a bit dangerous, they could learn from Victoria on this....... Wink
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

How were these passengers even able to get out of the train in the first place?
Does NSW not have emergency door releases on their trains? Sounds a bit dangerous, they could learn from Victoria on this....... Wink
jakar

The trains have emergency releases here but this situation is not what I would call an emergency situation. The train was upright and not on fire and so there was no reason for anybody to use the emergency door release. It was clearly safer to stay inside the train until as such time as services arrived to remove passengers safely.
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
How were these passengers even able to get out of the train in the first place?
Does NSW not have emergency door releases on their trains? Sounds a bit dangerous, they could learn from Victoria on this....... Wink

The trains have emergency releases here but this situation is not what I would call an emergency situation. The train was upright and not on fire and so there was no reason for anybody to use the emergency door release. It was clearly safer to stay inside the train until as such time as services arrived to remove passengers safely.
simstrain
Agree with all that but that was not what you asked. How do you propose making emergency releases only available in an actual life threatening emergency? Stupid people will always do stupid things, such as this.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Good to see the armchair experts out here again advocating rail workers putting themselves at risk because other people are stupid.
potatoinmymouth

As I'm the armchair commentator who has been in this situation previously, I still say it's unacceptable to hold people for up to three hours in the train before they could 'escape' and go about their business.

Fortunately I was on a V/Line train when we had the fatal and the reasons for our delayed detraining were obvious. However three hours on the spark...without a toilet and no doubt people in a very uncomfortable circumstances whilst METRO faffed about trying to work out a plan is still completely unacceptable.

Mike. (the armchair commentator)
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

It’s a serious problem that the PA wasn’t available - I was under the impression that was on the battery backup system, which was clearly operational by the presence of emergency-level lighting in some of the interior photos of the train. If not, the question has to be asked, why not?

It has been observed that a guard on the train might have been able to reassure passengers, but of course they would have been restricted to half the train if available at all, so it’s not a perfect answer.
potatoinmymouth
Better communication in this incident may have prevented passengers getting to the point of feeling helpless enough to fend for themselves.

Do the trains in Melbourne have the capability for the control centre to make announcements which will be fed through the speakers on the train? This would be especially handy in the event of a fatality where the driver may not be up to that.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
It’s a serious problem that the PA wasn’t available - I was under the impression that was on the battery backup system, which was clearly operational by the presence of emergency-level lighting in some of the interior photos of the train. If not, the question has to be asked, why not?

It has been observed that a guard on the train might have been able to reassure passengers, but of course they would have been restricted to half the train if available at all, so it’s not a perfect answer.
Better communication in this incident may have prevented passengers getting to the point of feeling helpless enough to fend for themselves.

Do the trains in Melbourne have the capability for the control centre to make announcements which will be fed through the speakers on the train? This would be especially handy in the event of a fatality where the driver may not be up to that.
justapassenger
Been many a year since I caught a suburban in Melbourne, but I don't believe so. It was also reported the PA system was inoperative, but that sounds strange, as I thought they were on the battery bus for situations like this...
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

It seems that long unexplained delays are increasing, IMO this is increasingly unacceptable. I quite understand passengers leaving the train and making their own way.
Lockspike

I'm not advocating that people should alight in such circumstances, just understand the desire to do so.

On the ground in a live railway environment is a dangerous place for the untrained and unauthorised person. While the overhead tripping out is often the first indication that 'control' have of a problem of this ilk, as KRviator stated the breakers don't alway trip, so exacerbating the danger.

It's still unacceptable for:
1. The frequency of such events
2. The long time taken to rescue the passengers.

Being the (generally) risk averse organisation that Metro are I'd be very surprised if they didn't have action plans already written for every conceivable emergency situation. There is no good reason for Metro not to have achieved effective action sooner.

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