XPT Train accident Wallan

 

Pinned post created by dthead

Posted 4 months ago

  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
"While various elements are being considered, to further provide confidence to the Regulator, our rail operator customers and the community, we’ll be implementing an interim 80 km/hr speed limit on the line between Melbourne and Albury."

This says it all really.
The very thing it does not do is promote confidence; it translates to, "Jeez, we know that the track is crook; we'll slow things down so that nothing else happens. You're all safer in a bus."
Valvegear
Depends on what is meant by "confidence". If it's confidence in the track, then yes, your translation is correct. If it's confidence that ARTC are managing the situation to avoid another derailment, then the speed restriction makes sense.

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  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
It seems ARTC imposes their own 80km/h restriction. Presumably nothing to do with trains falling off tracks, or suffering suspension failures, or passengers complaining about being thrown off the toilet seats. Maybe it was the massive rainfall during February?

Neither track faults nor broken/unmaintained/stolen wires caused the Wallan incident.

hbedriver
ARTC didn't impose the Blanket 80km/h TSR the Victorian Coroners Office and the Office of the National Rail Safety did, and ARTC implemented it.

I know semantics, but I wanted to correct the record for the Court of Public Opinion.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
ARTC didn't impose the Blanket 80km/h TSR the Victorian Coroners Office and the Office of the National Rail Safety did, and ARTC implemented it.

I know semantics, but I wanted to correct the record for the Court of Public Opinion.
Jack Le Lievre
Thanks Jack, that is really interesting, puts a very different light on it.

It didn't make sense to me that the ARTC would suddenly put an 80km/h restriction on such a large stretch of the line.

My thought was that it was a political move rather than a common sense one but this certainly clears up the confusion.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
ARTC didn't impose the Blanket 80km/h TSR the Victorian Coroners Office and the Office of the National Rail Safety did, and ARTC implemented it.
"Jack Le Lievre"
Interesting. I should have noted that the quote posted by Diverge was not attributed. Instead I wrongly assumed it was ARTC, so now  I must withdraw my earlier remarks.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
ARTC didn't impose the Blanket 80km/h TSR the Victorian Coroners Office and the Office of the National Rail Safety did, and ARTC implemented it.
Interesting. I should have noted that the quote posted by Diverge was not attributed. Instead I wrongly assumed it was ARTC, so now  I must withdraw my earlier remarks.
Valvegear
I think that your point is still valid VG

Dropping the limit to 80 is hardly confidence inspiring no matter whodunnit.

The cause of the accident is highly unlikely to be to do with track condition so why would the ONRSR request such a limit to be implemented. As for the Coroner's office, I didn't even realise that they had such powers!
  Diverge Beginner

It seems ARTC imposes their own 80km/h restriction. Presumably nothing to do with trains falling off tracks, or suffering suspension failures, or passengers complaining about being thrown off the toilet seats. Maybe it was the massive rainfall during February?

Neither track faults nor broken/unmaintained/stolen wires caused the Wallan incident.
ARTC didn't impose the Blanket 80km/h TSR the Victorian Coroners Office and the Office of the National Rail Safety did, and ARTC implemented it.

I know semantics, but I wanted to correct the record for the Court of Public Opinion.
Jack Le Lievre
Source?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
No XPT between Melbourne and Albury until further notice.
In order for the XPT service to operate, a return service should take less than 24 hours.

Otherwise there aren't enough trains to run the service.

Delays of over an hour mean this service can't be operated for the full distance.



Peter
M636C
Why not go down to Albury then, or even just Wagga, (close enough to the halfway point) and turn it back there? Too operationally challenging?
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

They don't have enough XPTs to do it.

I have always said, add a couple of pointy locos on the front end of an XPT train (lease EL or AN), paint them in the right livery, get a suitable generator, and your'e in business. It is not rocket science.
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, Victoria
Why not go down to Albury then, or even just Wagga, (close enough to the halfway point) and turn it back there? Too operationally challenging?
james.au
That's what is happening now. Sydney-Albury, Albury-Sydney.
  Senior Conductor Beginner

They don't have enough XPTs to do it.

I have always said, add a couple of pointy locos on the front end of an XPT train (lease EL or AN), paint them in the right livery, get a suitable generator, and your'e in business. It is not rocket science.
ANR
Not as simple as it sounds, but what you say does have substance and is not impossible. How about getting some of the old Spirit of Progress cars out of "retirement" and use those.  I am kidding of course, (mind you it could be done), but unfortunately the mob that has them these days would not part with them, because they make too much money by overcharging people to travel on the "historical" or "nostalgic" trips on them. Just think though, if it could be done on a temporary basis with old SOP cars, and a power van, (vans are still about as well), it would give passengers a taste of how a real train should ride, unlike the XPT's which are an embarrassment to Australia in general. Even though you could not go as fast as the XPT with old SOP cars, it would still be more reliable, simply because the locos hopefully would not break down or continually play up, like the XPT's are notorious for.
  M636C Minister for Railways

You could use the Overland cars when that service ends at the end of this month.

But there would still be a problem if it couldn't get two trips in 24 hours, since there is only one Overland set.
Maybe JBR would lease the sitting cars AG/BG from the IP and Ghan and you could have two sets to make trips in each direction.
Like the old days, two overnight sets and two day sets.

V/Line's trains are running up to two hours late just to Albury...

Peter
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
They don't have enough XPTs to do it.

I have always said, add a couple of pointy locos on the front end of an XPT train (lease EL or AN), paint them in the right livery, get a suitable generator, and your'e in business. It is not rocket science.
Not as simple as it sounds, but what you say does have substance and is not impossible. How about getting some of the old Spirit of Progress cars out of "retirement" and use those.  I am kidding of course, (mind you it could be done), but unfortunately the mob that has them these days would not part with them, because they make too much money by overcharging people to travel on the "historical" or "nostalgic" trips on them. Just think though, if it could be done on a temporary basis with old SOP cars, and a power van, (vans are still about as well), it would give passengers a taste of how a real train should ride, unlike the XPT's which are an embarrassment to Australia in general. Even though you could not go as fast as the XPT with old SOP cars, it would still be more reliable, simply because the locos hopefully would not break down or continually play up, like the XPT's are notorious for.
Senior Conductor


...and please advise about the retention toilets and automatic locking doors on the old SoP cars...if any.

Mike.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Not as simple as it sounds, but what you say does have substance and is not impossible. How about getting some of the old Spirit of Progress cars out of "retirement" and use those.  I am kidding of course, (mind you it could be done), but unfortunately the mob that has them these days would not part with them, because they make too much money by overcharging people to travel on the "historical" or "nostalgic" trips on them.
"Senior Conductor"

Ho Ho! Obviously written by somebody who has absolutely zero knowledge of running a Heritage Railway Group. No Government funding, very few, if any, sponsors, maintenance, fuel and other costs galore, including charges for actually using the rails. Get your head out of the orifice in which it is quite obviously stuck, and try helping out. You may get a little understanding about what's involved.
  ShaneB Locomotive Driver

The initial report is out at https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2020/rair/ro-2020-002/ however most of the report has been discussed above and the following should be read in conjunction with the full interim report.

Key statements
Recordings from the train indicate an Emergency brake application a short distancebefore the points. This slowed the train a small amount before it entered the turnout travelling at a speed in excess of 100 km/h. The train was not able to negotiate the turnout to the loop track at this speed and derailed. All vehicles derailed excepting the rear power car ...

Train data logger
Both power cars were fitted with a Hasler RT data logger. The data logger is an electromechanical device that records speed, distance, time, a combined power-vigilance parameter, and brake cylinder pressure parameters. These parameters are recorded on a waxed paper tape (roll). The Hasler system also included an analogue speedometer located on the driver’s console.

The train’s speed is derived from the measurement of the rotation of the left hand wheel on the second axle of the power car. In order for this rotation to be translated into distance (and speed), an average wheel diameter is assumed. Actual speed may deviate from that recorded (and displayed) due to differences between this assumed diameter and the diameter of the actual wheel providing the feed to the Hasler system.

The Hasler tapes from the two power cars were recovered at the accident scene and examined by the ATSB. Corrections to the recorded speed were made to account for the differences between the assumed wheel diameter and the actual wheel diameter on each power car. The results from both recorders indicated a speed of about 130 km/h approaching Wallan Loop. The Hasler analogue speedometer would have read less than this, probably between the 125 km/h and 130 km/h marks.
The data from both recorders indicate that there was an Emergency brake application nearing the turnout to the loop, and an associated small reduction in speed prior to the train entering the loop. The Hasler recordings will be the subject of further detailed analysis and review against other evidence.

Management of rail traffic (safeworking)
Safeworking is an integrated system of operating rules and procedures that defines the interaction between workers and engineered systems for the safe operation of a railway.23 Of primary concern is safe operations including train separation and speed management according to infrastructure.

Relevant to this occurrence, the signalling infrastructure used for standard-gauge traffic through Wallan was damaged as a result of a fire in a track-side equipment hut on 3 February 2020. From 6 February, Train Authority Working was established to manage traffic between Home Departure signals DBK6 and DBK18 at Donnybrook24 and KME4 and KME16 at Kilmore East.

The alternative safeworking arrangements permitted only one train in the section between Donnybrook and Kilmore East at any one time, and Wallan Loop was not being used for trains to cross or pass.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
I get the train was travelling at 130km/h at wallabies but why were the points set for the loop when the summary states the loop was not to be used ?
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
I get the train was travelling at 130km/h at wallabies but why were the points set for the loop when the summary states the loop was not to be used ?
freightgate
UUmm, you did read the initial report didn't you?

Earlier that afternoon, the points at either end of Wallan Loop had been changed from their Normal position to their Reverse position. This change meant that rail traffic, in both directions, would be diverted from the Main Line (straight) into the loop track (No.2 Road). A Train Notice reflected this change and also specified a 15 km/h speed limit for entry into the loop, and a limit of 35 km/h for exiting the loop.
The ATSB


The alternative safeworking arrangements permitted only one train in the section between Donnybrook and Kilmore East at any one time, and Wallan Loop was not being used for trains to cross or pass.
The ATSB
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The train’s speed is derived from the measurement of the rotation of the left hand wheel on the second axle of the power car. In order for this rotation to be translated into distance (and speed), an average wheel diameter is assumed. Actual speed may deviate from that recorded (and displayed) due to differences between this assumed diameter and the diameter of the actual wheel providing the feed to the Hasler system.

The Hasler tapes from the two power cars were recovered at the accident scene and examined by the ATSB. Corrections to the recorded speed were made to account for the differences between the assumed wheel diameter and the actual wheel diameter on each power car. The results from both recorders indicated a speed of about 130 km/h approaching Wallan Loop. The Hasler analogue speedometer would have read less than this, probably between the 125 km/h and 130 km/h marks.
ShaneB
Why does Hasler (and hence I gather the cab's indicated speed) assume average wheel diameter? Wouldn't it be safer to always assume maximum wheel diameter, that way the indication would always be high, meaning actual speed would be lower than indicated, increasing safety margin.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Just think though, if it could be done on a temporary basis with old SOP cars, and a power van, (vans are still about as well), it would give passengers a taste of how a real train should ride, unlike the XPT's which are an embarrassment to Australia in general. Even though you could not go as fast as the XPT with old SOP cars, it would still be more reliable, simply because the locos hopefully would not break down or continually play up, like the XPT's are notorious for.
Senior Conductor

The XPT is not to blame for the poor ride quality and even your old SOP cars would be shaking and breaking if they had to run on these tracks daily especially at the speeds they need to achieve to make the trip in 10-11 hours. Freight trains break down and derail frequently on that piece of track as well and there have been several incidents because of the poor track quality on this stretch of track. Even just a couple of weeks before this incident.

The XPT's reliability has always been because we haven't had enough of them to go around and they are also doing trips they were not meant to do which is why we also had to order Xplorers. I suspect that the Melbourne XPT will be unlikely to return and that the new regional fleet will see a permanent end to the journey at Albury which will allow a daily service to Griffith.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Why does Hasler (and hence I gather the cab's indicated speed) assume average wheel diameter? Wouldn't it be safer to always assume maximum wheel diameter, that way the indication would always be high, meaning actual speed would be lower than indicated, increasing safety margin.
Aaron
Have to wonder about that but assume that in early 1980's thinking doing so means the train would not be able to keep up with the timetable at end of life wheel wear. Today, they could have just used GPS or other means not related to wheel diameter.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville

Freight trains break down and derail frequently on that piece of track as well......
simstrain

Define frequently?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

The XPT is not to blame for the poor ride quality and even your old SOP cars would be shaking and breaking if they had to run on these tracks daily especially at the speeds they need to achieve to make the trip in 10-11 hours. Freight trains break down and derail frequently on that piece of track as well and there have been several incidents because of the poor track quality on this stretch of track. Even just a couple of weeks before this incident.

The XPT's reliability has always been because we haven't had enough of them to go around and they are also doing trips they were not meant to do which is why we also had to order Xplorers. I suspect that the Melbourne XPT will be unlikely to return and that the new regional fleet will see a permanent end to the journey at Albury which will allow a daily service to Griffith.
simstrain
Kill the train to Melbourne that moves 10 - 12 cars a day of people across the border to be replaced with a daily service to Griffith, yep that makes sense, NOT!!!
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Why does Hasler (and hence I gather the cab's indicated speed) assume average wheel diameter? Wouldn't it be safer to always assume maximum wheel diameter, that way the indication would always be high, meaning actual speed would be lower than indicated, increasing safety margin.
Have to wonder about that but assume that in early 1980's thinking doing so means the train would not be able to keep up with the timetable at end of life wheel wear. Today, they could have just used GPS or other means not related to wheel diameter.
RTT_Rules
GPS is unreliable for speed recording on any railway that features a cutting or tunnel, tall buildings nearby, even reflections from electrification masts.

The standard these days is still based on wheel rotations, but with automatic calibration.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner


The XPT is not to blame for the poor ride quality and even your old SOP cars would be shaking and breaking if they had to run on these tracks daily especially at the speeds they need to achieve to make the trip in 10-11 hours. Freight trains break down and derail frequently on that piece of track as well and there have been several incidents because of the poor track quality on this stretch of track. Even just a couple of weeks before this incident.

The XPT's reliability has always been because we haven't had enough of them to go around and they are also doing trips they were not meant to do which is why we also had to order Xplorers. I suspect that the Melbourne XPT will be unlikely to return and that the new regional fleet will see a permanent end to the journey at Albury which will allow a daily service to Griffith.Kill the train to Melbourne that moves 10 - 12 cars a day of people across the border to be replaced with a daily service to Griffith, yep that makes sense, NOT!!!
RTT_Rules

It is what it is. The feds don't wan't to spend money on the rail line to make passenger rail better and the states spend lots of money on the rolling stock they invest in for the people of their state and so why not provide Griffith and Albury a twice or even 3 times daily service instead of wasting 7 hours in Victoria.

As mentioned in another thread by bevans if Victoria buys more SG vlocities then you could have more frequent services even to Wagga Wagga more then making up for the dropping of the XPT to Melbourne.

Make of it what you will but Covid 19 has shown that we do have borders and that they do mean something.
  WimbledonW Junior Train Controller

[/quote=""]Fair observation, the turnout in the report (up end) was 1:10 and on the curve (vehicles all settled to the curve).  Would need to know what is installed the other end to be a fair comparison.  1:8.75 would be a typical size for this application, could be enough to make the difference.  It will come out no doubt in the future report.[/quote]

When the loop was 900m long, the turnouts installed in 1960 would have been the same, and low speed, with the arrival home showing R/R/Y.

When the loop was extended to 1500m, the Sydney end turnout was moved to a new position, and the V-crossing was probably improved from 1:8.75  to 1:10. The searchlight signals at that end (in new positions) were also changed to RYG in separate lamp cases.

Why this turnout wasn't improved to, say, 1:15 at a higher speed is unfathomable, except for cost.

If that had be done, the loop entrance speed would have remained at 15km/h, while the loop departure speed would have been improved.

Passing Lanes have 80km/h turnouts at both ends, and the arrival signal is R/Y(80) or R/G(80).  The V-crossing angle is  unknown. Can someone measure these angles, so that we all know?

BTW, NSW loops are a bit different. Naturally.
When the loop in unoccupied, the Arrival signal shows R/R/G.
If the loop in occupied, then provided that there is a Y shunt light, the Arrival signal shows R/R/Y.
(On the North Coast- can't speak for other lines) the Low Speed  Green has a 200m long berth track, though if the top red is lamp proved, the berth track is bypassed.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Wallan Loop has not been extended to 1800 metres (It works out to be 1571 metres)

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