XPT Train accident Wallan

 

Pinned post created by dthead

Posted 3 months ago

  Scrutiny Station Master

Can someone with knowledge of how the Train Notice system works please fill in some gaps:

How are the Train Notices transmitted? Are they emails or via some dedicated data transmission system?

How is receipt of notices confirmed by drivers / signallers / pilots to the ARTC Network Controller?

Presume the person referred to as the 'Pilot' is actually the 'Accompanying Qualified Worker'.

Noting here that per the previous notice 266/2020 quoted on page 2 of this thread, it appears there is required to be direct communication between the ARTC Network Controller and 'the Signaller' before the train proceeds into the relevant section of track (the notice says the 'Signaller' may also be the 'Accompanying Qualified Worker').

Surely during such communications there would be a process to check / ensure that all relevant Train Notices were in the hands of the Signaller and the 'Accompanying Qualified Worker'? is there a protocol for this?

Also note that media reports say the driver took over the train at Junee, NSW - if so he would have had to have been driving for 4 - 5 hours by the time he arrived at Wallan. What time was the last train notice issued? How would it have been transmitted to the drivers cabin?

Struggling to see that such important train. notices are simply blasted out by email / fax / telex or other data transmission advice and it is assumed that all relevant people get them (and read them), especially when they are issued on the day the change occurs.

Can anyone set us straight? Thanks.

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  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
A G class SG has arrived at Wallan to assist

bevans
Photos i saw and comments on FB had G524 and another what looked like G push-pull on site with a number of container flats. Was being used to bring in the heavy ballast for the cranes. That ballast block near the crews that can be seen in this photo could be as much as 20 tonne. easier to get them to the incident site. Imagine it was loaded with them in one of the city yards somewhere.

Looks more like its BG than SG as well.
  ed31880 Train Controller

What is the role of the pilot?
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
What is the role of the pilot?
ed31880
Short answer: The pilot is the authority to enter a section of track where normal signalling and safeworking has been suspended.  

Trains operate on safeworking: the conditions governing entrance and management of sections of track are all working and the train crew operate in accord with safeworking rules and regulations, appendices, and weekly notices.

The pilot - the authority to enter the section -  travels with the train operator (driver, engineman) and guides the driver pass signals that are non-operational and perhaps - in this case - through level crossings. The pilot may advise the driver what speed to travel at and which safeworking actions to undertake - such as acceptance and verification of train order (or authority to operate train in unsignalled section) .

In a nutshell, that is what purpose a pilot serves.
Read the weekly notices in this thread - you will see that both the driver and pilot had functions to fulfil for the operation of train services.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
A G class SG has arrived at Wallan to assist

Photos i saw and comments on FB had G524 and another what looked like G push-pull on site with a number of container flats. Was being used to bring in the heavy ballast for the cranes. That ballast block near the crews that can be seen in this photo could be as much as 20 tonne. easier to get them to the incident site. Imagine it was loaded with them in one of the city yards somewhere.

Looks more like its BG than SG as well.
Galron
The G Class's and train are on the Broad Gauge
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
What is the role of the pilot?
Short answer: The pilot is the authority to enter a section of track where normal signalling and safeworking has been suspended.  

Trains operate on safeworking: the conditions governing entrance and management of sections of track are all working and the train crew operate in accord with safeworking rules and regulations, appendices, and weekly notices.

The pilot - the authority to enter the section -  travels with the train operator (driver, engineman) and guides the driver pass signals that are non-operational and perhaps - in this case - through level crossings. The pilot may advise the driver what speed to travel at and which safeworking actions to undertake - such as acceptance and verification of train order (or authority to operate train in unsignalled section) .

In a nutshell, that is what purpose a pilot serves.
Read the weekly notices in this thread - you will see that both the driver and pilot had functions to fulfil for the operation of train services.
574M
A Train Authority was/is the authority to enter the section Donnybrook - Kilmore East, not the accompanying qualified worker (commonly referred to as being a pilot in this instance). What you have described is more for single line working where the pilot can authorize a driver passed a signal at stop to enter a section. A 'pilot' (a human staff) and someone 'piloting' (guiding) a train are different.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

A Train Authority was/is the authority to enter the section Donnybrook - Kilmore East, not the accompanying qualified worker (commonly referred to as being a pilot in this instance). What you have described is more for single line working where the pilot can authorize a driver passed a signal at stop to enter a section. A 'pilot' (a human staff) and someone 'piloting' (guiding) a train are different.

I agree. A pilotman (as it was described back when I was an active railfan) was effectively a human staff, whereas a pilot was commonly used when a driver was not qualified over a particular section of track. It seems to me the only mention of "pilot" is in the media, so who knows what that person's role actually was?
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Latest update as per recovery plans. Channel 9 News.



In case video becomes unavailable, some things stated:-

- States that rear power car (XP2000) and 1 of the 5 carriages (XFH2108) of the derailed XPT guided into position, ready to make the slow journey back to Sydney. This is the first stage of recovery of the train.

- That the recovered locomotive and carriage above will start tracking north to Sydney some time tomorrow (Mon 24 Feb 2020) and from there it will enter a maintenance facility and be inspected by staff from Transport for NSW, meanwhile the carriages remaining at Wallan will be removed within the next 48 hours and placed onto trucks and taken back to Sydney


Channel 7 News Coverage

  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
One question about the schedule

The XPT was reported to be running something like 150 minutes behind schedule, the timetabled turnaround at Melbourne Is only 80 minutes.

Had the overnight XPT been already been replaced by road coaches or was NSW Trainlink planing on a late departure to Sydney (that could of had a knock on effect with rolling stock balancing out of Sydney)

If the train was running so late, with such a tight scheduled turnaround, wouldn't of NSW Trainlink terminated the service at Albury or Seymour ?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
How slow is slow to return back to Sydney? 40-60 km/h?
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Reports the set is being recovered today.   Since it's near the highway, anyone out there with a camera?
lkernan
keep your camera at home.
  skitz Chief Commissioner


There seems to be next to no urgency for the continuation of services in today’s railways watching the recovery set up.  For an accident that is largely on the loop track with some fouling of the SG main line, to see cranes take up not only the SG main line but also the two unaffected BG main lines as well, is a prime example of the industry that has lost its way.


This work site could have seen the BG left running and focused on the opening of the SG main by dealing with the two cars fouling.  The rest of the mess could have been dealt with in good time with trains running.   The customers lose, more trucks up the freeway.


This is unfortunately how we have 'improved' with a system of multiple authorities and ownership and the resultant dilution of responsibility and ability to make good decisions.  One could say watching this is the ultimate 'decisions by committee' under the guise of 'we are being safe'.   The reality is three closed main lines.


The remit is to be safe always and for all solutions, but the 'get trains running' appears to be lost.  This site was a good one to get trains running quickly if only the bureaucracy got out of the way.  I would go far to say that once the site is handed over from investigation/authorities/crime scene, a suitable gang and key people empowered to do the job and make decsions.  I believe the SG track could have been opened within 12 hours while ensuring safety and no further damage to the rollingstock.


The term 'corporately and politically crippled' comes to mind in the eternal blameless society that we live in.  Safety is mandatory, it’s unfortunately often used as the excuse for poor performance, too.
 

Be safe AND perform.

(ill wait for the flame war now)
  Diverge Beginner

Hey skitz

Usually I would agree with you, but looking at the size of crane needed to get the cars and especially the loco they had no choice.
The outriggers and the counter weights mean they are fouling the BG lines. Even if you have the potential to foul they would need to take out the BG lines, but they are physically fouling them when slewing and outriggers out.
That being said once they pack the crane up and move it out they should be able to open the BG lines while fixing the SG main line and loop
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
A Train Authority was/is the authority to enter the section Donnybrook - Kilmore East, not the accompanying qualified worker (commonly referred to as being a pilot in this instance). What you have described is more for single line working where the pilot can authorize a driver passed a signal at stop to enter a section. A 'pilot' (a human staff) and someone 'piloting' (guiding) a train are different.
jakar
Hi Jakar,

From my (very limited) safe working training I would have thought that this was the type of situation where the pilotman or human staff was requried. Single line working on the SG (with passing loops) and signals not working? The training I have is for heritage work so deals with semaphore stuff but I thought the theory was pretty much the same?

I thought this section was 2 x BG and 1 x SG line or am i mistaken?

BG
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Benalla, VIC
I thought this section was 2 x BG and 1 x SG line or am i mistaken?
BrentonGolding
2x BG and 1x SG + SG passing loop.
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Reports the set is being recovered today.   Since it's near the highway, anyone out there with a camera?
keep your camera at home.
trainbrain
Well I wasn't there, but Channel 7 and 9 didn't see your insightful message.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Incredible: https://www.theage.com.au/business/workplace/friend-of-train-driver-says-he-raised-concerns-about-poorly-maintained-rail-network-20200223-p543i4.html
"The driver of the Sydney-to-Melbourne train which derailed last Thursday night had emailed his friend with concerns about the safety of the line in the weeks leading up to the deadly crash.

Driver John Kennedy, and the train's pilot, died in the XPT carrying 153 passengers when it derailed at Wallan, north of Melbourne.
Mr Kennedy had shared his concerns about the poorly maintained rail network with a friend, Clive Williams, in an email on February 3.


"...my last six Melbourne return trips have been very late or cancelled mainly due to train fault issues, 3 of the six runs I was down to one engine, on another trip I had no speedo and the only trip without a train fault was disrupted by the big derailment last week," Mr Kennedy's email sent to Mr Williams read.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
This might be an inappropriate question, and I apologise if so, but why has the pilot not been named yet?  Is there a problem with the process of notification etc?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

There seems to be next to no urgency for the continuation of services in today’s railways watching the recovery set up.  For an accident that is largely on the loop track with some fouling of the SG main line, to see cranes take up not only the SG main line but also the two unaffected BG main lines as well, is a prime example of the industry that has lost its way.


This work site could have seen the BG left running and focused on the opening of the SG main by dealing with the two cars fouling.  The rest of the mess could have been dealt with in good time with trains running.   The customers lose, more trucks up the freeway.


This is unfortunately how we have 'improved' with a system of multiple authorities and ownership and the resultant dilution of responsibility and ability to make good decisions.  One could say watching this is the ultimate 'decisions by committee' under the guise of 'we are being safe'.   The reality is three closed main lines.


The remit is to be safe always and for all solutions, but the 'get trains running' appears to be lost.  This site was a good one to get trains running quickly if only the bureaucracy got out of the way.  I would go far to say that once the site is handed over from investigation/authorities/crime scene, a suitable gang and key people empowered to do the job and make decsions.  I believe the SG track could have been opened within 12 hours while ensuring safety and no further damage to the rollingstock.


The term 'corporately and politically crippled' comes to mind in the eternal blameless society that we live in.  Safety is mandatory, it’s unfortunately often used as the excuse for poor performance, too.
 

Be safe AND perform.

(ill wait for the flame war now)
skitz
Rail isn't what its used to be in regard that its not the only means of moving people and goods. Its there where traffic volume is big enough to allow sufficient freight/people to move off road in deemed viable volumes and nothing less.

The "get it open at all costs" mentally is gone and I'm not too sure thats a bad thing.

As the BG moves what mostly people if not only people then to open them early and have trains running past a crash site, one more issue to manage is unnecessary when you are talking a dozen or so buses a day. The SG is more serious for freight volumes, but have you seen where the cranes are lifting the derailed train? On the SG main.

I suspect with all lines closed they can get this done in 5-6 days, with BG and later SG open, it will take them weeks, depending on access to the line from the SG side. Makes sense to just leave it closed for an extra few days.

Additionally its a site thats a passenger train, not a bunch of container wagons derailed, its also a site where 2 people lost their lives.
  skitz Chief Commissioner


There seems to be next to no urgency for the continuation of services in today’s railways watching the recovery set up.  For an accident that is largely on the loop track with some fouling of the SG main line, to see cranes take up not only the SG main line but also the two unaffected BG main lines as well, is a prime example of the industry that has lost its way.


This work site could have seen the BG left running and focused on the opening of the SG main by dealing with the two cars fouling.  The rest of the mess could have been dealt with in good time with trains running.   The customers lose, more trucks up the freeway.


This is unfortunately how we have 'improved' with a system of multiple authorities and ownership and the resultant dilution of responsibility and ability to make good decisions.  One could say watching this is the ultimate 'decisions by committee' under the guise of 'we are being safe'.   The reality is three closed main lines.


The remit is to be safe always and for all solutions, but the 'get trains running' appears to be lost.  This site was a good one to get trains running quickly if only the bureaucracy got out of the way.  I would go far to say that once the site is handed over from investigation/authorities/crime scene, a suitable gang and key people empowered to do the job and make decsions.  I believe the SG track could have been opened within 12 hours while ensuring safety and no further damage to the rollingstock.


The term 'corporately and politically crippled' comes to mind in the eternal blameless society that we live in.  Safety is mandatory, it’s unfortunately often used as the excuse for poor performance, too.
 

Be safe AND perform.

(ill wait for the flame war now)
Rail isn't what its used to be in regard that its not the only means of moving people and goods. Its there where traffic volume is big enough to allow sufficient freight/people to move off road in deemed viable volumes and nothing less.

The "get it open at all costs" mentally is gone and I'm not too sure thats a bad thing.

As the BG moves what mostly people if not only people then to open them early and have trains running past a crash site, one more issue to manage is unnecessary when you are talking a dozen or so buses a day. The SG is more serious for freight volumes, but have you seen where the cranes are lifting the derailed train? On the SG main.

I suspect with all lines closed they can get this done in 5-6 days, with BG and later SG open, it will take them weeks, depending on access to the line from the SG side. Makes sense to just leave it closed for an extra few days.

Additionally its a site thats a passenger train, not a bunch of container wagons derailed, its also a site where 2 people lost their lives.
RTT_Rules
Begs the question then why have rail at all with a response like that.  May as well just give up, 'its ok, someone else is paying'.  I would not like to be paying for my train to be parked up.   Dumber, slower, more expensive - not the direction or attitude any surviving or thriving organisation could tolerate, as another B double rumbles past, we are all spectators to the continued  demise of the industry and all the while we are paying for the road the said B double rolls upon.  

Yet it is the same root cause that sees the quashing of excellence in derailment recovery that has also see the same line rerailed and concrete sleepered (all the good gear) look like and ride like a dogs breaksfast.   It has not been from a lack of money, Ill give you the tip, as another B double rolls past.  

One only has to observe key people walk from the industry with no real mechanism for training and retention in the deciplined environment required to operate a railway to understand all is not well and thats not going anywhere the issues directly related, culturally related and sestemically related to a piloted train entering a loop at 100km/hr.  

The issues are not mutually exclusive.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Channel 7 News report for 24 February 2020

https://www.facebook.com/7NEWSsydney/videos/689009641905829/

XP2000-XFH2108 are currently on the way back to Sydney under XP2000's own power at reduced speed probably max 80km/h. They have supposedly been sighted as having passed through Albury about 45 mins ago. Rest of the cars being hoisted onto trucks to be taken back to Sydney by road.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

This might be an inappropriate question, and I apologise if so, but why has the pilot not been named yet?  Is there a problem with the process of notification etc?
james.au
I think it's a fair question.

A shift I have noticed with other fatal incidents (including non-rail, and even completely non-transport) is that the old policy of "wait until the family have been told, then publish" has been replaced by "only publish once the family has given their explicit permission."

With the decreasing of privacy in our society these days, I think it's quite a reasonable shift.
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
This might be an inappropriate question, and I apologise if so, but why has the pilot not been named yet?  Is there a problem with the process of notification etc?
I think it's a fair question.

A shift I have noticed with other fatal incidents (including non-rail, and even completely non-transport) is that the old policy of "wait until the family have been told, then publish" has been replaced by "only publish once the family has given their explicit permission."

With the decreasing of privacy in our society these days, I think it's quite a reasonable shift.
justapassenger
Lacking any other information, I had assumed that the family preferred to keep the name private.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

This might be an inappropriate question, and I apologise if so, but why has the pilot not been named yet?  Is there a problem with the process of notification etc?
I think it's a fair question.

A shift I have noticed with other fatal incidents (including non-rail, and even completely non-transport) is that the old policy of "wait until the family have been told, then publish" has been replaced by "only publish once the family has given their explicit permission."

With the decreasing of privacy in our society these days, I think it's quite a reasonable shift.
Lacking any other information, I had assumed that the family preferred to keep the name private.
TheMeddlingMonk
I agree. If there was some other reason it had been withheld, I reckon the reason would have been mentioned by the media.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
This might be an inappropriate question, and I apologise if so, but why has the pilot not been named yet?  Is there a problem with the process of notification etc?
james.au
There are most likely two reasons

1) the next of kin still have not been fully informed, for example some maybe travelling.

2) the next of kin have asked for her details not to be released, which you have to respect as I wouldn't for my family.

To be honest, I don't see a reason why the details have to released at all and if they don't so be it.

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