The wait continues for report on Lydiard St rail gate smash

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 28 Jul 2020 10:12
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The actual timber gates are the easy bit. The hard bit would be sourcing two of those big cast posts the gates were swinging from. Not that many around; many old ones broke as they were removed, and unlikely any were kept at spares, given that once installed they would normally last forever. None of their designers would have anticipated two being wrecked with a high speed impact. In this case, might be good reason it is hard.
I suggested above that the crossing be closed and the design of the old gates integrated into what would become fixed fencing at the site.

If this is adopted, it would be sufficient for the posts used to be substitutes that replicate the external appearance of the original posts while not having the same internal materials/construction. This is an accepted practice in the realm of heritage preservation.
The posts are ornate steel/iron castings (probably cast iron) - they have an internal void which, as suggested, could become a solid if necessary. With advances in technology since the original design of these posts you may be able to get away with a steel pillar surrounded cosmetically with prestressed/reinforced concrete of some sort??????
RP is doing stupid things again. The post above reading:

'The posts are ornate steel/iron castings (probably cast iron) - they have an internal void which, as suggested, could become a solid if necessary. With advances in technology since the original design of these posts you may be able to get away with a steel pillar surrounded cosmetically with prestressed/reinforced concrete of some sort??????

was mine.
It seems that RP is running multiple posts together under the one attribution.

Indeed. I certainly didn't write either the post starting the 'The posts are ornate steel/iron castings', or the post noting the problem that Railpage was having.

My deathless prose seems to have vanished into the ether. Sic gloria and all that.
historian
The 'ornate steel/iron castings' and the 'RP is doing stupid things' were both mine. I have no idea what I did to bugger it up!
Actually, I didn't do anything to bugger it up. I was on annual leave that day.

There was one 'plus' however - I was able to 'agree' with my own post! Rolling Eyes

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  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
There is a nice picture of the original gates (complete with tram of course) in the latest edition of the Ballarat Tramway Museum's newsletter "Fares Please".
  theanimal Chief Commissioner
  historian Deputy Commissioner

ATSB report now available https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/collision-of-passenger-train-8185-with-level-crossing-gates-lydiard-street-north-ballarat-victoria-on-30-may-2020
bevans

And all I can say is crikeys they were lucky it was midnight and no-one was killed.

Oh, and the benefits of railmotors with a low centre of gravity when travelling at speed through turnouts.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

ATSB report now available https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/collision-of-passenger-train-8185-with-level-crossing-gates-lydiard-street-north-ballarat-victoria-on-30-may-2020

And all I can say is crikeys they were lucky it was midnight and no-one was killed.

Oh, and the benefits of railmotors with a low centre of gravity when travelling at speed through turnouts.
historian
Yep.  It could've easily been a V/lo all squashed up like a concertina inside or into Ballarat Railway Station....
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Not much different to QR at Cleveland?

Early brake application by the Driver, WSPS overrides it & reduces BC pressure, and the train hits something substantial...Going to be interesting to see if there was any railhead contamination found, or if the V/Locities are too light on their feet for the adhesion required.

No printout from the datalogger as there was in the T842 interim report either. That would make for an interesting discussion as well...
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Shows the benefit of staying seated until the train stops too.  
The passenger who stayed seated was fine, the one who got up to the door suffered some injuries when they flew through the points.
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
I don't see the point of having sanders placed behind the leading wheels of any powered bogie, sort of defeats the purpose of having them, IMHO. I'm glad Clyde & EMD put them in front of the bogie in the direction of travel on all of the locos they built for Victoria; wouldn't have made it up a number of grades otherwise and came close to stalling once because the sanders were defective. Sand behind the driving wheels is just muck on the rail head to no purpose.

Neil
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Shows the benefit of staying seated until the train stops too.  
The passenger who stayed seated was fine, the one who got up to the door suffered some injuries when they flew through the points.
lkernan

Most people don't anticipate travelling through a set of points at what appears to be two and one half times the design speed...
  route14 Chief Commissioner

The illustrated positions of sanders in that ATSB report looks weird, with a pair behind the first bogie.  The sand applied won't go under the driving wheels unless the train was reversing.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Not much different to QR at Cleveland?

Early brake application by the Driver, WSPS overrides it & reduces BC pressure, and the train hits something substantial...Going to be interesting to see if there was any railhead contamination found, or if the V/Locities are too light on their feet for the adhesion required.

No printout from the datalogger as there was in the T842 interim report either. That would make for an interesting discussion as well...
KRviator
My housemate was on the up Ultima immediately after the accident, two G classes having wheelslip issues on about 1000 tonnes.....
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The illustrated positions of sanders in that ATSB report looks weird, with a pair behind the first bogie.  The sand applied won't go under the driving wheels unless the train was reversing.
route14
Are not the sanders on the Siemens trains similarly placed?
There must be a reason.
I will await the report on the wheel (and rail) profiles in 2030.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
ATSB report now available https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/collision-of-passenger-train-8185-with-level-crossing-gates-lydiard-street-north-ballarat-victoria-on-30-may-2020

And all I can say is crikeys they were lucky it was midnight and no-one was killed.

Oh, and the benefits of railmotors with a low centre of gravity when travelling at speed through turnouts.
historian
Yep.  It could've easily been a V/lo all squashed up like a concertina inside or into Ballarat Railway Station....
"Carnot"

The really scary thing (so far) is that the driver notified Metrol after the train came to a stop. He/she knew big trouble brewing a long way out and SPAD was likely. The gates needed to be opened, yet no apparent communication or request for assist.
The final report will be revealing in how many mistakes add up to a stuff up.

cheers
John
  route14 Chief Commissioner

At least you would expect a pair of sanders in front of the first driving bogie.  If they were behind it, the applied sand would reach the second trailing bogie some 20 metres behind, if the sand particles manage to stay, but why would you want to drop sand in front of a trailing bogie?  After the second bogie, the sand would have been ground to powder before reaching the next driving bogie, again, envisaging that the particles stay on rail, but sand powder does nothing to increase the friction.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

John, the driver would have been fully occupied comprehending the situation and finding alternative (emergency) way to brake.
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Shows the benefit of staying seated until the train stops too.  
The passenger who stayed seated was fine, the one who got up to the door suffered some injuries when they flew through the points.

Most people don't anticipate travelling through a set of points at what appears to be two and one half times the design speed...
historian
Sure, that's the point.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
John, the driver would have been fully occupied comprehending the situation and finding alternative (emergency) way to brake.
"route14"

And indeed the dificulties faced, and processes followed (or lack thereof) are contributors.
Accountabilty is shared by many, and hopefully not just blamed onto one.
Starting point would be the obviously unsafe method of gate opening; apart from that all the other running issues amounted to nought.

cheers
John
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
The really scary thing (so far) is that the driver notified Metrol after the train came to a stop. He/she knew big trouble brewing a long way out and SPAD was likely.
justarider
Really? I don't get that from the report. Not at all. There's a huge difference between good driving practice and anticipating low adhesion by braking early and then thinking those conditions will definitely lead to a SPAD and reacting accordingly.

Situations like this might occur once in a Driver's career. Some blokes might never experience anything like this.

The gates needed to be opened, yet no apparent communication or request for assist.
justarider
Have you tried to contact a Signaller or Train Controller in an emergency? The Driver big-holed it at 2335:49, passed the stopping point 10 seconds later, hit the gates 2 seconds after that and stopped at 2336:38 less than a minute later.

In that time frame, he needs to send the emergency call. The Train Controller - if they're at the desk - need to answer it properly (they've dropped Emergency calls before), the Driver needs to tell the Controller what has happened, and what needs to be done to mitigate the unfolding situation. The Controller needs to understand that the first time, and act on it immediately. Experiences has shown that rarely happens, they often seek clarification or repetition. The Controller needs to call signal BAT20. Before that signal clears, the gates need to run through their closing sequence, which involves putting the road signals to stop, moving the gates, proving the gates closed and the next block unoccupied and then set BAT20 to proceed.

In that same time, the Driver is dealing with a multitude of different issues. The BCP indication is fluctuating, the WSPS light is on, the sanding annunciator is illuminated, he's mentally calculating deceleration rates based on feel, because the speedo is fluctuating due to the axle with the tachgenerator is finding traction and losing it again, he's thinking "what have I done wrong to cause this?"  He's probably contemplated applying the park brake, but trying to remember if the V/Locities are fitted with an anti-compounding valve and if so, whether it will disable the WSPS and lead to a longer stopping distance, and of course there's that godawful feeling in your gut that you know you're about to blow past a red signal, and hit the gates, but you don't think you've done anything wrong, but even worse you can't do anything about it -you've already gone to Emergency.

I am not going to second guess the bloke, because I can't think of anything else I would have done differently in a similar situation. That's why I would have liked to see the datalogger printout. An experienced Driver can tell an awful lot from one.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

From the report:

Safety action
As a result of testing, performance issues with the sanding system on VLocity 3VL70 were identified and Bombardier has subsequently undertaken fleet-wide testing of VLocity sanders and performed remedial action where required.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
The really scary thing (so far) is that the driver notified Metrol after the train came to a stop. He/she knew big trouble brewing a long way out and SPAD was likely.
justarider
Really? I don't get that from the report. Not at all. There's a huge difference between good driving practice and anticipating low adhesion by braking early and then thinking those conditions will definitely lead to a SPAD and reacting accordingly.

Situations like this might occur once in a Driver's career. Some blokes might never experience anything like this.

The gates needed to be opened, yet no apparent communication or request for assist.
justarider
Have you tried to contact a Signaller or Train Controller in an emergency? The Driver big-holed it at 2335:49, passed the stopping point 10 seconds later, hit the gates 2 seconds after that and stopped at 2336:38 less than a minute later.

In that time frame, he needs to send the emergency call. The Train Controller......

In the same time, the Driver is dealing with.....

I am not going to second guess the bloke, because I can't think of anything else I would have done differently in a similar situation. That's why I would have liked to see the datalogger printout. An experienced Driver can tell an awful lot from one.
"KRviator"

And that the rub, for 71 seconds before you mentioned, the train was on sand and not slowing down. That is surely the definition of an emergency.

From your related experience, emergency contact has issues.
Was the driver actually able to use the radio, would it be answered, would any action be possible.???
Some questions outside the driver's control. Some come down to training and experience. Some are the Vlo itself, inside and outside the cab.
All to be looked at by the enquiry.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Albert Einstein once explained his theory of relativity to the  public in a simple way: How long is one minute?  It depends on whether you are in a toilet cubicle, or outside waiting.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
And that the rub, for 71 seconds before you mentioned, the train was on sand and not slowing down. That is surely the definition of an emergency.
justarider
Not necessarily.  The time you're referring to is the penultimate brake demand and WSPS activation. The report is silent on just what that brake demand actually was, as a percentage of that available, but it is entirely possible for the WSPS to activate under low settings.

Sand during braking simply indicates operation of the WSPS, probably normal operation of the WSPS, but I'm not qualified on the V/Locity so can't answer definitely but certainly on locos, sand in power & braking is a normal part of the slip/slide protection system.

But to rely on sand = an upcoming "oh 5hit" moment is not sound. The train was in low adhesion conditions, on a 1:52 descending grade (if I've read the track chart right), it might well come out that under certain conditions of adhesion and grade a V/Locity might not slow down.

Driver's (and rollingstock operators) rely on design briefs being met. These include everything from operating track circuits to deceleration rates in various brake settings. The QR T842 report demonstrates that, occasionally, these will not be met and circumstances such as these, rare as they are, are the result.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
And that the rub, for 71 seconds before you mentioned, the train was on sand and not slowing down. That is surely the definition of an emergency.
Not necessarily.  The time you're referring to is the penultimate brake demand and WSPS activation. The report is silent on just what that brake demand actually was, as a percentage of that available, but it is entirely possible for the WSPS to activate under low settings.

Sand during braking simply indicates operation of the WSPS, probably normal operation of the WSPS, but I'm not qualified on the V/Locity so can't answer definitely but certainly on locos, sand in power & braking is a normal part of the slip/slide protection system.

But to rely on sand = an upcoming "oh 5hit" moment is not sound. The train was in low adhesion conditions, on a 1:52 descending grade (if I've read the track chart right), it might well come out that under certain conditions of adhesion and grade a V/Locity might not slow down.

Driver's (and rollingstock operators) rely on design briefs being met. These include everything from operating track circuits to deceleration rates in various brake settings. The QR T842 report demonstrates that, occasionally, these will not be met and circumstances such as these, rare as they are, are the result.
KRviator
It's the combination of sand/WSPS on  and NOT slowing down, and not being able to control it: for over a minute, would scare the bejesus.
You're probably correct, never been seen before and the driver doesn't want to see it again.

Brings me back to the initial point. The gates could have been opened, there was time (the other booms did work). It didn't happen due to a multitude of events.

cheers
John
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

....................................................

Brings me back to the initial point. The gates could have been opened, there was time (the other booms did work). It didn't happen due to a multitude of events.

cheers
John
justarider


The boom barriers didn't have a station on the approach side. Had the VLocity been coming from Wendouree the gates probably would have been open, albeit without the required warning time. The boom barriers operated but not with the required safety margins.

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