Scottish Train Derail

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Beginner's luck, eh?
Indeed, whilst there are many great examples of Victorian engineering still in existence and use today there are many times when it spectacularly failed shortly after construction.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer

Polyester

Old-Salt
An online petition about the Sun again.
They wont be selling many copies in Scotland in the future.
Good. It’s a trash rag and the sooner we see the back of such “journalism” the better. And I mean all red tops of all political hues.

As an aside, that’s a great story mentioned earlier in the thread about all the local Aberdeenshire folk helping out feeding the emergency services and such.

Braw min.
 
Indeed, whilst there are many great examples of Victorian engineering still in existence and use today there are many times when it spectacularly failed shortly after construction.
It was early days for materials science and "lessons were learnt" - most of the time. No excuse nowadays but failures still happen.
 
Well done to the individual who did it, but FFS, walking a mile is not an heroic act.

'An off-duty train conductor who climbed from the wreckage of the Stonehaven crash and trekked a mile to call for help has been hailed a hero. The unnamed Scotrail worker was a passenger on the 6.38am Aberdeen to Stonehaven train when it derailed after hitting a landslip. They managed to clamber out of an upturned carriage but reportedly could not dial 999 because there was no phone signal at the crash site. The worker travelled a mile to the nearest signal box where they contacted the rail network at 9.40am, allowing them to call emergency services and close off the line, ruling out any chances of another train hitting the wreck.'

 
Well done to the individual who did it, but FFS, walking a mile is not an heroic act.

'An off-duty train conductor who climbed from the wreckage of the Stonehaven crash and trekked a mile to call for help has been hailed a hero. The unnamed Scotrail worker was a passenger on the 6.38am Aberdeen to Stonehaven train when it derailed after hitting a landslip. They managed to clamber out of an upturned carriage but reportedly could not dial 999 because there was no phone signal at the crash site. The worker travelled a mile to the nearest signal box where they contacted the rail network at 9.40am, allowing them to call emergency services and close off the line, ruling out any chances of another train hitting the wreck.'

In much the same way as we have allowed words such as racist and sexist, amongst others, to be devalued, we have long, long devalued the word hero and all it’s associations.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
Well done to the individual who did it, but FFS, walking a mile is not an heroic act.

'An off-duty train conductor who climbed from the wreckage of the Stonehaven crash and trekked a mile to call for help has been hailed a hero. The unnamed Scotrail worker was a passenger on the 6.38am Aberdeen to Stonehaven train when it derailed after hitting a landslip. They managed to clamber out of an upturned carriage but reportedly could not dial 999 because there was no phone signal at the crash site. The worker travelled a mile to the nearest signal box where they contacted the rail network at 9.40am, allowing them to call emergency services and close off the line, ruling out any chances of another train hitting the wreck.'

What I can't understand is that a train that was supposed to arrive at Stonehaven around 07:00 wasn't missed, are there no checks in place to ensure that a train arrives on or around time and if diffy for a certain amount of time, someone to ask questions about where it is? The rail network was contacted over 2.5 hrs after it was supposed to have arrived, even Southeastern aren't that slow!
 
What I can't understand is that a train that was supposed to arrive at Stonehaven around 07:00 wasn't missed, are there no checks in place to ensure that a train arrives on or around time and if diffy for a certain amount of time, someone to ask questions about where it is? The rail network was contacted over 2.5 hrs after it was supposed to have arrived, even Southeastern aren't that slow!
Me neither; wait for the inquiry.
 
An online petition about the Sun again.
They wont be selling many copies in Scotland in the future.
Which suggests (?) that Sun readers have:
A) Any form of moral compass.
B) A brain more effective than a putrified sheep's head stuck on a pole.
 
Well done to the individual who did it, but FFS, walking a mile is not an heroic act.

'An off-duty train conductor who climbed from the wreckage of the Stonehaven crash and trekked a mile to call for help has been hailed a hero. The unnamed Scotrail worker was a passenger on the 6.38am Aberdeen to Stonehaven train when it derailed after hitting a landslip. They managed to clamber out of an upturned carriage but reportedly could not dial 999 because there was no phone signal at the crash site. The worker travelled a mile to the nearest signal box where they contacted the rail network at 9.40am, allowing them to call emergency services and close off the line, ruling out any chances of another train hitting the wreck.'

There is a secure mobile comms system called GSMR that is fitted to all trains and has pretty-much 100% coverage in all locations, including tunnels. However, that's academic when the entire train crew becomes casualties. :(
[edited due to random text that appeared at the start]
 
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The preliminary report states that the train was initially stopped at a signal, due to a landslip further down the line, reported by another train. The train was then turned around, travelled

There is a secure mobile comms system called GSMR that is fitted to all trains and has pretty-much 100% coverage in all locations, including tunnels. However, that's academic when the entire train crew becomes casualties. :(
The train conductor that walked to the nearest phone box, I wonder if he would have known of the GSM-R system in the undamaged cab? Maybe the entire system was down in that area due to the landslip.
 
What I can't understand is that a train that was supposed to arrive at Stonehaven around 07:00 wasn't missed, are there no checks in place to ensure that a train arrives on or around time and if diffy for a certain amount of time, someone to ask questions about where it is? The rail network was contacted over 2.5 hrs after it was supposed to have arrived, even Southeastern aren't that slow!
From what I understand, most of that time was taken standing at the first signal and then being turned around to come back on the opposite line, hence why there was time for a second land-slip to form on the line that they had already passed over safely.

I don't know what signalling system is in use there, but any train being a long time in section will automatically ring mental (and sometimes literal) alarm-bells in the signal box. The line was already being protected/blocked due to the first landslip and an inexplicably-delayed train would also then have invoked the line to be blocked/protected.

It's just bad journalism - protection would already have been in place and regional control advised long before the passenger turned up (a signalman would never put a second train into a line already occupied by a train and the opposite line was already being blocked due to the first landslip). However, without comms with the train crew it would have been impossible to ascertain exactly what was happening or the exact location.

Ordinarily, the next train on the opposite line will be stopped and asked to 'Examine' the line (i.e. proceed at Caution throughout the section to investigate the circumstances), but with the opposite line already being blocked due to the first landslip, there would not have been another train with which to examine. One or more MOMs (Mobile Operations Managers) would also be mobilised to perform a recce and may well have already been called. They're normally equipped with Toyota Hi-Lux 4x4s, but might have to come from a long distance away, or may have already been called away to another incident (the latter being highly likely, on this occasion).
 
The train conductor that walked to the nearest phone box, I wonder if he would have known of the GSM-R system in the undamaged cab? Maybe the entire system was down in that area due to the landslip.
Yeah, I was wondering that and can only suppose that perhaps he couldn't log in to the system or the power was out or it had suffered damage? GSMR is very robust and it normally takes the loss of three masts to lose coverage in any particular location, as they're designed to completely overlap each other's cells. They've also got backup batteries and hoofing lightning protection, so power-cuts don't normally affect them. If the local signalman's terminal is down, the functions will be automatically transferred to another terminal and all emergency calls are automatically repeated to the regional control centre anyway.
 
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odd question - on a normal, non-coronavirus day, how many trains run in the UK?

I wonder if it would be at all practical to leverage the GSM-R system to TX a GPS position & speed report say every minute. I know GSM-R wasn’t originally designed for data, but for normal GSM systems, it was a relatively simple add-on for GPRS2.5G.

But it might not be at all practical, I just don’t know enough about it. Absence of a GPS ping might cause a lot of false alarms, but better one of those than one of these.
 
But wouldn't the driver have needed permission to wrong direction move over the points and this would have necessitated permission from the controller/signalman?
Also to slip sideways a little. Isn't this a damn good reason for requiring guards on all trains? :cool:
 
odd question - on a normal, non-coronavirus day, how many trains run in the UK?

I wonder if it would be at all practical to leverage the GSM-R system to TX a GPS position & speed report say every minute. I know GSM-R wasn’t originally designed for data, but for normal GSM systems, it was a relatively simple add-on for GPRS2.5G.

But it might not be at all practical, I just don’t know enough about it. Absence of a GPS ping might cause a lot of false alarms, but better one of those than one of these.
Just within the last 6 months, most of our passenger trains have started automatically reporting their location and timestamp at certain reporting points on the TRUST system (we would previously input these manually for the purposes of reporting delays and updating passenger information boards), so the GPS tech certainly seems to be there. The TOCs can also remotely download dashcam footage via satellite link.

GSMR always shows on the signalbox terminal which mast the train is logged in to, but there's no displayed history, so it simply disappears if the train's GSMR terminal is logged out. I don't know if controls can access that data. However, that's still quite a big area, so doesn't really narrow down a location.
 

Diogenes' limp

Old-Salt
Here is his text with my comments in brackets (for the little that's worth)
It's long been recognised that landslips are one of the greatest risks to Britain's railways and that a changing climate will make them more likely. (Depends how the climate changes - do we have records from that area? He hasn't said it was the cause yet)

Heatwaves and droughts can dry out the steep embankments beside the tracks, and over the years will start to weaken them. (Fair point but he doesn't know this was a factor in this case so hasn't said so. He just said it can happen but a lot of people will think he is saying it did happen)

Add to that the effects of heavy rain, of the kind seen just now in Scotland, saturating and eroding the soil, and undermining its strength. (Yes that does happen. Deluges do occur and have in the past. There has been some scientific consensus going back years that more extreme events could be expected in the future. Could global warming case more events of a more extreme nature? Yes it could. Was it a factor in this case? No idea).

And with rising global temperatures set to bring extremes of weather never anticipated by the Victorian engineers who built the lines, Network Rail has been studying how best to keep the tracks safe. (I don't think Stonehaven was experiencing anything like the same sort of heat as London and the South East this week. The energy in the storm and the amount of water vapour it was carrying could well have been greater due to the moist warm air it had picked up on the way North - perhaps a physicist can answer that).

But it admits that "we know we can't rebuild every mile of railway".

(From that, it's hard to say he has said anything completely wrong as he hasn't made the claim that these were definitely factors or that it was climate change what done it. Rain was obviously a factor. Could it lead the reader to think climate change was to blame? Evidently).
An oblique point, but similar issues affect certain roads in Scotland. I proffer the A83 Rest and Be Thankful.

The original 1700 and oh gor blimey road was built as a Military road, along the valley floor and then directly up the steep escarpment.

Eventually along came Dibley, Hubris and Idle, Consulting Engineers, who proposed a flanking route with a gradual though still noticeable gradient* to solve the problem of impassibility in severe snow conditions.
And the A83 by pass was built.

How often have landslips at that point on the A83 cut off Argyle from the civilised world since then? Including right now. How often has it been happenstance that there were no serious casualties, certainly it has been worryingly close.

And always the solution is to re-open the original military road from 1753.

Scotland has always experienced landslips, it's in the nature of the beast, are they more common now, or is it just that increased traffic density combined with instant news makes it seem so?

Nothing in this post should be taken as minimising the trauma to friends, relatives and rescuers/recoverers of the deceased. It is a human tragedy. Nature has always had the upper hand.
 

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