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Thread: Sydney to Melbourne train derails north of Melbourne

  1. #11
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  2. #12
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    If the terminology is correct. the pilot (used to called the pilotman) is engaged when there is a system failure. There is only one pilot for each section of track between crossing loops. So the pilotman dispatches the preceeding trains on an order with certain instructions and then travels with the last train to travel in that direction, before taking a train or depatching in the other direction. Drivers are instructed to travel at a reduced speed to stop short of any obstruction including incorrectly set points. A second train cannot be dispatched until the first train has cleared the section. That is how it it supposed to work with a pilotman. 40 years since I taught safeworking to trainee drivers so a lot could have happened in the meantime, I went for a ride in the cab of a P.N. freighter up to Junee a few years ago, 115 clicks with 3000 tonnes behind was scary with the track in a deplorable condition with many speed restrictions. with a train of that size it is not like a wheelbarrow where you drop the handles and it stops.
    lindsay

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pickles2 View Post
    A friend of mine was on it, but He & his wife are OK,...but I believe 2 people died.
    Pickles.
    Glad to hear your friend and wife are OK.
    halfbacks were invented to stop prop forwards taking over the world.

    Ladies, if a man says he will fix it, he will. There is no need to remind him every 6 months about it.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldyella 76 View Post
    If the terminology is correct. the pilot (used to called the pilotman) is engaged when there is a system failure. There is only one pilot for each section of track between crossing loops. So the pilotman dispatches the preceeding trains on an order with certain instructions and then travels with the last train to travel in that direction, before taking a train or depatching in the other direction. Drivers are instructed to travel at a reduced speed to stop short of any obstruction including incorrectly set points. A second train cannot be dispatched until the first train has cleared the section. That is how it it supposed to work with a pilotman. 40 years since I taught safeworking to trainee drivers so a lot could have happened in the meantime, I went for a ride in the cab of a P.N. freighter up to Junee a few years ago, 115 clicks with 3000 tonnes behind was scary with the track in a deplorable condition with many speed restrictions. with a train of that size it is not like a wheelbarrow where you drop the handles and it stops.
    lindsay
    This could be correct, as there was according to one report, a signal system failure, so this could be the method of safeworking followed until the system was restored.

    I was wondering if the term pilot was used for a V-line employee added for the section covered in Victoria, but I suspect your explanation is more likely correct. The two killed were the driver and the pilot; presumably they were both in the cab and it was crushed when the front of the tree hit an obstruction - I not from the pictures there was a substantial line of trees mowed down.

    According to one report the train was travelling at about 90kph at the time, significantly slower than normal for this section, where the train would probably normally close to its maximum speed of 160, track permitting.
    John

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  5. #15
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    I read somewhere that a signalling stop was damaged by fire, but not sure if that is accurate.
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  6. #16
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    From what appeared in the news the points were set for the crossing loop and the train derailed there after. So the important thing is did the driver or pilot know or was told the points were set for the loop. The signalling system if operational would indicate where the points were set to and would be displayed by the signal aspect. I think the investigation will be fairly simple as with recorders and other info in train control if it was not wiped out by the failure.The main issue will be if the driver was advised by train control or pilot. But the most important people are not alive now. Sometimes there be written instructions given and endorsed by the driver as to the procedure. If he was going into the loop as a passenger train there was to be a cross with another train and the crew should have known that.

  7. #17
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    The latest information suggests that it was incorrectly switched onto a passing loop - with a speed limit for the turnout of 25. If correct this would undoubtedly explain how it left the rails, but does not exp[lain why the points were in that position.
    John

    JDNSW
    1986 110 County 3.9 diesel
    1970 2a 109 2.25 petrol

  8. #18
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    A story said the signalling system was down because of fire damage and signalling was being done manually.
    Reportedly, they are investigating why the train was doing 80-90 kmh on a diversion section of track with a 15 kmh speed limit. Maybe there was no signal to alert the driver about the speed limit?

    Speed a crucial element of probe into deadly Wallan train derailment
    Speed a crucial element of probe into deadly Wallan train derailment | SBS News
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  9. #19
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    More details about the failure of the signalling system.

    Victoria train derailment: driver wrote of faults on line before fatal crash

    Victoria train derailment: driver wrote of faults on line before fatal crash | Australia news | The Guardian
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  10. #20
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    The picture I get from the various reports is that the signalling was not working in the area due to a fire, and that this is the reason there was a pilot on board as a means of safeworking - the pilot has authority for the train to operate in that section (and presumably is fully familiar with the track). This has been the case for a couple of weeks, while waiting for signal repairs. (Last time I was on this trip we had a long stop in this area, which the train crew attributed to some of the signal wiring being stolen for scrap, but that was a couple of years ago.)

    This (the standard gauge) is a single track, with passing loops. Until that day the trains had gone straight through, but on this day the trains had been switched to travel via the loop, to allow work on the straight through track - but no signals to show this was happening, due to the signal fault. The speed limit for the turnout has been quoted as either 15 or 25 - probably does not matter which, as the train speed was way above this, and that is clearly why the train derailed.

    The question is why did it not slow for the turnout? The obvious answer is that neither of the two in the cab knew about it. Or, why was the train allowed to operate at speed (or at all) on a section of track with no working signals?

    Note that there may be some information not public yet that could change my conclusions.
    John

    JDNSW
    1986 110 County 3.9 diesel
    1970 2a 109 2.25 petrol

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