Dets to be removed from Trains next month

 
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Risk assessments go deeper than it happened, it could happen again.

It's also what could happen and probably more likely

Sounds more like another sacred cow reaction.
cootanee
So while we know it could happen again, we are going to pretend that it won't because it hasn't happened for years. That's about what this approach amounts to. The fact that these incidents have not occurred for a long time does not mean that they are "extremely unlikely".

In addition, it's not as though a failsafe system has been put in place to prevent these incidents. That leaves a number of other factors that form part of the reason why they have not happened, such as the tightening of the rule for passing red automatic signals, perhaps better maintenance to reduce the risk of derailment etc but also luck. It's not there for us to measure but luck or chance does come into it, and it can go either way.

What failsafe systems are in place to ensure that the line is protected following an emergency like a derailment or collision? None. The communication equipment is nowhere near failsafe. Detonators aren't failsafe either, but they are another layer to complement other non failsafe systems.

If non failsafe systems have to be used, I think a few degrees of redundancy would be a good idea, and this is what we have at the moment. Fewer layers of protection mean more reliance on luck when the S hits the youknowwhat. Are they really eliminating one of those layers to save a few dollars when they have a legal SFAIRP requirement?




It's also what could happen and probably more likely - like someone getting rundown trying to place the fire-crackers.
cootanee

In terms of cost/benefit stuff, I wonder how many detonator thieving trespasser fatalities a single derailment and collision would be equivalent to in terms of cost. For a start, few trespasser fatalities have anything to do with detonators. If they even bothered to do an analysis on the risks of not having detonators for protection they probably would have come out with some stupid result like less than one in the number of stars in the universe.



I know the contents of the rule book is a slightly different issue, but the Brits still have pretty comprehensive details on emergency protection in theirs http://www.rgsonline.co.uk/Rule_Book/Rule%20Book%20Modules/M%20-%20Mishaps,%20Incidents%20and%20Extreme%20Weather/GERT8000-M1%20Iss%202.pdf which includes the following:

You must carry out emergency protection if:
• the signaller cannot provide signal protection, or
• you have not been able to contact the signaller.


It really makes the risks pretty clear to me.
What is going to happen under those condtions in this network?
What makes us think we are so much better?

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  TheLoadedDog The Ghost of George Stephenson

But do you chock a tyre as well Surprised

Your logic is flawed anyway because we don't all ride horses, use candles, or provide airline passengers with parachutes (just in case).

More likely someone has worked out that in the 21st century DETs make SFA difference in the scheme of things and a safety system based on fire-crackers pose a greater risk to those applying it and anyone who may get their hands on the things.

Same MBA logic as to why that flight attendant doesn't hand you a parachute on boarding Laughing
cootanee

No, your understanding is flawed.

The handbrake and gear lever are both RIGHT THERE ANYWAY.  Minimal cost in time involved, whether I use both or not (though remind me not to park near you on hills).  With the dets, it's minimal cost in dollars involved.  You don't get rid of a back-up system that costs jack to provide, just because it isn't the latest and greatest.  Handing parachutes to every airline passenger is something so unworkable a child could see it.  On the other hand, keeping a few dets available?  Cost = minimal.  Potential saving in lives, injuries, and millions of dollars worth of plant = huge.

Let's consider another example = switching off our system of lighthouses.  These are expensive to maintain right around the coast, and pretty much every vessel has GPS anyway these days.  This might be a reasonable saving.  Maybe.  But a few dollars' worth of dets that might one day prevent another Glenbrook?  If you seriously think that's a good saving, even after train crew have posted here about dark territory etc, then you're wasting everyone's time, including your own.

What's a det cost?  Ten bucks?  If that? C'mon!
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
No, your understanding is flawed.

The handbrake and gear lever are both RIGHT THERE ANYWAY.  Minimal cost in time involved, whether I use both or not (though remind me not to park near you on hills).  With the dets, it's minimal cost in dollars involved.  You don't get rid of a back-up system that costs jack to provide, just because it isn't the latest and greatest.  Handing parachutes to every airline passenger is something so unworkable a child could see it.  On the other hand, keeping a few dets available?  Cost = minimal.  Potential saving in lives, injuries, and millions of dollars worth of plant = huge.

Let's consider another example = switching off our system of lighthouses.  These are expensive to maintain right around the coast, and pretty much every vessel has GPS anyway these days.  This might be a reasonable saving.  Maybe.  But a few dollars' worth of dets that might one day prevent another Glenbrook?  If you seriously think that's a good saving, even after train crew have posted here about dark territory etc, then you're wasting everyone's time, including your own.

What's a det cost?  Ten bucks?  If that? C'mon!
"TheLoadedDog™™"

Comes down to the risk assessment however. How much a DET cost to replace- $2 each. How much does the fine for inadequate storage and training of staff for dealing with an explosive compound cost? Provision of MSDS sheets? Paying out the families who sue when their darlings blow there hands off in Western Sydney?
Compare that to the risk of a derailment caused collision prevented by a detonator. In the Sydney network, the vast, vast majority of the area is covered by metro net or working signal phone. Or mobile phone. Lets not forget, you have these wonderful guards on the train- send them back with a red flag/ light. Going to be much more effective because the guard can tell the train why it has been stopped.

In terms of Glenbrook, at least 1 freight operator is instructing its drivers that red means thou shall not pass until you speak to the NCO, NSG608 be damned. If your worried about the other trains, then remove the provision to pass auto's at stop. ( and realistically, your going to be doing restricted speed past these guys anyway, if you come roaring around and run into a train, then you weren't following the rules and shouldn't be holding a drivers CoC.

Detonators being used for incorrect purposes are more of a risk then their application for train protection, so rightly so the risk assessment says ditch them. Once digital train radio comes in, your guranteed radio reception and this will resolve the communicating with the NCO argument.

Remember, once you push that Emergency button on metro net that sends a signal to ALL nearby CityRail trains, whether the NCO gets it or not you should still be driving your train with due regard to that transmission.

All this hype and and "the sky is falling" talk is just scare mongering. Guards should be cheering for it- it helps cement a role for them in being that extra back up when a train does need protection.
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

How much does the fine for inadequate storage and training of staff for dealing with an explosive compound cost?
seb2351
Compliance with regulations, including MSDS, is a great way of justifying more management jobs which is something they seem to love doing, even under the new structure.Razz

If they can't even manage the safe handling requirements for things like detonators then I do not think they are fit to be running trains.

There are no watertight arguments in favour of eliminating detonators because there are no watertight safety defences to warrant their elimination, just a few lines with words like "vast majority" and talk of paying compensation to idiots who steal explosives, then crush or throw them in the fire and wonder why they lose an eye.

I do agree that the need to use detonators for train protection is rare and that they are an ongoing cost and liability that needs to be managed, but the consequences of not protecting could be much more severe than the loss of an eye or finger, assuming the compensation amounted to a few hundred thousand dollars every few years. How many adolescent eyes and fingers is the odd derailment and subsequent collision worth? Many multiples of a few hundred thousand every few years. One wrecked carriage is several million on its own. And since we're worried about the poor little s**** who steal detonators, there is also the matter of passengers and crew who could be seriously injured or killed in a crash. But, I know the pro detonator side is never going to win the economic argument, especially when many other railways have already ditched the 172 year old devices that were not only in every cab but until recently also signal box and ESML cabinet.

Eliminating detonators from the footplate will not eliminate the danger of their theft, either. They will still be in Civil depots and on the line protecting possessions etc. A quick Google search revealed cases of theft from Civil depots.


Comes down to the risk assessment however.
seb2351
As mentioned by waxyzebu above, their decision is supported by the risk assessment, not a product of it. It's merely a matter of compliance. The risk assessment can be steered to suit whatever outcome they want it to, just like economists do with their flawed models.


Detonators being used for incorrect purposes are more of a risk then their application for train protection, so rightly so the risk assessment says ditch them.
seb2351
I'd really like to see a proper rail safety risk assessment that actually supported that view, and I'm not being sarcastic.



Compare that to the risk of a derailment caused collision prevented by a detonator. In the Sydney network, the vast, vast majority of the area is covered by metro net or working signal phone. Or mobile phone.
seb2351
Yet for some reason signallers and train crew still seem to have difficulty communicating quite frequently.




working signal phone
seb2351
LOL

Working signal phone?


More from the UK:
In the context of emergency protection, detonators are used to provide a last line of
defence in the event that the signaller cannot be contacted, or the signaller cannot
contact the driver of an approaching train.  

The benefit of detonators in this situation is that they provide an audible warning to the
driver of an approaching train of an obstruction on the line ahead if other attempts to
communicate with the train driver have failed.  They are easy to carry and simple to
install.

The main concern with using detonators in this situation is the danger to the user when
in a stressful and dangerous situation (i.e. having to go onto the tracks to place the
detonators, potentially in the face of an oncoming train).  However, anecdotal evidence
suggests that use of detonators in emergencies is rare in the modern railway and that
track staff were prepared to place detonators in an emergency.  In the long-term, the
solution will be GSM-R and in-cab signalling, however, currently detonators provide a
simple and effective last line of defence if other attempts at communication have failed.


From the perspective of the UK RSSB, NSW has jumped the gun. We neither have GSM-R nor in-cab signalling.
Yeah, GSM-R is on the way, but in-cab signalling? Gawd.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

So Mr Dog and headshunt, if detonators are such a universal panacea for safety with the potential to save more lives than penicillin, how do you correlate that with either the transperth or the transadelaide model where they have not been used for in excess of 10 years, but the lines are not littered with the smashed carriages and piles of corpses that you seem to feel they will save?
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Compliance with regulations, including MSDS, is a great way of justifying more management jobs which is something they seem to love doing, even under the new structure.Razz

If they can't even manage the safe handling requirements for things like detonators then I do not think they are fit to be running trains.

There are no watertight arguments in favour of eliminating detonators because there are no watertight safety defences to warrant their elimination, just a few lines with words like "vast majority" and talk of paying compensation to idiots who steal explosives, then crush or throw them in the fire and wonder why they lose an eye.

I do agree that the need to use detonators for train protection is rare and that they are an ongoing cost and liability that needs to be managed, but the consequences of not protecting could be much more severe than the loss of an eye or finger, assuming the compensation amounted to a few hundred thousand dollars every few years. How many adolescent eyes and fingers is the odd derailment and subsequent collision worth? Many multiples of a few hundred thousand every few years. One wrecked carriage is several million on its own. And since we're worried about the poor little s**** who steal detonators, there is also the matter of passengers and crew who could be seriously injured or killed in a crash. But, I know the pro detonator side is never going to win the economic argument, especially when many other railways have already ditched the 172 year old devices that were not only in every cab but until recently also signal box and ESML cabinet.

Eliminating detonators from the footplate will not eliminate the danger of their theft, either. They will still be in Civil depots and on the line protecting possessions etc. A quick Google search revealed cases of theft from Civil depots.


As mentioned by waxyzebu above, their decision is supported by the risk assessment, not a product of it. It's merely a matter of compliance. The risk assessment can be steered to suit whatever outcome they want it to, just like economists do with their flawed models.


I'd really like to see a proper rail safety risk assessment that actually supported that view, and I'm not being sarcastic.



Yet for some reason signallers and train crew still seem to have difficulty communicating quite frequently.




LOL

Working signal phone?


More from the UK:
In the context of emergency protection, detonators are used to provide a last line of
defence in the event that the signaller cannot be contacted, or the signaller cannot
contact the driver of an approaching train.  

The benefit of detonators in this situation is that they provide an audible warning to the
driver of an approaching train of an obstruction on the line ahead if other attempts to
communicate with the train driver have failed.  They are easy to carry and simple to
install.

The main concern with using detonators in this situation is the danger to the user when
in a stressful and dangerous situation (i.e. having to go onto the tracks to place the
detonators, potentially in the face of an oncoming train).  However, anecdotal evidence
suggests that use of detonators in emergencies is rare in the modern railway and that
track staff were prepared to place detonators in an emergency.  In the long-term, the
solution will be GSM-R and in-cab signalling, however, currently detonators provide a
simple and effective last line of defence if other attempts at communication have failed.


From the perspective of the UK RSSB, NSW has jumped the gun. We neither have GSM-R nor in-cab signalling.
Yeah, GSM-R is on the way, but in-cab signalling? Gawd.
"HeadShunt"

ARTC would be leading the way in Australia in that regard. However, it would seem that some on these boards cannot let go of the past and move forwards with the times.
I never had an issue with contacting control from both the passenger or freight perspective in Sydney. Given digital radio is less then a year away from rollout, this should make control even easier to reach.

Thank God I work out in the bush, to avoid all these apocalyptic train crashes that occur. Been 10 years now right, since an incident has occurred that has required train protection to be used in anger....
  Goose Chief Train Controller

Given digital radio is less then a year away from rollout, this should make control even easier to reach.
seb2351
You kidding!

Why would digital radio be any better than Metronet?

Are digital phones better than analogue?

(I carry a wheel chock in my car, just in case.)
  alcoworldseries Deputy Commissioner

Location: Auburn
As theanimal pointed out (as ammended) it would be at least 20 years since dets been on Adelaide Metro trains, is nice to be ahead of the times occassionally, as for Goose's comment do you carry an inflatable horse in the boot just in case as well..............
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
As theanimal pointed out (as ammended) it would be at least 20 years since dets been on Adelaide Metro trains, is nice to be ahead of the times occassionally, as for Goose's comment do you carry an inflatable horse in the boot just in case as well..............
alcoworldseries
But you never, ever, ever, ever, ever (etc) know do you Rolling Eyes

I'd be demanding that flight attendant provide me a parachute. Also I want a hammer to smash open the train window in the event of an accident (good enough for buses after all).

Having run or attended a few risk assessment workshops I appreciate that the outcomes aren't as cavalier as some railpagers  'think'.
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

I'm still not seeing any evidence of extremely reliable communications systems or continuous ATP in use NOW that warrant the elimination of detonators from cabs by this operator. It doesn't matter how long it has been since the last disaster they could have protected when the prerequisites for getting rid of them are not in place.

Ridicule we conservative folk now, but I don't think you would want to be in a situation where you were derailed, there could be a train coming on the adjacent line and:

• the signaller cannot provide signal protection, or
• you have not been able to contact the signaller


It doesn't take a stretch of the imagination to see that both scenarios could happen in this network because they do happen, but usually without a derailment added to the mix.

The incidents detonators could be used to protect are reasonably foreseeable since this is not a question of whether additional measures should be added but whether an existing measure should be eliminated, meaning that the incidents have already been foreseen and indeed happened, and their consequences can be severe.



Having run or attended a few risk assessment workshops I appreciate that the outcomes aren't as cavalier as some railpagers  'think'.
cootanee

It looks like my experience is different to yours because in mine the assessments have always supported the desired business outcome, the actual risk discussions have been casual and tended to pay lip service to real risk, with a heavy involvement from bureaucrats either without much of a railway background who barely know S from C or former front line staff who do know better but don't care and just want to get it over and done with. It is all about compliance and making the staff feel like they are involved or consulted. If something gets in the way or is not properly understood it is eliminated or redefined, and that's "fine" because they are allowed to do it under the law. Then who has to fill in the gaps in the resulting mess? The people out there working the rules.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
I'm still not seeing any evidence of extremely reliable communications systems in use NOW that warrant the elimination of detonators from cabs by this operator. It doesn't matter how long it has been since the last disaster they could have protected when the prerequisites for getting rid of them are not in place.
HeadShunt

If you broadly applied this flawed logic...

Children maybe trying to cross a major road (not school zones). We would have 40kph limits on them all. We don't because the likelihood of killing a child(even though more than needing a DET) doesn't warrant it.
The DET is probably a bigger risk to the person trying to place it (e.g. the higher risk of being electrocuted by downed power lines). The extremely rare occasion where all other measures have failed and you decide to use a DET (throw in poor weather/visibility) and walk the required distance and managed not to get killed or injured and position them before that next train arrives.

You can go down the what if this / that / or the other thing  - in most cases (yes you can quote exceptions SurprisedRolling Eyes) some competent people with diverging viewpoints discuss, work out the likelihood and consequences, evaluate, review and make a recommendation. Meanwhile critics do what they do Laughing
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

If you broadly applied this flawed logic...
cootanee
Lol that's exactly the sort of dismissive bureaucratic attitude I've become accustomed to. Makes me feel right at home.


You can go down the what if this / that / or the other thing - in most cases (yes you can quote exceptions SurprisedRolling Eyes) some competent people with diverging viewpoints discuss, work out the likelihood and consequences, evaluate, review and make a recommendation.
cootanee

I forgot the bosses and bureaucrats always got it right! Sorry, I meant "some competent people with diverging viewpoints"... as if much weight is ever lent to any diverging view. Even the actual cost/benefit determinations prepared by "experts" have been ignored because they don't suit business outcomes.


Meanwhile critics do what they do
cootanee
"Meanwhile" some people, commonly dismissed as "critics" actually take heed of the SFAIRP requirement rather than assuming that it's irrelevant because it will probably never be argued in court. For me that means that detonators are a cheap way of plugging holes in indisputably imperfect defences, compensating for the lack of extremely reliable communication systems. But anyway, I live in a dream world. As I said above, I know that the pro detonator side will never win in the "real" world where "critics" have never been popular because their views represent either an unwanted cost or an "I told you so" argument. I'm used to being a loser.Razz
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
... Makes me feel right at home.

.... I'm used to being a loser.Razz
HeadShunt

If you choose to view the world that way.

Having 'won'/'compromised'/'lost' in the commercial world it's a system that I'll take (however unpalatable) over emotion, gut feeling, prejudice etc.  I'm sure that we can find plenty of instances were people complain about something enforced upon them for a whatever reason(s).
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Having 'won'/'compromised'/'lost' in the commercial world it's a system that I'll take (however unpalatable) over emotion, gut feeling, prejudice etc.  I'm sure that we can find plenty of instances were people complain about something enforced upon them for a whatever reason(s).
cootanee
Yeah, I prefer the rational path over emotion, gut feelings, predjudice etc too, but if I feel that I have a rational basis for not agreeing with the handling of the process or the outcome I won't just shut up like a good little boy as every company man is expected to, I will offer my diverging viewpoint if I think it can be supported by a rational argument because I want it to be comprehensively shot down with something other than generalisations or rhetoric (which I still do not think has happened in this case:twisted:). If that means I am dismissed as a dinosaur or troublemaker and get my rear end kicked occasionally so be it. I think a lot of us on here know the corporate culture well enough to know how these things go.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
Yeah, I prefer the rational path over emotion, gut feelings, predjudice etc too, but if I feel that I have a rational basis for not agreeing with the handling of the process or the outcome I won't just shut up like a good little boy as every company man is expected to, I will offer my diverging viewpoint if I think it can be supported by a rational argument. If that means I am dismissed as a dinosaur or troublemaker and get my rear end kicked occasionally so be it.
HeadShunt

I may be playing devils advocate and sure I don't mind making the odd omelette. I have no personal feeling about DETs except they seem more 'risky' with than without them.

I take people through the process (typically AS/NZ ISO 31000) and it's often a battle to get past the "what if" x infinity x "but then". Now one assumes that such a safety 'critical' decision would have been a bit more considered than a Railpage reaction Exclamation
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
I may be playing devils advocate and sure I don't mind making the odd omelette. I have no personal feeling about DETs except they seem more 'risky' with than without them.

I take people through the process (typically AS/NZ ISO 31000) and it's often a battle to get past the "what if" x infinity x "but then". Now one assumes that such a safety 'critical' decision would have been a bit more considered than a Railpage reaction Exclamation
cootanee
I wonder if we're looking at it the wrong way.

If security and vandalism are the problem, perhaps it would be wise to address those issues instead of leaving an empty cupboard for thieves to break into!

In fact, perhaps some preventative programs may work too, by asking "potential vandals" to come forward, and giving them some much more entertaining high explosives, and a place to detonate them, or they could assist in scrapping S sets? A few extra holes won't devalue the scrap metal. I suspect that a great deal of the issue would be resolved when the "potential vandals" were inducted into the Darwin Award hall of fame. Wink

M
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Again I think we know the culture well enough to know that the people doing risk analyses are not the decision makers here, they are a support mechanism for compliance, and compliance is about appearance, not reality. When they are bold enough to press a safety issue their views can, will and have been ignored where "necessary" to achieve "business outcomes". Those who think otherwise have been brainwashed by corporate propaganda. One of the main things they care about is whether they will have to defend their decisions in court. They know the legal system well enough to know what they can get away with to save a dollar. They know full well that the farcical investigative process in NSW will not turn many stones or rock many boats that will reflect badly on the establishment. This was demonstrated with the Kogarah investigation where one of the corporate parties was found guilty and fined but the biggest risks and other guilty parties were not given much attention in the investigation. Coincidentally, that was an incident that could have been prevented with detonators.

This reminds me a bit of the emergency door release saga where it was decided that they were "more trouble than they are worth" because idiots kept misusing them. We were treated to similar arguments about kiddies occasionally getting hurt when they opened the doors and fell out and the fact that EDRs were "rarely used" because somehow we forgot firstly that trains do derail and secondly that overturned carriages can become death traps.
Well, guess what? The expert bureaucrats and their "business decisions" were found to be wrong and EDRs are back with brightly coloured stickers all over them.

Oh look, there I go, off with the fairies of irrational and emotional cynicism again. Bad dog!
So much for guarding against reasonably foreseeable events...
Time to be reeducated with some more "we really do care about safety" corporate propaganda.
  Goose Chief Train Controller

as for Goose's comment do you carry an inflatable horse in the boot just in case as well..............
alcoworldseries
I also have insurance.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
The odds are eventually there will be an incident where the removed DETs 'may have'  prevented a train slamming into a stopped one.

As would having parachutes probably save airline passengers in certain emergencies - however I somehow doubt you ever insist on one even though planes are crashing all the time.

Any difference???????

Why don't we see window breakage hammers on trains when buses have them. Car drivers don't wear basic helmets even though major head injuries would be significantly reduced  - I'm sure it's easy to dig up plenty of stupid decisions.

We live in a world where we do play the odds because things may not happen and the world will still turn. Risk management is an ongoing process nevertheless nothing is really guaranteed or optimal. I simply have more time for people who make the call.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
...But a few dollars' worth of dets that might one day prevent another Glenbrook?  If you seriously think that's a good saving, even after train crew have posted here about dark territory etc, then you're wasting everyone's time, including your own.

What's a det cost?  Ten bucks?  If that? C'mon!
TheLoadedDog™™
If the total cost of having them was that cheap, there wouldn't be any real motivation to get rid of them.  As others have mentioned, in this case the "total cost" would have little to do with the actual purchase cost.

I don't see the relevance of Glenbrook.  The circumstances that resulted in Glenbrook indicated that there was a problem with the system that detonators didn't address, but fixing that problem further reduces the likelihood of an incident where detonators would play a useful role.  I can think of a few other incidents in NSW that have similar characteristics.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
Agree that the cost would have SFA bearing on this...

Just for the exercise, consider the suburban network, train separations, a dark situation where all other trains are not aware of the situation, reaction times including communication between driver and guard, trying to confirm ALL the other safety measures have indeed failed, buying a lottery ticket, consultation and decision to deploy DETs (I could throw in night/bad weather), then trudging the distance to deploy the DETs without getting rundown and the subsequent reaction time of the next train... all becomes pretty marginal. But I'm sure someone has already done that.

Better to give the crew HiD torches / strobes as stand-off safety warning devices. After all kero lamps were high tech when these fire-crackers were first used.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
This was demonstrated with the Kogarah investigation where one of the corporate parties was found guilty and fined but the biggest risks and other guilty parties were not given much attention. Coincidentally, that was an incident that could have been prevented with detonators...
HeadShunt
Other "guilty" parties?  I didn't realize you were a judge.

It is a bit of a stretch to imagine that detonators kept in the driver's cabin of a train could have prevented that accident.
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Just for the exercise, consider the suburban network, train separations, a dark situation where all other trains are not aware of the situation, reaction times including communication between driver and guard, trying to confirm ALL the other safety measures have indeed failed, buying a lottery ticket, consultation and decision to deploy DETs (I could throw in night/bad weather), then trudging the distance to deploy the DETs without getting rundown and the subsequent reaction time of the next train... all becomes pretty marginal. But I'm sure someone has already done that.
cootanee
You don't necessarily have to walk the full distance because you might find a phone on the way. If you find a phone you put the dets on the rail then try to make a call. If that fails you keep walking. If a train approaches before you have reached the full distance, you might still be able to put at least one detonator on the line then stand clear with a red flag or light. If I wasn't injured in a crash I wouldn't be afraid of getting out to do it if I considered it the best course of action. You do what you have to do.

Also, if you are going forward to protect the adjacent line and the cess is for whatever reason not an option, you are probably going to be protected by the standing wreckage of your own train, so worrying about a train coming up from behind and running you over is not necessarily much of an issue.

the suburban network, train separations
cootanee
Train separations in this network can be big enough for someone to walk a fair way in many areas at various times of the day without encountering another train, especially towards the fringes of the network, outside the metropolitan area or at night where there is very little traffic.


trying to confirm ALL the other safety measures have indeed failed
cootanee
That is not something you should be spending much time doing. If you can't get through on the phone or radio or see a signal go red when you apply the clip, you are not protected.



Better to give the crew HiD torches / strobes as stand-off safety warning devices.
cootanee
Torches to signal trains to stop? That eliminates the risk of kids stealing dets but the crew will still have to get out on the line and face the risk of getting run over.


I didn't realize you were a judge.
donttellmywife
I'm not, not that you'd know who I really am, and while it's not for me to hand down official judgements I am not only talking about court - there was an investigation that preceded it that was in some ways was more important. Maybe you should look at that and the case the judge was presented with before you judge my judgement. He could only work with what he was given so I don't blame him for the outcome.


It is a bit of a stretch to imagine that detonators kept in the driver's cabin of a train could have prevented that accident.
donttellmywife

I never said they would have, I said: Coincidentally, that was an incident that could have been prevented with detonators...
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
Rather than carry on with the what if, what about that, if these planets align, if the sky falls...

Has anyone got any official documents about this (a bit of insight Idea)
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Has anyone got any official documents about this (a bit of insight Idea)
cootanee
Good question. Someone must have them...
A lot of the risk management stuff I've seen was commercial-in-confidence, no surprises there.
Pity we can't subpoena them for our strictly non expert review.

Instructions to staff will be easier to find.
I suppose if the rules are changed that will all be public, although there was no mention of that in the article IIRC.

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