Runaway freighter on the Illawarra?!?

 

News article: Loss of control of Qube grain service 8960 on 22 April 2017

On 22 April 2017 the crew of 8960 alerted ARTC train control to their train running away on the approach to Dombarton.

  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Channel 7 news have just put out a video claiming a 40-wagon freighter, a stone train by the looks of it, ran away travelling from Dombarton - Moss Vale over a distance of 15km and got up to 100kph.

Much as I hate FB, that's where their story is: https://www.facebook.com/7newssydney/videos/1641354432555350/

I don't have a crystal ball, but I see pineapples in somebody's future...

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  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Channel 7 news have just put out a video claiming a 40-wagon freighter, a stone train by the looks of it, ran away travelling from Dombarton - Moss Vale over a distance of 15km and got up to 100kph.

Much as I hate FB, that's where their story is: https://www.facebook.com/7newssydney/videos/1641354432555350/

I don't have a crystal ball, but I see pineapples in somebody's future...
KRviator
It's a wonder the news clip didn't have footage of members of the local constabulary trying to shoot the fuel cut off button!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Funny how one learns things from the media.
Until tonight I was not even aware that there was a railway at Dombarton.
Usual media crap.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
From News.com.au

A runaway freight train on the NSW south coast has been safely stopped after quick-thinking rail staff diverted the train to a siding yard.

The privately owned train reported braking issues when travelling between Dombarton and Unanderra, near Wollongong, at about 12.50pm on Saturday, a Sydney Trains spokesperson said.
Signallers stopped all nearby freight and rail services and diverted the runaway train to a siding yard uphill where it came to a halt.
There was no damage to infrastructure and nobody was injured in the incident.
The Moss Vale-Unanderra line runs through/past Dombarton. Sounds somewhat similar to El Zorro's runaway at the bottom of the hill a few years ago when they ran out of air and SPAD'ed at Unanderra.
  M636C Minister for Railways

If it was the train illustrated in the video, 2928 Marulan South to Port Kembla Limestone, it is unlikely to have had 40 vehicles although it is possible. The wagons are ex NR triple hopper sets, and there are usually 11 sets. There are also two pairs of former coal wagons sometimes used so with twelve triples and two pairs you would get 40 wagons total.

Peter
  7334 Chief Commissioner

Location: In the workshop wondering why I started 7334 in the first place
Given that the news story was "illustrated" with a simulator type graphic of a US style EMD GP locomotive and hoppers I doubt that you could rely on the actual footage included in the story to be of the train involved.  Maybe stock footage as has been done before or footage taken later of some other train which just happened along?

Pardon my cynicism but I have long regarded media reporting of rail related events with great reservations as the average reporter would struggle to tell the difference between a flanged wheel and a bulls caboose.

I assume that if something of concern did occur, as appears likely,  there will be an investigation and the results of that would be far more reliable than Channel 7's efforts.
  ThyRiverina Station Master

QUBE 8960.
  james.au Chief Commissioner
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
QUBE 8960.
ThyRiverina

Which locos?
  MetroFemme Chief Train Controller

An amazing and scary situation.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
An amazing and scary situation.
MetroFemme

Bollocks!
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Stand by for the media screaming, "Thousands of lives saved by rail worker hero."

When I see many media reports, I start to worry about the accuracy of recorded history.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
An amazing and scary situation.

Bollocks!
bingley hall
Depends if you're on the noisy end of said freighter!

The El Zorro Unanderra runaway investigation report. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Thanks for the link KRviator, I hadn't read that report before and as someone who has just started the long road to driving (only on a tourist railway but it is a steep one) it gives a really good insight into something that we are always told about but hopefully don't get to experience - running out of air on a falling grade.

BG
  ThyRiverina Station Master

Most people seem to have forgotten about the ATN runaway on the Illawarra in 2000 and that was with only 20 wagons.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
An amazing and scary situation.

Bollocks!
Depends if you're on the noisy end of said freighter!

The El Zorro Unanderra runaway investigation report. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Now we can write a small library about the incident. First off, chapter one...Circumstances of the incident...Sometimes I think that whoever wrote that must've thought that whoever reading it was a complete uneducated person that can't read or write. The reason why I say small library is that most of the library would be copyright statements protecting the life of the train incident and also glossary of terms.

HUMANS!!!
Colonel Leon

These documents are evidentiary documents and are therefore super detailed.  Reading some of these over time has taught me a lot about rail safety and rail accidents.  Id prefer a small library to be written to record this, the investigation and the outcomes than have them forgotten about and for an accident to happen for the same reasons....
  a6et Minister for Railways

Reading through the report it was interesting to come to the pages and reference paragraphs 2:42 and 2:43 as what is indicated there is pretty well how things were when I was at PTK 1978-82 to be qualified for the mountain, bearing in mind that the heaviest load at the time was of limestone of approx 1866tonnes, hauled by 2 main line diesels, and generally 421, 44, 45, 422 & 442cl, few of the 44cl especially Mk 1 had dynamic brake operating and 45cl were usually the trailing engines down the hill and we did not use dyno if only on the 2nd engine.
We only had BP connections and worked with GCV in ip from MV, to Summit Tank where the GV's were set to HP, holding 5psi in the brakes all the way down to Unanderra, the train was examined by qualified brake examiner at MV, a 2 hour provedure.
To qualify for the GC trains we had to have 3 trips of full load & under 3 lighting conditions, day, afternoon and night allowing weather conditions eg dew on the track. 2 trips down had to be strictly by air, and only if passed then (by the loco inspector) could you use dynamic brakes on the 3rd trip, if both were working, waste of time if only one was working anyway.
On arrival at Summit Tank, grades were set to HP, with Brake Pipe Pressure set to a minimum of 70/75 psi rather than normal operating pressure of 60psi and continuity from guard and under load to the top of the grade for the descent. We had to bring the train to a stand on the straight short of the fire road, ideally with a minimum reduction of 7 or 10psi, with engine breaks released down to 10psi in Brake Cylinder. Once stopped, engine brakes were released allowing the engine to drop against the auto's usually you would move around 5 metres as the weight would pull the first couple of wagons a bit including the engines. Once stable, release train brakes, time before the train started to move even with the 5psi still applied in the GCV ports, was noted with the primary hope was that you would get the train recharged to at least 10.00 oclock on the Flow meter. At 12Km/h a minimum reduction would see how much impact it had but unless reduced to give at least 10psi reduction was made, you would go over 20Km/h, you needed to have train, therefore the brakes under control to prevent going over the 20Km/h
Some trains would hold at that speed and not get slower, which meant another small reduction was made to bring the speed down again, you needed to ensure that you did not have to go over 12Psi to slow the train otherwise you could be in trouble.  Thing was that as you rarelly got the flow metre showing full recharge without Dyno's whatever was not fully recharged meant you lost more air without any braking ability in the reduction.  If all going well you released the brakes at 5Km/h, and again the amount of recharge as indicated with the flow meter would determine the next and any subsequent application.
If you got to 12Km/h and the flow meter had not gotten off the bottom needle then you would give a 10-12 psi initial application and bring the train to a stand, apply the engine brakes fully and then release the train brakes, the hope was that the flow meter recharge would get the needle back up to at least the 9 oclock mark before the train pushed the engines forward, when starting to move you put the engine brake handle to slow/graduated release so as to prevent skidded wheels and help the recharge timings.
The key to non dyno working was to get to the water board tunnel with brakes coming off and the lighter grade meant you would get the whole trains air recharged, in case you had to go away at Dombarton, but also so you had all things under control for the final descent. In the last section the key was for total control and when near Farmborough Heights to be really crawling.
The above working was without dyno working and you had around 7 minutes more in running time than with a dyno load, in each section. With both engines having dyno's, I never had a train that did not get the brakes fully recharged at each next application, some of them just. If you had the three trial trips each without the use of Dyno's you would be fully qualified for the mountain with or without dyno working.
When at Werris Creek following PTK when the MR recharge trains came into operation, even on a single 81cl with 2100 tonnes on the Up, it was possible to go down the range from Ardglen without using dynamic braking and get the air fully recharged every time, a real snack.
At the end of the day, the working back then meant as the driver you had to have your witts about you, and never, never ever treat the mountain without respect, and certainly not cheaply. I had some scary trips down the hill but usually only when it seemed the brake applications seemed to have taken a bit longer than normal, owing to the train picking up speed faster than expected. Once used to the trains, you usually found that each application and release were always done in around the same spots as you came down, for those who have read the poems and like about working trains down the blue mountains in steam days, as many worked down based on land marks for applying and releasing brakes, it was very similar on the Illawarra Mountain as well.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

posted on the ATSB website this morning
http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2017/rair/ro-2017-001/


On 22 April 2017 the crew of 8960 alerted ARTC train control to their train running away on the approach to Dombarton. ARTC alerted Sydney Trains who were able to clear a path for the train through Unanderra towards Inner Harbour. The train reached a maximum speed of 118.6 km/h and came to a stand on a rising grade at the north fork on approach to Inner Harbour. The ATSB has commenced an investigation into this accident, which will be undertaken by officers from the NSW Office of Transport Safety Investigations, under the provisions of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. Investigators have commenced collecting evidence and statements from involved parties, which will be analysed and a draft investigation report compiled. The draft report will be forwarded to relevant parties for comment prior to the completion and release of the final report. The investigation is continuing.
Somebody
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
OK. I concede that would have been very scary.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I hope Qube offered a laundry service as well as the usual counselling for the crew!

BG
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
"The train reached a maximum speed of 118.6 km/h......"


OK. I concede that would have been very scary.
bingley hall


Just a Tad scary indeed Shocked
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
The Final Report is out.

Multiple brake applications down the hill resulted in insufficient air left to safely control the train.

The ATSB seems to make a big deal about the train being 'overweight', as the X2010 recorded a trailing tonnage of 3,360, based on 84 tonnes per wagon, but the train was actually 10% heavier. In itself this is not a huge deal, IMHO, as you compensate for that as you work the train. The opposite could well be true, an accurate weight but with 10% of the brakes isolated.

I'm surprised there is no screenshot of the datalogger to show both the multiple brake applications and also the time between them...You can learn an awful lot about what happened from that, if you know what you're looking at.

The section titled "The Occurrence" doesn't make sense, at least to me.
The driver said the first indication that he had a problem was past signal WG 1058 (100.500 km), at Dombarton. The time was 1242. He said that the signal was at full clear with the train travelling at 20 km/h.

At 1242:07, the driver made a release of the train’s air brake for approximately 30 seconds. He then reapplied the air brakes with a 50 kPa reduction in the brake pipe pressure. The dynamic brake was delivering 229 kN of braking force. The independent brake handle was in the release position and there was 0 kPa in the locomotive brake cylinders.

At 1242:28, the train’s speed had increased to 30 km/h. At this point, the train brake air that had been venting to atmosphere was stopped by the movement of the automatic brake handle by the driver to the release position. The driver reduced the brake pipe pressure to 420 kPa. However, despite this, the train’s speed continued to increase. The driver continued to reduce the brake pipe pressure in order to slow the train. The driver again reduced the brake pipe pressure to 344 kPa and the train’s speed reached 46 km/h. The dynamic brake was still delivering 229 kN of force.
The ATSB Report
So at 1242.07, the Driver releases the brakes, then makes a minimum application (50kpa reduction), however, the report says at 1242.28, the driver releases the brakes as the air that was exhausting is stopped by the release. The timeline given doesn't make sense.

There is also no comparison of braking effort with a full independent application vs full dynamic brake. Granted dynamic is generally considered superior, but to say "The dyno dropped out due to the independent being applied and the auto going to emergency" gives a false impression of total loss of braking capacity on the locos, when the independent was fully applied with ~500kpa in the brake cylinders.
  a6et Minister for Railways

The Final Report is out.

Multiple brake applications down the hill resulted in insufficient air left to safely control the train.

The ATSB seems to make a big deal about the train being 'overweight', as the X2010 recorded a trailing tonnage of 3,360, based on 84 tonnes per wagon, but the train was actually 10% heavier. In itself this is not a huge deal, IMHO, as you compensate for that as you work the train. The opposite could well be true, an accurate weight but with 10% of the brakes isolated.

I'm surprised there is no screenshot of the datalogger to show both the multiple brake applications and also the time between them...You can learn an awful lot about what happened from that, if you know what you're looking at.

The section titled "The Occurrence" doesn't make sense, at least to me.
The driver said the first indication that he had a problem was past signal WG 1058 (100.500 km), at Dombarton. The time was 1242. He said that the signal was at full clear with the train travelling at 20 km/h.

At 1242:07, the driver made a release of the train’s air brake for approximately 30 seconds. He then reapplied the air brakes with a 50 kPa reduction in the brake pipe pressure. The dynamic brake was delivering 229 kN of braking force. The independent brake handle was in the release position and there was 0 kPa in the locomotive brake cylinders.

At 1242:28, the train’s speed had increased to 30 km/h. At this point, the train brake air that had been venting to atmosphere was stopped by the movement of the automatic brake handle by the driver to the release position. The driver reduced the brake pipe pressure to 420 kPa. However, despite this, the train’s speed continued to increase. The driver continued to reduce the brake pipe pressure in order to slow the train. The driver again reduced the brake pipe pressure to 344 kPa and the train’s speed reached 46 km/h. The dynamic brake was still delivering 229 kN of force.
So at 1242.07, the Driver releases the brakes, then makes a minimum application (50kpa reduction), however, the report says at 1242.28, the driver releases the brakes as the air that was exhausting is stopped by the release. The timeline given doesn't make sense.

There is also no comparison of braking effort with a full independent application vs full dynamic brake. Granted dynamic is generally considered superior, but to say "The dyno dropped out due to the independent being applied and the auto going to emergency" gives a false impression of total loss of braking capacity on the locos, when the independent was fully applied with ~500kpa in the brake cylinders.
KRviator
KV, I have no idea about the general working of these trains but I worked enough of the old limestone trains down the range and around 80% without operating Dynamic brakes, thing is that with many of the workings it was integral to the control of the train to actually bring it to a stand every so often, it very much depended on how far off the bottom the charge needle got to at each subsequent application, if it did not get off the bottom, then you brought the train to a stand at the next application.

Other area that assisted a bit was to switch the gene/field switch off and put the throttle into 4 notch which got the compressors going to the max rate.

From my memory though, when your BP pressure dropped below around 40psi, that dropped the dynamic brakes out as well, never heard of it happening as mentioned in this report regarding the dyno dropping out in regard to the independent brake though.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Certainly a number of 'what ifs'.
Too soon to ask hypothetical questions.
  LowndesJ515 #TeamRog

Location: Not in Victoria
Its funny when you tell people that it was a smeg braking train the night before and the report says "Another train crew operated this train between Goobang Junction and Goulburn without problem." on page 12. Might have been without incident but problems were highlighted and reported, and looks like fell on deaf ears.

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