Australian Transport Safety Bureau to investigate two Geelong trains being seconds from head-on collision at Marshall

 
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Paywalled article from here- http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/geelong/australian-transport-safety-bureau-to-investigate-two-geelong-trains-being-seconds-from-headon-collision-at-marshall/news-story/5839d78ecf15cf113f76730c840b8030

Australian Transport Safety Bureau to investigate two Geelong trains being seconds from head-on collision at Marshall
SHANE FOWLES, Geelong Advertiser
January 9, 2018 10:24am



TWO trains came within a few seconds of a head-on collision in Geelong’s south last week.
An investigation has been launched into the dangerous incident, which occurred on the single line section of track between Marshall and South Geelong about 2.15pm on January 2.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said the trains were brought to a halt just 300 metres apart, avoiding any injuries or damage.
The near collision occurred after an empty passenger train travelling from Waurn Ponds to Geelong passed two stop signals at Marshall without authority.
V/Line issued a warning on the day stating that delays of at least an hour would result from “signal issue at Marshall”.
An inquiry will be led by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. A final report will be released at a later date.
The incident occurred as train passengers await progress on the proposed duplication of the rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds.
After soil quality testing and public consultation late last year, a business case for the project is expected in the first half of 2018.
The State Government has budgeted $110 million for the first stage of a rail extension to Torquay, which will prepare the corridor for duplication to Waurn Ponds.

Link to the ATSB Investigation - https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2018/rair/ro-2018-001/




Not the first time that the ATSB has investigated issues on this part of the Geelong line. The other issue occured in 2015- https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2015/rair/ro-2015-009/

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  crisfitz Chief Commissioner

Location: Enroute somewhere
Being pedantic - but the ATSB is not doing the investigation. CITS is doing it under the ATSB Transport Safety Act. Aside from publishing the final report the Bureau will have nothing to do with it.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Being pedantic - but the ATSB is not doing the investigation. CITS is doing it under the ATSB Transport Safety Act. Aside from publishing the final report the Bureau will have nothing to do with it.
crisfitz
Why would Chennai IT Training Solutions be doing the investigation?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Being pedantic - but the ATSB is not doing the investigation. CITS is doing it under the ATSB Transport Safety Act. Aside from publishing the final report the Bureau will have nothing to do with it.
Why would Chennai IT Training Solutions be doing the investigation?
Lockspike
The joys of unexplained/incomprehensible acronyms. Rolling Eyes
Thank God that Train Orders are not issued using acronyms (or are they these days?).
  crisfitz Chief Commissioner

Location: Enroute somewhere
Being pedantic - but the ATSB is not doing the investigation. CITS is doing it under the ATSB Transport Safety Act. Aside from publishing the final report the Bureau will have nothing to do with it.
crisfitz
Why would Chennai IT Training Solutions be doing the investigation?
"Lockspike"


My apologies - thought people would have actually gone to the ATSB link provided and read the summary, which states that the Chief Inspectorate, Transport Safety (CITS) (Victoria) would be conducting the investigation.

Assumptions make an smeg out of u and me Smile

The ATSB do very few rail investigations of their own these days, most are done by the state investigators under the ATSB act. One wonders if they'll get right out of rail and focus solely on aviation as they used to do...
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Being pedantic - but the ATSB is not doing the investigation. CITS is doing it under the ATSB Transport Safety Act. Aside from publishing the final report the Bureau will have nothing to do with it.
Why would Chennai IT Training Solutions be doing the investigation?
The joys of unexplained/incomprehensible acronyms. Rolling Eyes
Thank God that Train Orders are not issued using acronyms (or are they these days?).
YM-Mundrabilla
No they're not.  Tried and true method still spelling out the locations names and repeating it back same.  Throw in an open channel radio, a very safe system.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Why would Chennai IT Training Solutions be doing the investigation?
My apologies - thought people would have actually gone to the ATSB link provided and read the summary, which states that the Chief Inspectorate, Transport Safety (CITS) (Victoria) would be conducting the investigation.

Assumptions make an smeg out of u and me Smile

The ATSB do very few rail investigations of their own these days, most are done by the state investigators under the ATSB act. One wonders if they'll get right out of rail and focus solely on aviation as they used to do...
crisfitz
Thanks Crisfitz. I had wondered if it was a state based organisation. It certainly didn't show up in Google's acronym search which is where I got Chennai IT from.
Acronyms are a minefield; I use them on RP myself, but have spelt them out if I thought they wouldn't be known here.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The ATSB do very few rail investigations of their own these days, most are done by the state investigators under the ATSB act. One wonders if they'll get right out of rail and focus solely on aviation as they used to do...
chrisfitz

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau never solely investigated air accidents, that was done by the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation (BASI). The ATSB, when it was formed In 1999, combined the nation’s air, sea, rail and, to a certain extent, road accident-investigation units.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

CITS = Chief Inspector Transport Safety, Victoria.

Checking CITS website reveals the most recent recorded incidents were:

  • Rail - July 2016
  • Tram - April 2011
  • Marine - February 2017
  • Bus - November 2010

I must be missing something somewhere as surely there is something that they must be investigating since the above dates.

The ATSB website seems to mention 29 rail investigations going back to the beginning of 2016 (2 years) of which only 3 or 4 seem to have been finalised.
YM-Mundrabilla
Maybe ATSB farming out some work gives CITS something to do, and keeps their skills and knowledge up to date, (he says, making a genuine attempt to say something positive)?
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Regardless of who is in charge of investigating the incident, it's a fairly serious incident.

To have two incidents in three years at the same location can't be coincidence.



Is signalling too complicated?

Are V/Line not providing enough training for their drivers?

Will duplication of the line actually help?

Empty car movements wouldn't necessarily happen if the Waurn Ponds Stabling & Maintenance facility had been built already.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner


Empty car movements wouldn't necessarily happen if the Waurn Ponds Stabling & Maintenance facility had been built already.
SamTheMan79
The fact that it was an empty car movement seems a bit irrelevant, surely you are not saying if it was a full passenger train it would be better?
  crisfitz Chief Commissioner

Location: Enroute somewhere
CITS = Chief Inspector Transport Safety, Victoria.

Checking CITS website reveals the most recent recorded incidents were:

  • Rail - July 2016
  • Tram - April 2011
  • Marine - February 2017
  • Bus - November 2010

I must be missing something somewhere as surely there is something that they must be investigating since the above dates.

The ATSB website seems to mention 29 rail investigations going back to the beginning of 2016 (2 years) of which only 3 or 4 seem to have been finalised.
YM-Mundrabilla
Maybe ATSB farming out some work gives CITS something to do, and keeps their skills and knowledge up to date, (he says, making a genuine attempt to say something positive)?
"Lockspike"


I've only recently quit the Bureau so I can speak on authority here.

Investigations in NSW and Victoria are, as a rule, handled by the states but under the ATSB Act. This is through a inter-relationship agreement signed many years ago. There are exceptions, but its not common.

Incidents outside of those two states are handled by the ATSB.

I'm not surprised they have a massive backlog of investigations. Over the past 18 months half the rail team either resigned or retired, leaving a significant workload for the few investigators remaining. Further, being a government department, things move vvvvvveeeeeerrrrrryyyyyyyyyyy slowly once the report goes beyond the investigators hands. Not unusual for a draft report to sit on a mangers desk for months waiting for review.
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong

Empty car movements wouldn't necessarily happen if the Waurn Ponds Stabling & Maintenance facility had been built already.The fact that it was an empty car movement seems a bit irrelevant, surely you are not saying if it was a full passenger train it would be better?
theanimal
Not saying that at all. Simply saying there wouldn't have been an empty car movement "unusually" happening on the up if the facilities had already been built, as announced and as funded at Waurn Ponds.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I'm not surprised they have a massive backlog of investigations. Over the past 18 months half the rail team either resigned or retired, leaving a significant workload for the few investigators remaining.
crisfitz
For what reason?
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner


Empty car movements wouldn't necessarily happen if the Waurn Ponds Stabling & Maintenance facility had been built already.The fact that it was an empty car movement seems a bit irrelevant, surely you are not saying if it was a full passenger train it would be better?Not saying that at all. Simply saying there wouldn't have been an empty car movement "unusually" happening on the up if the facilities had already been built, as announced and as funded at Waurn Ponds.
SamTheMan79
Not correct.

Every afternoon a down train terminates in Waurn Ponds then goes empty to Geelong in between the down and up Warrnambool trains.  It then runs a stop all stations service following the up Warrnambool from Geelong so that the up Warrnambool can run express.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Regardless of who is in charge of investigating the incident, it's a fairly serious incident.

To have two incidents in three years at the same location can't be coincidence.



Is signalling too complicated?

Are V/Line not providing enough training for their drivers?

Will duplication of the line actually help?

Empty car movements wouldn't necessarily happen if the Waurn Ponds Stabling & Maintenance facility had been built already.
SamTheMan79
I have written before and will write again .
This is a section worked with absolute block and two position colour light signals on a falling grade handling around 60 passenger moves aday with regular crosses at Marshall .
Melbourne - Geelong is 3 position signalling, beyond Geelong 2 position .
Confusing for drivers,  and very heavy traffic to be handling with 2 position signalling that volume of trains each day .

Read the ATSB report of the original SPAD a couple of years ago and you have a better appreciation of the issues involved .

With the forthcoming duplication no doubt will go top 3 position signalling to handle that volume of trains .
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Out of interest, apart from route knowledge, in two-position signalling how do you tell the difference between a coloured-light Distant signal displaying green and a single coloured-light Home signal displaying green, eg Marshall’s MSL22 (Distant) and MSL24 (Home) in the 2015 incident report linked above? Obviously they have different meanings and in the semaphore equivalents the Distant is yellow and fishtail-ended and the Home is red and square-ended. Even at night you’d get some idea of which is which
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

Out of interest, apart from route knowledge, in two-position signalling how do you tell the difference between a coloured-light Distant signal displaying green and a single coloured-light Home signal displaying green, eg Marshall’s MSL22 (Distant) and MSL24 (Home) in the 2015 incident report linked above? Obviously they have different meanings and in the semaphore equivalents the Distant is yellow and fishtail-ended and the Home is red and square-ended. Even at night you’d get some idea of which is which
kitchgp

Purely route knowledge.

Interesting if ATSB finds out about the latest caper.  V/Line management (and PTV) have this week declared war against the employees.  They have written to each employee expressing their desire to rip up the Enterprise Agreement that was ratified last year.

Some of their aims is to remove the classification of Locomotive Driver, allow other employees to drive trains and to REDUCE the ROUTE KNOWLEDGE training to be short and intense and purely simulator based.

From what we understand, a budget of $40 million of taxpayers money has been allocated to trying to implement this and smash the union.

Not what you would expect from a Labor Government but exactly what you would expect from PTV and V/Line management with their British class warfare pedigree.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Thanks.

I would suggest attaching vertically-oriented rectangular boards (perhaps mildly reflectorised) to the mast. Distants would have a yellow background with black chevrons pointing up and Homes a red background with white horizontal stripes.
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

Thanks.

I would suggest attaching vertically-oriented rectangular boards (perhaps mildly reflectorised) to the mast. Distants would have a yellow background with black chevrons pointing up and Homes a red background with white horizontal stripes.
kitchgp
That might look fancy but it will achieve no purpose.

A distant signal at green indicates that all signals through that station are green for fast passage of trains.

A distant signal at yellow indicates that any or all of the signals are at red.  So a driver on approaching a yellow signal should be prepared for the next signal to be red and to approach the rest of the signals on a one by one basis expecting them to be red.

The safest approach is to do away with two position signals in the commuting area altogether.  i.e. Melbourne to Waurn Ponds, Wendouree, Eaglehawk, Epsom and Traralgon.  The Seymour line is an exception because the majority of the line is double line block.
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Out of interest, apart from route knowledge, in two-position signalling how do you tell the difference between a coloured-light Distant signal displaying green and a single coloured-light Home signal displaying green, eg Marshall’s MSL22 (Distant) and MSL24 (Home) in the 2015 incident report linked above? Obviously they have different meanings and in the semaphore equivalents the Distant is yellow and fishtail-ended and the Home is red and square-ended. Even at night you’d get some idea of which is which

Purely route knowledge.

Interesting if ATSB finds out about the latest caper.  V/Line management (and PTV) have this week declared war against the employees.  They have written to each employee expressing their desire to rip up the Enterprise Agreement that was ratified last year.

Some of their aims is to remove the classification of Locomotive Driver, allow other employees to drive trains and to REDUCE the ROUTE KNOWLEDGE training to be short and intense and purely simulator based.

From what we understand, a budget of $40 million of taxpayers money has been allocated to trying to implement this and smash the union.

Not what you would expect from a Labor Government but exactly what you would expect from PTV and V/Line management with their British class warfare pedigree.
DalyWaters
I had heard word of this about 10 months ago but hadn't heard anything until you posted this.

From what I've heard, I think there are some people in high places that would love to hand everything to Bombardier.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Interesting if ATSB finds out about the latest caper.  V/Line management (and PTV) have this week declared war against the employees.  They have written to each employee expressing their desire to rip up the Enterprise Agreement that was ratified last year.

Some of their aims is to remove the classification of Locomotive Driver, allow other employees to drive trains and to REDUCE the ROUTE KNOWLEDGE training to be short and intense and purely simulator based.

From what we understand, a budget of $40 million of taxpayers money has been allocated to trying to implement this and smash the union.
DalyWaters
If, and I say 'If" advisedly, this is tried, it hasn't got a cat in hell's chance of success. No drivers is one thing. Then add no maintenance of any railway equipment, no deliveries of fuel, equipment, food et al to any railway site, no electricians, plumbers, carpenters, boilermakers, welders, and so on, simply because the entire Trade Union movement will stop it all. Every rail site or enterprise will be black. Attempts to smash unions are not new.
Like it or not, unions are here to stay, and the managerial energy would be far better used in getting both parties to work together.
And, before the inevitable question is asked, I have never been a member of a union in my life.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner


Empty car movements wouldn't necessarily happen if the Waurn Ponds Stabling & Maintenance facility had been built already.The fact that it was an empty car movement seems a bit irrelevant, surely you are not saying if it was a full passenger train it would be better?Not saying that at all. Simply saying there wouldn't have been an empty car movement "unusually" happening on the up if the facilities had already been built, as announced and as funded at Waurn Ponds.Not correct.

Every afternoon a down train terminates in Waurn Ponds then goes empty to Geelong in between the down and up Warrnambool trains.  It then runs a stop all stations service following the up Warrnambool from Geelong so that the up Warrnambool can run express.
DalyWaters
1404 Dn arrival Waurn Ponds forms 1409 Up Ety Cars  Marshall Pl-1  1415/17D  Sth Glg 1421*  Gex Pl 2 arr 1424  then as Pass depart 1435  follow Up Wmb Pass.    Up Wmb follows  Wrn Pnds 1414/16  Marshall  Pl Road 1421  (Cross Dn Wmb in 2 road 1416/21D)  Sgl  1427  Gex  pl 3  arr  1430  dep  1432   Dn Wmb Pass  Geelong Dep  1408  Sgl  1410*  Marshall 2 road  1416/21D#  Wrn Ponds  1427/1429    #  5 mins at Marshall get Train Order for beyond Wrn Pnds whilst doing the cross .
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

That might look fancy but it will achieve no purpose.

A distant signal at green indicates that all signals through that station are green for fast passage of trains……………………………
DalyWaters

My point was more about not being able to distinguish the type of coloured-light signal when it is displaying green, ie Distant or Home, particularly single coloured-light signals. As already mentioned, in the former case, generally green indicates that the rest of the signals for that station will be green whereas in the latter case green only indicates that the section to the next signal, which may be at stop or proceed, is clear. If you were distracted or slightly disoriented, say in poor visibility conditions, you may mistake a Home as a Distant (vice versa would be fail-safe), eg, in the Marshall scenerio, think that MSL24 (Home) was a Distant. Some Home signals will be distinguishable by their configuration such as multi-route Homes (MSL26) or where they are side-by-side with another Home on an adjacent track (MSL 10 & MSL12). It seems incongruous that in the semaphore days the equivalent types of signal were different shapes and, in most cases, different colours yet coloured-light signals appear the same.
  damooops Junior Train Controller

Location: The Revenue Raising State
G'day all.
I think the immediate solution that needs to happen at Marshall is installation of TPWS (Train protection warning system) on all signals. That works like a trip arm does for the suburban trains to bring the train to an abrupt stop if it passes the signal at stop. Secondly, get on with duplication as promised, to minimise this sort of thing occurring again.
Cheers all.

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