Tour Bus collides with Puffing Billy

 
  lkernan Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
New election promise:  Skyrail for the Gembrook Line.
Mark Knight in Heraldsun today must have read your post, Ike. I don't think I can link to it, but have a look. It's  on page 51 of todays HS. Hilarious!!
L1150

Ha, i'll have to track a copy down.  
Although I can't take all the credit. I'd already seen a similar post on Reddit before that.

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  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
New election promise:  Skyrail for the Gembrook Line.
Mark Knight in Heraldsun today must have read your post, Ike. I don't think I can link to it, but have a look. It's  on page 51 of todays HS. Hilarious!!
L1150
  gunzel42 Locomotive Fireman

The accident wasn't the train's fault, so where is the call to ban all tourist buses?  A tourist bus was the cause of the incident, not innocent people riding a train.  TSV, as both rail and BUS regulator should be throwing the book at the bus operator and driver, but for that they would need to grow a spine.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

It’s not been proved that kids would have been in any more danger with their legs dangling out. They would have still been travelling unrestrained in open wooden carriages.

The only ‘fortunate’ aspect was that the difference in the directions of travel of the two vehicles was much less than 90 degrees.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

It’s not been proved that kids would have been in any more danger with their legs dangling out.
kitchgp
True.

That's why, having been identified as a potential issue in an assessment triggered by this incident, it has been suspended. Once the full investigation is completed, the suspension will end and the practice will either be allowed or banned.
  allan Chief Commissioner

It’s not been proved that kids would have been in any more danger with their legs dangling out. They would have still been travelling unrestrained in open wooden carriages.

The only ‘fortunate’ aspect was that the difference in the directions of travel of the two vehicles was much less than 90 degrees.
kitchgp
Don't encourage them. Side anti-collision beams, armor-glass windows and seat belts will be next, and you can bet that all of those are now being considered.
  silvertrain80 Junior Train Controller

Location: stabled at newport
Maybe ban drivers with their head in the clouds. Rolling Eyes
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
doubtless there are ongoing investigations with the police, internally within PB itself, workcover,with rail safety agencies (maybe with the ATSB involved in either an active or overseeing role).  From experience I know some of them would like to suspend operations until the investigation is completed so maybe the suspension of dangling legs was a compromise to keep running. Some agencies are not known for their speed of coming to a conclusion
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Some thoughts from woodford..............
An opinion piece, you have been warned.........

In the history of Puffing Billy how many patrons have been injured in level crossing accidents and of these how many were sitting on the window ledges?


If we start going we cannot do such and such as its to dangerous we would end up forbiding all sorts of things.
In modern society one of the the greatest risk of injury comes from driving on the roads, yet there is NEVER any cry to even lower the speed limit.

The whole thing smacks of "the nanny state" being WAY out of control and hypocrisy of the highest order!!!!  

woodford
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
Sorry Woodford, but Risk Assessment is one buzz word that many businesses run on.   Run the risk through the matrix and if it is too high and there is a way to avoid the risk, then eliminate the risk.
Fun, enjoyment and the fact it has been done for the last 100 years doesn't count in our risk adverse society.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
One question for Woodford - do you want to pay the Public Liability Insurance premium which will almost inevitably increase after this event?
Like it or not, we now live in a litigious society and PBR cannot afford to ignore it.
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Sadly, a road vehicle not complying with road rules and crashing into a train would be deemed a fair Risk to consider. Injuries/death of passengers would be a standard outcome if an accident (see Kerang, Dandenong and Trawalla). The question might be better put of how to prevent such an incident in the first place; installation of boom barriers might be considered as lowering the risk of a crash occurring sufficiently as to allow traditional/grandfather activities. If for example all level crossings to Lakeside got booms, they may be able to resume normal practises. It becomes up to the Railway to manage the Risks, if done to a high enough standard then more "risky" activities might resume. Given that road users have a long history of not complying with road rules, regardless of right and wrong the Raikway has to act. And it isn't just Puffing Billy that those ideas apply to!
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The real risk assessment needs to answer the question of how a modern 21-seater bus with a modern braking system couldn’t stop at the crossing. The crossing is protected by red flashing lights. There are two yellow rail-crossing warning signs in the approach to the crossing; the first also has ‘X RAIL’ painted on the road next to it. The road is not particularly steep, only short and there are no curves. As there was a suggestion that it may have been a mechanical problem then all buses of this model should have been be put off the road until such time as they were cleared or the problem rectified.  To be driving anywhere, but particularly in the Dandenongs, with mechanical issues is unacceptable in this day and age. The 16 people on board the bus were lucky they didn’t go over the edge or run a red light and be hit by a truck.

If the bus had hit the train side on, the result would have been far more catastrophic, irrespective of whether or not kids had their legs dangling outside. (It would be interesting to find out which mobile phone companies have coverage in that area.)
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
I cannot understand any Parent allowing their children to sit on the door or window frame with legs dangling outside.
It is NOT a SEAT, there are no handgrips or supports just their bums on the  narrow width of the aperture.
Children wriggle and jiggle so enthusiastically and their clothes are NOT designed to be used as a harness making it very easy for them to slip away.
I am the Father of 4 and G'father of 4 (and maybe more) so been,seen and done!!
The same applies to when I used to see people sitting on the platform edging with their legs hanging over, it is NOT a SEAT !!!

While blaming this 'No Outside the Carriage Ban' on the collision is ridiculous, I totally and completely support the ban of ANYONE, Adult or Child hanging out of the Carriage.

Would any of you go for a drive and allow your children to sit that way in the car???
You wouldnt do it before Seat belt Laws were introduced so why is it ok on a Tourist Train?
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

……. It is NOT a SEAT, there are no handgrips or supports just their bums on the  narrow width of the aperture. ……
gordon_s1942
There are bars to grip on.
http://puffingbilly.com.au/en/about-puffing-billy/photos-and-videos/


……… The same applies to when I used to see people sitting on the platform edging with their legs hanging over, it is NOT a SEAT !!!.........
gordon_s1942
Puffing Billy doesn’t allow people to sit on the platform edge, hence the white line.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
A bus (or any other vehicle) if not controlled properly or due to some kind of failure could come into contact with legs that are not dangling from a railway carriage. Perhaps we should all have our legs amputated to eliminate this possibility... Shocked

(Very much tongue in cheek!)
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I'd guess that Puffing Billy would be the only transport on which the public is allowed to project portions of the body outside the vehicle. Other trains, buses, trams, and private cars all ban arms, legs, heads et al from hanging outside. Unfortunately, I think this is a wake-up call to PBR.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

PBR bases its clearances on the fact that bodies will protude from carriages.

Visit most Australian ski fields in winter and you’ll see kids roughly 8 years and older riding unattended on damp chairs (up to 20m in the air), legs dangling, in snow, rain and winds up to 40 kph with just a single lightly-spring-loaded safety bar over their laps. You’ll also see plenty of kids under 8 years riding with adults in those same conditions.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
PBR bases its clearances on the fact that bodies will protude from carriages.

Visit most Australian ski fields in winter and you’ll see kids roughly 8 years and older riding unattended on damp chairs (up to 20m in the air), legs dangling, in snow, rain and winds up to 40 kph with just a single lightly-spring-loaded safety bar over their laps. You’ll also see plenty of kids under 8 years riding with adults in those same conditions.
kitchgp
While it would be simple to slip off a chair lift, they're not likely to have a tour bus run into them. Unfortunately road drivers doing the stupidest things imaginable that risk has to account for, not the innate safety of the trains away from level crossings.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

With light wooden carriages it won't make any difference whether the kids are standing at the windows or sitting in them.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
With light wooden carriages it won't make any difference whether the kids are standing at the windows or sitting in them.
kitchgp
On the contrary, it could make all the difference. The carriages have solid steel underframes which should stop any significant incursion into the interior. Legs outside equals primary point of contact; legs inside stand a chance.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
The white line (or any other colour) painted on a platform has nothing to do with stopping people sitting on the platform edge but to give a hopefully safe distance back from a passing train in case anything is 'swinging'.
When a Train approaches you whether your down on the Track or at a Platform, you watch it very carefully in case anything like a rope, chain or tarp etc has come loose and is swinging freely.
Its rare today as most traffic is containerised but I have seen for myself during my years as a signalman etc a door on  K wagon became open and freely swung about as the Train passed.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
my bet is if the impacting vehicle is any bigger than a car it will ride up over the underframes of any of the narrow gauge rolling stock and through the carriage side. Do the bench seats need to be replaced with ones with headrests and seatbelts to prevent neck injury or being thrown out of the carriage on impact? Rolling Eyes

The hobby car movement faced the same issue when someone decided that anyone under 7 must have a car seat.  Most of the vintage and veteran vehicles will fall apart if t-boned by a modern vehicle yet they have to pull the vehicle apart to fit specially engineered frames to hold the seat in so the kid can be crushed by the car folding around them.  Given most of these vehicles cover around 500 to 1000 miles a year it seems like overkill as the chances of the vehicle being involved in an accident are minimal and the percentage of time a child is in them is even less than the time the vehicle is being driven!  However no politician nor person in any of the safety authorities wanted to say yes in case 1 child in the next 100 years is involved in an accident a seat could have prevented.  The fact the seats can hinder access to the controls and can contribute to  the cause of the accident seems irrelevant.

doubtless we will now see rail authorities work the same way.  How long until all the heritage fleet on any railway need self-closing doors, be disability friendly in every carriage and the other trappings of modern rollingstock.  That's the rail equivalent of the car example I used above.

Any risk assessment will show that you are far more likely to be involved in an accident on the way to Puffing Billy or any other Tourist Railway than on the railway itself.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Whilst it may happen, no railway allows people to sit on the platform edge. If you’re behind the white line when the train arrives you can’t be sitting on the platform edge.

I would think even most cars, certainly 4WDs or SUVs, would ride up over the underframe.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I agree that vehicles could ride up over the underframe, but in so doing they will lose an amount of kinetic energy, and any impact with passengers will still, quite obviously, be less than if the passenger is the first point of impact.
Nothing is perfect, but inside is demonstrably safer than hanging outside.

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