Dets to be removed from Trains next month

 
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Instructions have been issued and arrangements made to ensure that trains that need them will be supplied with them at the appropriate places.
No more needs to be said , as those that require the information have already been informed and anyone who does not need to know has not.
Throughwestmail
That's fine, I was just curious.

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  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!

It's obvious you don't work for the company...
Highrise

It's all in the maths regardless...

In 2013, if it really does come down to someone running along a rail line to place firecrackers in the hope of stopping a collision I'd be revising the system too.

Reading between the lines I can understand why RC made some exceptions
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Not really...
Odds of someone forgetting to put them in
X
Odds of some incident where DETS would be utilised during that period of missing DETs
X
Odds of all other safety measures failing and DETs making a difference
=
Very long odds
=
Very low risk
=
Acceptable

cootanee
I tend to agree with the outcome, but not with the sanctity of the mathematical process being employed because it depends on input from fallible humans.


It's all in the maths regardless...
cootanee
Risk management is not an exact science and nor should it be treated as one. Like economic modelling, plenty of complex risk calculations have failed because they ignore certain real world factors and are more about supporting (often short sighted) business decisions than long term risk management. They are not beyond reproach. The formulae are only as good as the pseudoscientists using them.
  littleal9 Train Controller

Location: bellambi
I was in a train that had them removed on Saturday, and then returned on Monday night, dont know if they are still there or not.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Wonder how the drivers of those driverless NWRL trains are going to use a DET Wink
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
I tend to agree with the outcome, but not with the sanctity of the mathematical process being employed because it depends on input from fallible humans.


Risk management is not an exact science and nor should it be treated as one. Like economic modelling, plenty of complex risk calculations have failed because they ignore certain real world factors and are more about supporting (often short sighted) business decisions than long term risk management. They are not beyond reproach. The formulae are only as good as the pseudoscientists using them.
HeadShunt
Risk management is not about something 'never ever' happening its about reasonableness based on likelihood and consequence. It is also never set in concrete but is meant to be revisited.

Risk management is a well established process. It certainly is intended to reflect the real world - assuming you don't prejudice the inputs (either way). Otherwise if cynicism prevails you may as well go out and prevent anything and everything that may occur at some point in time - hardly practical in the real world.

So yes that firecracker may stop a train from colliding with another - just like the odds are that someone will not be able to place it in time to make a difference Surprised .

This really is a mute argument because if you didn't subscribe to risk management you'd stay in that concrete bunker under your bed (I'm sure you could still dig up plenty of risks with that).
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Risk management is not about something 'never ever' happening its about reasonableness based on likelihood and consequence. It is also never set in concrete but is meant to be revisited.

Risk management is a well established process. It certainly is intended to reflect the real world - assuming you don't prejudice the inputs (either way). Otherwise if cynicism prevails you may as well go out and prevent anything and everything that may occur at some point in time - hardly practical in the real world.

So yes that firecracker may stop a train from colliding with another - just like the odds are that someone will not be able to place it in time to make a difference Surprised .

This really is a mute argument because if you didn't subscribe to risk management you'd stay in that concrete bunker under your bed (I'm sure you could still dig up plenty of risks with that).
cootanee
It's still misleading to say that it is all in the maths. It's a form of gamble, not absolute truth.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
It's still misleading to say that it is all in the maths. It's a form of gamble, not absolute truth.
HeadShunt
1. Odds are based on mathematical calculations.  Ask any bookie or funds manager Wink

2. Odds aren't absolute... Ask any bookie or funds manager WinkWink

But having done risk assessments yourself you know it comes down to the calculated risk priority.
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

1. Odds are based on mathematical calculations.  Ask any bookie or funds manager Wink

2. Odds aren't absolute... Ask any bookie or funds manager WinkWink

But having done risk assessments yourself you know it comes down to the calculated risk priority.
cootanee
RPN = severity x occurrence x detection etc etc, as you mentioned above in the dets not on board example...

Funny how things have still gone wrong even after this process has supposedly been applied by expert bureaucrats.

The only thing that is "all in the maths" is what the company wants, which is to save money. The risk assessment comes after that to justify the decision.

Without formally applying the pseudoscience I agree that the gamble in question relating to trains sometimes needing dets for outer suburban runs is worth taking.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
1. Odds are based on mathematical calculations.  Ask any bookie or funds manager Wink

2. Odds aren't absolute... Ask any bookie or funds manager WinkWink

But having done risk assessments yourself you know it comes down to the calculated risk priority.
cootanee

Yes the way someone jumps can be skewed by ignorance, money, politics, fear or intransience. Wet paint sign - so you touch it!

The fact is that as a consumer you and I don't go about paying the full cost of preventing all risks that we are subject too and would not be prepared to cop all the inconvenience that goes with it anyway. Why expect anyone else - in this case for firecrackers.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
RPN = severity x occurrence x detection etc etc, as you mentioned above...

Funny how things have still gone wrong even after this process has supposedly been applied by expert bureaucrats.

The only thing that is "all in the maths" is what the company wants, which is to save money. The risk assessment comes after that to justify the decision.

Without formally applying the pseudoscience I agree that the gamble in question relating to trains sometimes needing dets for outer suburban runs is worth taking.
HeadShunt
You seem to be stuck on the absolute thing which risk management isn't about and the fact that prioritising risk is a gamble which it is (about odds).
If you're saying that the people who did the risk analysis fudged it to get the outcome Railcorp wanted, and you have done the numbers to contradict them. Fair enough - go for it. Otherwise it's just BS.

I'm still bemused by the attachment to firecrackers.
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

You seem to be stuck on the absolute thing which risk management isn't about and the fact that prioritising risk is a gamble which it is (about odds).
If you're saying that the people who did the risk analysis fudged it to get the outcome Railcorp wanted, and you have done the numbers to contradict them. Fair enough - go for it. Otherwise it's just BS.
cootanee
I'm not actually saying that specifically in relation to detonators. What I am saying is in response to posts in this thread that are suggestive of a certain faith in risk assessments and the ability of rail operators to apply them. Unlike some, I don't have a religious faith in risk assessments or the people who interpret and apply them, because:

  • the application of maths and fancy formulae can lead glorified astrologers to act like they are dealing with absolute truths when they make their determinations (assessors) or interpret and apply them (management)

  • the formulae are useless if the values input are not reflective of reality or things are left out, deliberately or inadvertently (both of which have happened for reasons you described above in the way people jump)

  • there is a significant arbitrary element to risk assessment; severity, occurrence and detection are essentially arbitrarily defined and values arbitrarily assigned by committee; by simply multiplying different SOD value combinations it is possible to get the same risk priority number for very different risks or high RPNs for trivial risks and low RPNs for much more serious risks; additionally, RPNs are really only intended to suggest the order in which to solve problems (subject to other arbitrary guidelines); in other words, risk priority calculations are the real BS here and it should be obvious that the process is utterly pseudoscientific

  • some risk analyses are deliberately fudged or redone to suit business outcomes (costs and compliance), some are done by people who shouldn't be doing them, some "undesirable" results are ignored and the processes treated as if they were "tolerable", some assessments just never come to light - these are perhaps my main objections and I suppose they are political; I have not seen the material for the removal of detonators from trains and I'm assuming it would be commercial-in-confidence

  • experience has demonstrated that some processes supposedly risk assessed are clearly "fragile" to say the least, and have killed people... While I wonder about those risk priority values, there is no mystery surrounding the real priorities of minimising cost and meeting legal compliance requirements Twisted Evil
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
I'm not actually saying that specifically in relation to detonators. What I am saying is in response to posts in this thread that are suggestive of a certain faith in risk assessments and the ability of rail operators to apply them. Unlike some, I don't have a religious faith in risk assessments or the people who interpret and apply them, because:

  • ...
HeadShunt

Again you keep jumping to absolutes which risk analysis is not about.

It is gambling and it's about odds. The odds that something is unlikely means it may happen tomorrow or not in the next 200 years. If it happens tomorrow you will say I told you so, if it happens in 200 years you probably won't (perhaps you may outlive us all - but what are the odds Smile)

It's a process, widely used in the absence of any other. It can be done well or poorly. Nothing to do with religion or faith or divine providence.
What would you would have us use - intuition?

P.S. cynicism is all well and good but given that you take risks every day you are either applying a risk management process or blindly fumbling through life.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
You seem to be stuck on the absolute thing which risk management isn't about and the fact that prioritising risk is a gamble which it is (about odds).
If you're saying that the people who did the risk analysis fudged it to get the outcome Railcorp wanted, and you have done the numbers to contradict them. Fair enough - go for it. Otherwise it's just BS.

I'm still bemused by the attachment to firecrackers.
cootanee
Something that I can agree with Cootanee about at last! Razz

Just on the possibility of fudging a RA for the outcome- the results are registered on the risk register. If you were to fudge it, this open and straight-foward document is the first thing the coroner will ask for IF there is a need to.

What is with this industry, and its refusal to move forwards. I am surprised that we are still not using people walking in front of trains with a flag.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Something that I can agree with Cootanee about at last! Razz

Just on the possibility of fudging a RA for the outcome- the results are registered on the risk register. If you were to fudge it, this open and straight-foward document is the first thing the coroner will ask for IF there is a need to.

What is with this industry, and its refusal to move forwards. I am surprised that we are still not using people walking in front of trains with a flag.
seb2351

There is hope then Wink

Now let's turn this the other way... with DETs and an incident isn't prevented because the crew decided that it was too dangerous to place them - would you prosecute/sue them for negligence?

Or perhaps if a crew member is killed placing it - would you automatically defend Railcorp in any litigation.
  MILW Junior Train Controller

Location: Earth


Just on the possibility of fudging a RA for the outcome- the results are registered on the risk register. If you were to fudge it, this open and straight-foward document is the first thing the coroner will ask for IF there is a need to.
"seb2351"


That is pure naïvety.
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Again you keep jumping to absolutes which risk analysis is not about.
cootanee
No... I was actually trying to balance the rosy picture of risk assessments that may have been painted in the minds of some readers by other users in earlier posts, by pointing out some of their pitfalls.

I was the one who said risk assessment was not an exact science and not about absolute truth, nor as simple as plugging arbitrary numbers into flawed pseudoscientific equations.


It's a process, widely used in the absence of any other. It can be done well or poorly. Nothing to do with religion or faith or divine providence.

P.S. cynicism is all well and good but given that you take risks every day you are either applying a risk management process or blindly fumbling through life.
cootanee
Agreed... if the right people, free of "interference" are doing the job it can be done well. Alas, that doesn't always happen, which can be a big issue if it puts lives at risk. Risk assessments can be risky themselves.

If that sounds like nonsense, talk to the people who have to fill in the (fully risk assessed, reviewed and signed off) gaps in the rule book every day in order to work safely.


What would you would have us use - intuition?
cootanee
Intuition is not much different to using arbitrarily determined risk priority numbers. Having said that, I have more respect for some other defined processes that include some form of prioritisation, but they are still subject to arbitrary, business and political forces.

What I think should be used includes the SFAIRP standard (no simple formula), an understanding of the implications of using arbitrary figures in formulae and matrices to make calculations, subject matter experts (including people with historical knowledge because much is being forgotten and lost), and a conservative bias that errs on the side of safety.


It is also never set in concrete but is meant to be revisited.
cootanee
The formal review process can be effective or useless depending who is doing it, the pressures they are under and what management does with the result. It allows experience in using new practices and processes to be added to the theoretical calculations for a more accurate picture of the risks, which is great, in theory. However, if it becomes apparent that certain practices cannot be done without making severe cost compromises that shave safety margins and cause a string of serious incidents, maybe they should not be done at all regardless of what the assessments say. There is usually more than one way to achieve a given outcome. One practice that falls into this category recently suffered yet another serious breach of safety, thankfully without injuries - this time. And yes, that process was fully risk assessed and signed off by experts, then reviewed and signed off again, while other experts have quietly determined that it is quite a risky practice (the risks were secretly revisited after a previous serious incident, the results were not good yet the practice continues because commercial pressure and bureaucratic process rules the day; as for the guys who are directly at risk, I don't know what they are thinking - they are probably focused on their pay packets).

Anyway, an acknowledgement that risk assessment is not beyond reproach or immune to corruption is what I wanted on record, and that has been done.


That is pure naïvety.
MILW
LOL
  tsgsjm Train Controller

Location: Sydney
Well last Monday, the Helensburgh school train was terminated at Waterfall, because no dets onboard.

Use your imagination as to how sensible train crew are managing the situation.
  littleal9 Train Controller

Location: bellambi
Well last Monday, the Helensburgh school train was terminated at Waterfall, because no dets onboard.

Use your imagination as to how sensible train crew are managing the situation.
tsgsjm
The crew were actually following the new rules, Helensburgh is outside the area covered by the removal of Railway Track Signals, had they proceeded to Helensburgh with out them, they would have been in breach of a recently issued Safe Notice.

The crew was being sensible, following the rules as written is always sensible in this job.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Well last Monday, the Helensburgh school train was terminated at Waterfall, because no dets onboard.

Use your imagination as to how sensible train crew are managing the situation.
tsgsjm
Out of curiousty, because Waterfall is still a controlled location would there be a store of Dets in the office for crew to use? If not, maybe major centres near the border (Campbelltown, Penrith, Hornsby, Waterfall) could all have a store for this very situation.

When the train returns from the outside territories, return the dets to the location they came from.
  MILW Junior Train Controller

Location: Earth
Out of curiousty, because Waterfall is still a controlled location would there be a store of Dets in the office for crew to use? If not, maybe major centres near the border (Campbelltown, Penrith, Hornsby, Waterfall) could all have a store for this very situation.

When the train returns from the outside territories, return the dets to the location they came from.
seb2351
Controlled location meaning with a signal box/controlled signals?
Detonators were removed from signal boxes nearly ten years ago.
  littleal9 Train Controller

Location: bellambi
Out of curiousty, because Waterfall is still a controlled location would there be a store of Dets in the office for crew to use? If not, maybe major centres near the border (Campbelltown, Penrith, Hornsby, Waterfall) could all have a store for this very situation.

When the train returns from the outside territories, return the dets to the location they came from.
seb2351
Something like that must be in place in sector 1 now, with several T sets a day travelling beyond Waterfall. Probably something that was not thought of until trains were cancelled on Monday, Not really a problem for Campbelltown with the overhead ending at Macarthur. Reading the notice, removal applies only to electric rolling stock.

As my earlier post say's  a T set had them removed on Saturday, and replaced on Monday.
  TheLoneGunMan Assistant Commissioner

Location: At NF88.7 taking pictures
Hi All,

I like the comment that the Adelaide & Perth rail systems haven't had detonators for 10 years. Well it's "logical" for both and Melbourne not to have them cos "who" is in charge of the disabled train when the driver is walking back to lay protection? This is for "any" Driver Only Operation (DOO).

Good. Bar that for a joke if you can't guarantee me the track is clear and you want me to walk back, bend over with my head down and affix the dets.
bernerd
Funny that, I was taught to crouch down facing the oncoming traffic behind my disabled train when applying protection, not bend over and loose sight of anything with my head down. That falls into the category of choosing your safe place in any situation when the faeces hits the cooling device. If your worried about being run over while laying protection, you're in the wrong job! Touch wood I've never had to do it.

TLGM
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Hi All,

I like the comment that the Adelaide & Perth rail systems haven't had detonators for 10 years. Well it's "logical" for both and Melbourne not to have them cos "who" is in charge of the disabled train when the driver is walking back to lay protection? This is for "any" Driver Only Operation (DOO).
TheLoneGunMan
I think it's safe to assume that there is a good reason for the repeated subtle references to DOO in Sydney. New digital radios, no centre Guard's compartments etc


Funny that, I was taught to crouch down facing the oncoming traffic behind my disabled train when applying protection, not bend over and loose sight of anything with my head down. That falls into the category of choosing your safe place in any situation when the faeces hits the cooling device. If your worried about being run over while laying protection, you're in the wrong job!
TLGM
Yeah. The risks to crew in placing detonators on the line are there, but they are not that great. In most cases you have the cess to walk in. You only have to be in the danger zone for a few seconds per detonator. If you're walking ahead to protect an adjacent line and there is no cess available, your own train will provide protection from behind on the way. There is also usually the six foot to dive into if necessary. Not pleasant but it works. Obviously if the OHW is down that would complicate things, but it could also stop any other electric train from approaching. The crew need to be trained to make the good decisions under the circumstances.

In any case, the new instructions still require crew to get down on the track with red flags and presumably track circuit clips if the Signaller can't provide protection, so the risks are still there. Applying the clips is similar to placing detonators.
  FullSeries Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
And yet they say that TCSC's are not reliable....

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