BHP derails runaway iron ore train

 
  The_trolley Deputy Commissioner

Location: Banned
Northmetro,

Thank you for one of the funniest and truly meaningless posts on this forum in some time. You clarified nothing and the “knowledge” you in shared with us all was A, largely wrong and B, vague.

Thank you. I really needed a good laugh and you’ve delivered.

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  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
From basic knowledge of US manufactured diesel locos, they have the following intervention possibilties

Loco vigilance/alerter. Not working if loco not being driven
Loco speed governor. Protects loco from exceeding a set maximum speed
Automatic Train Protection.  To prevent rollaway, overspeed or movement authority contravention.

On these gradients, any of the above interventions need to have control over the train brakes (not just loco independent which would have been on anyway )

So we can determine that either none of these systems intervened, they did not have control over the train brake or the brakes themselves were not working.

Hope this clears up a lot of the questions.
Northmetro
Not in the slightest. I'd suggest you go and get a bit more than a 'basic knowledge' of US locos before you try to show how much you don't know - particularly as the media love to cherry-pick quotes like yours from forums like this.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Trains back up and running.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Trains back up and running.
freightgate
Considering the carnidge remoteness and distances involved, seriously impressive.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Trains back up and running.
Considering the carnidge remoteness and distances involved, seriously impressive.
michaelgm

That's because BHP understands, and is committed to the purpose of its railway.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

BHP's railway is essentially a conveyer belt, from mine to port.
Needs to operate to generate dollars.
As a shareholder in both big miners in that region, directly and most likely indirectly in super, interested to see if this incident makes the annual general report, total cost I think would be staggering.
Clean up and resumption of operations will be a lesson to proceed, when auto haul has meltdown.
  F4PhantomRAAF Locomotive Driver

https://www.6pr.com.au/podcast/mornings-reveals-further-details-on-runaway-bhp-train/
https://www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/bhp-iron-ore-train-services-recommence-in-wa-as-a-second-train-derails-20181111-p50fe0.html


BHP is releasing very little information.

I cannot see how a locomotive brake failed and then the on train test or pre-train locomotive safety system test didn't pick up the failure/did not detect the failure. Tests are carried out to ensure the safety failsafes are working.

Big questions for BHP.

I had a good deal of respect for BHP before. They have impressive operations, good equipment (not now!) and good quality staff. Now, zero.

To me a number of human failures had to happen before this was the end result. Supervisors and staff would have had to know and there will be staff that could have taken action, but didn't. It seems to me from my sources that a staff culture and work culture has become highly toxic at BHP.

Companies don't want people that 'blow the whistle' and then they get this. You get what you sow. Sow and reap. They got it. Well done BHP.

If they had staff that had the guts to go over their bosses heads they would have prevented this. I am guessing but from my experience there had to be dozens of people that knew what was happening.

They are all scared they would lose their jobs.

Reminds me of BP in the movie Deepwater Horizon.
  42101 A end Junior Train Controller

F4
Yeah love the conspirousy angle.
Its simple the driver stuffed up its that simple has happened world wide many many many times.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
This could be an equipment failure. That answer is the one that makes the most sense in my head. There could have been a critical fault with the ECP brakes and that’s why they stopped. Maybe the brakes on the rear half of the train were not functioning?
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Skim reading a document on ECP brake operation there are circumstances where a wagons’ brakes can cut themselves out of service due to faults. It’s only takes a couple of abnormalities to stack up and affect the outcome.

I never heard the true reason but the Drayton accident in NSW where they put 3 near new TT class in the dirt I believe was an ECP issue of some sort, train or driver induced I’m not sure.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Skim reading a document on ECP brake operation there are circumstances where a wagons’ brakes can cut themselves out of service due to faults. It’s only takes a couple of abnormalities to stack up and affect the outcome.

I never heard the true reason but the Drayton accident in NSW where they put 3 near new TT class in the dirt I believe was an ECP issue of some sort, train or driver induced I’m not sure.
DBclass

My understanding of Drayton was that the brakes were released by a crewman who was trying out options in ECP operation.

The locomotive independent brakes remained applied but these would not hold the train.

It is possible that the crewman didn't understand how quickly the brakes would release compared to the Westinghouse system which of course progressively releases car by car.

They were very lucky that no major damage occurred in that case.

Peter
  M636C Minister for Railways

This could be an equipment failure. That answer is the one that makes the most sense in my head. There could have been a critical fault with the ECP brakes and that’s why they stopped. Maybe the brakes on the rear half of the train were not functioning?
DBclass
The train was more than half way down the steepest grade on the system and was able to stop.
So the brakes were working.
If the brakes on a part of the train were not working, but the train was under control why stop in the place where the brakes are under the greatest stress, rather than run ten kilometres further where the grade reduces to a third of that on the hill?

The most likely answer is that a hot box detector or dragging equipment detector triggered and it was decided to stop as soon as possible to check. I think that control should have advised against stopping on the 1 in 66.

Why the train ran away after having stopped successfully will be revealed by the investigation.
There  are a number of possibilities.
I wonder how many handbrakes should be applied to hold a 268 car train weighing more than 40000 tons on a 1 in 66?

Peter
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
M sometimes issues on trains like this can get really bad really quickly so at times they need to be investigated ASAP .

Why do you think its an issue to stand these trains on a 1:66 grade ?
ECP trains do this better than conventional ones because under normal circumstances they don't run out of air . Its a huge advantage with brakes applied to have a fully charged "brake pipe" and auxiliary reservoirs , the electronics regulate the Car Control devices .
  M636C Minister for Railways

M sometimes issues on trains like this can get really bad really quickly so at times they need to be investigated ASAP .

Why do you think its an issue to stand these trains on a 1:66 grade ?
ECP trains do this better than conventional ones because under normal circumstances they don't run out of air . Its a huge advantage with brakes applied to have a fully charged "brake pipe" and auxiliary reservoirs , the electronics regulate the Car Control devices .
"BDA"


BDA,

My concern is because that grade was the worst place you could have picked to stop.
The train was blocking a level crossing on the access road, which won't have helped.

If they had stopped at 216 rather than 211 the train would have been on level track.

If they had stopped around 200 the grade would have been 1 in 180.

I'm a really big fan of ECP and it must make descending the grade much easier.

My personal experience dates back a long way and with three Alco C636s and 144 cars it was regarded as quite test to get down the grade without any problems. The C636 had much cruder dynamic brakes that were less powerful and you had to be careful with the Westinghouse brakes so as to not run out of air.

I imagine with the SD70ACe you could rely on dynamics taking most of the braking effort and that use of the air brakes would be much easier.

I expect that the train was stopped after a hot bearing was detected, but that's just a guess.
There are detectors for other things these days, but a bearing seems the most like reason for stopping so quickly.
It might be time to put on board monitoring of bearings on the ore cars, so thatdata can be sent down the ECP line giving the driver a better idea of the problem.

I don't have any explanation for the train moving off, except that something didn't work as intended.
As you would know, the train would be bunched against the locomotives since the whole train was on the grade under dynamic brake, all 40 000 tonnes of it..

While the 211 is within sight of Redmont track maintenance camp, I imagine the driver waited for a lift rather than walking the several kilometres in the dark to the nearest shelter...

Peter
  M636C Minister for Railways

4440

https://thewest.com.au/business/mining/bhp-train-derailment-mining-giant-could-lose-55-million-a-day-ng-b881014173z

(middle of page)
NIR112

So the two locomotives were 4440 and 4472.

4472 came through with more damage which suggests that it was trailing but I could be wrong...

There is no reason to think that they ended up facing the same way as they were on the train.

Peter
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
' While the 211 is within sight of Redmont track maintenance camp, I imagine the driver waited for a lift rather than walking the several kilometres in the dark to the nearest shelter...  '

Good food at Redmont !!!! Laughing
  iknowstuff Station Staff

So was it a 4 locomotive consist or 2, that's important. 4 locomotives would hold the train on a 1:66. It said in the paper it was 4.

They're wondering why the safety systems didn't work, the VC system should have gone off  and so on.

If it was 4 loco's and ECP in release, i.e cab handle is release that means only the locomotive brake system is in brake. It fails (and there's many a ways these things can fail) despite the 7 or so microprocessors within the brake system itself. Suddenly they start bitching with each other and there's a release of control pressure and the off comes the brakes from a failed poppett or pressure transducer or erroneous data on the data bus running through the middle of the locomotive and that internal transient was never that high before.

But then again it might have been a popped CP pipe like the one BHP might hand to the ATSB. They will only see what BHP allow them to see. Pretty sure BHP's engineers would have had the management & control meeting well before access. Good luck to them, that's why they're who they are.

The ATP shutdown signal or who 'sever  system they have commands the shutdown through the computer in the lead loco which also runs the vigilance based on an input from the reverser handle which would as sure as little apples been in Neutral. A penalty or shut down is commanded from this computer to the locomotive's brake system which obviously didn't respond due a fault. There's one explanation why safety systems didn't work.

Then the Driver, well he is the ultimate safeguard because he will catch any on board faults and save the day and the safety systems will save his day if he nods off. Well the other day the catcher was out-literally! The Driver if he is smart and not at fault and can prove it could throw himself under the Corporate bus for a big payout to take the heat from the hardware. If he can't prove it, he won't get to see the data logger!
  42101 A end Junior Train Controller

What an absolute waffle of a post somewhere you were trying to make a point i presume.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
What an absolute waffle of a post somewhere you were trying to make a point i presume
42101 A end
I Presume your the replacement for Clyde Goodwin
  M636C Minister for Railways

So was it a 4 locomotive consist or 2, that's important. 4 locomotives would hold the train on a 1:66. It said in the paper it was 4.


There were four locomotives on the train. 4440 and 4472 were leading.

two locomotives, 134 wagons, two locomotives, 134 wagons....


Are you sure that four locomotives weighing less than 200 tonnes each is enough to hold 268 wagons of 160 tonnes gross each?


I'm not sure, but I think the independent brakes on the remote locomotives could be applied from the lead units.


Peter
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
https://www.6pr.com.au/podcast/mornings-reveals-further-details-on-runaway-bhp-train/
https://www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/bhp-iron-ore-train-services-recommence-in-wa-as-a-second-train-derails-20181111-p50fe0.html


BHP is releasing very little information.

I cannot see how a locomotive brake failed and then the on train test or pre-train locomotive safety system test didn't pick up the failure/did not detect the failure. Tests are carried out to ensure the safety failsafes are working.
F4PhantomRAAF
I can. If you understand how the ECP system is set up, it likely functioned exactly as designed. What fell down is BHP didn't feel it necessary to utilize every available safeguard that some of their competition do.

This could be an equipment failure. That answer is the one that makes the most sense in my head. There could have been a critical fault with the ECP brakes and that’s why they stopped. Maybe the brakes on the rear half of the train were not functioning?



Skim reading a document on ECP brake operation there are circumstances where a wagons’ brakes can cut themselves out of service due to faults. It’s only takes a couple of abnormalities to stack up and affect the outcome.

I never heard the true reason but the Drayton accident in NSW where they put 3 near new TT class in the dirt I believe was an ECP issue of some sort, train or driver induced I’m not sure.
BDClass
ECP has multiple fault modes available to it. The local rumour mill has an ECP cable coming apart, that will apply a 120% ECP Application, due to the loss of the ETM Beacon. Unfortunately, if you keep the BP charged, the CCD will revert to a pneumatic application after 60 minutes, by design. This is not what you want when standing on the steepest grade in the network...

My understanding of Drayton was that the brakes were released by a crewman who was trying out options in ECP operation.

The locomotive independent brakes remained applied but these would not hold the train.

It is possible that the crewman didn't understand how quickly the brakes would release compared to the Westinghouse system which of course progressively releases car by car.

They were very lucky that no major damage occurred in that case.
M636C
PN's ECP training at the time was "this is how you cut it in, this is how you cut it out, you cant hurt it playing around with it, off you go..." What they didn't mention was that when you cut it out, it cut out instantly, and then the BP started dropping to match the equivalent pneumatic application. Other systems are designed to blow down the BP first, then transition to ECP cut-out, to guard against exactly this type of incident.

The train was more than half way down the steepest grade on the system and was able to stop.
So the brakes were working.
If the brakes on a part of the train were not working, but the train was under control why stop in the place where the brakes are under the greatest stress, rather than run ten kilometres further where the grade reduces to a third of that on the hill?

The most likely answer is that a hot box detector or dragging equipment detector triggered and it was decided to stop as soon as possible to check. I think that control should have advised against stopping on the 1 in 66.
M636C
IF the rumors are true the ECP cable parted, you have no choice where you stop, other than where you are, right now. I dare say BHP's rulebook is similar to my current employers in that if you trip a DED, you stop immediately, if you trip an HBD and are able to lift it, you stop as soon as the train clears through the HBD site.

I wonder how many handbrakes should be applied to hold a 268 car train weighing more than 40000 tons on a 1 in 66?
M636C
At my current employer, pretty much all of them...Sad

So was it a 4 locomotive consist or 2, that's important. 4 locomotives would hold the train on a 1:66.
iknowstuff
WTF? Not even phucken close, champ. I work trains over a 1:50 descending grade, and it takes all of 45% ECP to simply hold the speed at 60, yet alone start slowing. 4 locos holding back 39,000 tonnes? Not a bloody chance. Here's a tip - find a photo of a Hunter Valley coalie. The ones with the 100-tonne hoppers. See the ones with the big  symbols on them? They're wagon's fitted with auxiliary braking capacity actuated from the #3 pipe on the loco to hold the train stationary on a grade. Hell, even the new 120-tonne hoppers have that, and the Hunter heavies are only pushing 11,920 for a 91-long train.
They're wondering why the safety systems didn't work, the VC system should have gone off  and so on.
iknowstuff
Likely because the #1 BCP was above 200kpa.

If it was 4 loco's and ECP in release, i.e cab handle is release that means only the locomotive brake system is in brake.
iknowstuff
And why do you feel it would be in release? On a descending 1:66 grade? With 39,000 tonnes behind it?

It fails (and there's many a ways these things can fail) despite the 7 or so microprocessors within the brake system itself. Suddenly they start bitching with each other and there's a release of control pressure and the off comes the brakes from a failed poppett or pressure transducer or erroneous data on the data bus running through the middle of the locomotive and that internal transient was never that high before.
iknowstuff
You clearly have no bloody idea. Evil or Very Mad

But then again it might have been a popped CP pipe like the one BHP might hand to the ATSB. They will only see what BHP allow them to see. Pretty sure BHP's engineers would have had the management & control meeting well before access. Good luck to them, that's why they're who they are.
iknowstuff
Um, you do realise that a failed #2 pipe will show reduced BCP on the lead loco, compared to the normal pressure? And probably zero on the trail loco if everything is as you suggest? And you do realise that this will be reflected in the datalogger on the loco? And you do realise that this will be available to the ATSB?

The ATP shutdown signal or who 'sever  system they have commands the shutdown through the computer in the lead loco which also runs the vigilance based on an input from the reverser handle which would as sure as little apples been in Neutral. A penalty or shut down is commanded from this computer to the locomotive's brake system which obviously didn't respond due a fault. There's one explanation why safety systems didn't work.

Then the Driver, well he is the ultimate safeguard because he will catch any on board faults and save the day and the safety systems will save his day if he nods off. Well the other day the catcher was out-literally! The Driver if he is smart and not at fault and can prove it could throw himself under the Corporate bus for a big payout to take the heat from the hardware. If he can't prove it, he won't get to see the data logger!
iknowstuff
Oh phuck off, champ. You want to know the most likely scenario based on what the locals are reporting?

An ECP Cable pulled apart. This in turn gives a 120% ECP Emergency penalty due to the loss of the ETM Beacon. The wagons that are now out of comm with the HEU - by design - start a timer and transition to ECP cutout after 60 minutes. As a 120% ECP application does not result in an emergency pneumatic application, the BP remains charged, so when the hour is up, you have 210-odd wagons behind the parted cable suddenly revert to pneumatic. As to why no ATP? Apparently not configured to initiate an pneumatic emergency application, if ECP is active (Ours does, why theirs doesn't? Dunno...) I'm somewhat reliably informed the Driver should have initiated a pneumatic emergency himself prior to walking, but as I'm not a BHP Driver, I can't say if that is true, but it does make sense when you consider the nature of some ECP faults.

Unlike you, I am confident the ATSB report will explain what went wrong, and why. It doesn't take a great deal to understand how the systems work, if you want to put the effort in, and from that, potential failure modes. Whether or not the rumours are ultimate found to be true? Well, we'll see...
  M636C Minister for Railways

' While the 211 is within sight of Redmont track maintenance camp, I imagine the driver waited for a lift rather than walking the several kilometres in the dark to the nearest shelter...  '

Good food at Redmont !!!! Laughing
YM-Mundrabilla
In all the time I was in the Pilbara, I only stayed at Redmont once.
A great view of the Chichester Range from the camp.

But the food was one of the better features of BHP's operation.
I frequently got off a train in Newman
at any time from midnight to 0400
and was offered steak and chips in the camp café.
Toast and a cold drink (and sleep) were probably all I needed.

Peter
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
' While the 211 is within sight of Redmont track maintenance camp, I imagine the driver waited for a lift rather than walking the several kilometres in the dark to the nearest shelter...  '

Good food at Redmont !!!! Laughing
In all the time I was in the Pilbara, I only stayed at Redmont once.
A great view of the Chichester Range from the camp.

But the food was one of the better features of BHP's operation.
I frequently got off a train in Newman
at any time from midnight to 0400

and was offered steak and chips in the camp café.
Toast and a cold drink (and sleep) were probably all I needed.

Peter
M636C
Little frogs in your donga?
Thankful that they didn't attract snakes (that night anyway!). Smile
  F4PhantomRAAF Locomotive Driver

So was it a 4 locomotive consist or 2, that's important. 4 locomotives would hold the train on a 1:66. It said in the paper it was 4.


There were four locomotives on the train. 4440 and 4472 were leading.

two locomotives, 134 wagons, two locomotives, 134 wagons....

Are you sure that four locomotives weighing less than 200 tonnes each is enough to hold 268 wagons of 160 tonnes gross each?

I'm not sure, but I think the independent brakes on the remote locomotives could be applied from the lead units.

Peter


Four locomotives cannot hold a 43,000 tonne train on a 1/66 grade. If it was 5000 tonnes, maybe yes (on that grade or maybe a lighter grade). You got to remember we are dealing with massive weights here. These operations are designed to run as efficiently as possible. I believe they have helpers that push it up from the mine to the top of the hill? And even then, it is a slow run.


Daniel

M636C

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