Vandals derail train at Hurstbridge Railway Station

 

News article: Vandals derail train at Hurstbridge Railway Station

Vandals have broken into a train stabling yard in Melbourne's north east.

  I'm Barely Online Locomotive Fireman

I hope these kids get a visit from the counter-terrorism task force as what they did bordered on a terrorism offence

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  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
I had to laugh when I heard a reporter say 'they had managed to start the Engine', ENGINE??? what bloody Engine, Pull, Kick or Key????
I was never a Driver but I saw both the early single deck and Double deck 'drivers Control stand 'Cut In' and you needed one Key and the Brake Control lever to insert into the Air Brake stand.
Also near the floor on one side was another lever that had to be moved for the stand to be operable.
The IU's  all had 'Dead Mans' handles too which had to be depressed before the direction Key could be moved otherwise everything locked up.
To release the Air you had to go through a fairly simple routine but it had to be done.
I wonder what routine do they go through to stable a set because surely they wouldnt leave the Air System 'Pumped Up' holding the Brakes on in case it failed and caused the Brakes to 'bleed off' or do they??

Did they actually Drive the set out of the siding or it ran away once the brakes were somehow released?
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Friend had a Torana in the late 80's 10 years old, owned by old couple with few km, you could start that with anything that you stuck into the slot and gave you a lever to turn the ignition, every other one I saw was the same.
RTT_Rules

I had a '62 Cortina that you could open and start with anything that would fit in the keyhole. Interestingly my Dad owned a 1953 Hillman and had a friend who owned a similar vintage Rover that both had the same key (I even remember the number stamped on the keys, it was FA511). The key to my Dad's garage door used to open the fuel cap on my Mini and would open and start my mate's Mini...
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
I hope these kids get a visit from the counter-terrorism task force as what they did bordered on a terrorism offence
I'm Barely Online
I'm intrigued. Explain how.
  STAchoochoo Beginner

No...... It's really not even close to being the same
I hope these kids get a visit from the counter-terrorism task force as what they did bordered on a terrorism offence
I'm Barely Online
  smithagain Junior Train Controller

I heard a news report that said , in instances like this the equipment is designed to derail. Can anyone confirm this?
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
One question which comes to my mind is why is it taking so long to clean this up?  We are into I think the 3rd day?
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I heard a news report that said , in instances like this the equipment is designed to derail. Can anyone confirm this?
smithagain
The train will not derail, or designed to derail  but the safeworking system has a area of track safety. There is a policy to physically derail a train in a siding so it cannot enter the mainline unless authorised.

This situation was exactly rhe case, a  "stolen: train ended in the dirt and NOT on the mainline where it could cfrash into another train or, or derail crashing into other places.

The unit is called a derailer....

Regards,
David Head
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
There are 2 means to derail a train, one is a fixed half switch (Catch Points) operated from a ground frame, signalbox or other location, another used in NSW was called a 'Scotch Block'.
This was attached to the sleeper/rail and was 'flipped' on and off the Rail head and could be locked in place.
It was shaped so that as a wheel approached it from either direction, it would 'Run Up' the slope and the flange followed the Groove turning the wheel away to fall 'In the Dirt'.

Definition of a Scotch Block, General Appendix Part 2, September 1967,  Page 8, clause 36.

A devise used as a substitute for a Catch Point or Derail.
It consists of a hinged block, fitted with a deflector which may be placed across a rail and secured by S.L. lock and Key.

Obviously if this devise is located some distance from any rolling stock it wont stop it moving.

I have to say most of the derails/Catch points I operated seemed to be placed to do as much damage to the Interlocking as possible if anything ran away.
I am thinking of the one coming out of Loco at Coal Stage where a derailing vehicle would smash a good portion of channel iron and a few mechanical signal wires but, the main line would still be clear, just.
  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
The Age (here) is saying the keys are "widely available" on e-Bay.

my, my.
574M

The media has not come out and updated the public about leads and if the police have been able to make any progress in catching these idiots so we can all hope they are caught and charged.  If this does happen I hope they are not let off lightly by a judge who feels sorry for them which would IMHO not send the right message to others who chose to tamper with the controls of trains which in turn causes serious incidents on the network inconveniencing a large number of travelers.

Have travelers experienced any cancelled services other than between the diamond creek location and the end of the line?
  Divine3801 Station Master

Unfortunately this significant damage to the trains and infrastructure doesn't come as much of a surprise, it's already been known for a few years where individuals are able to gain access to these keys, coupled with the lack of contingency to eliminate the risk brought this severe incident that we've all witnessed. It was only a matter of time until they begin to attempt more dangerous criminal activities to gain their own sense of notoriety.

It's reasonable to suggest that if you really want to try this it wont be too hard to find a way to gain these keys and try it for yourself.

For a long while now these unauthorized entries with stolen keys have been used to vandalize the driver cabins with spray paint cans and etching marks into the surfaces, other purposes would be used to conceal their presence of fare evasion.

I suspect their motive, if they actually intended to commandeer the train to reach their own personal milestone with it, was to try and at least get into the platform, maybe even drive it a certain distance or beyond, maybe even back to the yard for a prank, whatever it was, they musn't have been aware of the derail block.

Unless they were aware, and accelerated the train to it on purpose, for the train to travel that far from it's derail block, it suggests to me they applied full acceleration to it.

The people that use public transport and others who want to use it have had to put up with this for over a decade, and the standards is getting worse.

It highlights the problem we have, and the lack of action to correct it:

- Lack of contingency to protect railway property from attack/hijack/vandalism resulting in vulnerability in the rollngstock, rendering it prone to deliberate sabotage, destruction, significant damage and surrounding assets directly interfacing with them.

- Social problem with individuals that have no rehabilitation and deterrence to correct the errors in their own livelihoods, leaving them a major risk to society and deteriorating their own mental health, further compelling them to chaos.

This incident demonstrates how primitive the rollingstock is in defending itself against unauthorized use, and that parked in a facility that has minimal security further increases the risk of this vandalism, in this case hurstbridge.

There are several possibilities of who they really are, they may be individuals with a prolific history of vandalising railway property, or are looking to seek an adventurous prank, thinking a train only goes forwards and backwards amongst the other 'unnecessary' procedures of driving a train.

If they attempt this again they may choose lilydale or pakenham to name a few, it could even be dandenong or ringwood.

After all if their history is consisting of persistent vandalism, they are unlikely to have regards to themselves, how will they have regards to others and their property?

Already signal trip arms are being hacked with rocks to trip emergency brakes for spray paint vandalism.

We can expect something like this as long as fragile security arrangements are not improved.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Truth be told, I'm surprised something like this has not happened before. Oh sure, we had that kid who took an N class back and forth in Newport or whatever it was, and the teenager who took a tram for a joyride a decade ago, but a full-sized, heavy-rail train being stolen? Not yet.

But it will happen, and the powers that be will be powerless to stop it. Look at the Broadmeadows runaway, only 15 minutes in duration and it had the potential to be a disaster. By the time anyone realises what is happening it could well be far too late.

At least freighters should be a bit safer, getting one of those underway is a wee bit harder than a spark!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Until/unless the judiciary take punishing offenders of this nature seriously the situation will only get worse and someone will be killed sooner or later.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Agreed, but the problem then becomes one of "manifestly excessive" punishment compared to the previous scrote. I fear we are too far down the slippery slope for the legal system or threat of punishment - whatever it's form - is able to prove a sufficient deterrent.

Singapore recently sentenced some bloke to jail, plus lashes with the cane, for graffiti. Take a leaf from their book maybe?
  STAchoochoo Beginner

What do you suggest then? Heavy punishment isn't a deterrent and if you want a case study then just look at the U.S., massive prison population thanks to a punishment first policy and only getting worse. The kids or whoever this was do deserve something but even if they were to be locked up it wouldn't stop the next group to come along and do something similar.
Until/unless the judiciary take punishing offenders of this nature seriously the situation will only get worse and someone will be killed sooner or later.
Y-M Mundrabilla
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
What do you suggest then? Heavy punishment isn't a deterrent and if you want a case study then just look at the U.S., massive prison population thanks to a punishment first policy and only getting worse. The kids or whoever this was do deserve something but even if they were to be locked up it wouldn't stop the next group to come along and do something similar.
Until/unless the judiciary take punishing offenders of this nature seriously the situation will only get worse and someone will be killed sooner or later.
STAchoochoo
Buggered if I know, but I think a zero police and judicial tolerance might be a start for a whole raft of offences (not just being 5 km/h over the speed limit). With a few of these thugs in the jug it might set something of an example.
We have to start somewhere or we are all going to live in fear of our lives and property as the country spirals into lawlessness like the USA where the population arms itself.
  smithagain Junior Train Controller

Thank you dthead and gordan s for the replies. Very helpful.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Thank you dthead and gordan s for the replies. Very helpful.
smithagain

No one seems to have mentioned the bottom line here, have these so called vandals been caught? In my view what happened is way beyond vandalism and is a major criminal act. Did these guys intend to let the train loose on the mainline not knowing what a derail was? The longer these offenders remain free the more I am disposed to thinking an act of terrorism has occurred. From the questions raised it appears that most of you know bugger all about real train operations. The system of energising electric trains by a key is practically the same around the world.  These offenders have gone to the trouble of obtaining a key which indicates a criminal intention to carry out the act that occurred. Lucky no one was killed. I think most of you are not treating the offence seriously enough.
  BigTrain2015 Junior Train Controller

The Age (here) is saying the keys are "widely available" on e-Bay.

my, my.

The media has not come out and updated the public about leads and if the police have been able to make any progress in catching these idiots so we can all hope they are caught and charged.  If this does happen I hope they are not let off lightly by a judge who feels sorry for them which would IMHO not send the right message to others who chose to tamper with the controls of trains which in turn causes serious incidents on the network inconveniencing a large number of travelers.

Have travelers experienced any cancelled services other than between the diamond creek location and the end of the line?
NSWGR8022

There is no way myself or my school friends would do this as it has caused sooooo much damage and the incident was dangerous to all. One problem with youth doing this damage is they probably do not realise at the start of their braking in the extent to which this could become a problem. You never set out to cause damage like that and maybe youth just think a small joyride until the entire situation gets out of control.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
There is no way myself or my school friends would do this as it has caused sooooo much damage and the incident was dangerous to all. One problem with youth doing this damage is they probably do not realise at the start of their braking in the extent to which this could become a problem. You never set out to cause damage like that and maybe youth just think a small joyride until the entire situation gets out of control.
BigTrain2015

Is it just me or does this post sound very much like you have a guilty conscience over something?
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thank you dthead and gordan s for the replies. Very helpful.

No one seems to have mentioned the bottom line here, have these so called vandals been caught? In my view what happened is way beyond vandalism and is a major criminal act. Did these guys intend to let the train loose on the mainline not knowing what a derail was? The longer these offenders remain free the more I am disposed to thinking an act of terrorism has occurred. From the questions raised it appears that most of you know bugger all about real train operations. The system of energising electric trains by a key is practically the same around the world.  These offenders have gone to the trouble of obtaining a key which indicates a criminal intention to carry out the act that occurred. Lucky no one was killed. I think most of you are not treating the offence seriously enough.
nswtrains

Oh we do know how serious it is. But we will not try to catch them ourselves, that is the role of Police. By all means report to them any info you have.  No vigilanties here. To me Vandel is not serious enough, ir was criminal. And they may  not be kids, they could be young adults  even up to 40 years of age. So we all wait to hear the news that they were caught.....

Regards,
David Head
  Madjikthise Deputy Commissioner

So we all wait to hear the news that they were caught.....

Regards,
David Head
dthead

Shortly followed by the news that because of (insert usual excuse of poor upbringing or social disadvantage here) they received a suspended sentence with half an hour of community service.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
So we all wait to hear the news that they were caught.....

Regards,
David Head

Shortly followed by the news that because of (insert usual excuse of poor upbringing or social disadvantage here) they received a suspended sentence with half an hour of community service.
Madjikthise
Community service that they will fail to undertake.
All they need is that magistrate woman that let the would be terrorist out a month or so ago and who has already breached his conditions and they will get off completely.
I fail to understand how many of the judiciary can sleep at night.Sad
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
A few years back a few kids I assume untied a Brisbane Citycat vessel and it floated a short distance, not far and then something stopped it. No damage if I recall and I'm not sure if they were ever caught.

The interesting part is that this is in breach of Maritime law and hence carries a 20 year jail term as maximum punishment.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
There are plenty of 'maximum penalties' available but they are never imposed.

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