Mobile phones and rail accidents. Any??

  jmaca88 Beginner

Hi Petan,
     Yes, thankyou. I was more reflecting upon personal conversations at this stage.

I read an interesting fact during my studies about exercise at work; apparently it is not as effective because your body expects it. Therefore, if you need to exercise efficiently you are best doing it during leisure time. (that is as much as I know and it could be wrong - For those who will no doubt start a war with my words). Much the same as radio chit chat, although a distraction, it is expected unlike the content of a personal conversation.

Pilots from a very early stage are taught to AVIATE, NAVIGATE and then COMMUNICATE. There have been many incidents where pilots in some way or another simply did not fly the aeroplane as he or she was too busy keeping the controller happy. Seen more than one would hope in the early days of most pilots. This confirms your theory.

You have a valid point and it is certainly interesting. I especially note the police officer. One will often see a pursuit show on television with an officer yelling into a hand held radio whilst travelling at some "break neck" speed. I have done a lot of comparisons to this  

Sponsored advertisement

  newington Chief Commissioner

Location: Here, very occasionally.

So we've established that there are next-to-no mobile phone related accidents in the rail industry. What is your question now? Confused
  jmaca88 Beginner

Hi Seb2351,
     Focussing on serious incidents and accidents but noting everything at this stage. I'm trying to keep it to the Asia Pacific region so i was hoping to find something in the rail dept. that has occured in Australia.

This topic was chosen based on requirements set earlier in the year.

Thankyou for your help.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
[quote="jmaca88"]I am very well aware of what the official outcomes were for both the NZ and tilt train accidents, however I have chosen these because of the opinions leading up to the official conclusions.[/quote]The ANZ703 accident did raise the possibility of a mobile phone interfering with the GPWS aboard the aircraft, which was discounted by the aircraft manufacturer. That being said, for a mobile phone to be a casual factor in the accident directly, one or both of the crew would have had to have been distracted by the phone for a sustained period of time - something that is not concluded in the accident report. They were over 1,000 feet lower than they should have been for that portion of the approach when they crashed and were below the approach profile for several miles before that. Why? Because they were distracted.

The reason they were distracted was not because there was a phone call in play, but because they became pre-occupied with troubleshooting an unsafe gear indication, in the same manner as Eastern Airlines 401 a couple of decades previously when [i]that[/] crew failed to monitor the aircraft and flew it into a swamp.

However, I'm at a loss to agree with your claim that a mobile phone was ever considered a primary or even casual factor in the tilt rollover. The investigation looked at the possibility, and discounted it immediately. There was never an opinion that a mobile caused the crash. Indeed the fact that the Driver was probably more distracted by the upcoming cuppa and might have got some crib got far more coverage in the report than did his mobile phone usage...

[quote="jmaca88"]Going back to the tilt train, was the official report published stating a mobile phone? Yes! [/quote]Agreed. And so was the cab and head lighting mentioned, the fact the fireman was making a cuppa and the station protection & vigilance systems were ineffective, and these latter factors played a far greater role in the rollover than did a non-existant mobile phone call.

[quote="jmaca88"]Does anyone claim that it caused the accident? No![/quote]Someone must have, because you're claiming someone had an "opinion" that it did before it was discounted. Who that someone was, I've no idea. Probably the QPS that were miffed the traincrew declined to be interviewed by them and they couldn't get them with some kind of ciminal conduct charge. Rolling Eyes

[quote="jmaca88"]However I want to know how it fell under the umbrella of suspicion and how it was discounted.[/quote]Becuase the ATSB/NTSB are pretty through when it comes to such serious investigations and will look at nearly any possibility before discounting it. Coming from an aviation background, surely you agree with that methodology, as how many times has a seemingly insignificant piece of "something" led to an aircraft coming down?

Anyway, now that we've pretty much concluded there haven't been any instances of traincrews being distracted by mobile phones, yet alone any that led to an incident or accident, perhaps you would be better served looking at more frequent causes of accidents. And even then, the majority of recent rail accidents in this country have been caused by factors outside the crew's control.
  Blue-Train Train Controller

Mobile phones don't cause accidents. All drivers will tell you its a train radio issue. BAN train radio's now.  LaughingLaughingLaughing
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Hi "jmaca88",
I note that you said you have done studies at work, including aspects of distractions, expected and unexpected. I also note the fact that you appear to be doing academic studies in the aviation industry. The following refers more to aviation then train drivers.  

First of all there are several legitimate reasons for train drivers to have a mobile phone on board. Train crew can list those if they wish but I suspect they are similar to the reasons pilots are expected to have a mobile phone onboard the flight. Certainly your aviation background will have already told you that pilots are expected to have a mobile phone on board and if over the oceans or out of normal mobile range, to have an airborne satellite phone.

Official Airservices Australia documents list the phone number for pilots to call if they suffer radio communication failure while airborne and you do realise that the phone used in that situation is a mobile phone. My research shows this was also true as far back as 1998 at which point I stopped checking.

I’ll let you discover the documents in question. If you can not locate the documents ask here and I’ll give dates and page numbers.

Airservices Australia has launched a campaign to remind pilots to cancel their SARTIME, by urging pilots to set their mobile phone alarm five minutes before their SARTIME expires.

So you can see that mobile phones are expected to be in the modern high pressure transport workplace. Be careful of the kneejerk reaction from some areas that suggest mobile phones are banned from the workplace.

There are other distractions besides mobile phones, which can be just as deadly. Others can think of them just as quickly as I can.

Peter C
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
One of the Official Airservices Australia documents that list the phone number for pilots to call if they suffer radio communication failure while airborne [bottom section of page]
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
As train crew we rely on mobile phones an awful lot. Someone's gotta call ahead for that pizza delivery to platform 1  Razz
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
jmaca88, mobile phones don't cause accidents (read incidents/crashes). Accidents are caused by lack of attention to the main task ie driving a train, truck, plane etc.

From where I sit you have started at the wrong place.

edit stated -> started
  bullring Locomotive Fireman

On a PO's pre start work brief the mobile phone is usually #3 on the risks when working in the corridor.
  Comeng552M Assistant Commissioner

Location: In Sydney "Fixing the trains"
A driver who was distracted while texting to a railfan passed a red signal and crashed into another train a couple of years ago in America.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.