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Dozens Die as Spanish Train Derails


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Posted

Surprised this isn't here yet...

 

Dozens die as Spanish train derails in Galicia

 

A train has derailed in north-western Spain, killing at least 77 of its 218 passengers and injuring more than 100, officials in the Galicia region say.
 
All eight carriages of the Madrid to Ferrol train came off the tracks near the city of Santiago de Compostela.  Media reports say the train may have been travelling at more than twice the speed limit around a curve.  Officials have not commented on the cause. Analysts say it is the worst train accident in Spain in 40 years.
 
Spain generally has a relatively good record in terms of rail safety, says the BBC's Tom Burridge.  This is a country which has invested huge amounts of money in its rail network, he says.
 
Spain's last major rail disaster was in 1972 when 77 people were killed in a derailment in Andalusia in the south.
 
Railway firm Renfe said the train came off the tracks on a bend about 3 or 4km (2-2.5 miles) from Santiago de Compostela station at 20:41 local time (18:41 GMT).  It was on the express route between Madrid and the ship-building city of Ferrol on the Galician coast.  Renfe says it and the track operating company Adif are collaborating with a judge appointed to investigate the accident.  Government officials said they believed the crash was an accident, but that no statement would be made regarding the cause without a proper investigation.
"We are moving away from the hypothesis of sabotage or attack," one unnamed official said.
 

Source - BBC

 

 

Video contains footage of derailment.

 

 

Train Driver Boasts About Speed on Facebook

 

One of the drivers of a Spanish train that careered off the tracks and smashed into a concrete wall, killing at least 80 people, had previously boasted about speeding on his Facebook page.

 

On Thursday night, the Spanish media published excerpts from Mr Garzon

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Posted

Just saw the video on youtube. ... .118 MPH .... that's a hell of a thing!

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Posted

 

Surprised this isn't here yet...

 

I mean, it didn't have the royal baby on it, so why would anyone care? /s

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Posted


Surprised this isn't here yet...
 
Same thing I thought.....I didn't have time to create the thread.
 
You know the sickest thing?
"Ghetto booty" has 29 replies
Some guy that recused another in a truck crash 158 replies
Mexican Coca-Cola 18 replies
A drunk crosses a river 17 replies
 
And that's just the first page.
 
Ill problably get more replies to this message than to this actual news.

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Posted

What a ****ing imbecile this driver is - I thought for sure this must have been due to brake malfunction or something. Putting the lives of hundreds at risk for his own amusement.  :angry:

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Posted

52 years old, working there for 30 years and boasting on Facecrack? Wth... you can't even trust old, experienced geezers to be responsible and deliver you safely :s

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Posted

 

 
 
Same thing I thought.....I didn't have time to create the thread.
 
You know the sickest thing?
"Ghetto booty" has 29 replies
Some guy that recused another in a truck crash 158 replies
Mexican Coca-Cola 18 replies
A drunk crosses a river 17 replies
 
And that's just the first page.
 
Ill problably get more replies to this message than to this actual news.

 

 

How about

 

"Kevin Rose throws a raccoon down the stairs" 82 Replies and 2,667 views

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Posted

It's the driver's fault, but it doesn't end there.

The scenario could have been different.

The train was approaching at high speed, from a stretch of newly built track equipped with ERTMS. Shortly before the curve, ERTMS ends and there is no surveillance of the movement authority for the train.

An old system called ASFA takes over but the speed limit is not enforced in that curve.

If you find the location on the map, it's large curve where two stretches of rail lines join. The straight stretch to the east is the newly (relatively) built track equipped with ERTMS.

This could all have been prevented if the system border between ERTMS and ASFA was strict or ERTMS would have been installed at the curve and the station following the curve, which was planned but wasn't done due to the sudden lack of funding. Due to the prestige project that the high speed rail project is, they made a half assed implementation of ERTMS and ASFA.

I drive trains in Sweden and to Copenhagen in Denmark.

This can not happen here. We have ATC deployed along all tracks and the border between Swedish and Danish ATC is strict and well implemented. The two systems are of two different generations and are designed by two unrelated companies but they have managed to get a very safe solution. We switch ATC systems all full speed on the fly (up to 200 km/h). It's seamless with full pre-signaling over the system border.

Criticize the driver, yes, but there is more to it than that.

The safety is too low. Something has to be done to the lack of competence that caused to complete lack of movement authority surveillance. ERTMS could easily have been made to enforce the speed limit of 80 km/h just prior to disabling itself.

I am stunned by how it all has passed safety inspections. 200 km/h and ERTMS just ends without applying speed restrictions.

The derailment could have been prevented!!!

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Posted

Negotiation of curves like that should not be the responsibility of the driver.

Japan had a crash a few years ago where 107 people died because of a dopey driver failing to slow down on a sharp curve. After that, the railway company fitted automatic deceleration systems to all curves of a certain radius.

High speed trains should be automatic, like the Shinkansen, with the "driver" being there mainly just to open and close the doors, monitor the equipment and override the autopilot in the even of damage to or obstruction of the track.

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Posted

Negotiation of curves like that should not be the responsibility of the driver.

Japan had a crash a few years ago where 107 people died because of a dopey driver failing to slow down on a sharp curve. After that, the railway company fitted automatic deceleration systems to all curves of a certain radius.

High speed trains should be automatic, like the Shinkansen, with the "driver" being there mainly just to open and close the doors, monitor the equipment and override the autopilot in the even of damage to or obstruction of the track.

 

Automatic? Then what fun would I have playing Densha de Go!?

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Posted

Most probably the train driver will be turned into the scape goat, as is normally the case with big corporations where no one wants to take actual responsibility for these easily preventable security flaws. The driver does hold some blame however, as he's been doing this stretch many times before and should've been aware of the great deceleration which was needed.

Hopefully, and probably, Spanish authorities will be looking into the safety systems (ATC or ERTMS) get implemented on all major rail lines throughout the country so this doesn't happen again..

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Posted

The driver carries the full responsibility but it is insane to have that responsibility without assistance from any type of ATC at those speeds.

ERTMS is there and could've been used to limit the speed.

It would result in 80 km/h limit starting earlier and a slower approach but it would only make sense. It would be a temporary solution until ERTMS covers the whole curve and station.

ETCS is the signaling part of ERTMS. There are videos about it online.

A total of 79 people have died.

Driver has been released on bail and has turned in his passport.

This could all have been prevented! I can't put enough emphasis on that!

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Posted

Update...

 

Driver "On the phone" at time of crash

 

The train driver in last week's crash in Spain was talking on the phone when it derailed, investigators say.  Francisco Jose Garzon Amo was speaking to members of staff at the state-owned railway company, Renfe, they added.
 
Crash investigators had opened the train's "black-box" data recorder to find the cause of the crash, which left 79 people dead.  Moments before the accident the train was travelling at a speed of 192km/h (119mph), the court said in a statement.  Investigators say the brakes were activated shortly before the crash.  The speed limit on the sharp bend where the train derailed was set at 80km/h (49mph).
 
"Minutes before the train came off the tracks he received a call on his work phone to get indications on the route he had to take to get to Ferrol. From the content of the conversation and background noise it seems that the driver consulted a map or paper document," a court statement said.
 
Mr Garzon is suspected of reckless homicide, but he has not yet been formally charged.  He was released from custody in Santiago de Compostela, where the crash occurred, on Sunday but remains under court supervision.  He must appear before a court once a week and was not allowed to leave Spain without permission.  His passport has been surrendered to the judge and his licence to drive a train has been suspended.  Under Spanish law, his legal status is that he is suspected of being involved in 79 counts of reckless homicide but has not been formally charged.  But officials said he had admitted negligence by being careless when rounding a bend too fast.
 
All eight carriages of the train careered off the tracks into a concrete wall as they sped around the curve on the express route between Madrid and the port city of Ferrol on the Galician coast.
 

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Posted

I guess we can safely say now that the driver is completely at fault.

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Posted

I guess we can safely say now that the driver is completely at fault.

Yes, but it's more than just that.

Getting work related phone calls happens but it's no good.

It's the driver's fault, yes.

I'm a train driver myself and knowing that this could all have been prevented with ASFA or ERTMS just makes me mad at the incompetence at the signal project.

It all boils down to money.

Another detail that has been revealed is that the train type in the accident doesn't have been certified for ERTMS (onboard ETCS equipment not certified) and was disabled for that reason.

ASFA was in use, but I don't know how ASFA works at that place and if the tracks where the train came from had both ERTMS and ASFA at the same time.

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Posted

ASFA was in use, but I don't know how ASFA works at that place and if the tracks where the train came from had both ERTMS and ASFA at the same time.

 

According to the president of the administration of railway infrastructures (Adif) ASFA would only have automatically stopped the train if it was speeding over 200km/h, which it wasn't.

 

Thing is anyway that trains that travel below 200km/h aren't required to implement automatic braking systems (eg. AVE, which travels at 350km/h, does implement that system). Nothing can go wrong at 199km/h anyway, right?

 

Hopefully things will change after this accident, but I still wouldn't really bet on that. Most likely the driver will take all the blame and that'll be it.

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Posted

News here just reported he was talking on the phone to railway staff & shuffling through papers as it crashed. Maybe someone should check who initiated the damned call.

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Posted

At the end of the day, you can implement all the safety features you want, but it's the guy driving the train who bears ultimate responsibility for anything that happens to it. HE was the one in the driver's seat.  He knew how fast he was going and what the speed limit was. He ignored that and 79 people died.

 

He deserves to have the book thrown at him.

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Posted

News here just reported he was talking on the phone to railway staff & shuffling through papers as it crashed. Maybe someone should check who initiated the damned call.

That's not really necessary because the driver can just ignore the phone all together or just answer and say that he will call back later.

That's what we are told to do. We are not obligated to talk on the phone while driving.

It's the driver's responsibility. "Is it safe for me to put some focus on this call and the papers?"

An example:

If the dispatcher call me and want to give me a safety order over the phone, I can tell the dispatcher to wait for me to call back. If it can't wait, I'll just slow down or stop completely.

So even the most important call that's related to the actual train I'm driving doesn't have higher priority than the train itself. I can make the decision to stop and they shouldn't question me doing that.

The description of the high speed line that ends with this horrible curve is confusing.

I can tell you that tunnels remove some of the ability to locate yourself.

The whole signal project is a big ?.

ASFA hasn't provided any layer of safety other than 200 km/h which is the current limit of that line anyway.

That level of protection is what we in Sweden have if we drive on a line that is not equipped with ATC but the train is. But I'm not aware of any line in Sweden that lacks ATC and exceeds 100 km/h.

I've only proceeded at 100 km/h without ATC.

If the line is equipped with ATC but the train isn't or ATC has failed, we are only allowed to proceed at 80 on the line and 40 at stations but never exceed local speed limits.

ADIF needs a big slap in the face and I hope there will be legal proceedings due to the accident against ADIF and RENFE, separated from the driver's case.

None of these details frees the driver from any form of responsibility.

The driver alone is not the devil here.

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