Archives For Rail Safety

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Provided as part of the QR show bag for the CORE 2012 conference. The irony of a detachable cab being completely unintentional…

Cleveland street train overrun (Image source: ATSB)

The ATSB has released it’s preliminary report of it’s investigation into the Cleveland street overrun accident which I covered in an earlier post, and it makes interesting reading.

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4100 class crew escape pod #0

On the subject of near misses…

Presumably the use of the crew cab as an escape pod was not actually high on the list of design goals for the 4000 and 4100 class locomotives, and thankfully the locomotives involved in the recent derailment at Ambrose were unmanned.

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yellowbook-rail.org.ukThat much beloved safety engineering handbook of the UK rail industry, the Yellow Book, is back. The handbook has been re-released as the International Handbook Engineering Safety Management (iESM).

Re-development is being carried out by Technical Program Delivery Ltd and the original authoring team of Dr Rob Davis, Paul Cheeseman and Bruce Elliot.

As with the original this incarnation is intended to be advisory rather than mandatory, nor does it tie itself to a particular legislative regime.

Volume one of the iESM containing the key processes in 36 pages is now available free of charge from the iESM’s website, enjoy.

QR Train crash (Image Source: Bayside Bulletin )

It is a fact universally acknowledged that a station platform is invariably in need of a good buffer-stop….

On the 31st of January 2013 a QR commuter train slammed into the end of platform barrier at the Cleveland street station, overrode it and ran into the station structure before coming to rest.

While the media and QR have focused their attention on the reasons for the overrun the failure of the station’s passive defenses against end of track overrun is a more critical concern. Or to put it another way, why did an event as predictable as this, result in the train overriding the platform with potentially fatal consequences?

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The MIL-STD-882 lexicon of hazard analyses includes the System Hazard Analysis (analysis) which according to the standard is intended to:

“…examines the interfaces between subsystems. In so doing, it must integrate the outputs of the SSHA. It should identify safety problem areas of the total system design including safety critical human errors, and assess total system risk. Emphasis is placed on examining the interactions of the subsystems.”

MIL-STD-882C

This sounds reasonable in theory and I’ve certainly seen a number toy examples touted in various text books on what it should look like. But, to be honest, I’ve never really been convinced by such examples, hence this post.

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Lead Tangara car damage (Source: Commission report)

On the 31st of January 2003 at approx. 7:14 am a four car Tangara passenger train on run C311 from Sydney Central to Port Kembla (G7) oversped on a downhill gradient leading into a curve and left the track. The train driver and six passengers were killed and the remaining passengers suffered various injuries ranging from minor bruising and lacerations to severe disabling injuries. Continue Reading…

I attended the Australian Rail Safety Conference 2010 in Melbourne this week. The conference’s theme was safety leadership and as a result we had a broad spread of corporate executives present providing their views on the leadership aspect of safety.

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The effect of poorly considered originating requirements (the recommendations of the Waterfall accident commisioner) upon system safety requirements for a passenger emergency door release function.

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