[includes a question] Network Rail bans West Coast Railway from British rail infrastructure after serious SPAD

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[includes a question] Network Rail bans West Coast Railway from British rail infrastructure after serious SPAD

Post by Quork on Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:26 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Coast_Railways#Royal_Wootton_Bassett_incident
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-32167724

Sounds pretty awful. However I am unsure about something:
Wikipedia wrote: The statement highlighted that the SPAD was caused by driver error, after the driver manually switched off the AWS and TPWS safety systems on approach to a temporary speed restriction in the area of line immediately after signal SN43, the signal before signal SN45. These were not reactivated on approach to signal SN45; as a result, the train was not automatically stopped by the safety systems as it passed the signal at danger.
I'm no expert on British ATPs, obviously. Could someone please explain to me: What could be the reasons - legitimate or illegitimate - for switching off these systems manually? Braking too late before the TSR and switching off TPWS to avoid a penalty braking on the TPWS speed check? Could that be? But why switch off AWS? Either way, the fact alone that the driver thought he could get away with switching off ATPs at speed points to Network Rail being right about not trusting WCR's safety culture...

EDIT
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dangerous-occurrence-at-wootton-bassett-junction-wiltshire wrote:[T]rain 1Z67 [...] passed over the temporary AWS magnet associated with the TSR. [... T]he driver did not acknowledge this warning within 2.7 seconds, the AWS system on the locomotive automatically applied the train’s brakes.  [... T]he driver and fireman instead took an action which cancelled the effect of the AWS braking demand after a short period and a reduction in train speed of only around 8 mph. The action taken also had the effect of making subsequent AWS or TPWS brake demands ineffective.
This is indeed appalling. Since we're dealing with a loco-hauled train here, I guess brake behaviour is more or less identical with brake behaviour on the contintent. A speed loss of a mere 8mph or some 13km/h would then mean that the train didn't even reach anywhere near full EB brake force before the brake application was cancelled. I'm currently driving ICEs only, which are EMU, so my sense of loco-hauled trains is more than rusty, but I'd estimate a loss of 40, 50km/h alone during the release time from an EB setting. We're probably talking fractions of a second here before the brake application was cancelled. Quite an amazing feat for someone who didn't manage to cancel an alarm within 2.7s...

EDIT: Linguistic corrections with the help of a professional anglicist


Last edited by Quork on Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:14 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: [includes a question] Network Rail bans West Coast Railway from British rail infrastructure after serious SPAD

Post by bvetmd on Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:08 am

The only legitimate reason to isolate AWS would be following suspected failure of the equipment, for instance, if the driver cancels the warning horn and this action fails to stop the horn sounding or fails to prevent a brake application, which would point to faulty equipment. Another possibility is that the train stops directly over the on track equipment requiring a temporary isolation. In all cases any action must be reported to the signaller and control. There are strict rules in place which govern the movement of traction units which have AWS/ TPWS isolated for any reason.
Details here [url=http://www.rgsonline.co.uk/Rule_Book/Rule Book Modules/TW - Train Working/GERT8000-TW5 Iss 3.pdf]http://www.rgsonline.co.uk/Rule_Book/Rule%20Book%20Modules/TW%20-%20Train%20Working/GERT8000-TW5%20Iss%203.pdf[/url]

Theres a lot of mudslinging going on all over the net re-the current WCRC position, lets just wait and see what the RAIBs findings are once theyve finished their investigation. Admittedly though there have been a few incidents in recent times involving WCRC, but it seems the main issue is with how their management have dealt with these incidents that has lead NR to take the action that it has.

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Re: [includes a question] Network Rail bans West Coast Railway from British rail infrastructure after serious SPAD

Post by Quork on Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:31 pm

Yes, isolating faulty equipment is a legitimate reason of course, but I guess you don't do that at speed. I'll have a look at the rulebook you linked soon, thanks!

I have never before heard of WCRC and I'm also not one of those railwaymen who are generally very wary of museum personel, so I don't think I'm biased; and yet I immediately also thought that this looks like way more than just the error of one team. In a company with effective security regulations, control processes and safety culture in place no one in their right mind would dare do something like this so nonchalantly.

EDIT: Linguistic corrections with the help of a professional anglicist

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Re: [includes a question] Network Rail bans West Coast Railway from British rail infrastructure after serious SPAD

Post by jsiren on Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:47 am

It says in the rulebook http://www.rgsonline.co.uk/Rule_Book/Rule%20Book%20Modules/TW%20-%20Train%20Working/GERT8000-TW1%20Iss%209.pdf (section 1 p. 11) that in the event of an AWS or TPWS equipment intervention, the driver must immediately contact the signaller.

In case of an AWS/TPWS/ATP fault the driver must 1) stop the train, 2) inform the signaller. (In the module linked by bvetmd.) After that there are specific steps to follow to move a train with disabled protective equipment (restricted speed or a person in the cab calling out signals and tending to the problem in the first possible location).

We'll have to wait for the investigation results to see what actually happened. The response of Network Rail is noteworthy in that it's a companywide ban on all lines.


Last edited by jsiren on Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:25 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Removed unnecessary speculation.)

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Re: [includes a question] Network Rail bans West Coast Railway from British rail infrastructure after serious SPAD

Post by bvetmd on Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:10 am

but I guess you don't do that at speed


Correct, after all the equipment is there for a purpose and had it not been isolated in the event the train would have been brought to a stand as per in the rules. Then the required action should have been taken by the driver as per the rulebook. However, it could have been there was a possibility of damage to the loco from an emergency brake application, as the water in the boiler could surge forward and risk damage to the fusible plugs, this is being discussed elsewhere and is something of a possibility.
A steam loco footplate is a very different environment to the quiet warm cabs on modern traction, I would be very surprised if the same event would have occurred had the train been diesel hauled. I suspect route knowledge and forward visibility also played their part in the incident somewhat. As I said earlier, there have been several incidents involving WCRC in recent times so I guess this was the one that put the final nail in the coffin so to speak.
Knowing a few people within WCRC and having spent many weekends on their site a few years back stripping a loco, I can only say that the folk I have had dealings with were in my opinion most helpful and professional and I would hope for the sake of their staff that this business gets sorted sooner rather than later.

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Re: [includes a question] Network Rail bans West Coast Railway from British rail infrastructure after serious SPAD

Post by phileakins on Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:49 pm

Gents.

There's a lot of speculation going on with little or no evidence.

I know the driver involved and the reaction amongst the xxxxxxx loco dept of which he is a member is that we must wait until the report is published in order to truly establish what happened and that speculation is pointless and unhelpful.

Also, speculation, particularly by those with an expert knowledge, can be picked up by the media and re-published as fact.

Can I ask that we let the RAIB and ORR do their thing before commenting further?

Thanks.

Phil


Last edited by phileakins on Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:24 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Remove means of posible identification)

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Re: [includes a question] Network Rail bans West Coast Railway from British rail infrastructure after serious SPAD

Post by jsiren on Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:38 am

phileakins wrote:
I know the driver involved and the reaction amongst the Swanage Railway loco dept of which he is a member is that we must wait until the report is published in order to truly establish what happened and that speculation is pointless and unhelpful.
...
Can I ask that we let the RAIB and ORR do their thing before commenting further?

Duly noted. With respect to the driver and rest of the train crew.

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Re: [includes a question] Network Rail bans West Coast Railway from British rail infrastructure after serious SPAD

Post by bvetmd on Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:56 am

bvetmd wrote:Theres a lot of mudslinging going on all over the net re-the current WCRC position, lets just wait and see what the RAIBs findings are once theyve finished their investigation. Admittedly though there have been a few incidents in recent times involving WCRC, but it seems the main issue is with how their management have dealt with these incidents that has lead NR to take the action that it has.

Also duly noted, although I did state precisely that earlier in the thread as above.

As I've hopefully answered the original question from Quork may I suggest this thread now gets locked please.

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Re: [includes a question] Network Rail bans West Coast Railway from British rail infrastructure after serious SPAD

Post by Dexter on Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:50 am

Topic locked. We shall see what the official investigation comes up with.

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Re: [includes a question] Network Rail bans West Coast Railway from British rail infrastructure after serious SPAD

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