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Seven days . . .
. . . web focus on rail safety and accidents in the last week
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Train carrying empty nuclear flasks derailed
02 Mar 2001
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SELBY: Crash death toll "may be lower"
02 Mar 2001
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UK: Selby-13 dead in Selby train crash
28 Feb 2001
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UK: Several feared injured in Yorkshire train crash
28 Feb 2001
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COMMENT: Push - Pull - the Hidden Dangers
by R H State
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Seven days . . .

. . . web focus on rail accidents and rail safety

Archive May 2000


n.b. Some articles may have expired and no longer be available, or may be obtained only upon payment of a fee to the news provider
USA
Train User 'Injured' 49 Times in One Year
Excite News 30 May 2000
A single traveler claimed to have been injured 49 times on Britain's rail network during the last year, a rail industry safety report said on Friday.
The man, who has not been named, accounted for 10 percent of all the injuries -- excluding train collisions -- reported on British railways during 1999/2000, the report said
USA
Crews work to right derailed cars
Ledger Enquirer 28 May 2000
Traffic on 10th Avenue near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was blocked Saturday after eight Norfolk Southern Corp. rail cars derailed on the track in Columbus, officials said.
Shortly after 7 a.m., while rail cars were being added or "built" to the train in the Norfolk Southern rail yard, eight cars derailed, two of which completely overturned, said Norfolk Southern spokeswoman Susan Terpay.
"This happened during switching operations," Terpay said.
CANADA
Canadian accident investigations taking too long: survey
Vancouver Sun 26 May 2000
Canadian accident investigations are taking much too long, often making the final safety recommendations irrelevant, says a survey for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
"Recommendations on these reports when they are finally delivered are not regarded as useful due to the fact that they are either out of date or they have been implemented . . . already," says a summary of the poll results.
"The Transportation Safety Board needs to improve on the timeliness of reporting."
USA
Train hits car, then two hours later, same train hits man
Ohio.com 23 May 2000
Train conductor Michael Young couldn't believe it happened again.
In less than two hours Monday, his CSX freight train had hit a car crossing the tracks in Mount Sterling and a man standing next to tracks in Franklinton.
AUS
Plans are considered to stop train jumping
ABC 23 May 2000
Employing Aboriginal security guards will be considered in the fight against train jumping in Port Augusta.
A meeting was held yesterday to discuss the problem, which is persisting despite a 12 year old boy losing an arm and leg in an accident three weeks ago.
USA
Amtrak Train Crashes Into Car Left on Tracks
LA Times 22 May 2000
An Amtrak train traveling from San Diego to Goleta on Sunday night crashed into a Ford Escort abandoned on the railroad tracks in Moorpark, shortly after the car had collided with a pickup truck, authorities said.
The Escort was eastbound on Old Los Angeles Avenue about 8:20 p.m. when it crossed the center divider and sideswiped a westbound pickup truck. The car came to rest on the railroad tracks, police said.
AUS
"Train surfing" is continuing at Port Augusta
ABC 22 May 2000
There are reports of children as young as six continuing to jump onto moving trains in Port Augusta, despite a 12 year old boy losing an arm and a leg attempting the practice three weeks ago.
National Rail representative, Virginia Lloyd, says the danger of "train-surfing" appears to be the attraction.
The company will hold a public meeting on the issue this morning.
USA
Lauderdale train-truck collision injures one
Miami Herald 20 May 2000
An Amtrak train smashed into an 18-wheeler trapped in rush-hour traffic on Cypress Creek Road in Fort Lauderdale on Friday, mangling the truck into four pieces and seriously injuring a driver with debris.
The injured male driver did not have ID, and police did not know his name late Friday.
The 18-wheeler, owned by Miami-based Custom Sales & Manufacturing, was driving east when it stopped on the railroad tracks around 5:45 p.m. Witnesses said the railroad gates then came down on the truck, but the driver, forty-seven year-old Jose L. Hernandez of Hialeah, couldn't go forward or back because of traffic.
USA
Princeton not liable in fatal train crash, court rules
courierpress.com 20 May 2000
Two railroads and state still face suit over ’96 collision at crossing
Princeton, Ind., will not be held responsible for a 1996 train accident that killed two teen-age girls, the Indiana Court of Appeal has ruled.
The family of Yvette Eckert, a 16-year-old killed in the car-train crash, alleged in a wrongful death lawsuit that the city failed to ensure safety at the Spring Street railroad crossing where the accident happened.
USA
Wisconsin two-person rail crew bill vetoed
Journal of Commerce Online 19 May 2000
An 11th hour lobbying effort by the Chicago area comm uter railroad METRA has derailed efforts to enact legislation to require t hat all trains operating in the state of Wisconsin have two-person crews.
Although passed by the Wisconsin legislature, the bill was vetoed by Gov. Tommy Thompson, who also serves as chairman of Amtrak's board of directors, because there was no exemption for METRA, which operates p assenger trains from Illinois to Wisconsin. METRA officials threatened to sto p their trains at the Wisconsin state line if the bill was passed into law.
USA
New Truck Driver Safety Video Will Be Unveiled; Reps. Kucinich, Franks, FRA Administrator Molitoris to Receive Awards At May 17 Operation Lifesaver Awareness Day Reception
excite news 16 May 2000
Congressmen Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Bob Franks (R-NJ), along with Federal Railroad Administrator (FRA) Jolene Molitoris will be honored at at the annual Operation Lifesaver (OL) Congressional Appreciation Awards Celebration on May 17 at Union Station, Washington, DC. Operation Lifesaver Awareness Day is celebrated each year during National Transportation Week to call attention to the need for safety around railroad trains and tracks.
"The number of highway-rail collisions has dropped steadily in recent years, with fatalities from crossing incidents reaching an all-time low in 1999," said Gerri Hall, President of Operation Lifesaver, Inc. "While we are pleased the numbers are declining, last year there were 467 pedestrians who died while trespassing on railroad rights-of-way. Operation Lifesaver's goal is to put ourselves out of business when these numbers reach zero."
AUS
Rail chiefs should be ashamed: minister
Sydney Morning Herald 13 May 2000
Rail safety across NSW is set for an unprecedented shake-up in the wake of an embarrassing sequence of accidents and derailments on the CityRail network.
The Minister for Transport, Mr Scully, responded to the latest incidents yesterday by reprimanding rail officials and promising changes when the inquiry into the Glenbrook disaster is finished next month.
In the latest of 23 derailments this year, a guard was injured when one train ran into another at Cronulla on Thursday. On Tuesday, an empty passenger train travelled in the wrong direction along a track out of Redfern station until a signaller cut power to the line.
USA
L derails; Metra has 2 crashes
Chicago Sun-Times 13 May 2000
Commuters got quite a scare when a CTA train and two Metra trains derailed or crashed within 24 hours.
Two CTA L cars derailed late Thursday on the West Side, injuring three people and snarling service into Friday morning. Then Metra trains hit a truck and a car in separate incidents Friday; no passengers were injured, but several people were hurt in the car accident.
AUS
Tunnel fire safety row smoulders
Sydney Morning Herald 12 May 2000
A turf war has erupted over who is responsible for approving the fire safety and ventilation system inside the new $700 million airport railway tunnel.
With the rail line scheduled to open on May 21, its giant fire safety system is to be tested next week by the Rail Access Corporation (RAC), which is responsible for railway infrastructure.
But the final "sign off" responsibility on safety appears to rest with the NSW Fire Brigades, frustrating corporation officials who argue that the approval is an engineering issue, not a safety one.
UK
Paddington claim by sacked driver
The Times 12 May 2000
A train driver who was also a union official was dismissed because she was campaigning on safety issues linked to the cause of the Paddington crash, an employment tribunal was told yesterday.
Sarah Friday, 35, who worked for South West Trains for 12 years, told the hearing that she was carrying out research into whether increased working hours had led drivers to pass danger signals. She added that she had also carried out an investigation into drivers' hours and fatigue.
AUS
Minister ticks off rail chiefs over train incidents
Harlow Star 12 May 2000
New South Wales Transport Minister Carl Scully has reprimanded state rail officials as train derailments continued to plague the network.
Yesterday evening a guard was injured when he was thrown against a wall as two trains collided in Cronulla, in Sydney's south.
UK
Pensioner dies after falling on rail tracks
Harlow Star 12 May 2000
An elderly woman died on Monday night after she was involved in an accidentent on the railway line at Harlow Town station earlier in the day.
The driver of the 10.45am service from Stansted Airport to Liverpool Street noticed the woman was standing close to the platform's edge looking down.
He sounded the train's horn to alert her to the express service, which was passing through the station without stopping.
USA
'Close call' on tracks
Arizona Daily Star 12 May 2000
Tucson firefighters had a "close call" yesterday when a train hauling 24 rail cars filled with sulfuric acid rumbled off the track near downtown just before rush hour.
Only six rail cars of the 98-car train actually ran off the track, said Capt. Joe Gulotta, Tucson Fire Department spokesman. Those cars, luckily, contained only dry cement.
There were no signs of leaks from the other rail cars and nobody was hurt in the crash.
AUS
Rail funding decision awaits Glenbrook report
Excite 12 May 2000
New South Wales Transport Minister Carl Scully says the Carr Government will make decisions on whether to allocate extra funds for rail safety after it receives reports from Justice Peter McInerney.
Opposition leader Kerry Chikarovski has demanded a Government commitment to more money for rail safety in the state Budget.
Last night's Cronulla train derailment, she says, is the 23rd derailment in a year.
UK
Keep off the railway line
Harlow Star 12 May 2000
A spate of incidents on a local railway line has sparked off warnings about the dangers of straying onto the tracks.
The line between Epping and Ongar has been disused for the past six years, but Epping Ongar Railway Ltd has pledged to restart a service by October 1. Trains started running a few months ago for maintenance and driver-training with a view to starting summer tourist trips followed by a full commuter service. But vandals have struck repeatedly in recent weeks and residents are continuing to walk along the line.
USA
Safe Rail group forms
MSNBC 11 May 2000
In the last year and a half, Kansas has seen more than one-hundred railway collisions.
You might assume those collisions are the drivers’ faults, but one woman says that’s a stereotype and it’s not always true. Kathleen Falk’s husband was seriously injured when he was hit by a train as he drove across the tracks just north of Carbondale, Kansas. Now she’s starting a railroad safety group called Safe Rail to help others who’ve been involved in railway collisions.
VIETNAM
Six Die As Train Hits Van in Vietnam
Excite News 09 May 2000
Six people were killed and three injured when a van was hit by an oncoming train in Vietnam's central coastal province of Binh Dinh, police said Tuesday.
Four people were killed instantly in the accident Sunday and two others died after being transported to a hospital in Tuy Phuoc district, police officer Tran Kim Anh said. All the victims were in the van.
AUS
Large damage bill expected from train derailment
ABC 09 May 2000
There is expected to be a significant damage bill from a train derailment at Orange in the central west of New South Wales.
Two freight carriages and an engine have come off the tracks.
The incident occurred about 4:30am AEST today just east of Orange.
UK (Scotland)
Clampdown on rail crime
Annanova 06 May 2000
A month-long crackdown on railway crime has ended in more than 100 people facing prosecution.
British Transport Police's Operation Thistle recorded a total of 479 offences of trespass and vandalism on Scotland's railways in April, up just less than four per cent on the same month last year.
AUS
National Rail battles "train surfing"
ABC 06 May 2000
National Rail Corporation will today launch a campaign through a Port Augusta Aboriginal media organisation to warn children of the dangers of playing near trains.
It comes after a 12 year old boy was seriously injured after being hit by a train last Tuesday.
USA
Train wreck blocks 287
Amarillo Globe 04 May 2000
An open switch Wednesday caused a southbound train to veer across U.S. Highway 287 near the intersection with Texas Highway 256 in Memphis on a switching rail and run into an empty building.
Eighteen cars and two locomotives derailed.
THAILAND
Derailment of freight train blocks the southern line
Bangkok Post 03 May 2000
The southern railway track was blocked in Nakhon Si Thammarat when an eight-wagon container train believed to be overloaded with transit goods destined for Malaysia was derailed late on Tuesday night.
The track should be repaired by 2pm today, state railways public relations chief Sukumal Sritula said.
In the meantime, south-bound trains were departing Bangkok on their regular schedules but passengers must get off for buses at Nakhon Si Thammarat station.
USA
Rail officials taking look at risk of fire down below
Yahoo 02 May 2000
For people who ride a train every day into New York City, the disaster of all disasters would be a fire on the tracks as the train roared beneath the river, forcing them to evacuate into a dark, hot, and smoky tunnel.
It almost never happens. In 1996, 1,100 passengers were escorted off a disabled Metro-North train, down the tracks, and up onto a platform. The year before, a track fire forced 700 passengers off a Long Island Rail Road train in a tunnel.
Rare as it is, the mere possibility of a tunnel catastrophe is what brought a dozen railroad and government officials into the darkness of the Amtrak tunnel beneath the Hudson River on Wednesday.
USA
D.C. Reports on Subway Fire
Yahoo 01 May 2000
Transit officials released a preliminary report into last month's fire on the Washington Metro Monday, in which they blamed an unusual design along the stretch of track where the fire broke out. "The factors that caused this particular fire are unlikely to recur in our system,'' said Fred Goodine, Metro Safety Officer.
The report said the cable to the electrified rail is embedded in a concrete slab running under the tracks. Two pieces of metal on the ends of the slab cut into the casing and insulation surrounding the wire, grounding the cable and causing the April 20 fire in a subway tunnel under the nation's capital.

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