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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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02 Mar 2001
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28 Feb 2001
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28 Feb 2001
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Seven days . . .

. . . web focus on rail accidents and rail safety

Archive November 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
UK
Terrifying ordeal as train hits cows on line
Mercury 27 Nov 2000
A Broxbourne couple feared the train they were travelling in was going to be derailed after it smashed into a herd of cows on a Leicestershire railway line.
William and Muriel Hollis of Bell Lane, who are both in their 70s, grabbed hold tightly as the train crashed into the animals and swayed dramatically from left to right "It was terrifying and the train swayed all over the place," said Mr Hollis. "We were sitting there with blood and guts pouring down the window by the side of us. I genuinely thought we were going over."
UK
30 walk in dark from train fire
Mercury 27 Nov 2000
Over 30 passengers had to be evacuated from a train in Broxbourne and then led 400m (437 yards) to safety after a blaze in a carriage on Friday night.
Two youths are thought to have been responsible for torching the 10.33pm Stansted Airport to London Liverpool Street train.
The alarm was raised after it had stopped just short of Broxbourne railway station at a rail signal at about 11.40pm.
The driver saw two youths leap from the scene of the fire at the back of the train.
NSW
Train safety manual 'mostly goes unread'
SMH 25 Nov 2000
Most train drivers do not read their safety manuals, a State Rail safety chief said yesterday.
Train crews generally did not like reading books and it was therefore essential that other means of teaching and reinforcing the rules were introduced, the manager of safe working for the State Rail Authority, Mr Alexander Mitchell, told the Glenbrook inquiry yesterday.
Mr Mitchell told of a driver who retired in 1997 and handed back a stack of manuals, still wrapped in the cellophane.
India
Derailment hits train traffic
The Hindu 25 Nov 2000
Passengers of the Bangalore-Guwahati Express had a miraculous escape when two sleeper coaches of the train derailed at 9.25 a.m today between Ennore and Athipet, about 25 km from here. Excepting a few passengers travelling in the derailed coaches who sustained bruises, no one was injured.
After detaching the derailed coaches, which were third and fourth from the rear and the last two coaches, the train resumed its journey with a delay of about five hours. Passengers in these four coaches were accommodated in other compartments.
The train had left Bangalore at 11.30 p.m. on Friday.
USA
Freight cars derail in western Pennsylvania, slide into river
CNN 23 Nov 2000
Five flat cars on a freight train derailed in western Pennsylvania on Thursday, blocking a highway for several hours and canceling two passenger trains.
The CSX Corp. train was traveling from Chicago to Baltimore when it derailed around 8 a.m., about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. No one was injured.
Dan Murphy, a spokesman for Richmond, Virginia-based CSX, said two sets of tracks were closed due to the accident. One was scheduled to reopen early Friday, but there was no timetable to reopen the other, he said.
CSX investigators didn't know what caused the crash.
India
Rail traffic disrupted
Times of India 23 Nov 2000
Rail traffic on the Mumbai-Howrah section of the south-eastern railways was disrupted for about six hours following the derailment of 20 bogies of two goods trains at Jharsugda station's yard, 90 km from here Wednesday morning.
No casualty has been reported in the accident.
According to railway sources here, the down rail traffic was adversely affected when nine bogies of a foodgrain-laden goods train going from Raigarh to Howarh went off the track. Earlier, 11 bogies of another goods train derailed near the Jharsugda station. The two accidents took place within a brief span of four hours.
USA
Train hits truck at rail crossing in Northlake
Star-Telegram 22 Nov 2000
A train crashed into a semitrailer truck Wednesday morning after the flatbed trailer got stuck at a railroad crossing, police said.
Truck driver Everett Mahan of Mineral Wells escaped injury by fleeing the truck as a northbound Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railway train hit the vehicle, police said.
The crash occurred about 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
USA
Metro Train Hits Another During New Track Tests
Washington Post 22 Nov 2000 Thanks Ian Pirie
Metro officials are trying to figure out why a train slid past a red signal and hit another train early Thursday morning during testing of 6.5 miles of new track on the Green Line in Prince George's County.
Metro workers were testing the track, set to open for service in January, when an inbound two-car train entered the Naylor Road station and cruised through a red signal before slamming into another two-car train that had been idling in the station, said Lem Proctor, acting chief operating officer for rail.
The train that rolled through the red signal had been traveling at less than 15 miles per hour, and the accident caused no injuries or significant damage, Proctor said. Aside from the operators, the two trains were empty.
UK
Railtrack 'will give up safety responsibilities'
Electronic Telegraph 21 Nov 2000
Railtrack is preparing to give up its safety responsibilities as part of a new agreement with the Government in the wake of the resignation of its chief executive, Gerald Corbett.
The company had previously insisted that it should retain its safety functions rather than hand them over to a new independent body, as has been advocated by Sir Alastair Morton, chairman of the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority. Railtrack argued that the powers, which include approval of train companies' own safety cases, rolling stock and equipment design, should remain with its subsidiary, Railway Safety Ltd.
In an arrangement broadly endorsed by the Health and Safety Executive, RSL is designed to operate "at arm's length" from Railtrack, and reports separately to the company's chairman, Sir Philip Beck.
Singapore
Driverless LRT trains collide, 'station controller blundered'
Project Eyeball 20 Nov 2000
Two Light Rail Transit (LRT) trains collided at the Phoenix station in Choa Chu Kang yesterday, injuring three passengers. One train rammed into the back of another at the station.
Although LRT trains run remotely without drivers, the accident has, based on initial reports, been blamed on ''human error''.
The human in question was the station controller manning the Phoenix LRT station early yesterday morning.
QLD
Trains just metres from colliding
News Interactive 19 Nov 2000
QUEENSLAND rail is investigating a near-miss between a coal train and passenger train carrying 50 people when they stopped just metres away from colliding.
A spokesman for Queensland Rail said the drivers of both trains were in radio contact with each other and were able to stop safely within 50 metres of each other.
The spokesman said it appeared there had been confusion over signals which caused the coal train to enter the same track as the passenger train near the town of Dingo.
The incident happened yesterday on the line from Longreach to Rockhampton in central Queensland, and involved a coal train and the Spirit of the Outback passenger train which was heading for Brisbane with about 50 passengers on board.
UK
Police seek volunteers to stem rise in 'rail rage'
Electronic Telegraph 19 Nov 2000
British Transport Police is launching a campaign to recruit hundreds of special constables to combat a sharp rise in violent attacks on rail staff and passengers.
Senior officers said that they had been forced to look for part-time volunteers because the force did not have the money to hire full-time officers. The recruitment campaign has been prompted by a surge in "rail rage" incidents, blamed on an increase in train delays and cancellations, particularly since the Hatfield crash.
British Transport police wants to increase the number of special constables from 70 to about 500 to bolster its 2,100 full-time officers. Fifteen full-time officers will also be hired, but the force said this would not be enough to cope with the rising tide of violence, vandalism and theft on the railways.
Vietnam
Floods Kill 26 in Central Vietnam, Derail Train
Bradenton.com 19 Nov 2000
Floods in central Vietnam caused by torrential rains in the past week have killed at least 26 people in six provinces, including a train driver when his express derailed, a disaster report and official media said on Sunday.
The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) said none of the 140 passengers on the North-South express were hurt after the locomotive left the tracks on Friday along with three coaches in Khanh Hoa province after flood waters swept across the line.
USA
Train used by firm to haul gravel derails
Arkansas Online 18 Nov 2000
A train operated by Martin Marietta Aggregates derailed Friday on company property, the Hot Spring County coroner said. No one was injured or killed in the accident.
Sri Lanka
Azwer requests bamboo gates at unprotected level crossings
Daily News 18 Nov 2000
UNP National list MP A.H.M. Azwer has requested Transport Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to initiate action to protect the lives of motorists from train accidents by setting up gates at unprotected level crossings throughout the country.
USA
Amtrak train hits truck, hurting 16
Orlando Sentinal 18 Nov 2000
An Amtrak passenger train hit a tractor-trailer at a railroad crossing Friday near Intecession city, demolishing the huge truck and injuring more than a dozen people.
The 4:45 p.m. accident happened at the same crossing, near the entrance to a Kissimmee Utility Authority plant, where a train in 1993 hit a truck carrying an 82-ton generator worth millions of dollars.
The driver in Friday`s accident was not hurt. Witnesses said he jumped out of the truck. Three passengers and two train engineers were taken to area hospitals, but their injuries were not life-threatening, officials said. Eleven others were treated. A total of 83 passengers and 14 crew members were on the train, which was traveling from New York to Miami.
USA
Radioactive soil train derails; no spillage
PG News 16 Nov 2000
A train carrying low-level radioactive soil contaminated during an accident at Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s Waltz Mill nuclear research site 40 years ago derailed yesterday near Ruffsdale, Westmoreland County, but none of the material spilled from the shipping containers.
Six of the cars in the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad train were loaded with contaminated soil from Westinghouse, but only two of the three cars that jumped the track were carrying the soil, which was being transported to Utah for disposal. Each of the cars contained about 81 cubic yards of soil.
The accident occurred near a mobile home park off Route 31, west of Mount Pleasant. The state Department of Environmental Protection, Westmoreland County Hazardous Materials Team and Greensburg emergency personnel monitored the site.
NSW
Drug tests planned for rail staff
SMH 15 Nov 2000
Train drivers and signallers face random drug tests under a radical plan by State Rail to reduce the risk of accidents, the Glenbrook inquiry was told yesterday.
The move, opposed by the rail union yesterday, follows a derailment on the Olympic Park line a year ago, in which the train driver was suspected of being under the influence of drugs.
The train, carrying about 50 passengers, derailed on November 14, 1999, when the driver went through a red signal, affecting 35,000 people who had been at the Brazil versus Australia soccer match at Stadium Australia. No-one was injured.
NSW
Let's take a lesson from London's Underground
SMH 13 Nov 2000
A public-private partnership is the key to bringing the NSW rail system into the 21st century, writes Barry O'Farrell.
The second interim report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Glenbrook Rail Accident, by Acting Justice McInerney, has proposed structural changes to NSW rail agencies in an attempt to improve safety and reliability of the State's rail system.
Legislation to be introduced to Parliament this month gives effect to proposals which range from merging the current infrastructure owner (Rail Access Corporation) and maintainer (Rail Services Australia) to establishing an office of the rail regulator. But the State Government has been silent on its plans for one of the biggest determinants of a safe and efficient rail system: asset renewal.
SCOTLAND
Rail mishaps to be probed
The Times 11 Nov 2000
Investigations were under way today after a teenage girl was killed and a man seriously injured in two separate rail incidents, police said.
The 15-year-old girl was struck by a train at Westerton in Bearsden, near Glasgow, as it travelled from Oban towards the city shortly after 10pm last night.
In the second incident, a man, believed to be in his 50s, was hit by a train near Lenzie, north of Glasgow shortly before 8pm last night.
EUROPE
Europe's history of rail disasters
BBC Online 11 Nov 2000
The blaze in a railway tunnel near Kitzsteinhorn in the Austrian Alps, in which more than 150 skiers are feared dead, is the latest in a succession of train disasters in Europe that have caused heavy loss of life.
Below is a reminder of some other major rail disasters:

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