Issue #2 - April 1998

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Welcome to issue #2 of Stop Signal, the new newsletter for Danger Ahead!
What's in this edition:

Stop Signal is new. Stop Signal is FREE. Stop Signal is the new, free newsletter for Danger Ahead! Now you can stay in touch with what's happening at Danger Ahead! and get advance information about upcoming features. Also, have your say on any topic related to the Danger Ahead! site.
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Railway Postcards and a free Screensaver
Two new services for visitors 
Danger Ahead! is very pleased to introduce FREE postcards as a service to visitors to the site. Railway Postcards are railway scenes that you can send to friends and colleagues together with your own personal message. There are eight images to choose from and you can further personalise your card by selecting a background texture and colour. You can even add music if you wish.
The images form a series with a railway theme and will be changed regularly to reflect the rail scene around the world. The current series is British Steam, a collection of colour photographs of classic steam locomotives at work.
Railway Postcards
To celebrate the new Railway Postcard service, Danger Ahead! is giving away a free screensaver. This is all the pictures in the British Steam series collected into a continually changing panaorama of steam engines moving across your screen. You can get this free download by visiting the Railway Postcards page and scrolling to the bottom.

Southall Disaster - Health and Safety Executive Inquiry
The HSE inquiry into the accident between a Great Western Intercity 125 and an empty freight train has been adjourned pending a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service and British Transport Police about whether to bring a criminal prosecution against the driver. Questions however are emerging about safety issues relateds to this accident in which seven passengers died. There was building work in the vicinity of the accident and it has been suggested that this may have obscured the colour light signals that should have protected the freight train while it was crossing the main running lines. Professor Uff, chairing the enquiry, will want to know how this may have contributed to the crash.
He will also be investigating the state of the Automatic Warning System, asking why it was not operational on the Intecity 125 train. The implementation of the system is the responsibility of Railtrack which has recently announced a ten-year plan to spend almost 17 billion pounds on upgrading the railway infrastructure in Great Britain. However, hard on the heals of this announcement has come a warning from the HSE (Health & Safety Executive) that they may bring a prosecution against the company for failiing to comply with an instruction to bring parts of the network up to a level of safety.
The Need for Speed
The series of items about accidents whose primary cause was inappropriate speed continues with two more articles.
The earliest of these was in 1896 at Preston on the east coast route to Scotland. The schedules that drivers were required to maintain owed much to those which had been established during the Great Train Races of the 1870s when the east coast and the west coast routes were in competition to achieve the fastest Anglo-Scottish runs. The Tourist Express from London Euston to Glasgow was being driven by a man who had never before handled this particular train when it left the rails just north of Preston station. Witnesses estimated that its speed was about 45 mph, exceeding the 10 mph speed restriction through the station.
The second item describes an incident on the France/Italy border at Modane in 1917. The accident involved a troop train with approximately 1000 french soldiers returning home on leave. The train had inadequate braking for the load and against the driver's better judgement, he was forced by the military authorities to take the train through an alpine pass with disastrous results and causing the worst-ever railway accident in terms of casualties.

Searches at Danger Ahead!
Danger ahead now makes it easy for you to find the rail-related resources that you want. Do a search on RailServe without having to leave the site. Sniff-out what you want on multiple search-engines with Dogpile. Get up-to-the-minute rail news from the wires with the special Yahoo search. A direct link to ERICK'S Rail News brings current rail-related headlines and an annotated list of current and archived news items from around the Web. Finally, check out the selected and annotated links at Danger Ahead!
All this is available now at Danger Ahead!
Check it out:

Site Notes
Stop Signal Archive
Previous issues of Stop Signal are available in an archive at the Danger Ahead! web site. If you have missed earlier issues you will be able to find them here...
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Tail Lamp
The following statistics were part of a special edition of Stop Signal which was sent out to individuals who had shown their interest in Danger Ahead by signing the Guestbook or by sending e-mail to railtec. They are repeated here for the interest of new subscribers.
Danger Ahead! first went live on 6 December 1997
As of 10 February 1998, the site has received more than 1700 visitors.
On 12 December 1997 a statistics program was invoked. This reveals that since that date the site has received in excess of 2000 "hits" with almost 1350 unique accesses.
The HitBox 1000 progam currently ranks Danger Ahead! at 199 (out of 1000) in the hobbies section!!!
The most popular browser used by visitors is MSIE 4 - about 29% MS Internet Explorer in its various guises accounts for nearly 50% of all visitor's browsers and the various shades of Netscape make up 20%. AOL gets a look-in too with 4%.
Feed-back is always appreciated - praise or criticism. If you would like to make any comment about Stop Signal or Danger Ahead! please send e-mail to: Any mail received will be considered for publication UNLESS you put "DO NOT PUBLISH" somewhere in the message (or subject line).

Danger Ahead! Historic Railway Disasters

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