Issue #7 - January 1999

Welcome to issue #6 of Stop Signal, the newsletter for Danger Ahead!
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What's in this issue:
  1. Granville Australia 1977
  2. India
  3. Settle - Carlisle Line
  4. Branch Line (Rail accidents and other railway stuff on the WWW)
  5. Book Shop
    • Red for Danger : Classic History of British Railway Disasters by LTC Rolt
  6. Site Notes
  7. Tail Lamp
Visit the site - Danger Ahead! - Historic Railway Disasters

Granville Australia 1977
During October last year, Australian TV screened a mini-series which took as its subject the tragedy of the crash of the morning commuter train from the Blue Mountains to Sydney on 18 January 1977. Although the programme, "The Day of the Roses" has not been shown here in the UK, it has prompted a complete revision of the Granville article at Danger Ahead!. This is being posted to the web site in two parts. The first describes the background to and the circumstances of the accident and takes a look at some of the problems of the rescue effort. The second part, which will be posted during the week beginning 25 January will examine the causes.

Indian Railways (IR) is the worlds largest railway under single management. So proclaims their website  A visit to the site reveals just how large an undertaking it is with statistics displayed, in bold on the index page. Regretfully however IR must rank amongst the highest in terms of the number of fatal or injurious accidents that occur. Over 300 were reported last year.
The last issue of Stop Signal discussed the accident on Indian Railways to the Sealdah express in which more than 200 people died. Danger Ahead! has received correspondance from a number of people who are very concerned about this situation and who would very much like to see a reversal in the pattern. Foremost amongst these correspondents are Dr. S. Parthasarathy and Mr Srinivasan Sharma.
Dr. S. Parthasarathy in collaboration with Mr E. Schnieder of the Institute of Control and Automation Engineering (IfRA) at the Technical University of Braunschweig in Germany has published a paper concerning safety on railways in developing countries. I received an email from Dr Parthasarathy in which he offers to make the paper available to anyone who is interested in this topic. His email also proposes an interesting approach to accident investigation and he makes a request for information in order to help advance his ideas. The email is published here in full.
Mr Srinivasan Sharma, formerly of Indian Railways has devised a safety system which he proposes, if adopted would help to prevent a large number of accidents. More details of this will be published at Danger Ahead in the near future.  

Settle - Carlisle Line
The Settle and Carlisle line is the most recent of the North-South routes to be built in the UK. It traverses some of the most remote, but also picturesque territory in the country. It has a romanticism born as much of the rugged nature of the terrain as of the heroic engineering artifacts needed to carrying the railway through the mountains of the north east. Place names along the way such as Ribblehead, Dent and Shap have a fame that belies their true significance.
The line has had more perhaps than its fair share of mishaps. The crash of the overnight sleeping car express between London and Glasgow at Hawes Junction on Christmas Eve 1910 ( ) is just one. The most recent incident occurred on 15 January when a passenger train was struck by a freight train. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries in the crash, although the passenger train which had been derailed after hitting debris from a landslip was forced backwards into a tunnel, such was the force of the impact. This obviously frightening experience of the passengers is testament to the very difficult operating conditions that prevail on the line. Vigilence on the part of those responsible for train operations here is paramount and it is heartening to hear Railtrack's announcement that the safety procedures folowed by the drivers of both trains helped to lessen what might have been a far more serious incident.

Branch Line
The Signal Box is a railway related site devoted to British signalling practice
Trains is the on-line presence of the American magazine of the same name.

Book Shop
This new feature at Danger Ahead! aims to bring to the attention of visitors a range of books related to the topic of the site. In association with large on-line booksellers these will be made available for purchase at substantial discounts.
Red for Danger : Classic History of British Railway Disasters by LTC Rolt
LTC Rolt's classic book describing British railway accidents was first published in 1955. There have been several new editions and reprints since then. It has been out of print for a number of years , but now a new edition has been published by Sutton Publishing. It uses the text from the 1965 edition and contains many new photographs. Danger Ahead has made it available for purchase on-line from the site's new Book Shop at a discount of 20%.

Site Notes
An HTML version of this edition of Stop Signal is available at
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...

Tail Lamp
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