crashed train

Train Crash

It always happens to someone else, until it happens to you. Train vs Car

crashed train

Train wins every time, yes thats the 343M front carriage of the train which this evening at 17:22 ran into a car across the train tracks at a grade crossing. Word around the accident was an unoccupied car (or possibly occupant walked away after collision), no mention of any injuries. With that out of the way the rest of the post can happily descend into details only of interest to railfans.

There were several notable parts to this event, the braking of the train was extremely smooth and gentle which given the very wet weather is not surprising but the absence of any ABS chattering (which is very noticeable on other trains and lines around Melbourne) was unusual, not fitted to these older stock? not functional during emergency braking?

Minutes after the stop of this passenger train a freight train passed on the adjacent tracks at speed, there was no warning provided to that train? No passenger trains followed it through the site of the incident, so why did it run through?

rolling stock across accident site

To take a colourful quote “technically this is just a disaster, when the [other train cashes] that will be a catastrophe”. Running a train at speed into an incident is how the large losses of life have occurred on passenger trains. This needs some serious attention from the appropriate safety bodies.

Passengers were not notified of what was occurring and minutes later a warning was provided over the intercom to remain in the carriages, immediate assistance was not sought and the police attended. Many passengers took the opportunity to jump from between the carriages to freedom, despite there being police officers in view (Melbournians do not fear enforcement) and the elevated tracks offering quite a substantial drop to the ground.

Approximately 1 hour after stopping the first passengers were readied to be “detrained” (this was the term used by the driver, alighted would perhaps have been more eloquent) from the front carriage working backwards. This announcement caused a mass rush of people to filter along the train attempting to get off quicker. The joke was on them as the “detraining” was suspended and plans were made to continue the journey leaving them standing pointlessly for 30 minutes.

The train was run to the next large station where reversing of trains could be easily co-ordinated and all the passengers were transferred to the station to wait for a replacement train to continue the journey, for a total delay of around 2 hours. Having spent around 3 hours in transit the station toilets were popular! The train involved in the collision then left at speed without passengers passing stabling yards so assumedly heading directly for a depot.

For bonus entertainment the myki automated ticketing system decided that I spent far too long on the train and I was charged a penally fare for overstaying the ticket period.

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