Various railway discussions, serious and lighthearted.

Our transport is heavily oil-based. What are the alternatives?

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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

Some of the suicides may have been accidents.

That still leaves 36 dead at least in one year. Small compared to roads, but these ARE accidental deaths.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

PS_RalphW wrote:Some of the suicides may have been accidents.

That still leaves 36 dead at least in one year. Small compared to roads, but these ARE accidental deaths.
Yes, and I have edited my post to reflect this.
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kenneal - lagger
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Among the passengers who have died on the railways are a number who have been killed as a result of people committing suicide on the railways. The Upton Nervet rail crash, for instance, was caused by someone committing suicide by parking his car on a level crossing in the path of an on coming train.
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BritDownUnder
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Post by BritDownUnder »

Two points I can make.

One, I think that the Japanese bullet train has had no passenger deaths due to train crashes in its 40 plus years of operation. There may be good reasons for this such as purpose built track, maybe no level crossings and typical Japanese efficiency and attention to detail.

Two. Road trains are common in outback Australia, consisting of a truck tractor unit and three or four trailers hitched onto the back. In my opinion the final trailer in the train is always very unstable and has a tendency to 'flick' out in to oncoming traffic if the driver of the road train makes a sudden adjustment - such as avoiding an inattentive motorist coming the other way. The final trailer will move out of line much greater than in the initial adjustment made by the leading tractor truck unit.
Any passenger in that final trailer will be rather wishing they had walked.
Road Trains are banned from all Australian cities except the outskirts of Adelaide and Darwin- there are signs telling you where they cannot go.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

kenneal - lagger wrote:Among the passengers who have died on the railways are a number who have been killed as a result of people committing suicide on the railways. The Upton Nervet rail crash, for instance, was caused by someone committing suicide by parking his car on a level crossing in the path of an on coming train.
The lives lost on the train at Ufton Nervet would indeed be counted as passenger fatalities on the railway.
The fact that the accident was caused by a suicide, doe not alter the fact that was counted as a railway accident.
It was however about 15 years ago, so not exactly recent.

BTW escape from the wrecked train was somewhat aided by the provision of emergency chemical light sticks.
Provision of these was suggested by myself to First Great Western after an earlier accident from which escape was impeded by complete darkness.

The light sticks are placed at each end of each coach, in wall mounted holders with a tamper evident seal. They can not be removed without activation, thereby discouraging theft for use later.
The holders are luminescent to facilitate location in the dark.
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cubes
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Post by cubes »

Interesting and good idea.
woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

Thanks for the suggestion Adam, just ordered some of those off ebay. Less than 40p each for a 12 hour light.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

woodburner wrote:Thanks for the suggestion Adam, just ordered some of those off ebay. Less than 40p each for a 12 hour light.
These glow sticks can be most useful.
They are arguably the safest artificial light available and may be used in close proximity to petrol, gas leaks or explosives.
Totally waterproof, even work under water.
Also extremely simple to use, and cheap enough to give one each to a crowd in an emergency.

The 12 hour light sticks have a very limited output and are more suitable as markers than for lighting a room. With dark adapted eyes they will light a room just sufficiently for safe movement.
The shorter duration glow sticks are brighter.
All types are temperature dependant, brighter in warm conditions but with a longer run time if cold.
An ultrabright 5 minute orange glow stick is available and promoted as a safer alternative to flares in case of emergency at sea.

The ones carried on the trains are IIRC of one hour duration and therefore much brighter than the 12 hour types.

On trains the glow sticks are kept in tamper evident boxes to deter misuse, Pulling the box open breaks a seal and activates the two glow sticks contained therein.
They may be left in situ to light the surroundings, or removed to facilitate escape, or the provision of first aid treatment.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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