Australia Driver of derailed train tried for six minutes to alert authorities

01:11  17 may  2018
01:11  17 may  2018 Source:   9news.com.au

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Earlier, a federal official briefed on the crash said that six people had been killed. The train derailed where the track curved onto the bridge across Interstate 5. The State Transportation Department had Witnesses told of drivers leaving their vehicles on the highway to help pull people from the wreckage.

Alerts . Sunday Morning. Almanac: Remembering the king of movie trailers. 60 Minutes Overtime. Authorities said the derailed train cars struck five motor vehicles and two semi-trucks on the highway. Multiple motorists were reported injured on the roadway; however, no fatalities among drivers have been reported at this time.

A “decline” in maintenance on Melbourne’s metropolitan rail network has been blamed for the derailment of a Metro train in 2016.

The incident near Rushall Station left one passenger with minor injuries but a report, released yesterday by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, found it could have been far worse.

“There was the potential for more serious consequences had a train from the opposite direction been passing at the time,” the report said.

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On December 18, 2017, Amtrak Cascades passenger train 501 derailed near DuPont, Washington, United States. It was the inaugural run on the Point Defiance Bypass, a new passenger rail route south of Tacoma, Washington.

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Despite the derailed carriage blocking the opposite track, it took network controllers seven minutes to bring oncoming trains to a halt.

The driver had tried unsuccessfully to use the train radio to contact Metro Trains Melbourne and eventually managed to report the incident using a company-issued mobile phone, six minutes after the incident occurred.

It took another minute before approaching trains could be halted.

The ATSB found the train was operating within the speed limit when it derailed, saying the main factors contributing to the accident were the high co-efficient of friction between wheel and rail and the geometry of a rail joint.

Both the train’s wheels and the rail had low levels of lubrication, which the ATSB found was “probably the result of a decline in lubricator maintenance”.

“Rail lubricator maintenance was being transferred from contractors to Metro Trains Melbourne staff and this transition was not adequately managed,” it said.

Metro Director of Assets and Systems Paul O’Hallaran said the operator had since made changes to procedures and moved to enhance driver training.

“Safety is our absolute priority,” he said.

“We accept all of the report’s findings and have already implemented measures to further improve safety.”

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