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Author Topic: 23 dead in Italian railway crash - 12 July 2016  (Read 5682 times)
broadgage
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« on: July 12, 2016, 12:36:42 pm »

10 feared lost as two trains  collide on a single track railway.
Aerial pictures show several carriages substantially destroyed.

Very sad.

No news as yet re suspected cause of the tragedy.

(source is BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) news site, please be aware that this is a very early report and might later be found to be inaccurate.)
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
ChrisB
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2016, 01:28:59 pm »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36774059
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broadgage
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2016, 02:16:59 pm »

Death toll now reported as being 20
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
SandTEngineer
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2016, 05:21:53 pm »

Yes, very sad and disturbing.  Reminds me too much of Ladbroke Grove (which I missed by two trains worth).
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ChrisB
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2016, 08:41:58 pm »

Now 23....
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stuving
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2016, 08:56:22 pm »

I've now seen or heard it reported several times that there was no "automatic signalling" system on this line, and that safe operation of the single track section relies on telephone calls between adjacent stations. That might be a telegraphic interlock or token system, though none of the reports suggests that. That does seem a surprise, whatever you think about southern Italy, given that the line was built (in its current standard-gauge form) in 1965.

This Reuters report explains that EU» (European Union - about) funding has been available since 1999 to double this part of the line, but the Italian way of doing things has so far done nothing to claim it (you are allowed to be rude about that). So perhaps signalling upgrades were held up from well before that, while the project was being planned. Mind you, on other parts that have already been doubled, the signals do look a bit primitive - single aspect?
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2016, 08:01:05 am »

Common to many European countries the line is reported (BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)) to be Telephone Block which relies on operators reaching a complete understanding.  As this is subject to human frailty, it is destined to fail. Hence our various physical token systems which are harder to defeat. They are not though undefeatable as in the case of Abermule.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2016, 11:09:31 pm »

An update, from the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page):

Quote
Italy rail crash: Andria station master 'let crash train go'


The crash was Italy's worst rail disaster since 2009

A station master in southern Italy has admitted he allowed a train to go on a single track, minutes before a deadly collision with an oncoming train.

Twenty-three people died and 52 others were hurt in the head-on crash on a single track between Andria and Corato in the Apulia region on Tuesday.

"I let the train go, I was the one who gave the signal," Andria station master Vito Piccarreta told Italian media. But he was adamant he was not the only one at fault.

Mr Piccarreta, a railway employee with 24 years of service, was quoted by La Stampa and other newspapers as saying: "I'm not the only one at fault, everyone is blaming me. But I'm a victim too."



While he and the station master at Corato have both been suspended as part of an investigation into multiple manslaughter, local prosecutors are also looking into safety procedures on the single-track line and why the line had not been upgraded to a double track.

"The investigation will not only look into human error, we must examine all possibilities," said prosecutor Francesco Giannella.

The rail line north of Bari relies on an antiquated phone alert system dating back to the 1960s, in common with some 600km (370 miles) of regional track elsewhere in Italy, the government says. An estimated 2,700km of Italy's rail infrastructure remains single track.

An investigator told La Reppublica newspaper that the problem was not the single track but a control system that had been automated everywhere else. While the number of trains has increased in the Bari area, the system still relies on an outdated reliance on station masters and drivers.


The crash took place on one of Italy's many single-track lines, however most of them have upgraded safety systems

It has emerged that because rail services were late, three trains were travelling in the area at the time of the crash. Mr Piccarreta said he was unaware of the extra train travelling from Corato.

Although the bidding process to update the track and safety systems north of Bari is due to start shortly, millions of euros in EU» (European Union - about) funding allocated in 2009 to replace single-track lines has gone unspent. The company that runs the line north of Bari, Ferrotramviaria, has blamed Italian bureaucracy for the lack of progress.

Funerals for the victims of the disaster are due to begin taking place at the weekend. Among the victims were a mother and daughter found by rescuers beside the wrecked trains in the immediate aftermath of the crash.

The Andria rail crash was Italy's worst since a train carrying gas derailed in Viareggio in 2009, claiming the lives of more than 30 people who lived in the area.
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William Huskisson MP (Member of Parliament) was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
stuving
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2018, 11:37:24 pm »

The investigation into this accident reported in December 2017, and an English summary of the recommendations has been provided by RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) (in a summary of recent investigation reports).
Quote
At 11:05 (local time) on 12 July 2016, two passenger trains collided on a curve on the single line section between Andria and Corato, in Apulia, Italy.

Twenty-three people were killed (including one of the drivers and a person working in a nearby Olive Grove who was struck by debris); 50 people sustained major injuries.
Italy: Head-on collision near Andria

The trains involved were a service from Bari to Barletta (ET1016) and one travelling in the opposite direction, from Barletta to Bari (ET1021). They were travelling at speeds of up to 62 mph at the time of the incident.

The curve meant that neither driver had a chance to sight the other train or attempt an emergency brake application before the impact.

It was reported early on that the station master at Andria had admitted dispatching a train, allowing it onto the occupied single line, in error. The National Investigating Body corroborated that admission, adding that a third train - ET1642, running late from Corato to Andria and preceding ET1016 - had been confused with ET1016, causing said station master to assume the track between Andria and Corato was free of traffic once the late train had departed northbound for Barletta.
Recommendations

  •     The Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport should make the Italian legislation consistent with the European legislation with regard to the correct identification of functionally isolated networks in order to develop and improve the safety of the system in accordance with Directive 2004/49/EC.
  •     The Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport should ensure that accident reporting is extended to incidents – namely any event, other than an accident, which affects or may affect the safety of operation.
  •     The Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport should assess the advisability of reporting accidents and incidents, occurring in all public inland transport services, to an independent investigation body to allow, inter alia, the analysis of elements leading to serious accidents aimed at prevention.
  •     The Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport should make every effort to ensure that railway undertakings using the telephone blocking system verify that the Train Movement Regulation contains, in the case of one train following another, a direct control by third parties on the safety operation that must be carried out by the Local Traffic Manager to authorize the second train, by analogy with the control of the crossing trains which must be carried out by the on-board staff.
  •     The Italian National Safety Authority for Railways and the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport should make every effort to ensure the railway undertakings using the telephone blocking system verify that the filling out of the Movement Protocols is consistent with the actual situation of the rolling stock that the Local Traffic Manager is managing, avoiding the presence of blanks in the register ascribable to vehicles no longer present in the station.
  •     The Italian National Safety Authority for Railways should make every effort to ensure that the infrastructure manager adopts measures to prohibit access by third parties to premises intended for staff working in the Local Traffic Manager’s room.
  •     The Italian National Safety Authority for Railways and the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport should verify that both the infrastructure managers and the railway undertakings have adequate audit/inspection activities in place on safety critical staff, aimed at maintaining competences.

If you can cope with the original report, the ERA has a link to copy of it here.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2018, 09:38:23 am »

Thanks for posting that.  Is there anyway of converting an Italian PDF into an English one as I would like to have a read of the full report?
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stuving
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2018, 10:00:58 am »

Thanks for posting that.  Is there anyway of converting an Italian PDF into an English one as I would like to have a read of the full report?

You can try popping bits of text into something like Google Translate - but I find the result pretty wearing to read: it alters my comment above to "if you can cope with a machine translation".

There are several claimed online document translators, some of them free. I just tried onlinedoctranslator.com, and the result is a lot better than Google's efforts. Obviously it still takes a lot of interpreting, for example in the meaning of technical terms, but it does not look impossible. NOTE: Malwarebytes detected an attempt to download "malware", and stopped it - always an issue with something that looks helpful and is free.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2018, 10:54:37 am »

Thanks again, STUVING.  I'll give it a try.
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