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Author Topic: Train fire near Llanelli - late on 26th August 2020  (Read 12330 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2020, 09:11:56 pm »


"Criminal Activity" covers a multitude of sins (literally).   I would agree that the extreme of an attack with terrorist elements (attempts to terrorise or fighten) would be that much more likely on a fuel train than an aggregate one (but I can think of types of train more at risk, but more protected at their yards and depots.   But criminal activities also includes the "yob" elements - the dumping of a shopping trolley on the track which could (until the BTP (British Transport Police) excluded it) have been smashed when the locomotive hit it, and thrown up a metal shard which wedged a wheel set a couple of wagons down; such would likely be a concern irrespective of the type of train.   It could also be ... but, no, I won't go  on listing things in public ...

It could have been criminal negligence by NR» (Network Rail - home page) or a contractor too, so I am assuming that has been ruled out.
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« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2020, 07:01:09 am »


"Criminal Activity" covers a multitude of sins (literally).   I would agree that the extreme of an attack with terrorist elements (attempts to terrorise or fighten) would be that much more likely on a fuel train than an aggregate one (but I can think of types of train more at risk, but more protected at their yards and depots.   But criminal activities also includes the "yob" elements - the dumping of a shopping trolley on the track which could (until the BTP (British Transport Police) excluded it) have been smashed when the locomotive hit it, and thrown up a metal shard which wedged a wheel set a couple of wagons down; such would likely be a concern irrespective of the type of train.   It could also be ... but, no, I won't go  on listing things in public ...

It could have been criminal negligence by NR» (Network Rail - home page) or a contractor too, so I am assuming that has been ruled out.

BTP will maintain close links with the ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about) during the investigation

Negligence is investigated by the ORR, who are PACE» (Police & Criminal Evidence Act - about) trained, have powers under the H&S (Health and Safety) at Work Act etc to bring prosecutions through the CPS.  If it was Gross Negligence on the part of an individual(s) the ORR would then bring BTP back into the investigation, any prosecution taken forward by either the ORR and or BTP would be the one(s) which the CPS meet the public interest and stand the strongest chance of success.

BTP will maintain close links with the ORR during the investigation

   
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« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2020, 03:54:00 pm »

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/derailment-and-fire-involving-a-tanker-train-at-llangennech-updated-21092020

Quote
Derailment and fire involving a tanker train at Llangennech - updated 21/09/2020

Investigation into the derailment and fire involving a tanker train at Llangennech, Carmarthenshire, 26 August 2020.

At about 23:15 hrs on 26 August 2020, train 6A11, the 21:52 hrs freight service from Robeston (Milford Haven) to Theale, conveying 25 tank wagons, each containing up to 75.5 tonnes of diesel or gas oil, derailed on the ?Up District? line near Llangennech, in Carmarthenshire. The derailment and the subsequent damage to the wagons resulted in a significant spillage of fuel and a major fire. The driver, who was unhurt, reported the accident to the signaller. Subsequent examination of the site revealed that a total of 10 wagons (positioned 3rd to 12th in the train) had derailed, and that around 330,000 litres of fuel had been spilt.

The fire was tackled by the fire service, who ordered the evacuation of local residents due to concerns for their safety. Local people have reported seeing a plume of flames and smoke, and the strong smell of fuel.

RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch)?s preliminary examination found that, although all the wheels of the train were probably rotating freely when the train left Robeston, at some point during the journey the brakes on all wheels of the third wagon of the train had become applied, and remained so until the derailment. While three of the four axles of this wagon continued to turn, although their brakes were dragging, the leading axle ceased to rotate altogether, and consequently a flat spot around 230 mm long developed on each of the wheels on this axle. There was a substantial ?false flange? (a raised lip on the outer side of the wheel tread) associated with these flat spots.

When the train reached the crossover at Morlais Junction, travelling at about 30 mph (48 km/h), the false flange on the right-hand wheel caught on the converging stock rail and distorted the track, leading to derailment of both wheels. Around one hundred metres further on, the partly derailed wagon encountered facing points set to route the train to the right. The locomotive and the two leading wagons went to the right and the derailed third wagon went straight ahead. The third wagon turned over onto its right-hand side and became detached from the wagon in front of it. This caused the points and the track beyond them to be destroyed, and derailment of another nine wagons followed.

The train brakes came on when the brake pipes between the wagons parted in the derailment. The locomotive and the first two wagons came to a stop about 180 metres away from the third wagon. The train driver looked back and saw that a fire had started in the wreckage. He uncoupled the locomotive from the first wagon and drove it around 400 metres away from the train.

Our investigation will identify the sequence of events and consider:

why the brakes on the third wagon became and remained applied
whether any other factors contributed to the derailment
how the derailment led to the fuel spillage and fire
the maintenance history of the third wagon
any underlying factors
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« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2020, 08:59:54 am »

Urgent Safety Advice has been issued ((here)) by the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) ...

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1. Safety issue

Suitable processes, facilities, tools and equipment may not be in place to prevent safety critical system components becoming unsafe due to insecure fastenings.

A long piece ... and reference back to the accident in August ...

Quote
Examination of the brake group on the third wagon (TEA wagon GERS89005) found that the relay valve was loose on the pipe bracket. A sealing ring from one of the ports in the mating face had migrated to a position where it lodged between two other ports, distorted the sealing rings of those ports, and probably created a route for air to pass directly from the auxiliary reservoir to the wagon brake cylinder. This would have had the effect of applying the brakes on the wagon, producing the result described above.

The ECM for the wagon was unable to identify with any degree of certainty where and when the fastenings of the relay valve had last been disturbed. However, this may have taken place during routine repairs in the sidings at Robeston terminal or during scheduled maintenance elsewhere. There was no record of any check on the tightness of the fastenings ever having been made, and no process requiring such checks or provision of any measures, such as witness markings, which would have indicated that fastenings were becoming loose.
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« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2020, 08:21:53 am »

From Ground Engineering

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Three months on from the Llangennech freight train fire, remediation work to remove and replace 12,000m3 of diesel contaminated soil around the site has begun.

[snip - technical details]

Network Rail Wales route director Bill Kelly said: "We understand that the temporary closure of the railway line in Llangennech is a big inconvenience for local businesses, public travel and tourism but our teams are working extremely hard to get the line back up and running as soon as possible."
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« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2021, 06:24:45 am »

Update - from TfW's Journeycheck - "disruption" expected until March.   For members who do not speak Welsh, "disruption" translates to "no trains at all" in English  Cheesy Cheesy

Quote
Due to urgent repairs to the track between Llanelli and Llanwrtyd the single line line is closed.

Impact

Train services running through these stations will be cancelled or suspended between Swansea and Llanwrtyd. All stations between Swansea and Llanwrtyd will not be served. Disruption is expected until 23:59 05/03.

Customer Advice

Due to the major incident on 26 August 2020 (involving a derailed freight train and subsequent fire) at Llangennech, Heart of Wales train services remain unable to run between Swansea/Llanelli and Llandrindod. [etc]
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« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2021, 07:22:24 pm »

From the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)

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Llangennech oil spill: Clean-up is 'biggest challenge since the Sea Empress'

The ongoing clean-up of a diesel spill after a train derailment has been called "the most challenging recovery operation" in 25 years.

A freight train pulling 25 wagons, each containing up to 100,000 litres of diesel, derailed and spilled into the Loughor Estuary at Llangennech, near Llanelli, in August.

Natural Resources Wales compared it to the Sea Empress disaster in 1996.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch is investigating the derailment.

In the past two months, around 30,000 tonnes of contaminated soil has been removed from the site.

Incident recovery manager Stuart Thomas, of Natural Resources Wales, said: "This is the most challenging recovery operation we've seen since Pembrokeshire's Sea Empress disaster 25 years ago".
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« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2021, 02:53:32 pm »

From Iowa - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-us-canada-57145192 - what looks like a similarly dire accident in terms of destruction, and perhaps pollution too.
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« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2022, 06:44:56 pm »

RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) have released their final report into this accident.

It is long and detailed, starting with a nuts and bolts (and washers and O-rings) description of how the brakes on one wagon came on and one wheelset seized and then derailed. Tracing who did - or rather didn't - do what to maintain the wagon in a safe state occupies much of the rest of it.

Hard to summarise, but this is one of many places in the railways (or other places) that workers doing little-regarded jobs like maintaining goods wagons need to get it right or stuff like this happens. And that comes down to management, inspection, rules and regulation, certification, and all that. No-one involved in that comes out looking good, not even ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about).
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« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2022, 07:14:11 pm »

RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) have released their final report into this accident.

It is long and detailed, ...

90 pages, and 9 recommendations - hard work and complex stuff. I have added a copy to the "deep search" mirror so the report'll be suggested if members look for a term like "false flange" ...
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« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2022, 08:51:32 am »

RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) have released their final report into this accident.
.......
Hard to summarise, but this is one of many places in the railways (or other places) that workers doing little-regarded jobs like maintaining goods wagons need to get it right or stuff like this happens. And that comes down to management, inspection, rules and regulation, certification, and all that. No-one involved in that comes out looking good, not even ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about).

I noticed they seemed to have given the driver a grilling, but he came out intact!  Must have been difficult for him, especially as he uncoupled the first two wagons & drove away to safety.
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« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2022, 09:52:49 am »

RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) have released their final report into this accident.
.......
Hard to summarise, but this is one of many places in the railways (or other places) that workers doing little-regarded jobs like maintaining goods wagons need to get it right or stuff like this happens. And that comes down to management, inspection, rules and regulation, certification, and all that. No-one involved in that comes out looking good, not even ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about).

I noticed they seemed to have given the driver a grilling, but he came out intact!  Must have been difficult for him, especially as he uncoupled the first two wagons & drove away to safety.

I'm puzzled where you see that. The only critical comments on the driver's actions are about the brake pipe overcharge, which was not completed by the book. The main observation is that this could have caused brakes to drag, but since in this case it did not they so not draw any conclusions from it. As I read it, leaving the brake pipe overcharged was a serious mistake, and RAIB may well have passed comments on it back to this FOC (Freight Operating Company) and others, and to RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board), without putting it in this report.

According to the report the locomotive and two wagons separated in the accident and braked to a stand 180 m away. The driver supposedly then moved those two wagons to 400 m away, but that doesn't match what I thought at the time. Looking at the overhead video (still on youtube), I can see why - the two wagons, without locomotive, are within 200 m of the nearest capsized wagon.

So, not for the first time, RAIB appear to have got a bit of their narrative report wrong. I think this comes down this being not important to them: it didn't affect the accident or its consequences. I guess the driver uncoupled and moved the locomotive from the first halt, but may have gone back and collected those two wagons a bit later when asked to by the emergency services. It's hard otherwise to see why they would be moved, but then left relatively close.
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