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Author Topic: Horses electrocuted on French railway line  (Read 1259 times)
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« on: September 19, 2021, 04:50:58 pm »

Midi Libre newspaper reports today that two horses have been electrocuted on the famous Ligne Jaune line in the French Pyrenees. Both succumbed to their injuries. Reasons for this unusual incident are under investigation.
Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2021, 08:08:07 pm »

Medium to well done avec frites se vows plait.
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2021, 09:15:41 pm »

Medium to well done avec frites se vows plait.

The humour is almost as poor as the French  Sad
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2021, 06:35:34 am »

Picture unstaffed stations with track level platforms and level foot crossings between the 850V third rail (supplied by hydroelectricity). Also open carriages on nice days, rather like the 1840's GWR (Great Western Railway) third class. Who needs central locking?

As Mr Punch would say, "That's the way to do it!"

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The future is 25000 Volts AC 750V DC has its place

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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2021, 07:19:04 am »

Electrocution is a very well know hazard for large four legged animals such as cattle and horses like this incident in 2011 at Newbury Race Course

and that was only, if I remember correctly a 400 Volt cable fault, with a max of 230V to earth.

'Step potential' is the problem for these animals, the distance between front and hind legs means if there is electric current flowing through the earth the animal is stood on the electrical resistance of the animal will mean some current will flow through the animal which will effect the heart, diaphragm and nervous system

In the UK (United Kingdom) bridges over 25kV electrified lines will often have concrete apron leading up to the bridge and may have addition earthing measure to reduce the step potential, there can be problems in third rail area as well.

Be interesting to see if it is 'step potential' that was the issue Ligne Jaune line incident.


Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.     
Dwight D. Eisenhower
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2021, 10:18:02 am »

Be interesting to see if it is 'step potential' that was the issue Ligne Jaune line incident.

It's more likely they stood on the third rail, or one did and the other ran the wrong way. This line and the St Gervais-Vallorcine one (via Chamonix) are both 850V third rail and run mostly in mountainous terrain where the line is unfenced. Even where it is fenced, it's often only a token effort. The two Google Earth views, of the outskirts of Chamonix and a Pyrennean valley (where there's a bit of a pixel shortage), show how accessible the track is. Stations improved more recently may have better fencing, but still have a foot crossing to the platform.

Both lines rely on protecting only those places where people can get at the line, and at stations use wooden planks as well. On St Gervais-Vallorcine the planks are above the rail and wider, on the Ligne de Cerdagne they are on both sides and only a little taller. There was a case not long ago on the Ligne de Cerdagne of a child touching the rail and getting burnt, but not seriously hurt (so presumably the leg that touched was stood on the ground at the time). This was at a point where an unofficial footpath had been made to get to an (equally off-limits) open-air hot water pool made suddenly well-known by social media. The local "public outrage" following called mainly for fencing (railway or pool), a new footpath, or closing the parking on the main road nearby.

That said, I could find only one recent report of a human fatality, so presumably this approach is quite effective.
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