They desribe the incident on "what is thought to be an unmanned level crossing". I very much doubt it is connected to terrorism.
I believe the maximum line speed between Reading and Newbury is somewhere between 90mph and 125mph. The train involved is likely to be a HST '125' set or Adelante (class 180) multiple unit.
These early reports sound distubrbing. Let's hope it's not too nasty.
I've just been watching BBC News 24, they have people at the crash site on the telephone. It sounds awful, a witness described some of the carriages as "like a baguette when you twist it at each end, with the middle squashed up". It sounds like there are carriages spread all over the place, and the fire brigade say over 90 minutes after the incident there are still people trapped inside.
Bananaboy From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 1558 posts, RR: 25 Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1041 times:
My thoughts go to the families of those affected. And to think that there was a program on the BBC - "Whistleblower" that highlighted the gaps in the safety record of the railways. I know that this was a derailment due to a car on the line, but I wonder about the overall safety of the system at the moment, and the lack of accountability due to the fractured nature of the ownership of the railways.
All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
SQNo1 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 683 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 927 times:
My condolences go to those who have passed away, apart from the car driver. (He must go to hell). This train would have stopped at my local station and it is possible the driver was from devon, becuase it was terminating at Plymouth.
But once again the accident has been caused because car drivers are so impatiesnt and cant wait ONE BLOODY MINUTE for a train to pass.
Planespotterx From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 914 times:
To those who dont know were looking at the back of the train in the pic, the high speed trains we have in the UK are usually "coupled" up with a engine at the front and one at the rear, I believe the front engine was sadly overturned and destroyed 1/4 of a mile from where this pic is.
Also heard on the news today that vandals tried to derail a 180+ HST channel link in Kent, if thatd happened, god-knows..
777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 896 times:
It only took four replies for someone to question the safety of the system as a whole. It appears this was caused by a car on a level crossing, something that is almos impossible to avoid and bears no reflection on the overall safety of the system.
EGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12426 posts, RR: 40 Reply 15, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 872 times:
That is a pretty bad accident, much worse than was at first thought I expect. This isn't just a derailment, this is a full blown crash. My thoughts are with the victims, except the stupidity of the driver of the car. Why do I get the sneaky feeling he watched Final Destination one two many times? Unless he wished to kill the people in the train as well, it seems pretty futile to park your car in front of train travelling at 110mph and expect it to stay on the tracks.
Ltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 12365 posts, RR: 12 Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 854 times:
Here in the USA, there are a lot of situations of cars in level crossings are involved in collisions by trains, mostly freight trains but sometimes pax trains. I live near and cross 2 times a day a busy commuter and freight train line so I deeply respect them. One can easily go thorugh the 'gates' here. Often these people are trying to beat the trains, especially long freight trains before they pass and delay them. Far too often those idiots lose and get killed, get trains derailed, people are killed, the drivers of the trains if not killed, then severly traumaized (like an airplane pilot who survives a crash). Sometimes this involves one taking one own life. There have been a number of cases recently in the NYC area of people just jumping in front of an approaching train. It is unfortunate that those whom choose to take their life have to take others with them or traumaize many. These are people whom are quite mentaly ill and it is too bad they didn't get the help they needed or others around them notice their needs and help them.
Shamrock_747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 844 times:
These are people whom are quite mentally ill and it is too bad they didn't get the help they needed or others around them notice their needs and help them.
Absolutely. I don't like to hear people who commit suicide on the railways referred to as 'selfish' etc. They must be in such a terrible mental state to be able to see the train coming towards them at 100mph and not move out of the way.
If this horrific crash was caused by a driver trying to beat the train or a joyrider then I think it is right to be angry with them, though they have already received their punishment. If it was suicide then I feel sorry for the person, just as I do for the train driver and all the deceased pax. I'm sure a lot of people owe their lives to the outstanding engineering of the Mk3 carriage design.
As much as seeing that wrecked HST upsets me I think that suggestions of replacing every level crossing with a bridge or underpass are ridiculous. I'm not aware of any time a level crossing has 'failed' - similar incidents are to do with negligent driving or suicide. This was a motoring accident that turned into a tragic railway crash.
Qantas744 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 246 posts, RR: 5 Reply 18, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 822 times:
There is something significant about this picture that none of the news networks appear to be paying much attention to:
I mmediately to the rear of the power car is a set of points that lead to a loop for goods trains to use while awaiting the passage of faster trains, obviously the car caused the initial derailment but a minor derailment (and minor injuries) soon became something much worse when the train passed over these points and the wheelstes started veering in different directions.
It was a very similar situation at Selby 3 years ago, train hits car and derails slightly, train goes over a set of points and becomes completely derailed (although many of the deaths ocurred when the train was hit by a train going the other way.)
you can't buy time but you can sell your soul and the closest thing to heaven is to rock'n'roll
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11254 posts, RR: 63 Reply 19, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 777 times:
Qantas744 is right, although some of the wheels must have been derailed by the initial impact, they would have then run over the sleepers until meeting the set of points. The normal speed for that stretch of line is about 100mph, so as the front engine hit the frogs of the point it would have been thrown sharply to the left followed by the 8 carriges and rear engine.
Local news in the South West has been reporting that the deceased driver came from Exeter, whilst the train was based at Plymouth's Laira Depot.
It could be seen though as fortunate that the train left the tracks into a field and siding, otherwise on such a busy main line we could have an exact blueprint of the Selby Rail crash on our hands. Its worrying to know that only a few minutes later a Railtour with some 300 enthusiats onboard about a dozen 50-60 year old coaches was due to pass in the opposite direction.
Shamrock_747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 20, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 768 times:
I had no idea that there was a railtour in that area. Mk1s are known to over-ride each other in collision situations, I dread to think what would have happened had the train reached the de-railed HST. Thankfully I gather the guard placed a circuit-breaker on the up line very soon after the crash.
Qantas744 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 246 posts, RR: 5 Reply 22, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 752 times:
Irrespective of the situation on the train protection of the line is the first priority-for those who dont know all tracks have a small electric current running through them and when the circuit is broken it switches all signals to red. Track circuits are essentially a method of knowing where trains are which is why when a track circuit fails it means that signallers are not able to see on their monitors where trains are so everything has to stop and be passed from signal to signam on a manual basis. It also explains why you see a series of wires connecting rails at points where the rails join together.
you can't buy time but you can sell your soul and the closest thing to heaven is to rock'n'roll
BMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 62 Reply 23, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 751 times:
Thankfully I gather the guard placed a circuit-breaker on the up line very soon after the crash
Shamrock, that is correct. He would have placed what we call 'Track Curcuit Operating Clips' on both the 'up' and 'down' lines. These would indeed turn any signals 'in rear' to 'Danger' and hence bring any other approaching trains to a halt.
Eg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1829 posts, RR: 13 Reply 24, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 747 times:
Whilst the crash-worthiness of the Mark III carriages used in the HST system is excellent considering their design age, I think it's time to move to the French system of articulation, particularly in respect to high speed train construction.
For example, when TGVs (of which Eurostar is one) derail, the strength of the articulated system (where two carriages share a wheelset) keeps the carriage upright and in line with the track.
This Eurostar derailed at 290kph, or 180mph, and remained upright.
25 Qantas744: That Eurostar also hit a car, but didn't go over a set of points like the train on Saturday. Also, having a wheelset design like that causes all sorts
26 FLYtoEGCC: There is a lot of information, including some detailed reporting from a First employee, on http://www.railwayscene.co.uk/showthread.php?thread=605. Th