LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13695 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2395 times:
Some early news reports to the USA from comments by passangers is that this commuter type train seemed to be speeding to make up lost time, may have been going about 130 kmh (~78 mph) at the time of the accident. This accident occured just after the morning rush hour there and 12-13 hours later, they were still recoving injured and dead people. It death toll is about 57 now. It is believed the worse train accident in Japan in over 40 years. Executives of the involved railway have already given their initial condolences to the public, the dead and injured and have started an investigation.
Let us pray for the dead and injured.
57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2586 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2362 times:
It will be interesting to see what the speed of the train was compared to the calculated maximum safe speed for that section of the line. Train speed limits are governed by a number of factors, the main ones being signalling method and requirements for Automatic Train Control/Automatic Train Stop. More often than not, the speed limit set in the timetable is lower than the maximum safe speed. There have been cases where trains entered a section of track at or just above the maximum safe speed and derailed due to the engineer's application of the train brakes in an attempt to control the speed. Uneven braking can cause the weight loading to shift just enough to allow a wheel to mount the rail, especially in a curve. Once a wheel mounts the rail, its all over.
As for making time, that's pretty common in the transit industry. It is safe so long as the you know where you can safely do it and under what conditions. Back in the bad old days when the Railway Post Office rode the rails, an engineer who could not make up lost time was looked down upon by his peers and management. More importantly, for every 30 minutes the mail was delayed the railroad company was fined $100. The two most famous train wrecks in American railroad folklore-the Wreck of the Old 97 and Casey Jones were actual wrecks. Both occured in the early 1900s (1903 and 1900), both involved engineers who were regarded as fast runners (Joseph Broady and John Luther "Casey" Jones) and both involved mail trains that were running about an hour late. Broady tried to make up time in the wrong place, came down the hill at Danville, Virginia too fast and derailed on a curved trestle. The entire train crew as well as several Railway Post Office employees and one Railway Express employee perished in the wreck. Jones had made up all but two minutes of the lost time but rear ended a stalled freight train at Vaughn's Siding, Mississippi. Based on testimony from his surviving fireman, Sim Webb, Jones was running about 70 mph most of the trip and was probably at or just above 50 mph when he rear ended the freight train due to the damage that resulted. Back in that day, this accident would have been noteworthy but not uncommon.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14718 posts, RR: 62
Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2350 times:
According to Japanese sources quoted on German radio (WDR 5) yesterday, the speed limit for this stretch of track was 70 km/h. According to Japanese railway officials, to derail, the train must have had traveled with at least 133 km/h. At the previous stop, the engineer overshot his stopping point, an offense he got warned for a year before. It was said that the train had a delay of 1.5 minutes, which the driver wanted to catch up (in Japan the trains are usual puntual to the second). The engineer himself got badly injured in the accident.
Flybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1810 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 2338 times:
I've rode on the Japan Rail system in Tokyo last year and I could only say it was the cleanest, most efficient rail service I have ever encountered. You could practically set your watch to the arrivals. Plus for rush hour they have those gloved uniformed officers that give commuters that extra shove so they all fit on the train so the doors can close. Now that's what I call service.
In regards to this horrific accident it could be a combination of what LTBEWR said, a train trying to make up for lost time and an inexperienced operator. Right now he is in deep do-do if that's the case. He may have wished he died in the accident.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller