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-   -   Approaching the 20th Anniversary of Ladbroke Grove (https://www.railwayforum.net/showthread.php?t=16596)

Beeyar Wunby 27th September 2019 11:20

Approaching the 20th Anniversary of Ladbroke Grove
 
Wikipedia link here....Ladbroke Grove Rail Accident

Not something to celebrate I guess, but worth noting that here we are nearly 20 years on.

Not surprisingly, following the accident empty promises failed to deliver Automatic Train Protection on the grounds that it was not cost effective.

We did get the Train Protection and Warning System instead, which I've always maintained was a grandiose name for a Train Stop. It works well, but is only fitted at 'conflict points' such as junctions. Where I drive there are great long straights where it is still possible for a train to slam into the back of another one at up to 125 mph.

The main reason that we haven't had a 100% safe system is that we are (still) awaiting the introduction of the European Rail Traffic Management System. This isn't dependent on Brexit or otherwise, as it's just a technology that is available to buy, or invest in.

But....it's gonna cost megabucks, as it will ultimately involve the removal of signals and lineside boards, and bring all data and control into the cab. It wil save money in the long run as all signal boxes will hand over control to massive Rail Operating Centres (ROCs). Many signallers and support staff will lose their jobs, and I expect that eventually the trains will drive themselves for most of the time (like they already do in the Thameslink core).

This should bring a whole sea change of safety, but the cynic in me can't help but be rather wary. No two days on the railway are the same, and we're always dealing with situations that hadn't been anticipated.

Even if every one of millions of lines of computer code is error-free, how can a computer programmer ever foresee what may happen out on the iron road?

Alternatively, we might just not do it - because of the enormous cost, and prevarication is something that we're brilliant at.

This is just my 2p. Please feel free to add you ideas or opinions, I'd be glad to hear them.

Cheers, BW.

aussiesteve 28th September 2019 06:43

G'day BW,
There is a swag of material available about this prang at yer Accident Archive mob.
https://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/ev...hp?eventID=142
It does make for interesting reading.
It has also featured on the 30 seconds from disaster TV series.
Nothing is perfect.
There was a prang involving two suburban trains in Singapore (?) (from memory) that collided at a crossing loop.
That system was semi-autonomous controlled by computers.
Not ever event can be conceived or planned for.
I would much rather have some person perched up the front of a train controlling it rather than some computer.
Steve.


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