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aussiesteve 23rd June 2021 04:47

fatal collision in Queensland
Our ATSB is investigating a collision between a light engine and coal train.
The light engine was being utilized for driver training.
The light engine collided with the rear of a coal train at Westwood loop.
This being in the Rockhampton region of Queensland.
The light engine was being operated long hood leading.
One of the three occupants of the light engine was fatally injured, another seriously.
The collision impact damaging five coal hoppers on the stationary train.
I am not sure if this region is signalled or worked under DTC safeworking.
But, regardless, it highlights the reduced vision afforded when running long hood leading.
The light engine movement is identified as 2471.
This is probably the class of the locomotive, being a 1980 built EMD GL22C-2.
The 2470 class were converted to Driver Only Operation.
This probably involved the removal of the second control stand.
Driver Only designated locos NOT permitted to work long hood leading unless a second person rode in the cab.
Three crew were in the cab of this incident.
A tragic incident.

aussiesteve 23rd June 2021 04:59

PS, just found the Aurizon safe working pack for the Blackwater district.
The line is worked under RCS (remote control signalling).

Beeyar Wunby 23rd June 2021 13:24

Thanks for that Steve. A very sad outcome.

Wonkypedia page for the EMD loco at....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMD_G22C_Series

aussiesteve 24th June 2021 09:00

G'day BW,
I am only guessing at the loco class, as being the train number identity stated.
I am not sure how the QR mob identify Light Engine movements.
But, the number stated could refer to a specific locomotive.
Most of the QR weasel motive power are hood units.
Another facet that always intrigued me, the driver generally squats on the right hand side of the cab.
Whereas on double track, train running is left hand and consequently signals placed generally on the left had side.
DOO (driver only operation) did require some alterations to hood units.
Including having the high nose chopped for forward vision.
The Westwood Loop is also an interesting design.
A central loop positioned between the two running roads Down and UP direction.
I am eager to espy the signalling arrangement for this loop.
Will just hafta await the ATSB final report to detail just what transpired.

aussiesteve 15th September 2021 04:46

Our ATSB mob have published the preliminary report into this prang.
It seems to be a result of a couple of factors.
Track work, Long Hood running, inexperience and speeding, plus NCO setting the points providing the collision path.

Beeyar Wunby 15th September 2021 13:58

Thanks for that Steve.

Just had another look at the report.

Looks like the "Swiss Cheese Effect" may have happened here. Lots of small variables all lining up. For example

"The co-driver’s seat was rotated 180⁰. The co-driver was relied upon to convey observations to the driver because the driver’s view was obscured on the right side of the locomotive. When the co-driver was positioned this way, they could no longer reliably operate the emergency brake valve without moving from their seat."


"On LET0, the tutor driver’s temporary seat was positioned as shown in Figure 9. They were facing rearward in relation to the direction of travel and had no forward view."

Just as a question Steve, do those locos slide much if you drop the handle when they're running light engine?

Hope yer keeping safe and the weather is improving, best wishes John.

aussiesteve 16th September 2021 03:34

G'day BW,
Yes, the removal of the second control stand (for long hood leading operation) does impose operational constraints.
All QR D suffix (Driver Only Operation) would only have the single control stand.
The second control stand was removed to improve cab conditions for the crew.
And naturally to save maintenance costs.
This imposing a requirement that long hood leading is ONLY permitted for light engine movements or during an emergency.
Rotating the seat sideways to provide rearward view for long hood leading is NOT a desirable facet in my opinion.
Thankfully, the only period of my footplate career where I had to operate a DOO loco occasionally in reverse was down in Tassie.
And, that was ONLY for brief shunting operations within a yard.
Hence slow speed and I had a rail operator on the ground controlling the movement by two way radio.
So, NO rotating of the seat.
I stuck me head out the side window to espy the situation.
I did hafta go LE along the suburban a couple of times to swing locos on the Bridgewater Junction triangle.
When there was only the single DOO unit in the consist of weasels having worked the southbound.
But, that was still performed with the nonDOO loco facing forward and a rail operator rode with me to assist with track vision.
NonDOO locos having limited track view due to the high nose.
I am not sure what you mean by DROPPING the handle.
I presume that you are referring to a Dead Man control ?
Dead Man control is not a facet of many Aussie weasels.
The Vigilance system being the main safety system on weasels.
Hitting emergency with the brake valve can result in the wheels locking up and the loco sliding on wet rails.
The ONLY QR style weasels that I worked were the ones down in Tassie.
Being narrow gauge, the loco weight to centre of gravity is a tad different to what I was accustomed to in NSW.
The stopping distance of any weasel is dependent upon the number of brake blocks per wheel and the maximum Brake Cylinder pressure applied.
Plus, the rail conditions etc.
Most older NSW weasels had two brake blocks applied to each wheel.
More modern weasels only have a single brake block per wheel.
That to reduce the potential lockup in emergency and loco slkidding.
But, it results in the inability of the loco to hold a train stationary on a grade.
The train brakes must also be applied to hold it stationary.
With the max Tassiewegian track speed on the South Line being 60 kph, and there was not much of that, it was generally the down hill sections that posed the big challenge for stopping in a hurry.

aussiesteve 16th September 2021 03:43

PS, Still in lockdown here.
Yes, the weather is improving AT LONG LAST.
But, no where to go with the 5 km from home restriction.
And, only five legal reasons to exit the hovel.
NSW is copping the plague bad.
But, we are probably still better off than are many other countries.
Went for a 6 km jog last friday.
Was I peeved.
A rail set was parked here and the pair of vintage weasels, GM27 (nose job) and 44205 old shoebox Aussie Alco.
A bonzer cloudless sunny day.
NO I didn't sneak back with the camera, taking photos is not one of the five reasons to exit the hovel.
And as things deteriorate in NSW, people are dobbing in wrong doers.
Just gotta hope that this nightmare is over by Xmas.
Cabin fever Steve.

Beeyar Wunby 16th September 2021 08:09

Thanks CFsteve, I'd kinda forgotten how crappy Lockdown is. The brain is quick to throw out things it doesn't like (well at least mine does).

I really just meant - do the locos slide badly when you're light engine and go into emergency braking?

Sorry for the slang. It's an expression I picked up from being trained on the South Eastern region. All the instructors there had learned on the first units to be fitted with EP (electro-pneumatic) brakes. Back in those days you had to keep the big clunky power handle pushed fully down all the time you were in gear. If you relaxed and let it up, it dumped the brake pipe and operated full emergency braking.

This made you adopt a hunched position, leaning over the desk and forcing weight onto your wrist all the time. It was a horrible arrangement and I would imagine that drivers who spent a career on them may have suffered from RSI in later life.

I'm sure you must have driven trains like that.

Although train spotters here call it a "Deadman's handle", I've never heard a UK mainline driver call it that - sounds like another piece of b/s that comes from the Land of Strangled English.

In any case if they must give it a histrionic name, it should be called the "Dead-Knackered Man's Handle", because that's really what it's for.

So, the expression came about because there were no Big Red Buttons in those days. If you wanted to stop the train, all you had to do was let go of (drop) the power handle.

I only ever drove one unit like that (during training), and I should imagine the passengers must have thought they had the Village Idiot up front as I came up in a heap quite a few times.

Certainly made me appreciate having a DSD pedal in more modern trains. I always told my trainees about that when they moaned about having aching calves from holding it down. "You kids don't know lucky you are, blahblahblah....." :rolleyes:

Anyhow, that's a long answer to a short question.

Keep yer pecker up mate...... John.

aussiesteve 17th September 2021 02:49

G'day BW,
No woodpeckers here, been too cold.
HA !
Got some magpies, magpie larks, red wattle birds, crested pigeons, starlings and a few black birds outside.
Plus, one grotty grey quarrian inside the hovel.
And, is that grotty grey annoying me during lockdown.
He has not seen me so much ever before, and will probably go berserk when again left home alone.
We are promised some freedoms when reaching 70 % double jabbed, and yet more when 80 % double jabbed.
I have been double jabbed since august 1st., but the general jab rollout has been rather lethargic.
And sadly, people are dropping like flies now, mostly them who are unjabbed or with medical complications.
All of the NSWR emu trains have a deadman control, plus some dmu trains.
That being incorporated into the master controller handle.
The original versions requiring the motorman to hold down the master controller while in gear and powering.
So, YES yer right arm biceps did get bulky from holding down the master controller, even while coasting.
The more creative motorman discovering that plonking yer work bag over the handle sufficed.
Naturally, IMMEDIATE termination of employment resulted if caught doing this.
But, YES in an emergency just let go of the master controller and the air dumps creating an emergency brake application.
Later versions have the combination of the T bar twist throttle and also the foot pedal.
Choosing one or the other to work the deadman control.
Maintaining the foot pedal pressure while rattling along on rough track can be a challenge.
Press down too hard or get bounced upwards and loose pressure both resulting in the air dumping.
The twist T bar throttle was even worse and resulted in RSI injury.
I had played with the Tangarbage sets featuring the T bar throttle.
And yes, becoming a PAIN after a while to keep hold of, even while coasting.
The T bar handle needing to be twisted and held horizontal to maintain the deadman control.
But, this became a drama with the Waterfall prang in 2003.
The motorman suffered a heart attack and collapsed over the control desk.
He had been holding the T bar throttle in fourth notch full power to get up speed departing the station.
Collapsing over it forcing it to remain in power and the T bar horizontal.
The train continued to accelerate until it hit a 50 kph curve and went bush.
Back during the good ole days a motorman was caught wrapping a thick rubber band around the T bar.
Connected to the reverser lever to maintain the T bar horizontal allowing him to let it go.
He didn't like the foot pedal.
He was most peeved when given the DCM.
I just glared at him gobsmacked.
The deadman control is there not only to save the cattle, but ALSO the motorman from destruction.
Modern emu and dmu have both the deadman and vigilance systems.
The vigilance system permitting release of the deadman during the vigo cycling period if coasting.
As far as I am aware, the only weasels here in NSW that featured a deadman was the Silverton mob.
That comprised a foot pedal necessitating depression while ever in gear and motion.
Reminds me of that Hollywood flick Silver Streak.
The hogger attempts to jump out of the cab and is shot by the badie.
He then puts the hoggers work bag on the deadman foot pedal to keep it depressed the the F units powering.
The train ending up slamming into the terminal station and the F units jumping up onto the concourse.
WHACKO, now that is the kinda excitement that the newbie SBS docco Sydney Central Station needs.

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