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RAIB investigating an incident on the RH&DR

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  #1  
Old 12th September 2019, 22:04
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RAIB investigating an incident on the RH&DR

An incident occurred on the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway in August, where 2 trains were allowed into a the single line section between New Romney & Romney Sands. A Hythe-Dungeness train and a Dungeness-Hythe train were approaching each other, stopping approx. 316 metres apart. The RAIB are investingating.

https://www.railadvent.co.uk/2019/09...h-railway.html

Tony


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  #2  
Old 15th September 2019, 17:00
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That's not good. At least they stopped well short of each other.

Despite previously living in Kent I never got to ride on the RH&DR.

Presumably the line speed is 25mph?

Do you know if the single line is controlled with tokens, or are trains signalled on and off?

Unauthorised entry onto a SL is about as serious an incident as it gets, but it will be interesting to see whether the cause is systemic, or human failng...or even both.

We await the Safety Digest which RAIB will issue in a few weeks.

Linky

Cheers, BW
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Old 15th September 2019, 20:10
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Hi BW,

The RHDR is limited to 25mph as a light railway & is only 15 inch gauge.

I don't know for certain about the signalling system, but I have seen the drivers collecting and surrendering tokens for the single line section between New Romney & Dungeness. They generally collect a token at New Romney to enter the single line section, then exchange with the passing train at Romney Sands before proceeding to Dungeness. They keep this token as the end of the line at Dungeness is a balloon loop and they return to New Romney having traversed the loop, exchanging the token again with the passing train at Romney Sands.

New Romney is fully signalled & controlled by New Romney signal box, so trains entering the single line section here are signalled into the section & they should be in possession of the token. I'm not sure about the remainder of the single line section - it is either controlled by New Romney 'box or it is purely automatic signals linked into the automatic level crossings.

As I'm not in the know, I wouldn't want to speculate further as to what may have gone wrong in this instance.

Tony

Last edited by TRP; 15th September 2019 at 20:19.
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Old 15th September 2019, 20:44
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Thanks for that Tony.

We'll just have to wait for the RAIB

Cheers, BW
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Old 16th September 2019, 05:15
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G'day Tony and BW,
Yer RAIB mob indicate that they will publish a Safety Digest regarding this incident.
I presume due to there being NO collision nor injury resulting from the safe working incident.
I remember an incident at Zig Zag where the soot belcher collided with a work train.
OTS&T being the safe working system employed.
The collision was only at slow speed resulting in only minor damage.
But, it was one of a number of infringements which ultimately resulted in the Rail Regulator kyboshing their operating licence.
Will hafta wait and see just what yer RAIB mob command.
Steve.
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Old 17th October 2019, 06:57
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Yer RAIB mob have published the incident safety notice.
https://assets.publishing.service.go...mney_Sands.pdf
Tablet tickets being then accessible without the tablet token on hand.
HMMMMM.
Our OTS&T system relies on a locked box in which the tickets are housed.
This box unlocked by the Staff which is a large key being inserted length-ways into the box.
So, without breaking open the box, it normally can only be opened when the Staff token is on hand.
The Rules are strict about keeping the ticket book in the locked box until being accessed for use and then returned.
But, nothing is perfect and accidents and "breaches of the safe working system" can occur.
Yer RH&D mob now requiring a locked box in which to house the tickets.
Steve.
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Old 17th October 2019, 18:33
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Interesting reading this from the RAIB. I wondered how they made the system work of 2 trains following each other on the single line section at the RHDR, but I can see how easy it would be to get it wrong too.
Hopefully this is now going to be a much more failsafe system.

Tony
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Old 18th October 2019, 06:08
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We also had the Notice of Train Ahead.
This form was issued to the crew of a second train when following the first into the section.
The first proceeding on the OTS&T Ticket, the second (if no more to follow) on the Staff.
Sectional running time was a factor in following train movements.
The following train was responsible for NOT running into the train ahead of it.
So, for long OTS&T sections, it was more preferable for the second train to wait before proceeding.
Then when the first train had reported the section clear at the staff station ahead, there was no need for the Notice of Train Ahead.
The second train could then travel at full sectional running speed.
Divisible ETS was another safeworking method for allowing following trains to enter the section.
The entire ETS token displayed to the first train, then unscrewed to be handed the Ticket portion.
The Staff portion held under lock and key until issued to the second train to enter the section.
The first train arriving handed up the Ticket portion was was then held under lock and key until the second train arrived and handed up the Staff portion.
The portions then screwed back together and sunk in the ETS instrument.
AH, bring back the good ole days.
The Train Orders that we got now, PHOOEY !
Steve.
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Old Yesterday, 15:54
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Only just seen this update.

As soon as I originally heard about this incident I was reminded of something I read as a kid in 'Red for Danger' - namely the Abermule collision.

Link here...Wiki

The similarity is where inexperienced ticketing staff are placed into the safety-critical signalling path.

Cheers, BW
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  #10  
Old Today, 05:09
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As they say after an airline prang, if some operational improvements occur as a result of the tragedy, then it is not all in vain.
I remember my initial railway safe working tuition many moons ago and how it was drummed into us to CHECK the tokens for single line sections before proceeding.
Mistakes can occur and the results be devastating.
Back in the days when multiple single line sections adjoined therefore there being different section tokens involved.
I also recollect some confusion expressed by train crew when we were inflicted with Train Orders.
With token working, we were used to proceeding into the location to the staff hut to perform the safe working.
But, with Train Orders, you could be authorized only to the Yard Limit Board, if not into that location.
There being TWO yard limit boards did confuse some blokes.
The arrival board and the departure board.
I shuddered at the implications should a crew mistakenly continue into the location to the departure board.
I enjoy reading accident investigation reports as they highlight the potential failures of a system when mistakes are made.
I have found the official Abermule collision report at yer Archive mob.
https://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/do...ermule1921.pdf
I presume that this is the accident BW mentioned.
I will peruse it later off line.
Steve.
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