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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » International » German Head On Collision - Fatalities

   
Author Topic: German Head On Collision - Fatalities
Gilbert B Norman
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CNN reports that there was a head-on collision between two passenger trains in Bavaria - a German state extending South and East from Munich:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/09/europe/germany-train-collision/index.html

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  • (CNN)—Nine people are dead, two are assumed missing and 50 seriously injured after a head-on collision between two trains in Germany's southern state of Bavaria, police said Tuesday.

    Altogether, 100 to 150 people suffered injuries in the collision, police say. They estimate there were about 150 passengers on board the two trains.

    The crash occurred shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday local time near the spa town of Bad Aibling, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of the Bavarian capital of Munich.

Posts: 9390 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vincent206
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From the pictures on CNN it looks like a collision between 2 DMUs.
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Gilbert B Norman
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There are further reports that both trains were operated by Meridian, which is a private sector concern that operates throughout Bavaria over the publicly owned ROW:

https://sinfin.net/railways/world/germany/regional.html

The company has a limited web presence; here is more information appearing at another site:

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?17,3276121

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PullmanCo
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I had to go check googlemaps imagery to remember. The Munich-Salzburg line is a rare exception in Germany, it's largely single track.

That's a line just about every US veteran knows, it's the route to Oberammergau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

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The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

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PullmanCo
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Modern version of Germany's standard local car, even if it's DMU.

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The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

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Gilbert B Norman
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The line in question is electrified; have ridden it Munich-Salzburg four times in the past two years:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbszkL0VX-4

This 40 second Reuters (courtesy of The New York Times) video shows enough of the cars to establish they are EMU's, vice DMU's:

Reuters

I've ridden more DB and OBB than I have Amtrak of late.

Don't know if I'm going again this summer; even if it only costs United a third of what it did two years ago to gas up its 777, they still want $700 more than they did back then (Lufthansa? same fare as they and United code-share).

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Gilbert B Norman
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The BEEB seems to have the most extensive English language coverage of the incident; including this link describing who owns what, who runs what, of the German rail system. Other related material is also linked within the report.
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notelvis
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Rode over that point on the DB three times in 2014. Not aboard any of the Meridian trains.

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David Pressley

Advocating for passenger trains since 1973!

Climbing toward 5,000 posts like the Southwest Chief ascending Raton Pass. Cautiously, not nearly as fast as in the old days, and hoping to avoid premature reroutes.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Here is much more about Transdev, formerly known as Veolia.

It is a French concern that operates passenger rail systems worldwide. In the US, they operate both Tri-Rail and the MBTA - the latter "uh, not exactly" known for exemplary service.

Ever used Super Shuttle airport transfer? Well, you've used Transdev.

http://www.transdev.com/en/multi-modal-offer/transport-modes/rail.htm

I rode one of their EMU trains Salzburg to Munich-East during July '14. I've never seen such little differentiation between Second and First classes; well, maybe the Paris Metro when that had two classes.

Finally, here is more BBC reporting of the incident:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35539089

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George Harris
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I remain convinced that all the "lights, bells, and whistles" you can dream up can still be failures when enough overconfidence and stupidity are involved. Suspect that will be what is found out here.
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Gilbert B Norman
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It appears this incident is a replay of Chatsworth:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/world/europe/bavaria-germany-train-crash.html

Fair Use:

  • BERLIN — A railway dispatcher apparently caused the deadly collision of two trains in the German state of Bavaria on Feb. 9 because he was playing a game on his cellphone until just before the accident, according to state prosecutors.

    Eleven people died, and 80 were injured, some seriously, in the crash, which occurred on a single-track stretch of railway near Bad Aibling in Bavaria, about 35 miles southeast of Munich. A week later, the state prosecutor Wolfgang Giese said that the dispatcher, identified only as a 39-year-old man, had violated work rules and had most likely caused the crash.

    On Tuesday, Mr. Giese issued a warrant for the dispatcher’s arrest. He is expected to be charged with involuntary manslaughter, as well as violating work rules.
Mr. Harris could not be more "on mark".
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George Harris
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for Chatsworth, it was not the dispatcher, but the engineer of the commuter train that simply overran the exit switch from the siding, or end of double track, whichever it was, despite the switch and signal being set against him. There was nothing the freight train could have done to prevent the collision, as the signal that would have dropped to tell him that the block was occupied was literally in his face when the switch was overrun. The commuter train engineer could not have been looking out the window as if you operate a train (or work on the track) the position of a switch is blindingly obvious.
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George Harris
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As to the German case: Would not there have been sufficient safety features in the hardware/software that both trains could not have been given a clear indication into conflict with each other in either signal or ATC or whatever they have regardless of what the dispatcher did or didn't do?
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Geoff Mayo
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Chatsworth and Germany were, as George says, two very different issues - though I guess the distraction from a cellphone being the main factor in both.

As to why the trains in Germany managed to head towards each other, yes there were safety systems, but all safety systems have overrides. But overriding such systems is supposed to be done under very controlled circumstances for obvious reasons - something which seems not to have happened in this event. Overriding is necessary because, in the event of a failure, absolutely nothing could possibly move so you need *something* to get trains moving again.

I very much doubt the 2nd train would have gotten clear indication. I suspect the override would have resulted in a red signal with the driver given verbal or electronic authority to pass it at danger, with the equipment enforcing a stop being the part overridden. Line speed may or may not be allowed depending on the rules: if a track circuit is down, and both track circuits either side are clear, and you're fairly sure the previous train has arrived complete, then there is little reason to run at reduced speed.

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Geoff M.

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