FGW train stranded at Pewsey

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by tony6499, 4 Aug 2013.

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  1. ushawk

    ushawk Established Member

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    You cant detrain when your in a remote location 20 miles from the nearest station - thats just common sense. Nor can you have 500 people wandering along a railway line.

    Questions need to be asked why they didnt think to detatch the rear power car earlier. All things considered, it shouldnt have really taken longer than 2 hours to sort out.

    Its lucky there wasnt any selfish people who detrained themselves on board and to the poster above who said they would detrain - where do you plan on going when your in a rural area with no nearby roads and the nearest station 20 miles away ? Probably a lack of phone signal too.

    Also, down here on Southern and FCC funnily enough (slightly different I know), "bridges" can be put between the doors of a failed unit and a replacement one which has pulled up alongside to transfer pax onto - is this possible with HSTs and if not - why not ?
     
  2. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Following a good number of incidents - back in the day on WCML , I arranged a few policies for stranded trains.

    (a) a 60 min target for moving or transferring passengers off stuck trains.
    (b) Transfer boards for train to train evacuation held at key stations such as Watford and MK.
    (c) Always send the on call managers to the scene ASAP to take charge.
    (d) Always prepare a rescue unit and send towards the incident. A DMU if the OLE was down or off.

    and so on ....

    Reviews of incident showed a marked improvement following these simple and effective actions - we had stuck trains on Sunday afternoons - very late evening and so on - and I do not recall either getting into the media or massive fall out from the stranded passengers - and yes - taxi's to Heathrow for urgent flights and so on were authorised to reduce the collateral damage.
     
  3. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Presumably the remoteness of the location ( and don't tell Lord Howell or he'll recommend it for fracking...!! ) is the reason why the self-loading freight did not self-unload when that usually happens after much less time?
     
  4. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Wow -we really are all the experts on he aren't we! It's amazing how you all have the answers AFTER the event having seen how things panned out. Hindsight is great isn't it!

    No one planned for things to go on that long, no one sat there thinking 'stuff em, I couldn't care less if they sit the all night!' and they were obviously trying to resolve the problem as fast as possible (if they knew it was only seized brakes on the rear loco they would have split it straight away but I'm guessing it took a fair bit of it,e to locate and diagnose the exact fault) but when these situations happen it does take time to resolve and when things don't quite go to plan the delays can become un-acceptable like this.

    It will be investigated and lessons will be learned but coming on here and saying 'they should have done this and that' isn't particularly helpful and I'm sure they considered many of those things but at the the time they didn't seem like the best courses of action.
     
  5. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    Suppose it depends on the situation, 7/7 all the Tube trains had stopped[think the electric power was switched off] so passengers could be were evacuated safely onto the tracks, the incident yesterday, trains would still be running at line speed in the other direction so would be dangerous to evacuate passengers onto the tracks.

    I find it puzzling that after the long delay the power car was detached & train allowed to proceed, why couldn't they do this as soon as they found out what the problem was?
     
  6. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Within the industry, there's been much focus on trying to prevent passengers taking events into their own hands and self-evacuating, thus making things ten times worse. It's a credit to the crew I suspect that this didn't happen here.

    I've heard rumours that there were problems with the short bar (emergency coupling equipment for attaching a HST to a loco). I expect that contributed to the farce.
     
  7. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Heavens sake-do you not think that that is what they did? As soon as they exhausted options and diagnosed the fault they dealt with it.

    They didn't find out what the problem was and say 'let's leave them for a few hours whilst we have a dinner break and then deal with it' did they?!

    A bit of common sense would help this thread.
     
  8. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    & a bit of common sense coming from you as well, there's, no need to be so aggressive just because you don't like what's being posted, other FMs are entitled to an opinion whether you like it or not.
     
  9. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    I don't dispute that but do people honestly think fgw just sat on their hands and knowing exactly what the problem was choose to do nothing and increase the delay?

    I can't see how anyone on here would genuinely believe that they didn't detach the problem car as soon as possible!
     
  10. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    I don't think anyone does think that. They think that FGW were just simply incompetent. Which is worse? Depends on the outcome I suppose but neither is good.

    It's entirely reasonable that people speculate on the causes of a farce, especially one as spectacular as this. As for your comment that it isn't 'helpful', well nothing debated on this or any other forum is 'helpful' insofar as it doesn't get anything such as this resolved. Are you suggesting that nobody ever discusses anything unless a positive outcome can be measured?
     
  11. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    I think what people are getting at is :

    Fitter declares rear power car a failure, with locked on brakes. Why is the rear power car not detached there and then, allowing the front portion to proceed. I don't see why an assisting loco is needed to uncouple a loco.
     
  12. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    But there *will* be some reason why. And a furious railway employee will be along soon to point this out, but without actually telling those who don't know what it is, yet berating them for not knowing anyway.

    'Twas ever thus on this Forum :(
     
  13. LateThanNever

    LateThanNever Member

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    It seems obvious that Worst Late Western have no such targets - otherwise they would surely have recognised that after an hour they had to cut their losses and stop trying to diagnose the problem but just get a rescue unit that had already [not] been prepared...

    Can't understand their thinking though living in Late Western territory they've always seemed to be a poorly managed company - if 'managed' is indeed the right term - and often bad at detail, though most of the customer facing staff seem decent.
     
  14. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    Hmmmm

    Leaving a loco known to have defective brakes on its own on a main line. As 4SRKT observes, there's probably a whole ream of regulations saying nay to doing this.

    I was once on the morning Queen St - Oban service when 37410 relieved itself of all its coolant on the climb from Connel Ferry and shut down completely.
    Scotrail managed to get people off the train, across the fields and onto a minibus in time to make the connection onto the ferry from Oban. If that can be done in a remote area of Scotland.....
     
  15. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    A loco with brakes failed on?? Apply parking brake, and put scotches under the wheels.
     
  16. table38

    table38 Established Member

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  17. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    There certainly used to be provision in the Rules & Regs for leaving a portion of a train on a running line (as obviously it needs to be properly protected). I suppose that's what happened in the end anyway. I'm struggling to find any reference to it in the Rule Book now though - any offers?! The only problem that I can see is that, once the front portion's departed to work through to its destination, there's no-one to conduct the assisting loco onto the (remainder of the) failed train to clear the line.
     
  18. talltim

    talltim Established Member

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    I get the impression that in this case the rescuing loco (59202) got there before the train was split, however I can understand that splitting the train before the loco got there is a different matter.
     
    Last edited: 5 Aug 2013
  19. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Can I ask what on earth you are talking about?! Hardly on it's own when it has a TRI and an assisting loco on site! Indeed, it'd be like any other failed train in a section!
     
  20. 1e10

    1e10 Member

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  21. Rich McLean

    Rich McLean Established Member

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    The air con packs are under each coach, and are provided via ETS power, the same source that the lights run off
     
  22. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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  23. broadgage

    broadgage Established Member

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    I might have considered escaping after the first few hours.
    How long are people required to stand for in case of a breakdown ? 7 hours, 14 ? (remembering that those without seats had probably ALREADY been standing for a while before the breakdown)

    I would only consider escaping if there was a phone signal, or signs of civilisation nearby.

    A lot would depend on conditions on board, if I was seated, and the temperature was reasonable, then I would probably have waited it out.
    If standing in excessive temperatures then escape seems more worthwhile.

    If conditions OUTSIDE are preferable to those inside, then IMHO passengers should be allowed out after the first few hours, either to stretch their legs, or to sit on the embankment etc.

    Hundreds of people trapped for hours should be regarded as an emergency that needs very urgent action.

    If the rear power car could not be fixed in an hour or so, why was it not uncoupled and the train allowed to proceed.

    Alternatively why could another train not approach from either direction (very cautiously of course) and passengers be walked along the track to the replacement train.

    Or of course get another train on the opposite line.

    If the fitter could get their by road, then presumably taxis or minbuses could get to the same location.
    100 taxis could have cleared a lot of the crowd, and yes I believe that 100 or more taxis CAN be obtained in an emergency from nearby larger towns.
    This would take a while, but less than 6 hours !

    And remember that some people might prefer to remain on the train, eventually it has GOT to go somwherel !
    The urgency is those who are standing, or unwell, or who have urgent connections.
     
  24. flhh66555

    flhh66555 Member

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    Interesting thread. I have a question and I genuinely want to know. Can the brakes of a power car be isolated (I don't sign HST) if so it could have run at reduced speed to next station or whatever the FGW contingency plan Is?.
    sorry I am only a freight driver and we just isolate wagons with defective brakes. (within rules and guidelines)
     
  25. flymo

    flymo Established Member

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    Thanks for the info, puts a little perspective on things.

    That means that the train would be about 1¾ miles or so (roughly) from Pewsey and a quick look at Google Earth suggests several roads nearby, some with access available for track maintenance and perhaps rescue if need be.

    I really struggle however to think of this location as 'remote' as has been mentioned in a few posts on this thread. Hardly looks like the middle of nowhere.
     
  26. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    Coaches can often be hired at short notice for rail emergency work like this.
     
  27. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    For 500 odd passengers? I was stuck at Paignton Saturday afternoon, the biggest bus they could get hold of was a 16 seater. And that's in an area served by normal First buses!
     
  28. VP185

    VP185 Member

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    No they can't! Coach companies don't have drivers sitting around doing nothing all day just on the off-chance some work might crop up!

    The driver of that train would know the location of the fault and how to get the train moving. Unfortunately managers are scared of making a decision through a fear of it back firing resulting in them losing their jobs or worse still, facing corporate manslaughter charges.
    All of FGW's recent failures with its HST fleet could have and should have been retified within the space of an hour, tops, without the need to evacuate a train.
    The responsibility for getting a train moving should be placed back with those on the ground. Us drivers now what's safe, and how to make something staff.

    It is also worth noting that we don't yet know if FGW requested to leave the defective power car in the section and Network Rail refused this.
     
    Last edited: 5 Aug 2013
  29. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    Many coach companies do have drivers who they can phone at short notice, obviously they have to take pot luck on availabilty.
     
  30. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    These things do happen though, I think it's important that lessons are learnt. The occasional long sit down like this does happen and always has happened, its just with social media and the internet that it gets mainstream attention. (ie pre mobile phone the passengers will have had to sit and wait with no contact with the outside world) - I remember a big thing in Rail when one of their Journo's spent 10 hours stuck on a Mk4 set in a loop on the ECML way back in BR days, if the journo wasn't on board would there have been any report of it?

    I do think FGW could have handled it better, ie getting some water/food supplies to the train by road when it was clear they were not going to be on the move soon but I don't think FGW would have willingly left them there for 6 hours if it could be avoided...
     
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