Island Line Runaway?

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Chris125

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Does anyone know, or can find out, information about the runaway train described in the blog post below?


I was vaguely aware of this anecdotally and had heard of changes at Shanklin to prevent a repeat, yet this potentially disastrous incident appears to have passed by with barely a comment and the internet appears all but silent on the matter - if this account is accurate were the authorities really so blasé at the time?

I hope the owner doesn't mind me quoting the relevant section:

The incident occurred on 12 January 1991 and involved a train of 1938 tube stock resting at Shanklin station on the Isle of Wight.

There is no record of why the train left Shanklin of its own accord. Was it faulty brakes, or rather that these had been too lightly applied? Anyway the gradient out of Shanklin station is sufficiently steep enough to make a train move of its own accord if its not sufficiently braked.

What happened next is almost totally a fluke and it was fortunate no major disaster occurred. The line has a near continuous gradient falling all the way to Morton Common between Sandown and Brading, a distance of approximately two and half miles.

Fortunately by the time the train reached the bridge over the main road at Lake Hill – a couple of passengers managed to force the cab door open and one applied the emergency handbrake. The runaway train was finally brought to a stop at the top of Los Altos park.

This was very fortunate indeed. The train had freewheeled for just over a mile and a half. It could have been worse had it continued straight through Sandown station before derailing at the exit points. If that had not happened it could have easily continued towards a head on collision with a southbound service on the next single track section.

There seems to be absolutely no record of any public inquiry to investigate why the train managed to take off in this way. It seemed a serious enough incident to warrant an inquiry, yet the incident received scant attention. There’s nothing in the national news. The local island news archives have nothing as those in the British Library were checked. It was just a couple of railway magazines who wrote up reports on the incident.
 
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Joshua483

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Does anyone know, or can find out, information about the runaway train described in the blog post below?


I was vaguely aware of this anecdotally and had heard of changes at Shanklin to prevent a repeat, yet this potentially disastrous incident appears to have passed by with barely a comment and the internet appears all but silent on the matter - if this account is accurate were the authorities really so blasé at the time?

I hope the owner doesn't mind me quoting the relevant section:
If it happen would the dead's man's handle have stopped the train?
 
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Chris125

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If it happen would the dead's man's handle have stopped the train?

I'm guessing the brakes had been applied but the air was bleeding out and couldn't keep it stationary against the gradient?
 

Joshua483

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Presumably the brakes were applied but left long enough for the air to bleed out, so needed the handbrake applying? Hard to see without more detail though.
The dead man's handle would tripped with in 5 seconds of not enough weight on the handle to keep it down. If it was faulty brake would the train have been taken out of service?
 

Chris125

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The dead man's handle would tripped with in 5 seconds of not enough weight on the handle to keep it down. If it was faulty brake would the train have been taken out of service?

The brakes were applied when the train terminated at Shanklin and the driver left the cab.
 
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