Serious Accident in Bavaria

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by Masboroughlad, 9 Feb 2016.

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  1. Masboroughlad

    Masboroughlad Established Member

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    It is being reported that a head on collision between two trains has happened at about 7am (Germany time) in Bavaria, southern Germany.

    No cause has been given as yet.

    Looks terrible, a number of dead and over 100 injuries.

    Thoughts are with everyone involved.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    4 reported dead, 150 injured - 10 of those seriously.
     
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  3. 341o2

    341o2 Established Member

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    on national news

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35530538

    Latest saying 4 dead, 10 critical, over 100 injured
     
  4. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    Since this is Bad Aibling, I am expecting that these will be Meridian trains. The line is mostly single track although there are two platforms at Bad Aibling but most trains only use one of them
     
  5. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    http://www.der-meridian.de

    The two trains involved were indeed operated by Meridian Stadler Flirt 3s, and the accident occurred on the Mangfalltalbahn between Kolbermoor and Bad Aibling, west of Rosenheim. Meridian is private operator, part of the Bayerische Oberlandbahn (BOB), owned by Transdev. The route was taken over from DB in 2013.

    I think this is a single track section of the line, but I'm not sure. Monday-Friday there are direct services from Rosenheim to Munich Hbf via Bad Aibling and Holzkirchen, so I suspect the trains were on that route.

    There are fears the death toll will rise.

    I rode extensively on Meridian services when I lived in Munich. My thoughts are with everyone there.

    ALSO: Some background info on the Mangfall Valley Railway and specific info about the accident (in English) on Wikipedia:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangfall_Valley_Railway
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Aibling_rail_accident
     
    Last edited: 9 Feb 2016
  6. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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  7. EAD

    EAD Member

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    Is an area I know quite well (friends in Holzkirchen, family over the border in Tirol). Is sad and at this stage I hope the death toll does not rise significantly and that the rescue goes well for those injured. German state TV is currently reporting 8 dead however which is pretty terrible, but given two trains collided head on and max line speed is 100 Km/h I understand (though one of the two trains will likely have not long pulled away from a station call), the damage even for two current generation trains is sadly to be expected. The TV is saying they are using dogs to search and locate people that are trapped, which gives an idea of what they are facing.

    The question of course (though not for now) is how? The line is PZB (Indusi) equipped and indeed classed as a single track mainline (eingleisige Hauptrecke) and is regularly used for diversions when the main Rosenheim - Munich route via Grafing is shut. Somehow, contrary to the local signalling and functioning PZB both trains have entered the same block. Of course that is for the EUB (the German rail accident investigation authority) to establish.

    My thoughts are with all those involved, injured or who have lost those close to them.
     
    Last edited: 9 Feb 2016
  8. dgl

    dgl Member

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    Now confirmed as 8 dead and I wouldn't be surprised if it rose again, as seen in Britain head-on collisions are very serious indeed.
    Again thoughts are with everyone involved.
     
  9. Simon11

    Simon11 Member

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    The drivers of both trains and two train guards were among those killed, regional broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk said, quoting police.
     
  10. EAD

    EAD Member

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    Sad, but I was certainly expecting that re the drivers. Just waiting for the press conference from Bad Aibling - for any that speak German then it is available through BR and ARD online: http://www.tagesschau.de/multimedia/livestreams/livestream1/index.html http://www.br.de/nachrichten/oberbayern/inhalt/zug-entgleist-bad-aibling-100.html
     
  11. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Is anyone able to comment on what type of signalling system was in place on this line and how it is supposed to work?
     
  12. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Emeritus Moderator

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    I o was wondering about this. Is there a German equivalent of TPWS?
     
  13. dgl

    dgl Member

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    According to the press conference uses PZB90 which is a magnet based non-continuous protection system (similar to what's used on the tyne and wear metro).
    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punktförmige_Zugbeeinflussung

    Was tested last week and no faults found, estimated speed of trains ~100kph (60mph) so closing speed of approx 200kph.
     
  14. w0033944

    w0033944 Member

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    Just seen the report on the lunchtime news. There appears to be some overriding of vehicles, in addition to a great deal of damage and several vehicles on their sides. Given that these are modern units, would that suggest a greater closing speed than expected if one train had recently pulled away from a station?

    Thoughts are with those affected.
     
  15. EAD

    EAD Member

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    Essentially absolute block signalling with PZB90 (Indusi). This is the German version of AWS/TPWS (in that Indusi is one system but for UK eyes has elements we only know through TPWS). It has magnets and braking curves/timing built in so put simply you get clear (no intervention/acknowledgement needed), magnet energised for reducing speed for next signal (restrictive aspect) or a red (starts the braking curve/timer - though slightly different depending on if red or restrictive speed aspect). If you are not at the speed when needed at the magnet monitoring you, you will trigger an emergency application. Finally there is the magnet energised for a red so that will always be a stop within the overlap. If you imagine red awaited, then you will have the distant aspect red expected or Vr0 (frequently in Germany mounted on same signal as the main). You will get Indusi wanting acknowledgement - if too slow brakes come on. Once acknowledged you need to start braking and the braking curve/timer will monitor you and if you are not at the pre-programmed speed by the intermediate magnet before the red signal you will again get a brake application and should stop before the signal. If you are below the speed but continue onwards and through the red aspect (HP0), you will get a full brake application and by virtue of the speed will stop in the overlap.

    As with here you can't release from a full brake application without agreement from the signalman etc. If all is working normally, clearly absolute block prevents two trains making it into the same block, and interlocking would protect such move with the magnets armed and signal for the conflicting move that has not been authorised not releasing.

    The question therefore is what happened here. I understand one train was +4 down and so the timetabled crossing may have had to move. If you look at a map, the train from Holzkirchen towards Rosenheim would have not long left Bad Aibling (2 platform station with full signalling for passing) and had passed Bad Aibling Kurpark (a recently added halt). The other train would have left Kolbermoor (which again is a 2 platform station with full signalling for passing). So, clearly how did they both proceed onto the single track block between these stations when only one should have had the road.

    I am not going to speculate, but something has obviously gone very wrong here and it should not happen.

    p.s. see others got there quicker and with less rambling...
     
    Last edited: 9 Feb 2016
  16. 45669

    45669 Member

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    Yes, it's the PZB90 system which is supposed to bring a train to a stand if it passes a signal at danger.

    When I last looked at the press conference it was stated that it was not yet clear whether human error or a technical fault was to blame. There were three black boxes on the trains and, at that time, it was reported that two of them had been recovered.

    P.S. : While I was typing this, a fuller explanation was posted by EAD (above).
     
    Last edited: 9 Feb 2016
  17. EAD

    EAD Member

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    Agreed closing speed will have been quite high also the curve does not help, hence the side of the lead vehicle heading to Holzkirchen having been pushed open where the other train wanted to head to the outside of the curve. The planned crossing point is Kolbermoor and the Rosenheim-Holzkirchen train is booked 06:40 to 06:45 there with the train in the other direction due to call and depart at 06:44. This was I understand the train running 4 late. The interesting thing re speed is both were due to call at Bad Aibling Kurpark, which is only around 1.7 Km from the crash site, so the late running train would have not long left this halt. All in all horrible.
     
  18. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    ISTR reading a while ago that some German branch lines did not have interlocks on the signalling. But this isn't signalled as a branch line, AIUI, having Indusi.
     
  19. 45669

    45669 Member

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    I've just read on Bayerische Rundfunk that there are 18 passengers with serious injuries and 90 with light injuries.

    It could have been a lot worse however. Normally that train would have been packed with schoolchildren, but today is a holiday and the kids were off school.
     
  20. westcoaster

    westcoaster Established Member

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    I see 4 crew members sadly lost their lives, do the guards regularly travel up front with the drivers! If not how would they both come to be near the front.
    Would there be more than 2 crew members on-board each service. To help in such circumstances, it's been mentioned it's a branch line where would these services normally cross.
     
  21. dgl

    dgl Member

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    BBC quotes sources that the trains were possibly doing around 62 mph and it looks like there was no braking before the crash (due to the curve they probably couldn't see each other). Basically one train bored into the other.

    Also (if I heard the translator correctly) there was possibly a trainee driver (could have been one of the guards) in the cab with one of the drivers.
     
  22. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    While it's been suggested the guard may have been in the cab, on a quiet regional service most people will be sitting down in what are mostly (on those trains) airline seats. If the guard was standing in the aisle checking tickets, he could well have been thrown the full length of the train.
     
  23. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Rambling perhaps but very interesting and informative so thank you very much!

    Thanks to the others as well :)
     
  24. G136GREYHOUND

    G136GREYHOUND Member

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    Terrible, commiserations to all affected
     
  25. NicholasNCE

    NicholasNCE Member

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    I believe the UK is pretty unique having such stringent rules about cab access, it's certainly quite common to see guards up front in continental Europe.
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I have noticed on a few occasions that standing just inside the passenger compartment with the cab door open chatting to the driver is a common place for the guard to be on German regional trains after tickets have been done.

    They don't ever seem to use the back cab in the way we do.
     
  27. 40129

    40129 Member

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    Don't know when it was banned (if it was ever officially allowed) nut I remember in the days of 1st generation DMUs in Britain that Guard would often enter the front cab after doing their ticket checks
     
  28. D1009

    D1009 Established Member

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    I think all they have mentioned is that the permissible speed at the crash site is 100 km/h. There is no real way of knowing the actual speed
    until the information from the data recorders is recovered.
     
  29. dgl

    dgl Member

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    Yes, hence the 'possibly', although speed is really irrelevant as a head on collision between 2 trains is never going to be pretty.
     
  30. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    After completing ticket checks the guard will often ride with the driver, as the guard isn't needed to operate the doors. It is also common to see other drivers riding in the front to take over the train at a later point.

    Edit: According to die Zeit both drivers and both conductors sadly lost their lives.

    Journalists are not allowed direct access to the scene at time of writing. There is also a real risk of the death toll rising.
     
    Last edited: 9 Feb 2016
  31. Ediswan

    Ediswan Member

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    Naughty BBC, again.

    They have an interview with a regular passenger. In the first version I heard (radio) he said that his train normally waits at a station for the other to pass. But (paraphrasing) if the other train is running late, they don't wait for it there, presumably passing at some other location.

    In the TV version they stop at the "normally waits" bit, thereby making not waiting sound far more unusual than if they had given the fuller version.
     
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