Train crash preventable

09:22, July 27, 2011      

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While the railways departments are investigating the cause of the high-speed train collision near Wenzhou on Saturday, it is reasonable to assume that when lightning disabled the D3115 train, the signaling system and its back-up systems were compromised at the same time, leading to the train crash that has cost the lives of at least 38 people.

If the driver of the D3115 train had had access to a permanently connected satellite telephone with a separate battery power-pack, with access to the Central Railway Control Center, the driver of the approaching train D301 could have been alerted in time.

In the unlikely event of a no response from the D301 driver, the catenary electrification of the rail section could have been remotely isolated, thereby stopping the D301.

This preventable accident also demonstrates the dangers of using single-track rail sections on bi-directional traffic.

No matter how sophisticated, interlocking and fool-proof signaling systems are reputed to be, technical hitches are inevitable, as was so disastrously proven last Saturday, leading to loss of life of loved ones that a simple and relatively inexpensive satellite telephone system could have prevented in this case.

Source: Shanghaidaily
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