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Boilers & Accidents

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by johnofwessex, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    Fot those unfamiliar with the loco involved in the awful Benalla accident, here is a view of K183 in happier times at Seymour at Easter 1993. Itis worth mentioning that the loco was running tender first when the accident occured.
    mini_93-4-11 25 K183+R766 (3) copy.jpg

    Behind the K is Hudson R766 which now resides in the Newcastle area of NSW and recently began trials having undergone a protracted conversion from 5ft3in to Standard Gauge.

    EDIT I was mistaken about K183 running tender first at the time of the accident. I had forgotten that there was still a turntable at Yarrawonga (where the train overnighted) at this time.

    Peter
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  2. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    Hi Peter,

    What a sad incident, it's terrible when any footplate crew are injured or killed. What has become of K183 in the meantime? Is it a write-off, or repairable?

    Also, the re-gauging of R766 must be very worthy of an in-depth account of its own... Re-gauging from standard gauge upwards isn't always easy, but to come down from 5'2" to 4'8.5" must have caused some major issues and re-design work, surely?

    Richard.
     
  3. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    The tragic accident at Benella in 2002 shook the steam fraternity in Victoria badly as you can imagine. It occured during the return working of a private weekend wedding party and the V-Line crew who were killed were part of a small team of regular main line steam drivers.

    Since the accident the loco has been laid up under tarpauline at Steamrail's base at Newport Works near Melbourne. For a long while I think there was a reluctance to disturb the loco out of respect for those who were killed, but recently it has been reported that plans are afoot to strip the loco for assessment with a view to either repairing it or salvaging spares off it. Steamrail currently have two other operational Ks at Newport and a further two under overhaul/maintenance for heritage railway operators.

    I do not know much about the re-gauging of R766. The locos were built as being gauge convertable, but even so it has been a mammoth undertaking and I gather it has been mired in Victorian/NSW preservation politics (?sounds familiar:()

    Peter
     
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  4. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    Both very interesting scenarois. I hope that K183 will survive, but I can also see a reluctance of crews to operate it. As for R766, I didn't know it was built as gauge-convertible. Sad to read of the political bogeyman interfering in Australian steam matters again too.
    Not good on either count.

    Thank you for the information you've provided - I'm going to see if I can find the official report and have a read...

    Richard.
     
  5. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Part of the furniture

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  6. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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  7. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Indeed, sadly however there have been a number of fatal accidents to railway staff and passengers caused by road users
     
  8. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    Indeed, the RHDR springs to mind. What's staggering in the Victoria case though is that the B-Double driver was running parallel to the Railway as the train approached, so must have seen and heard it, surely. So he then turns onto a crossing directly in its path... Complacency on the part of motor vehicle drivers can surely only increase, the faster and more powerful motor vehicles become. And not just where Railways are concerned.

    Richard.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  9. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    It's not complacency, it's stupidity. If a free for all system of private transport was a new concept now H & S wouldn't allow it.
     
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  10. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    I was being polite!

    Richard. :)
     
  11. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    There are several human aspects to this, which are covered in the report. The truck driver lived nearby and knew the area well. The line concerned is a lightly used freight line with very infrequent trains. It was also a Sunday when you might least expect to see a train running. It is quite possible that he has used that crossing hundreds of times and never seen a train there. Easy to criticise him but I'm sure we have all been guilty of complacency at times, and by the nature of these things you invariably get away with it, probably without realising. Some years ago I was involved in a minor collision with a Network Rail van in York yard under exactly the same circumstances. It was late on a Sunday evening and the van driver was not expecting any rail movements to be taking place at that time. Complacency, compounded by a little local knowledge. Such is Human Nature.

    Peter
     
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  12. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think you are right to a certain extent. Reading up on railway accidents there are several where the the driver has said something like, 'I've never had an adverse signal there before'.
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    It's often difficult to accept the reality of an unusual situation. Going back to an earlier accident discussed on this thread - Buxton, 1922. Several times the loco crew had booked the engine for an anomalous boiler pressure reading, and each time the gauge was considered suspect; on two occasions it was changed. It took a fatal accident to show that that the pressure gauge had probably been sound all along, and the fault was with the safety valves (they were intermittently sticking shut). Yet I suspect for many, the thought that the safety valves might fail goes beyond what you are prepared to accept, so it seems it was never even considered as a serious possibility to test, even though such a test should have been relatively simple. (There were complicating factors in that case, specifically that a quick swap of gauge to a calibrated one couldn't be done while the loco was in steam, so there was always a pressure to send it back out into traffic).

    Tom
     
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  14. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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  15. LMS2968

    LMS2968 Part of the furniture

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    It does give a sketch of one part way through the report, but basically it's an articulated tractor unit and trailer, but the trailer also has a fifth wheel on the back for a second articulated trailer. It was the trailing axle of the first trailer and front side of the second trailer and that the train struck.
     
  16. 5944

    5944 Part of the furniture

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    Basically a double artic with two trailers behind the tractor unit rather than one.
     
  17. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I found Wikipedia very useful when trying to work that out...
     
  18. 2392

    2392 Member

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    Quite so. Having looked at the report, I was thinking along similar lines. A lightly used line with infrequent trains, especially on a Sunday to boot.........
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  19. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    Looking at that sketch, it appears to mean the additional length of two trailers, but due to having to leave space for the second trailer to couple only a roughly 50% gain in loadspace.
     
  20. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

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