Only in Italy

Might have some relevance to a few
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Capetonian

Only in Italy

#1 Post by Capetonian » Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:39 pm

This terrible train tragedy that killed over 20 people could have been prevented so easily :
Massimo Nitti, director-general of Ferrotramviaria, the private company that runs the small regional railway line, confirmed that this particular section of the railway relied on station masters telephoning one another to advise of a departing train.

All it needs is a token, of which there is only one, and the driver is not allowed to proceed onto the single track unless he has it in his possession. So simple. We replace simple solutions with complex ones that can, and do, go wrong.

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Alisoncc
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Re: Only in Italy

#2 Post by Alisoncc » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:13 am

Yeh, but in Italy the token would have to be designed by the guy who designs Ferraris, manufactured by the people who build Maseratis, and cost megabucks. Oh! and funded by the EU with a special grant.
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Re: Only in Italy

#3 Post by Fox3WheresMyBanana » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:42 pm

Single token only works when trains always alternate direction down the line. Apparently there was an extra train in one direction in this case. That's not to say there aren't simple reliable methods, but single token isn't it.

Telephonic Block signalling was in use here.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signallin ... onic_block

It would appear the station staff at Andria confused a late running earlier train with the train still on the track (which was also, necessarily, running late because of the train in front), and cleared the south-eastbound train thinking the line was clear. The late running first train would appear to have departed at the time the second train was due to, if it had been on time. Very hot (40), sunny, just before lunch - a known nadir point in human awareness. A cynic might think the station master couldn't be bothered to interrupt his pre-lunch nap for long enough to do his job properly, and just waved off the train onto the single line after a glance at his watch, or got his coffee boy to do it for him. Trains collided on a curved section of track in the olive groves, so impossible to see clearly ahead.
Funding was approved over 4 years ago for doubling the line (only section remaining to need it), but had only just been put out to tender. A cynic might think the four year delay was so that appropriate recompense for officials could be negotiated before whose cousin would "win" the contract was decided. But that's cynics for you.

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