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4555 Damage at South Devon?

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Jimc, May 4, 2022.

  1. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    This has surfaced on the dreaded Facebook. There are videos of her in service on May 2nd, so presumably happened later that day or since.

    [The image has now been deleted or restricted on Facebook]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2022
  2. Wagoniester

    Wagoniester Member

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    My initial thought is: "Well I hope nobody got hurt when that happened!"
     
  3. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    What on earth happened :( heavy shunt ?
     
  4. 8126

    8126 Member

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    Well that doesn't look very nice, I'm sure buffer beams shouldn't point downwards like that. Could this be an occasion where the Churchward-type extension frames at least keep damage localised (trying to look on the positive side)? Other than the platework damage, that is.
     
  5. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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  6. brennan

    brennan New Member

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    This demonstrates the effectiveness of the Churchward Energy Absorbing Front End. I'm not aware that a patent was taken out but clearly Swindon was well in advance of the motor industry in providing this safety feature.
     
  7. used2be

    used2be New Member

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    let us hope all the people involved are O.K.

    Has the one buffer taken the full impact ?
    Has the step contacted the cylinder cover ?
    Looks like the steam pipe has been bent and the central plate of the front framing buckled up.
     
  8. Simon Smith

    Simon Smith New Member

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    It is an unfortunate event but incidents like this seem to be occurring more and more.

    Only a couple of weeks ago the Black 5 at the NYMR hit the buffer stops at Whitby and ended up with the train being impounded by NR.

    Hopefully no one was injured in either event.
     
  9. Lord Belborough

    Lord Belborough New Member

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    I was surprised last year at one steam gala which had a visiting steam loco very different to anything on their fleet when I asked the driver if he was from the visiting steam loco's railway to be told that he was a driver on the hosting line and that the hired loco came with an A4 folder of instructions. Surely stopping distances and performance need some degree of extra training? On the big railway it takes months to be trained up on new fleets. I realise speeds on heritage railways are lower but this incident at the SDR and also the one at NYMR referred to above (only one year after the Class 20 incident) seems to be part of a pattern.
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Let's put the buffer stop incident into perspective. The buffer stops at Whitby platform 2 are not the traditional rail built ones but are of the friction type, designed to absorb the energy of any impact and can slide back 30 feet or more. It is a requirement that, if the stops are touched in any way, Network Rail have to be informed as they require to be re-set . The loco was in the process of running round and, for the driver, the buffer stops are unsighted, the driver relying on experience as to where to stop. The loco came into gentle contact with the buffers, which were move back approximately 1 inch. However, it is reportable and operations had to come to a stop whilst it was investigated as it is also classed as a SPAD because the loco has effectively gone past the red light on the stops by that 1 inch. Twenty years ago and with traditional buffer stops, no one would have batted an eyelid.
     
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  11. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Understood, and the clarification of risk is useful to understand. However, I confess I'm surprised that such a modern installation includes a SPAD trap like that, and requires drivers to operate unsighted.
     
  12. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Previously discussed here. https://www.national-preservation.com/threads/driver-competencies.1419319/
     
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  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think I would want to hear formally what the actual cause was, rather than leaping to a conclusion about crew familiarity on a visiting loco.

    At the moment, the sum total of public domain knowledge seems to be (1) a photo of 4555 showing front end damage and (2) a public statement saying there was a low-speed accident involving 4555 and 5526. We don't even know definitively which one was moving and which was stationary (or whether both were moving). So speculation feels premature.

    Tom
     
  14. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think any buffer stop collision is now classed as a SPAD, at least on running lines. As @Steve said, it's gone past a red signal, but this one is in the middle of the four foot.

    Whitby station is on a curve, so if the driver is looking out backwards from the cab on the platform side, the track is curving away behind the tender out of sight. Looking at photos, it appears there's about 100' between the end of the points and the stops, so not a huge margin for error with a 65' long loco.
     
  15. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Understood - but my surprise is that there are no mitigations provided for this very modern installation.
     
  16. WishIHadAName

    WishIHadAName New Member

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    To be fair 4555 is a visiting small prairie, Id imagine the SDR crews are pretty familiar with them as two are based on the line.
     
  17. Chris86

    Chris86 Member

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    This also surprises me given the usage and the recognition that it is unsighted that there is not additional controls in place.

    Im not party to the NYMR operating documents but I would be surprised if there wasn't visual distance markers in place, or a work instruction/procedure for the shunt to be directed/ by an additional member of staff to ensure the loco is positioned accurately in the headshunt.

    Chris
     
  18. duncananderson

    duncananderson New Member

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    Are they happening more and more or are they just reported more easily?

    It’s only in recent years that this sort of thing is on Facebook almost instantly and all over the internet within a couple of days.
     
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  19. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    I think this is getting a bit overdramatised. What additional controls do you want at a crash resistant bufferstop with at least a 30 foot overrun margin beyond it. The contact made with the stops was no greater, and probably less, than would be made when buffering up to a train and that could have a few hundred people in it. The buffers themselves are all the control needed and they did their job ok. The biggest problem is that it has to be reported, then the job is stopped and a court of inquiry established to make sure that there was no real danger to life or limb.

    Peter
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Incidents have always happened. Once upon a time they would generally have led to disciplinary action so were invariably covered up if people could get away with it. Modern thinking is simply to investigate incidents and look to how they could be avoided in future and not point fingers at people. As a result there is much more of a culture to report them, even where they are relatively trivial and would otherwise go unnoticed.
     
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