March 31, 2008

The Paris rail crash

Today we watched the video about Paris rail crash in 1988. There are 56 people died and more than 50 people injured, it is very serious. But actually the error can avoided if the driver have robust decision and if the train design more consider the user, maybe this crash will not happened.

I find some error in this vodio 

Why all the safety procedures failed?
1. The emergency cord must be rest to return the brakes to normal before the train can depart. While doing so, driver inadvertently closes the air supply to the brake, rendering them useless and locked on.
2. Driver wrongly diagnoses an air lock and bleeds air from the lock to clear it.
3. Driver radios the station but forgets to identify himself or his train.
4. Driver hits the emergency alarm, it prompts signals to overrides the automatic routing system that would take the runaway train to an empty platform.
Disaster is now inevitable.

The investigation team found the main cause of the crash was Driver error.
However, they also highlighted several technical and safety shortcomings in the railway system:
1. The brake pipe lever was too easily accessible and vulnerable to sabotage
2. The radio system was over complex and the driver needs more training in its use
3. Signaler should be able to turn all signals to red without automatically overriding the pre-programmed routes

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