Was profit a factor in the Galician train crash?

July 27, 2013 at 9:11 am (capitalism, Jim D, profiteers, tragedy, transport, workers)

If this is true it should be more widely publicised:


Profit behind Galician train crash?

From the Basque newspaper Gara:

The disaster took place on a curve where a new high speed rail line was connected to a slow one – to save money. Drivers were supposed to slow from 220 km to 80 km. There was nearly an accident during the inauguration run.
There was no automatic braking system -to save money… Drivers had to be punctual to avoid passengers claiming compensation (and save money.) The accident train was running late.

…But of course, it’ll be the driver who carries the can.

H/t: Pete Gillard (via Facebook)‬


  1. Mike Killingworth said,

    I think we all worked out there was no ABS. Rail industry TUs are normally pretty hot on safety measures, so it’ll be interesting to hear, in due course, whether the relevant Spanish ones had taken their eye off the ball…

  2. daniel said,

    Capitals profit short cumming or driver fault will the coroner find in favour of.Anyone taking a book..

  3. jimmy glesga said,

    Only the driver can operate the brakes just like a car/taxi/bus driver or maybe the passengers were to blame. Drivers get paid to operate the train(Duh). Allegedly the guy boasted on facebook that he broke the rules. Let us wait and see.
    No doubt some idiot lefty will blame someone else as they do.

  4. daniel said,

    Heh! Jimmy was the driver on facebook when the train lost contact with the rails.They say the train was late and the driver was speeding to make up time.Fast them bullet trains, the brakes would only be effective as it slows down surely.

    • jimmy glesga said,

      daniel. He was allegedly boasting obout speeding on other occasions before the crash. The bend has a well known speed limit and it appears to have been ignored and even if he was ordered to ignore it he should not have. I assume the guy gets the same intensive training as those drivers do in Britain.

  5. prianikoff said,

    Most probably the accident was due to driver error.
    But there need to be fail-safe systems to prevent such errors.

    1) Unlike the Japanese Shinkansen, or the French TGV, which respectively have 49 and 32 years of operation without a single fatality, the train involved wasn’t a “bullet train”.
    It was an Alvia S-730, a hybrid diesel-electric train, designed to run on mixed track.
    It can reach 250 km/h on high-speed tracks, but should operate at much lower speed on conventional ones.

    2) The bend where the accident happened is a conventional track shared with low-speed trains and has a speed limit of 80 km/h.
    It’s encountered right after an 80 km long section of high speed track, as trains emerge from a tunnel.
    The data recorder on the derailed train indicates that it was travelling in excess of 190 km/h at the time of the accident.

    3) Unlike the Spanish “Bullet train”, the AVE (Alta Velocidad Española), the Alvia train doesn’t have a fail-safe braking system.
    On the AVE, sensors in the track detect if it must reduce speed and can apply the brakes automatically if it exceeds the threshold authorised on the driver’s display.

    4) The Alvia rolling stock has only two sets of wheels per car, which means it’s more likely to concertina in a crash.
    – another difference with the TGV derived designs.
    These have more wheels per carriage and semi-permanently coupled coaches, with bogies supporting the carriage linkage.
    This makes them more likely to stay upright in the event of a derail, as was demonstrated when a Eurostar derailed at 290 km/h near Croisilles on 5 June 2000 .
    The articulated trainset architecture was credited with maintaining the stability and integrity of the train as it came to a stop with only 14 light injuries.

    5) The Alvia carriages don’t appear to be rigid enough to withstand a serious impact at speed, hence the the high number of fatalities and serious casualties.
    Compare this to Grayrigg in 2007, when a Virgin Pendolino derailed at 96 mph.
    The rigidity of the carriages and crumple-zone protection between them were credited with preventing a higher casualty rate.
    (at least that was Branson’s story)

    Despite these accidents, trains are the safest form of travel

    Fatality rate per billion passenger-miles:-
    Car 7.2
    Airplane 2.3
    Bus 2.0
    Train 0.5

    and the least polluting:

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