Salisbury train crash: Major incident as two trains collide.

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caravanman

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A major incident has been declared after two trains collided in Salisbury, leaving several people injured.
The collision happened near London Road and involved a South Western Railway and a Great Western service.
About 12 people are thought to have been injured and one of the drivers is believed to be trapped in their cab.
Salisbury train crash: Major incident as two trains collide

UPDATE: Thankfully, it seems that the accident was not as serious as first thought with regard to casualties, investigations starting as to the cause, etc.
 
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greatwestern

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Reports from about an hour ago indicate that one of the drivers is in hospital with "life-changing" injuries with one other person still in hospital.

Initial reports suggesting that the Bristol bound service had derailed after hitting an object seem to be not accurate. Time will reveal the truth.

If I remember rightly (from travelling on those services) the speed limit there is 30 mph with an increased limit applying a little before the tunnel (and the junction where the lines from London and Southampton converge). I would be extremely surprised if speed was an issue but "normal" operation has all services approaching Salisbury using one of the tracks through the tunnel and those coming away from Salisbury using the other irrespective of their origin/destination (as far as I know).
 

greatwestern

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Fairly certain that the Bristol bound train had green light whereas Honiton bound SHOULD have had a red. The converging point of the 2 routes is such that drivers would not see any conflict until the very last moments. The Honiton service contacted the rear of the (presumably) still moving Bristol service.
 

caravanman

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The initial reports said that one train derailed, knocking out signals, and the second train ran into it. I was confused by that, as any driver seeing signals not working would stop asap.
Your explanation above makes sense, if it was a rear end shunt, whatever caused it...
 

caravanman

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Latest info:
Investigators say "low adhesion" between the track and train wheels was the most likely cause of the crash between two trains in Salisbury.
The trains collided on the approach to a tunnel near Salisbury station at about 18:45 GMT on Sunday.

Investigators say the GWR train was "protected by a red signal" before being hit by a South Western train.
Andrew Hall, from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, said the South Western train was "required to stop" but "it did not stop".
Initial evidence was that the driver did attempt to brake at a red signal before the train suffered "wheel slide".
"Unfortunately, it did not stop and struck the side of the Great Western train at an angle such that both trains derailed and ran alongside each other into the tunnel.
"We are continuing to pursue this as a line of investigation amongst others," he added.
 

JontyMort

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Latest info:
Investigators say "low adhesion" between the track and train wheels was the most likely cause of the crash between two trains in Salisbury.
The trains collided on the approach to a tunnel near Salisbury station at about 18:45 GMT on Sunday.

Investigators say the GWR train was "protected by a red signal" before being hit by a South Western train.
Andrew Hall, from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, said the South Western train was "required to stop" but "it did not stop".
Initial evidence was that the driver did attempt to brake at a red signal before the train suffered "wheel slide".
"Unfortunately, it did not stop and struck the side of the Great Western train at an angle such that both trains derailed and ran alongside each other into the tunnel.
"We are continuing to pursue this as a line of investigation amongst others," he added.
I suppose a SPAD (“signal passed at danger”) was always the most likely cause, and actually the “least bad” (if you see what I mean), since the alternative would be a wrong-side signal failure. Still nasty, though.
 

caravanman

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The SPAD must be very close to the junction, for the train to "slide" so far. I am surprised there were no "catch points" to arrest a transgression of that nature?
 

JontyMort

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The SPAD must be very close to the junction, for the train to "slide" so far. I am surprised there were no "catch points" to arrest a transgression of that nature?
Yes, it will be interesting to see what the preliminary report from The Rail Accident Investigation Branch - which they say we shall get later this week - comes up with.
 

greatwestern

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The preliminary report information seems to reasonably sum up the incident, even at this early stage.


From personal observation as a passenger, there is a significant falling gradient on both lines approaching the tunnel entrance.
 

WWW

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From the looks of the photos there does not seem to be much room for a double track line through that tunnel.
While transiting the tunnel I would not want to be taking a selfi-photo with camera outside the car.

With a set up like that (two double tracks merging into the tunnel) - certainly need more signal aids/communication
to prevent this (Monday morning quarterbacking) from happening !
Un-monitored a recipe for disaster - - -
Of course this hasn't happened before - nothing can go wrong !
 

greatwestern

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From the looks of the photos there does not seem to be much room for a double track line through that tunnel.
While transiting the tunnel I would not want to be taking a selfi-photo with camera outside the car.

With a set up like that (two double tracks merging into the tunnel) - certainly need more signal aids/communication
to prevent this (Monday morning quarterbacking) from happening !
Un-monitored a recipe for disaster - - -
Of course this hasn't happened before - nothing can go wrong !
The clearance within the tunnel is, I am sure, no different from many of the tunnels on the UK network - it really is not particularly tight.

The signalling/monitoring systems at this junction will be no different from any of the thousands of junctions on the network - indeed the preliminary report already indicates that "a second emergency brake demand was made by the train protection and warning system (TPWS)". In other words the automated monitoring (of the "signal passed at danger") produced exactly the correct action. Why this failed to stop the train in time and why the driver's initial braking also failed to halt the train (at the signal) is, of course, another question.
 
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