10 posts • joined Tuesday 8th September 2009 12:15 GMT
Re: Perhaps it was lost in translation
And the link has photo!
Re: I've had my fair share
Britain gives you Wings
(Well, it gives them to Airbus)
Is anyone else thinking...
I'm nothing to do with Eurostar or any of the connected companies.
Merely I am someone who has had an interest in railways from a young age. I also get annoyed with the culture of blame.
Sh*t happens. Life goes on. Demanding the cheif exec stand down is just way OTT. He didn't design the trains, and deliberately make sure they'd fail after 15 (or however many) years like this. Do you think he personally told everyone not to tell the passengers what was going on?
This was, by the looks of it, a very unfortunate set of circumstances that were never thought of. What the CE now has to do is to be seen to be working with the right people to establish what went wrong, where there is room for improvement, and get things back on track (pun intended!)
As has been pointed out elsewhere, I'd like to see you do better... All to easy to sit behind your computer and criticise.
*wonders if our ranting reporter was a passenger on one of those trains and wanted somewhere to let off some steam* (OK, enough with the train puns!)
Couple of answers
Most trains I've ever been on have some emergency lighting, but it will be battery operated. Depending on what's tripped with the water ingestion, that may have caused the emergency lighting to fail, or the report may have been chinese whispered and really it was a case of the lighting failed after the batteries discharged. Anyone know how long the battery is meant to last for? (Of course, the same thing would affect the aircon as well.)
When I was on a Eurostar back in February I'm 99.999% certain the stickers on the trains were illuminous. The problem, I suspect, is that over time the luminance fades - they need to keep seeing light to "recharge".
I'm pretty certain that brakes are dsigned to failsafe to an "on" position... Fairly basic thing one would hope!
Sorry, I think that is a slightly simplistic and, possibly, unfair view of what happened...
First, how do we know that trains 2 and 3 (and 4 and 5, possibly) weren't already in the tunnel when the first one broke down? (Particularly given 9053 and 9055 left 30 mins apart, a journey through the tunnel takes approx 30 mins, I don't know the stopping patterns of the 2 trains, nor if either were late, held up on the route, etc so it is perfectly feasible for one to have entered just before the first one broke down.) The tunnel, as you state, could possibly take 10 times this number of trains, and until 1 breaks down, there is no reason to stop trains entering.
You complain the tunnel only had 2 rescue locos available, and sound surprised. The East Coast Main Line, I understand, is approx 500 miles in length from London to Edinburgh and has 4 rescue locos available. The tunnel is just 31 miles long, and has 2. There's only 2 tracks under the channel, so how does having more trains help? Maybe you could argue 4 is more suitable (2 working from each end of the tunnel, 1 per line). Also, the more rescue locos you have sat idle the more you pay on maintenance and the more stand-by drivers you have to pay; a cost which is passed onto the customer. There is a case here of having to balance risk with cost, and given how rarely more than 1 rescue train, let alone 2, has been needed I think the balance is about right.
"We know that there is a cab signalling system in the tunnel which is used to give information directly to train drivers on a display." Indeed... But if you read up on the system on your wonderful source, Wikipedia, I think you will find it only displays speed instructions. Sadly, the cab signalling system isn't a free-form text screen (can you imagine what the drivers and signallers may spend all day doing!) on which drivers can be informed of delays, etc. So your comment about "the communications route was there for the train staff to be kept informed about what was going" is not accurate in this form. I would hope that there is in-cab radio for this sort of thing, but if the electrics have been shorted out there is a chance this would not be working (I would hope there is a battery backup, but even that will have limited capacity and may be prone to the same shorting).
There is probably a good reason why doors must remain closed in the tunnel (or anywhere else for that matter). What happens when someone opens the door and gets off? They could get left if the train suddenly starts to move, fall off the walkway under the train, etc. This is a safety issue and I think to criticise it is just plain wrong.
On the matter of emergency food and drink... Well do you really expect them to have an extra supply of food and drink just in case something goes wrong? For a quarter-mile long Eurostar just think how much space this would take up. And what do you do with that food? Keep it there until it goes off, throw it away and replace it? Just think of the waste and the cost!
Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying the companies invovled are totally free of blame. Procedures do need to be reviewed in light of what went on. Communications in particular need to be looked at.
Why do we need a public inquiry? Things go wrong all the time. I would hope that the relevant safety boards do their investigations and that recommendations are made and implemented. But do we call for a public inquiry every time something like this goes wrong? There have been worse incidents than this where people have lost lives, yet the standard investigations are carried out, recommendations made and implemented and life goes on.
This is, sadly, not a perfect world. Things will always go wrong. All we can do is learn from our mistakes to try and make sure they don't go wrong again (at least not in the same way!)
Have I jumped back a month in time? :-/
And is it really 20 years? That would have made me... Still aged in single figures. I am worried now at how time has passed me by so quickly :(
Penguin; because they're evil!
We need to know...
The list includes plain "wafer", but the pink wafer is in a class of its own! Does anyone actually admit to liking these abominations of the biscuit world? You only have to see what they do to other biscuits - does any other biscuit have such a contamination ability; so surely it should be scored to warn us of the true danger they pose!
And interestingly, Wikipedia doesn't have a Pink wafer article, and my local google thinks I mean "pink water" instead of "pink wafer". The fact that these 2 esteemed institutions refuse to acknowledge the existance of the pink wafer speaks volumes!