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Wenzhou South Railway station signaling system failure was root-cause of D301 and D3115 crash

Flaws in railway signal system lead to fatal collision: railway authorities

WENZHOU, July 28 (Xinhua) — Design flaws in railway signal equipment led to Saturday’s fatal high-speed train collision near Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province, the Shanghai Railway Bureau said on Thursday.

Having been struck by lightning, the signal system at Wenzhou South Railway Station failed to turn the green light to red, which caused the rear-end collision, said An Lusheng, head of the Shanghai Railway Bureau, at an investigation meeting held by the State Council in Wenzhou on Thursday.

The signal equipment was designed by a Beijing-based research and design institute and was put into use on Sept. 28, 2009, An said.

The accident revealed the railway sector’s vulnerabilities in safety infrastructure and management, An said.

The involved company, Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication, posted an apology on its website on Thursday, expressing its condolences and regret to victims of the accident and their families.

The accident has left at least 39 people dead and 192 others injured.

The State Council has set up an investigation panel working at the site, the Ministry of Railways (MOR) said in a statement on Tuesday .

  1. Pete North
    July 28th, 2011 at 07:06 | #1

    The bungling never ends. Did Grandpa really say he was late to the scence because he had been in hospital for the last 9 days? But then the public record shows he’s been out and about conducting all sorts of meetings.

    When I was a kid i used to think that once people got to a certain age they stopped lying. Another fantasy destroyed.

  2. raventhorn2000
    July 28th, 2011 at 08:10 | #2

    “When I was a kid i used to think that once people got to a certain age they stopped lying. Another fantasy destroyed.”

    I don’t what part of Earth you are living. People of “certain age” stopped lying??? Serious???!!

    Another fantasy destroyed??! How long will it take before you realize no Santa Claus and no Toothfairy??

    Talk about “bungling” your grand fantasies.

    *And actually,

    “Over this time I’ve been ill,” Mr. Wen said at a news conference, though he didn’t say what the illness was. “The doctor only today reluctantly allowed me to check out of hospital.”

    NOTE: He didn’t say he was in the hospital the “last 9 days”.

    And you perhaps still think that you would be more accurate when you got to a certain age??

  3. silentvoice
    July 28th, 2011 at 08:18 | #3

    Recall how Zhou En-lai was conducting high level meetings even while he was stricken with terminal cancer.

    I’m not saying Wen is that sick, but people above a certain age, like an old car, tend to have problems more often. If Grandpa Wen said he was sick, I’d believe it.

  4. Al
    July 28th, 2011 at 09:05 | #4

    Pete, u are as consumed by paranoia as Charlie is….As I told him in the other thread, it’s one thing to participate for duty to some meeting inside Zhongnanhai (the president of Cameroon), or few meters away in Renmin Dahuitang (the japanese delegation)…it’s a completely different matter, for a reportedly ill 69 year old man, to fly all the way till Wenzhou to visit wounded people in a very stressing environment…

    I thought that once got to a certain age people would start to be objective and think about things, another fantasy destroyed…cause of you…

  5. Charles Liu
    July 28th, 2011 at 10:46 | #5

    The may have been determined as the root cause, but the Chinese media seems to have been fairly independent in pointing out human errors also contributed to the accident:

    http://district.ce.cn/newarea/roll/201107/28/t20110728_22570424.shtml

    他在分析铁路部门的问题时说,在雷击造成温州南站信号设备故障后,电务值班人员没有意识到信号可能错误显示,安全意识敏感性不强;温州南站值班人员对新设备关键部位性能不了解,没能及时有效发现和处置设备问题,暴露出铁路部门对职工的教育培训不到位。

    Another reporter interviewed people at the South Wenzhou station and chronicled how the train became out of order the night of the accident, after auotmated monitoring system went down and the station only had 1 electrician on duty.

  6. July 28th, 2011 at 11:43 | #6

    @Charles Liu
    Thanks so much for help digging up these information.

  7. July 29th, 2011 at 06:36 | #7

    Just as a perspective on the current theory of the train collision:

    This was actually the 1st time lightning struck the signalling system at a train station, (especially considering the system is a brand new design).

    However, now there appeared there was a similar incident of lightning strike on a train station, causing system breakdown, (although not specifically a signalling system).

    IN FRANCE on July 3, 2010:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-07-03/world/france.commuter.chaos_1_passengers-station-french-national-railway?_s=PM:WORLD

    Thousands of travelers in France were stranded after lightning shut down a main train station on Saturday, the first day of the summer holiday for students.

    Lightening struck an electrical facility in Bretigny-sur-Orge, on the outskirts of Paris, forcing the closure of the Austerlitz station and affecting 40,000 travelers, a French National Railway official told CNN.

    However, traffic at Austerlitz station had resumed as of 6 p.m. (noon ET), CNN affiliate BFM reported, citing officials with railway agency. Electronic repairs on the railway had been completed by the evening, and traffic was expected to run smoothly by Sunday.

    *What does this mean?

    Charles stated earlier, “The maker of the automated monitoring system, Casco, is a joint venture between China Rail Signal and Alstom (manufacturer of the TGV and Eurostar).”

    Could it be that the design flaw is also in the European train stations?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/leicestershire/4618557.stm

    Another one in UK 2005

    http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/6276945-dutch-train-hit-by-lightening-passengers-walk-to-next

    Another in Holland, ALSO July 2010.

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