The Train Crash in Spain

What the Train Crash in Spain Makes You Think: The world was shaken by the news of a train crash from Spain recently. The high-speed train, marketed under the Alvia brand, was derailed on a curve and caused dozens of innocent lives and injuries. But; effects of the accident; it was not limited to deaths, injuries and property damage. We are saying that railroad is the safest type of transportation; We felt that our discourse (even if it was not dead) was hurt.

Earn; It was determined that a curve that was allowed to enter the train at a maximum speed of 80 km / h was formed as a result of a 190 km / h speed. The incident pointed to a purely human error. Therefore, our statements about the safety of the railroad were damaged. Because, one of the most important factors that makes one type of transportation safe or unsafe compared to another; how much human intervention is involved in the operation of that species. The more direct human intervention in a system, the more error-prone that system is. Highway can be said to be the type of transportation with the most human intervention. Therefore, the road safety level is low; As a result of driver errors, a lot of accidents and death - injury - property damage occur. Accidents also occur less frequently, as there is less human intervention on railways.

However, in the incident in Spain, we saw an example of how even a much more limited amount of human intervention made a fatal error than on the road. This situation led to different reactions from individuals and in the media. Many people, a little bit of the same in Spain as being sourced from a Mediterranean country such as Turkey (as it is known, when a train accident in Turkey, authorities are scraped from the events themselves, destroying over machinist immediately crime) only mechanic cutting of the invoice event and thus the event's superior he was concerned about the closure. The rightful statements of these people emphasized that it was the duty of the railway management to make the driver make mistakes, so the administration did not have the right to justify himself by putting the blame on the mechanic. Indeed, it seemed that the administration had not taken all the measures it could take to address such a fatal error.

Today's modern signaling and train protection systems include applications that can prevent the engineer from exceeding the speed limits. These applications continuously compare the speed of the train and the speed limit currently in force; as soon as the speed limit exceeds a certain percentage, the emergency braking system is activated to stop the train. However, the features of the applications are not so much. These applications also produce braking curves. Here's an example of what we mean:

The train proceeds in line with the speed limit of 200 km / h; however, it approaches a chip where the speed limit is 90 km / h. The mechanic dived, forgot to brake. The 90 km / h came with the 50 km / h where the speed limit began (perhaps 200 meters ahead of the wreckage). At this point, it does not mean that the system exceeds the speed limit and activates the emergency braking system. This is an intervention made after work. Or, the mechanic forgot that he was approaching an area where the speed limit was 90 km / h, he began to brake to slow down. However, by making a human error, he could not accurately predict the braking distance that could approach the 2000 meter and could only reduce the speed to 150 km / h up to the entry. At this point, it does not mean that the speed limit is exceeded and the emergency braking system is activated. This is an intervention made after work.

These applications are equipped with braking curve features that will prevent interventions after the job is too late. The system not only indicates the location of the forward speed drop point and the speed limit to be reduced. It also determines when to start braking in order to decrease the desired speed at the desired point and how the speed should change during the braking period. As soon as the driver determines that he is not braking properly, the train activates the emergency braking system and stops the train. This accident would not have occurred if a train protection system capable of generating braking curves had been used on the railway line in Spain.

The problem arises here. Signaling and train protection systems with the feature of generating braking curves are found in all high-speed lines (lines with speeds above 200 km / h in commercial operations) (including high-speed train lines in our country), while conventional lines (200 km / h in commercial operation) are only available on some lines that are not exceeded. This is an important deficiency that needs to be addressed.

At this point, I would like to take precautions not to confuse the concept of high speed train with the concept of high speed line. High-speed train is the train that can speed over 200 km / h in commercial business. The high-speed line is the railway line that allows high-speed trains to speed over 200 km / h in commercial operation. The two concepts are often confused. High speed trains need to be traveling on a high speed track to realize their high speed potential. In cases where high speed trains use conventional lines; The speed they can do is also the same as the speed of conventional trains. The accident in Spain occurred while the high-speed train was moving on the conventional line.

While signaling and train protection systems with braking curve generation are found in all high-speed lines, only some of the conventional lines are expected to be criticized; instead, the presence of those who criticize the use of high-speed trains from time to time by conventional lines upset me. This demonstrates a serious distortion of the social class perception of individuals.

In European practice, high-speed train fares are higher than those for conventional trains. In fact, it can often be even higher than the flight ticket fees on the same course. This situation clearly reveals that; high-speed train is a means of transportation for the upper income group.

When high-speed trains use conventional lines, as mentioned above, they are subject to the same speed limits as conventional trains. In this case, if there is no train protection system producing a conventional braking curve, conventional trains using the same line at the same speed are as threatened as high-speed trains. But why do some critics criticize why only high-speed trains use conventional lines, not this lack? In the eyes of these people, high-speed train passengers entering the upper income group are worthy, but isn't it worth the cost of the conventional train passengers entering the lower income group?

In our opinion, there is no class separation of life security. If a railroad system has a protection system that increases the level of security, it is missing for all trains using that line. This deficiency should be eliminated immediately and the level of security should be increased without class discrimination.

In the accident in Spain, the blood of innocent people was shed. Unfortunately, there is no way back. The question that needs to be answered at this point is: Will these bloods be washed in a hurry so that “our customers who will bring us beautiful coins will not get their stomachs up”? Or will it be used to write new rules as they should? TCDD management should ask the same question. TCDD does not have the luxury of saying "the accident happened in Spain, there is nothing that concerns us". TCDD also has to draw the necessary lessons. TCDD General Manager Süleyman Karaman forgot the fatal accidents that occurred on conventional lines during his period and made a statement saying, "We do not have such an accident because our YHT lines have a train control system that produces a braking curve", TCDD has the mentality to learn from this accident It makes us doubt that it is happening.


1) In the shortest time, studies should be started to establish the train protection systems that produce braking curve to conventional lines. The financing of this should, if necessary, be met with additional taxes to be brought to the car users.

2) In cases where the train protection system generating braking curves cannot be installed, additional measures should be taken for speed drop points. These may include warning signs to be placed back at least as much as the braking distance, audible - illuminated warning systems, as well as limiting the amount of speed reduction to be made at once. For example, if the speed limit has to decrease from 200 km / h to 80 km / h due to a curve, this decrease is not at once, but 200 - 190 - 180 - 160 - 140 - 120 - 100 (km / h) (figures given as an example ), so that the probability of occurrence of errors in the determination of the braking distance should be reduced.

Source : I



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