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Overview of the Kerang Train Accident

Question:

Discuss about the Kerang Train Crash in Australia.

This train accident occurred on 5th of June in 2007 at 13:40 AEST in Australian state of Victoria , that is about six kilometres north of the city of the Kerang in the state NorthWest , and 257 kilometres that is north-northwest of the city of the Melbourne (Australia, 2014) .
The Southbound V/Line passenger train program 8042 that are comprised of the locomotive N460 together with the carriage set which was N7 was operating into by the northbound semi-trailer truck at the level crossing exactly where the Piangil railway line crosses the Murray valley Highway . The locomotive as well as the carriage eluded the impact as the truck swerved in direction of the left (Glendon, Clarke & McKenna, 2016). Nevertheless, the 2nd carriage in addition to the third carriage were struck both, which brought on very intense damages that occurred to the carriages and fatal injury to eleven passengers. The truck needed innumerable forty tonnes and it had been travelling at one hundred kilometres per hour, its effect was a devastating tragedy (Australia, 2014). The truck, that was owned by the Canny Carrying Business of the Wangaratta and was driven by the Christiaan Scholl, was damaged extremely on consequence to the carriage. School merely continual a shoulder and a head injuries. In this accident eleven individuals died and twenty three were injured in this crash, this was one of the deadliest crash in Australian since the 1977 that took place at Granville (Glendon, Clarke & McKenna, 2016). The Granville train derailed and run into the support of the road bridge and crashed on two train passenger carriages (Khan, Rathnayaka & Ahmed, 2015). This accident killed eighty four people, and more than 210 were injured affecting 1300 individuals.

The train which that was involved in Kerang accident was a locomotive hauled service from Swan Hill that had departed for Melbourne at around 13:00. The train was operated by N class locomotive and 3 vehicle N kind carriage set. This collision triggered the closure of most the close by part of Murray Valley Highway.

On this particularly accident it was caused by derailment. The derailment occurs when a train runs off its rail. In this derailment it was caused by a collision by a truck when it was at the cross road. The train crashed with the truck where there was a clear derailment of the running of the vehicle wheels on the track (Khan, Rathnayaka & Ahmed, 2015). This was an obstruction which was encountered at the road at level crossings- which is the grade crossing. This impact was devastating because the truck was carrying more than 40 tonnes and it was moving at a high speed of 100kmh. the derailment in most of the cases cause a distribution on main lines to differ from the distribution on the yard or the siding tracks, as a result of different in nature of the operations in these two setting (Salmon, Lenne, Read, Walker & Stanton, 2014). This type of derailment provides an insight into the development, evaluation, as well as the implementation of the accident prevention approaches given a specific set of the operating conditions. Speed is a contributing factor in this derailment severity, and several qualitative and quantitative relationship between the derailments and the speed.

Causes of the Kerang Train Accident

Another aspect which have caused this accident could have been the fatigue. This is regarded as the lack of recuperative sleep. This might are actually contributed by time as well as workplace, the period of time spent at the workplace along with the amount as well as quality of rest that is accomplished to and after function periods (Salmon, Lenne, Read, Walker & Stanton, 2014). Depending on the report the truck driver failed to did not have sufficient rest. Depending on the regulation in Victoria it involves a driver especially for truck to obtain a 30 minute sleep after driving for specific five hours (Haque, Chin & Debnath, 2013). The motor vehicle driver happen to be on leisure leave for a few weeks. His measures in those days are not generally known as this may be likelihood of cumulative tiredness that should be present to beginning his work that day.


An additional safety breach was contrast of the signals in addition to the train with the background. The contrast entails the difference in the brightness between an item and also its background (Khan, Rathnayaka & Ahmed, 2015). The contrast usually performs a significant aspect in numerous visual duties, for instance discriminating objects in the intricate visual environments or simply to have the ability to look at the road sign. The level of contrast bears the capability to choose whether or not an object might be identified easily (Salmon, Lenne, Read, Walker & Stanton, 2014). The moment the sun is directly or maybe indirectly recognizable to the road user it could result in the physical discomfort and potentially reduce a person capability to use visual data from the environment. The result of the sun might be amplified by imperfection or maybe damage to the windscreen of the vehicles (Mulvihill, Salmon, Beanland, Lenné, Read, Walker, & Stanton, 2016). The condition of the truck before the incident might not be determined. The originality of the indicators could be lowered under these conditions particularly in which their luminance level is a great deal similar to the background, as it happens in the bright sunlight (Kemp, 2016). For that reason, the contrast between the signals along with surrounding might be less. With this accident the sun was almost direct even before the truck simply by the approach to the level crossing. Because of this position, it might be feasible that the sunlight then was mirrored off the surface of the road, which afflicted the driver’s visibility of the warning signage and level crossing flashing lights (Zhao & Khattak, 2017). Furthermore, it had been also reported from the study that the truck driver utilized the vision correcting glasses that changed on the effect of the glare. The position of the sun whenever the accident occurred designed that the side of the train that was dealing with the truck driver was shadowed. Because of this, the contrast between the trains in addition to its background is a bit more likely to have minimized and a lot less easy for one detect (Zhao & Khattak, 2017). Based on the rail operators in Australia configure on the locomotive ditch lights to flash any time the locomotive warning horn is initialized to have the capability to help in improving the conspicuity of the locomotive. It was not with regards to this incident.

Impact of the Kerang Train Accident

Following this tragic accident there are various policy which have been implemented in order to prevent similar incident in the future. One of the aspect which was identified in regards to the accident was the safety of the level crossing (Ma, Guha, Choi, Anderson, Nealy, Withers & Dietrich, 2017). First it is important to understand that the use of the level crossing is completely safe provided attention is paid and one obeys the laws and the regulations which are set. Nonetheless, as a result of this accident the government of Australia has been concerned with the occurrence of the accident. Therefore there policies in regards to managing the level crossing risk have been implemented (Zeigler, 2016). The government has said it will be only in exceptional circumstance will they permit new crossings to be introduced onto the network. They have continued educating the uses on how to use the crossing safety and they have highlighted to them the dangers associated to it. Moreover, the government has opted to work with the police as well as the HM Railway Inspectorate (the office of the Rail Regulation) and attempt to promote enforcement of the law along with prosecution of any individual who abuses the level crossings (Salmon, Read, Stanton & Lenné, 2013). The government aims to regularly examine and correctly sustain the level crossing commercial infrastructure such that the safety incidents as a result of the infrastructure malfunction could be reduced (Zhao & Khattak, 2017). Additionally, the transport authorities need to investigate new warning system at the level crossing and more training for the train drivers as well as the instructors to help them to respond to crashes. Following this accident the government continues to examine, trial and implement of innovation, processes in addition to techniques which enhances the safety by means of either reduction of the cost and the provision of enhanced protection. Further the government decided to eliminate unmanned level crossing through various means (Salmon, Read, Stanton & Lenné, 2013). It decided to eliminate all the level that are unmanned through; closing the unmanned crossing that have negligible train vehicle units, merger of the unmanned level crossing to the nearby manned gates or road under bridge.


There has been a renewed interest in the safety of the rail travel in Australia Railways, following the incident of Kerang accident. There are a number of technologies which are been developed following this accident in order to improve on the safety of rail journey (Zhao & Khattak, 2017). One such is the derailment detection devices which are sensors which are on board train and detect the possibility of derailment based on the movement as well as the tilt. The devices would measure and process the signals (Young, Lenné, Beanland, Salmon & Stanton, 2015). With the proper integration into the braking system of the train, in case of derailment the instrument would minimize the causalities by the reducing the amount of time the derailed coach drag (Zeigler, 2016). This is aligned with the policy of the government which they have implemented to examine, trial and implementing of revolutionary technology, procedures in addition to strategies to be able to develop the safety through reduced cost and provision of improved protection.

Preventive Measures and Policy Changes

Conclusion

Kerang train accident is one of the deadliest has been encountered since 1977, that occurred at Granville in Australia. This accident has been due to the safety breaches. In this research it has focused on the causes of the incident, and the changes to the policy and practices which the government has implemented to prevent a future incident from occurring.

References

Australia, S. W. (2014). Work-related traumatic injury fatalities, Australia 2013. ACT: Canberra.

Glendon, A. I., Clarke, S., & McKenna, E. (2016). Human safety and risk management. Crc Press.

Haque, M. M., Chin, H. C., & Debnath, A. K. (2013). Sustainable, safe, smart—three key elements of Singapore’s evolving transport policies. Transport Policy, 27, 20-31.

Kemp, R. (2016). Quantitative risk management and its limits. Routledge Handbook of Risk Studies, 164.

 Khan, F., Rathnayaka, S., & Ahmed, S. (2015). Methods and models in process safety and risk management: past, present and future. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 98, 116-147.

Ma, X., Guha, S., Choi, J., Anderson, C. R., Nealy, R., Withers, J., ... & Dietrich, C. (2017, January). Prototypes of using directional antenna for railroad crossing safety applications.     In Consumer Communications & Networking Conference (CCNC), 2017 14th IEEE    Annual (pp. 594-596). IEEE.

Mulvihill, C. M., Salmon, P. M., Beanland, V., Lenné, M. G., Read, G. J., Walker, G. H., &  Stanton, N. A. (2016). Using the decision ladder to understand road user decision making             at actively controlled rail level crossings. Applied ergonomics, 56, 1-10.

Salmon, P. M., Lenne, M. G., Read, G., Walker, G., & Stanton, N. A. (2014). Pathways to failure? Using work domain analysis to predict accidents in complex systems. Advances    in Human Aspects of Transportation: Part II, 8, 258.

Salmon, P. M., Read, G. J., Stanton, N. A., & Lenné, M. G. (2013). The crash at Kerang: Investigating systemic and psychological factors leading to unintentional non-compliance         at rail level crossings. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 50, 1278-1288.

Young, K. L., Lenné, M. G., Beanland, V., Salmon, P. M., & Stanton, N. A. (2015). Where do novice and experienced drivers direct their attention on approach to urban rail level      crossings?. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 77, 1-11.

Zeigler, N. M. (2016). Positive train control: safety, effectiveness, and security (Doctoral dissertation, Utica College).

Zhao, S., & Khattak, A. J. (2017). Injury Severity in Crashes Reported in Proximity of Rail Crossings–The Role of Driver Inattention. Journal of Transportation Safety & Security,      (just-accepted).

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