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Got some more data from a Greek railfan forum
(yes, there are Greeks who love trains and everything related to these!)

We got a video link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh7UWZZ75Yg&feature=player_detailpage#t=302s

(obviously, I do not know Chinese, if someone of the readers here can verify it, we would be grateful)

Here is the list of the events according to the video and a reader:

  • Signals near Wenzhou South were found to be malfunctioning, all showing red.

  • D3115 arrived into Yongjia (north of Wenzhou South) 4 minutes late

  • A decision was made that the signals are to be over-ridden and manual operation commenced from Wenzhou South control centre

  • Manual operation commenced from Yongjia control centre

  • D301 was informed of manual operation and made an unscheduled stop at Yongjia at 20:12

  • D3115 departed from Yongjia 27 minutes late

  • D301 was given the clear to proceed

  • D3115 reached the start of signal failure area and stopped

  • D301 departed from Yongjia at high speed, with his signals all showing clear

  • D3115 began running towards Wenzhou South at 20 km/h

  • D3115 driver reported a passenger operated emergency stop, unaware his train has just been rear-ended.

Some comments from a Greek poster:

It's not known why they didn't wait for the preceding train to reach the next station before sending off the next one during the manual operation
(N.F. this is supposedly the only safe way to run in 'dark territory')

It was written that the trains got directions from two different control centers, there was pressure to minimize delays due to bad publicity of previous days, and that they were getting a bonus when they reduce delays.
Due to the language barrier, it is impossible to verify anything.

The dead toll could be MUCH worse, since 1600 people were in the two trains.

There was no understandable motive behind the decision to bury the damaged coaches without giving clear and consistent explanations, raising a major outcry:

N.F.
by nfotis on Thu Aug 18th, 2011 at 08:24:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
D3115 driver reported a passenger operated emergency stop, unaware his train has just been rear-ended.

Ah, that inconsistency is cleared up now, too.

It's not known why they didn't wait for the preceding train to reach the next station before sending off the next one during the manual operation
(N.F. this is supposedly the only safe way to run in 'dark territory')

Ah, it finally starts to make sense. So all this dispatching was radio dispatching after the automatic signalling system was ruled malfunctioning, and the key mistake seems to be the launch of two trains within station distance.

It was written that the trains got directions from two different control centers

I would think normally, each control centre at the two ends of a section with failed train protection would dispatch trains in one direction. If D3115 and D301 were dispatched by two different control centres, that explains the two trains within station distance, and constitutes another very fundamental mistake. But, even so, it remains unexplained how the dispatcher of D301 could have missed the train ahead on his screen.

there was pressure to minimize delays due to bad publicity of previous days, and that they were getting a bonus when they reduce delays.

This is discussed in the Caing article, but, without seeing how exactly it was technically possible in the system/within the rules to dispatch two trains into the same section, and how it was possible to miss the train ahead, I'm not sure if this is relevant.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Aug 18th, 2011 at 09:51:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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