DB Cargo is to appeal a Dutch court’s ruling that they must pay 1.5 million Euros to rail infrastructure manager ProRail for track damage caused by a collision in 2009 in which the DB train driver died.
A then DB Schenker train drove through a red light, possibly after the driver became unwell due to a pre-existing heart problem.
DB Cargo asks 1.5 million euros for collision in 2009
The DB train was travelling from Groningen to a freight yard at Kijfhoek between Barendrecht and Zwijndrecht, while an ERS train was en route from Rotterdam to Warsaw. The DB train passed a red signal at Barendrecht at the same as the ERS was approaching from the other direction, and a collision occurred under the A15 motorway viaduct.
A 2011 report by the Dutch Safety Board had already established that the incident, which occurred on 24 September, 2009, was probably caused by the driver becoming unwell, after an autopsy revealed he suffered from a genetic heart defect.
Before the collision the driver had twice attempted and failed to make an emergency stop, but his actions were not detected by the control centre. Evidence of the condition had been noted in a previous medical but no further examinations had taken place. The board recommended more stringent medical procedures be implemented.
However the court ruled that in going through the red signal, the driver had committed a ‘breach of the statutory duty’ and therefore ‘acted unlawfully’ against ProRail. As a result, the court said, the damage ‘must be attributed’ to DB Schenker.
The DB train’s Automatic Train Control system, ATB EG (1st generation), failed to intervene when the train passed the red signal, as it does not operate when a train approaches a red signal at less than 40 kilometres per hour, and it was travelling at 39 km/h.
The Dutch Safety Board subsequently found that a modern braking security system, such as ATB Vv, ATB NG or ERTMS, might have prevented the accident.
Jelle Rebbers, Spokesman for DB Cargo, said: “We do not just disagree with the responsibility but also the allocation of certain damage components, such as the cost o…
Smart sensors measure chemical temperature in rail transit
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A global logistics provider for the chemicals industry, the Bertschi Group – which also has its HQ in Switzerland – specialises in liquid and dry bulk products. Much of the hazardous cargo which it transports must travel within a specific temperature band.
Markus Berner, Head of Digital Logistics at Bertschi Group, said: “Any means by which we can further raise the bar regarding safety gets top priority at Bertschi, and having continuous and detailed information about the containers allows us to be certain that everything is well within safe operating conditions. Automated alerts on deviations provide us with one more layer of safety on top of all the existing procedures and mechanisms.”
Delicate chemical compounds
The same measurements are also ‘invaluable’ for guaranteeing that the cargo, which often contains delicate chemical compounds, reaches its destination within the optimal temperature band, and in perfect condition, he added. “We have very tough requirements for the capabilities, ruggedness, cost and maintainability of devices in the field,” said Berner. “In my opinion, particularly regarding energy autonomy and frequency of updates, the technology speaks for itself.”
Daniel MacGregor, Marketing and Sales Director for Nexiot, said the sensor system was particularly suited for rail assets which have no native power source. “Connecting rail wagon and tank container fleets to extract critical data brings similar challenges and opportunities, as both asset types are non-powered,” he added.
“Our self-sustaining technology has overcome the battery problems which were a major barrier to monitoring these sorts of mobile assets and made critical data available in real-time, so that our customers can make informed business decisions and ensure their cargo arrives safely and on time,” said MacGregor.
Nexiot is also trialling a new system of self-sufficient sensors, mounted onto the tank containers, and which communicate data wirelessly to its Machine to Machine (M2M) devices, also installed on the tank containers. Location, so-called ‘impact events’, border crossings and mileage…