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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Train Crash in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Kills 78.

HISTORY IN THE NEWS:

 


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DEDICATED TO THE ORIGINS OF CONTEMPORARY EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD.




IN BRIEF: This summer's terrible train crashes are still minor when compared to rail fatalities over the last century.
 
IN THE NEWS:  HIGH SPEED TRAIN CRASHES IN SANTIAGO COMPOSTELA IN SPAIN, KILLING 78 AS CONDUCTOR LOSES CONTROL OF SPEED AT BEND IN THE LINE.

THE FACTS: This has been a month of train crashes, killing 48 in Megantic, Quebec, Canada, and now 72 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

-however, fatalities in the worst train accidents have always numbered in the hundreds.

-the worst rail disaster in history had nothing to do with human error: 1,700 were lost when a Sri Lanka passenger train was swept away in the Tsunami of December 26, 2005.

-otherwise, history's worst train wrecks occurred in 1989 when a gas explosion killed 575 on two trains in the Urals in Russia and 1917 in France when 550 were lost in the derailment of a troop train.


-the last major train crash occurred on May 28, 2010 in India when a passenger train derailed in West Bengal to avoid damage on the railway track and hit an oncoming train filled with goods, killing 148 people.

-safety seems to have kept pace with the development of high speed rail in Europe, America, China and Japan. However, in poorer countries train fatalities continue to be high.



IN HISTORY:

1926 March 14, Virilla River Canyon, Costa Rica: an overcrowded train carrying pilgrims derailed while crossing the Colima Bridge, killing over 300 people and injuring hundreds more
1917 Dec. 12, Modane, France: nearly 550 killed in derailment of troop train near mouth of Mt. Cenis tunnel.

1944 March 2, nr. Salerno, Italy: 521 suffocated when Italian train stalled in tunnel.

1957- Sept. 29, nr. Montgomery, West Pakistan: express train crashed into standing oil train; nearly 300 killed.

1989- June 3, Ural Mountains: gas exploded beneath 2 trains, killing 575.

2004 Feb. 18, Neishabour, Iran: runaway rail cars, loaded with fertilizer, petrol, and sulfur products, rolled 31 mi down the rails, caught fire, and exploded, killing more than 320 and devastating 5 villages

2004- Dec 26- Telwatta Sri Lanka- 1,700 killed when the great Indian Ocean tsunami hit the Queen of the Sea Express, killing passengers and many who clung to the train tom escape the tidal flood.

Thanks to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-10785301 and
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001450.html 


RELEVANT DATES for the world's deadliest train accidents.

The chronological development of high speed rail is indicated in italics.

1831 June 17, nr. Charleston, S.C.: boiler exploded on America's first passenger locomotive, The Best Friend of Charleston, injuring the fireman and the engineer.

1876 Dec. 29, Ashtabula, Ohio: Lake Shore train fell into the Ashtabula River when the bridge it was crossing collapsedduring a snowstorm; 92 people were killed.

1899- Germany experiments with high speed rail

1903- German high speed rail achieves speeds of over 200 k/hr.

1915 May 22, Quintinshill, Scotland: 2 passenger trains and troop train collided at Quintinshill near Gretna Green; 227 killed.

1917 Dec. 12, Modane, France: nearly 550 killed in derailment of troop train near mouth of Mt. Cenis tunnel.

1926 March 14, Virilla River Canyon, Costa Rica: an overcrowded train carrying pilgrims derailed while crossing the Colima Bridge, killing over 300 people and injuring hundreds more.

1933- Germany introduces the fastest high speed rail network in the world.

1934-1938- high speed rail networks operating in the United States, Italy and Britain

1944 March 2, nr. Salerno, Italy: 521 suffocated when Italian train stalled in tunnel.

1945- In 1945 a Spanish engineer, Alejandro Goicoechea, developed a streamlined articulated train able to run on existing tracks at higher speeds than contemporary passenger trains. This was achieved by providing the locomotive and cars with a unique axle system that used one axle set per car end, connected by a Y-bar coupler. Amongst other advantages, the centre of mass was only half as high as usual.[11] This system becomes famous under the name of Talgo (Tren Articulado Ligero Goicoechea Oriol), and is today the main Spanish provider of high-speed trains. (Wikipedia)

1949 Oct. 22, nr. Nowy Dwor, Poland: more than 200 reported killed in derailment of Danzig-Warsaw express.

1955 (circa) France's TGV system achieves a record speed of 331 km/hr. 

1957- Sept. 29, nr. Montgomery, West Pakistan: express train crashed into standing oil train; nearly 300 killed.


1957-1964- Japan advances research in high speed rail on both narrow and standard guages, being the first to offer high speed transport to the masses.

1962 May 3, nr. Tokyo: 163 killed and 400 injured when train crashed into wreckage of collision between inbound freight train and outbound commuter train.

1965- Frances introduces the first hovercraft aero-rail high speed train.

1969- 200 k/hr high speed rail in the United States.

1970- Feb. 4, nr. Buenos Aires: 236 killed when express train crashed into standing commuter train.

1972- Oct. 6, nr. Saltillo, Mexico: train carrying religious pilgrims derailed and caught fire, killing 204 and injuring over 1,000

1974- Aug. 30, Zagreb, Yugoslavia: train entering station derailed, killing 153 and injuring over 60

1981- France's TGV offers regular 260 k/hr rail service.

1981- June 6, nr. Mansi, India: driver of train carrying over 500 passengers braked to avoid hitting a cow, causing train to plunge off a bridge into the Baghmati River; 268 passengers were reported killed, but at least 300 more were missing.

1989- June 3, Ural Mountains: gas exploded beneath 2 trains, killing 575.

1990 Jan. 4, Sangi village, Sindh province, Pakistan: overcrowded 16-car passenger train rammed into a standing freight train. At least 210 people were killed and 700 were believed injured in what is said to be Pakistan's worst train disaster.

1993-2012- High speed rail expands in North America and China 

1995- Aug. 20, Firozabad, northern India: a speeding passenger train rammed another train that was stalled, killing 358.

1999- Aug. 2, Calcutta, India: 2 trains collided north of Calcutta, killing at least 285

2002- Feb. 20, nr. Ayyat, Egypt: 361 killed in fire after gas cylinder used for cooking exploded aboard crowded passenger train. Egypt's worst train disaster.

2002- June 24, nr. Msagali, central Tanzania: runaway passenger train collided with freight train on same track, leaving 200 dead.

2004 Feb. 18, Neishabour, Iran: runaway rail cars, loaded with fertilizer, petrol, and sulfur products, rolled 31 mi down the rails, caught fire, and exploded, killing more than 320 and devastating 5 villages. 

2004- Dec 26- Telwatta Sri Lanka- 1,700 killed when the great Indian Ocean tsunami hit the Queen of the Sea Express, killing passengers and many who clung to the train tom escape the tidal flood. 
 
2005-  the Spanish Government announced an ambitious plan, (PEIT 2005–2020)[21] envisioning that by 2020, 90 percent of the population would live within 50 km (30 mi) of a station served by AVE. Spain began building the largest HSR network in Europe: as of 2011 five of the new lines have opened (Madrid-Zaragoza-Lleida-Tarragona-Barcelona, Córdoba- Malaga, Madrid-Toledo, Madrid-Segovia-Valladolid, Madrid-Cuenca-Valencia) and another 2,219 km (1,380 mi) were under construction.[22] As of December 2010, the Spanish AVE system is the longest HSR network in Europe and the second in the world, after China. (Wikipedia)
 
2010- May 28, India: a passenger train derails in West Bengal to avoid damage on the railway track hits an oncoming train filled with goods and 148 people are killed.

2011, China has the world's longest high-speed rail network with 8,358 km of tracks.

2013- July 24- Spain — A train derails in Santiago de Compostela, killing seventy eight people.
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