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Western Railroad Discussion > Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all


Date: 05/14/24 11:50
Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: funnelfan

A big incident in Australia illustrates that autonomous trains can have collisions too. Rio Tinto Mining on the north coast of Australia operates massive autonomous trains on it's lines in the rich iron ore mining region. Just after midnight Monday morning 5 workers were attending to a broken down train when they received a mayday call that another train was about to hit the train they were working on. They were able to leave the train just in time. Although had they been at the rear of the train they were working on, instead of the head end, they may have been caught up in the mess of flying cars and locomotives. Details are just emerging, but it's unclear why the following autonomous train was unable to be stopped in time to avoid a collision. There is some confusing statements saying the following train was a "recovery train" sent to recover the train ahead. Not sure what that means exactly, perhaps the following train was supposed to help push the stalled train up a grade?

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-05-14/rio-tinto-autonomous-train-derailment-left-workers-shaken/103843336

https://www.hcamag.com/au/specialisation/industrial-relations/mining-workers-left-disturbed-after-iron-ore-train-collision-in-wa-mining-workers-left-disturbed/489170

Ted Curphey
Ontario, OR



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/24 12:05 by funnelfan.






Date: 05/14/24 12:39
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: pdt

I heard the news...thx for posting the pix.   

Im sure the techies have all their excuses lined up.     But at least this might give the penny pinchers in the RR ivory towers, some pause before they buy some  "autonomous trains that will work flawlessly"  (until they dont) , from the techies who dont know the difference between "on paper" and the real world.



Date: 05/14/24 13:01
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: dan

We have had those wrecks on manned trains here, after vandals let a cut of cars go, but in one statement it was inferred it was stationary. in other links quoted , https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,5862716   At least no one was killed.     Remember  the DC10 that flew into mountain in antartica, it was programming problem, air nz tried to cover it up too.      Will see after they get to the bottom of this!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/24 14:14 by dan.



Date: 05/14/24 13:59
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: portlander

pdt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I heard the news...thx for posting the pix.   
>
> Im sure the techies have all their excuses lined
> up.     But at least this might give the penny
> pinchers in the RR ivory towers, some pause before
> they buy some  "autonomous trains that will work
> flawlessly"  (until they dont) , from the techies
> who dont know the difference between "on paper"
> and the real world.

Which "techies" are saying that autonomous trains will work flawlessly? Also, when was the last time a Rio Tinto autonomous train was in a preventable collision? 

 



Date: 05/14/24 15:06
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: exhaustED

Get real guys, no one has ever said that autonomous trains will completely erradicate crashes. 



Date: 05/14/24 15:16
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: 55002

On the plus side, no rail workers were impacted in this scenario.



Date: 05/14/24 15:44
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: goneon66

how many accidents have these "autonomous" trains had on this railroad compared to their trains that used to run with a crew member?

how much more profitable is this company with these "autonomous" trains compared to running trains with a crew member?

just curious.............

66



Date: 05/14/24 15:51
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: callum_out

Actually the line has had a decent safety record and it's sole purpose is to transport ore to a
dock albeit for many miles.

Out 



Date: 05/14/24 15:53
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: NWRail

Well, shoot... who are they going to blame?



Date: 05/14/24 15:56
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: goneon66

i have watched some of their videos of these "autonomous" trains in some pretty desolate and uninhabited territories.

prior to running "autonomous" trains, i would be interested to know just how their crews were scheduled, if they lived in company housing, and if they had to be flown in..........

66



Date: 05/14/24 16:21
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: callum_out

As I remember the mine end resembles a small town. 

Out 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/24 13:39 by callum_out.



Date: 05/14/24 17:24
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: PHall

goneon66 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> i have watched some of their videos of these
> "autonomous" trains in some pretty desolate and
> uninhabited territories.
>
> prior to running "autonomous" trains, i would be
> interested to know just how their crews were
> scheduled, if they lived in company housing, and
> if they had to be flown in..........
>
> 66


Do a search because it has been covered here on TO by one of the operators. IIRC on the International Board.



Date: 05/14/24 17:41
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: MEKoch

Now autonomous trucks on your town’s interstate highway 😻

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/14/24 17:43
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: CubsFanJohn

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> goneon66 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > i have watched some of their videos of these
> > "autonomous" trains in some pretty desolate and
> > uninhabited territories.
> >
> > prior to running "autonomous" trains, i would
> be
> > interested to know just how their crews were
> > scheduled, if they lived in company housing,
> and
> > if they had to be flown in..........
> >
> > 66
>
>
> Do a search because it has been covered here on TO
> by one of the operators. IIRC on the International
> Board.

Is this the post you're talking about? 

Australia: End of the Line for Train Drivers (trainorders.com)



Date: 05/14/24 17:45
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: WP921

Interesting how similar these ore cars look to the SP cars that were used on the Eagle Mountain Railroad.



Date: 05/14/24 17:49
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: goneon66

thanks for the link cubs fan.  much appreciated.

go cubs..............

66



Date: 05/14/24 21:06
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: PHall

WP921 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Interesting how similar these ore cars look to the
> SP cars that were used on the Eagle Mountain
> Railroad.

Considering that they carry the same thing (iron ore) it's not surprising. Why reinvent the wheel?



Date: 05/15/24 07:49
Re: Autonomous Trains aren't so safe after all
Author: BAB

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> goneon66 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > i have watched some of their videos of these
> > "autonomous" trains in some pretty desolate and
> > uninhabited territories.
> >
> > prior to running "autonomous" trains, i would
> be
> > interested to know just how their crews were
> > scheduled, if they lived in company housing,
> and
> > if they had to be flown in..........
> >
> > 66
>
>
> Do a search because it has been covered here on TO
> by one of the operators. IIRC on the International
> Board.
Just read both sources posted on the two links and it covers fly in fly out part along with a comment about those who do that work make lots of money.



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