Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Herald Sun vs Connex

First of all read the following article (note that the emphasis is mine):

Ash blamed for slippery tracks

Ashley Gardiner
March 18, 2009 12:00am

HEAT, leaves, vandalism and hungry passengers have all been blamed for causing havoc with Melbourne trains - now the latest culprit is soot.

Trains overshot stations six times in four weeks, including four times the day after Black Saturday.

The Herald Sun believes investigators are considering whether dirty and greasy tracks played a role.

Soot is one of several possible causes being investigated, sources said.

Extreme weather conditions could have been responsible for the incidents, five of which involved Siemens trains.

Brake failure has been eliminated as a cause of the overshoots and the trains have returned to service.

Siemens vice-president Paul Bennett told the Herald Sun that investigations by Siemens, Connex and the Department of Transport had ruled out a brake malfunction.

"If we at any time considered them to be unsafe, we would immediately . . . recommend the trains be withdrawn from service," Mr Bennett said.

"If the overshooting was caused by one single element, such as brake failure, we would expect authorities to act in accordance with safety regulations and remove the trains from service."

He said many factors could influence overshooting . . . "including track adhesion, human machine interface, train speed and weather".

Mr Bennett said Siemens maintained all 36 of its trains operating in Melbourne.

Three of the overshooting incidents occurred at Ormond station on the Frankston line, and the state of the track there is being investigated.

Overshoots also occurred at Murrumbeena, Noble Park and Yarraman stations on the Dandenong line.

Did I miss something there?

Where exactly did anyone other than the Herald Sun say that Ash was a possible source for the overshooting?

Black Saturday was a very windy day and it is more than likely that a considerable amount of debris such as leaves, dust and other litter could end up on the tracks. Last time I checked there were no bushfires in the Murrumbeena area.

The HUN reporting is designed to skew the readers opinion of Connex to make it sound like they are using any old excuse they can find. When in fact that is exactly not what they have done. Who are the HUN's sources as described? transport experts? rail designers? rail operators? some bloke down the corridor?


Jayne said...

Reading between the lines The Hun is plumping for Connex not to get the next contract to run our trains by painting them as the bad guys when Kosky and Brumby should be held equally responsible for shoddy service and infrastructure.
But I get the feeling The Hun is pushing for Brumby to stay in power after the next election by giving the Libs no media time at all, concentrating on the odd comments/ideas from Mayor Doyle and painting Brumby in a compassionate light since the bushfires.

dam buster said...

Jayne - The HUN has had it in for Connex for a while now. And in some respects they deserve it.

Brumby's profile has changed since Feb 7. I think it could be the making of him as a Premier rather than as Brack's back up.

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