Saturday, February 24, 2007

Train Crash in Cumbria

On Friday evening, the breaking news came on TV about a train that had derailed in Cumbria. I estimate that the location is about 2 hours from here when driving by car - I had never been in that area.

Somehow I am not surprised, in fact I expected a train crash sooner or later. Twice I had been travelling to London, on a GNER train. The service runs nice, on time, the trains go fast. But more than once I was wondering if the trains do not go too fast. I have gone on trains in Europe, with TGV from Paris, with the ICE in Germany. So I know what kind of vibrations and shaking one has to expect. The train from Leeds to London seemed to have the worst shaking of all train rides I had done. Some sudden bumps, wagons move to the side. Obviously the passengers are used to this, because when I experienced this, everybody was just quiet, nobody looked even up. But I felt that going over switches / points ("Weichen") there was too much vibration and bumping. Must be some unevenness in the tracks, some tolerances set as too tolerant.

I hope that the tracks in the UK get an update soon, otherwise another of these accidents is unavoidable.