- Automatic Train Protection
Automatic Train Protection (ATP) in
Great Britainrefers to either of two implementations of a train protection systeminstalled in some trains in order to help prevent collisions through a driver's failure to observe a signal or speed restriction. Note that ATP can also refer to automatic train protection systems in general, as implemented in other parts of Europe and elsewhere. [ IRSENews ]
This system uses a target speed indication and audible warnings to warn the train driver if they are likely to exceed a speed profile that will cause the train to pass a red signal or exceed a speed restriction. The system will apply the brakes if the driver fails to respond to these warnings. The system takes into account the speed and position of the train relative to the end of its 'movement authority' in issuing the warnings and applying the brakes.
By the 1980s
microprocessorshad developed sufficiently for BR to carry out pilot trials on existing European ‘off the shelf’ ATP – fitting part of the Great Western Main linewith the TBL1 system from ACEC and the Chiltern Main Lineroute with SELCAB a derivative of the German LZBsystem from Alcateland GEC.
In the early
1990s, following the Clapham Junction rail crashin December 1988, and two other fatal accidents in early 1989caused by SPADs, British Railwas keen to implement the ATP system across the entire British railway system. However, the cost (estimated at over £1bn) was balked at by the Conservative government, whose priority was the privatization of the railways.
First Great Western's High Speed Trains (HSTs) are now fitted with ATP, and are not allowed to carry passengers unless the system is functioning. This requirement is in response to the Ladbroke Grove rail crash. All Chiltern RailwaysClass 165 and Class 168 trains are also fitted with ATP. Also all of Heathrow ExpressClass 332 trains and Heathrow Connect's Class 360/2 trains are fitted with this system.
ATP is given permitted speed and location information from the track via encoded
balise(s), encoded track circuit or more recently via radio.
In TfLs plans to modernise the
London Undergroundnetwork, all lines would be equipped with ATP, replacing the current train stop system, a mechanical system which currently prevents SPADs and collisions. The Central Lineis already equipped with ATP since the modernisation of the line in 1996.
Continuous and intermittent ATP
ATP systems may be broadly grouped as continuous and intermittent. With continuous ATP, a cable is laid between the rails for the full length of the block section. The rails themselves may also be used as the cable whereby the track talks to the train. With intermittent ATP, beacons called
balises are mounted between the rails on the approach to signals, and perhaps a few other locations.
The Eurobalise is an attempt to set a standard for ATP across Europe where balises and on train equipment made by any manufacturer work together with each other.
Eurobaliseis the common specification for an ATP system able to go anywhere, and overcome the multiplicity of non-compatible designs currently in use. Any manufacturer can make the balises and the train board equipment.
Accidents and ATP
Accidents preventable by ATP
Hines Hill train collision- 1996- driver misjudges end of crossing loop during simultaneous cross with opposing train. Two killed.Fact|date=March 2008
Glenbrook train disaster- 1999- too fast after Stop and Proceed.Fact|date=March 2008
Waterfall train disaster- 2003- too fast around very sharp curve.Fact|date=March 2008
Ladbroke Grove rail crash- 1999- inexperienced driver misread complicated signals, passes red signal and causes head-on collision.Fact|date=March 2008
Seven Hills, Blacktownand Concord West- drivers take turnouts at too high a speed, causing minor injuries to passengers.Fact|date=March 2008
Amagasaki rail crash- 2005- Overspeed through sharp curve. 107 killed, 555 injured. [ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4480031.stm Japanese train crash kills dozens ]
* Chatsworth train collision -
September 12, 2008- driver of commuter train passes red signal and collides head-on with freight train - 25 killed [ http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/us/14crash.html?hp ]
Accidents not preventable by ATP
Clapham Junction rail crash- 1988- wrong-side failure- both signal and balise would have shown false green lights. 35 killed, 100 plus injured.Fact|date=March 2008
Cowan rail crash- 1990- wrong-side failure- caused by sand on the rails.Fact|date=March 2008
Bruehl train disaster- 2000- too fast through turnout during single-line workingand degraded operations.Fact|date=March 2008
Accidents reducible by ATP
* In the
Gare de Lyon train accidentin Paris in 1988, a brake failure was the prime cause of the accident. However a more modern ATP system, if fitted, might have reduced the intensity of the collision in two ways:
** Firstly, the on board ATP equipment may have detected the excessive speed of the train sooner than the driver did.Fact|date=March 2008
** Secondly, the ATP system presumably would have applied a secondary backup brake system, even though this might have "risked" flat wheels. Apparently, the driver failed or forgot to apply that secondary brake.Fact|date=March 2008
ATP would be complemented by improved radio communications especially
Automatic Warning System
Train Protection & Warning System
Train protection system
Automatische treinbeïnvloeding(ATB) – a Dutch system which would have prevented the Harmelen train disaster.
European Train Control System(ETCS)
List of pre-1950 rail accidents
List of 1950-1999 rail accidents
List of rail accidents- 2000 - present
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Look at other dictionaries:
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