picture showing traffic congestion. Source: chron.com
It is an undoubted fact that road transportation plays a notable role in nation building. A well-developed road transportation is a testimony and quality of a developed nation. An industry that has a fleet of vehicles operating within its community or city is a mark of a successful enterprise. In all ramifications, road transportation is important to individuals, an organization or an industry and to a
nation, at large.
In logistics, the importance of road transportation cannot be over-emphasized; an improper management of vehicle fleet has a great negative impact on logistics industry’s productivity as well as the customer service. Since customers are the life wire of any business, hence, poor customer service due to improper fleet management in an organization, a logistics industry or any transport service provider is a bid toward the extinction of such an organization.
Therefore, looking at the factors that can affect the smooth operation of vehicle fleet is a justification for this article. Hence, below are the factors:
1. Congestion: Unnecessary long delay due to traffic congestion will increase
travel time of a vehicle thereby causing a late delivery of goods.
2. Government Policy: Restrictions may be placed on particular trucks to ply a certain road.
3. Increase in Fuel Price: This may cause shortage of fuel thereby affecting the transport smooth operation. It can also increase the cost of transport, therefore, causing low patronage.
4. Poor Fleet Maintenance: This may cause a down-time and this will definitely affect transport operations.
5. Poor Communication: Good and effective communication leads to effective cooperation, understanding obligations and reduce unnecessary mistakes at the work-place. Poor communication, however, proves otherwise to these benefits.
Since April 2008, the United Kingdom Corporate Manslaughter Act was fully enforced on company directors and also the company’s drivers involving any company’s vehicle in any fatal road accident and any other vehicle used for business purposes. The police in the UK have stood their ground to handle any death records from road accident as ‘an unlawful killing’ and ready to deal with the offender or suspect.
The UK Police also have power to sue company directors who fail in their duties to provide frame work and guidance for their drivers to follow at work. It is interesting to note that even the private individual owned vehicles used for transportation business will also be dealt with in the same manner if they are involved in a road accident that causes the death of an innocent citizen. Nevertheless, most preventable accidents that cause the death of innocent road users make it more sensitive to enforce this law with alacrity in the UK. Therefore, under this act, directors and individual transport businesses are expected to ensure that their vehicles are adequately insured and roadworthy.
To this end, adequate fleet management of company vehicles to make our road safer and to enhance transport smooth operations as well as prevent unwanted lawsuits that are likely to arise as a result of fleet related fatality remain the inevitable reasons, among others, for writing this article. Hence, below are possible benefits of fleet management:
1. It lessens the cost of labour: With GPS fleet tracking, you can know your drivers whereabouts thereby making them be accountable to a cause or any assignment given to them.
2. It prevents potential ghost workers: The use of fleet management software
automatically freezes out ghost-workers.
3. It creates perfect contentment for drivers on duty: Proper management of vehicle fleet will surely boost the driver’s efficiency and their confidence when driving on the road.
4. It boosts customers’ satisfaction: Proper management of vehicle fleet makes the organization (transport provider) reliable and committed to satisfying their numerous customers.
5. Proper management of vehicle fleet also increases average lifetime of vehicles, thereby increasing the organizational profitability.
6. Reason for Safety: In transportation, safety comes first; one major essence of fleet management is to ensure that each vehicle is safe for smooth transport operations. It also prevents the vehicle from the chances of being lost or stolen through remote vehicle disabling systems.
7. It improves accountability: Through fleet management systems (FMS), data can be gathered to check drivers’ behavior thereby making them to be committed or
accountable to their actions.
8. It enhances drivers’ safety: When a vehicle is in good condition, it will reduce the accident rate.
9. Fuel management: Fleet management helps to prevent the wasteful use of fuel. In other words, it ensures an efficient use of fuel to complete a particular journey.
10. An efficient management of vehicle fleet by a transport company or transport provider enhances smooth operations of any given industry.
It is no longer uncommon that road transport is the most used mode of transport in the world. It plays an important role in the social aspect of an individual’s life as well as in the daily economic activities of different industries. The importance of investments in road transportation as an important tool for economic growth, job
creation and poverty eradication cannot be over-emphasized in our modern day
societies. To this end, a cursory look at certain 10 important benefits of road
transportation in our societies will be necessary:
1. It is an effective means of national marketing. It can be used to bring new products to consumers in any part of a nation.
2. It enhances marketing; most marketers nowadays are given vehicles for effective marketing.
3. It enhances smooth operations of any industries.
4. Road transportation can be employed indirectly to motivate and boost staff morale. How? I guess you may want to ask. This is so when an organization gives their staff official cars and road transport provides carriages for such vehicles to be used and as a result of this, it will definitely motivate and boost their morale.
5. Road transportation can be used to increase customer satisfaction. Why? This is because of its flexibility advantage over other modes of transport; it can be used to deliver products to final consumer by using micro processes in transport management that focuses on implementation of pick-up, delivery and monitoring.
6. The efficient use of road transport can reduce the costs of production thereby increase the organization’s profitability on its products.
7. In production process, smooth and efficient use of road transportation can be used to prevent unnecessary delay and to reduce waste (mostly waste of time) and consequently increase productivity.
8. Road transportation also plays an important role in both inbound and outbound logistics services. The storage and movement of final products from the point of production to the end user and also movement of materials, parts, or finished inventory from suppliers to manufacturers or assembly plants, warehouses or retail stores within a nation are all factors that make road transportation indispensable in logistics services.
9. Road transportation is the most suitable mode for even distribution of different products to final consumers.
10. More importantly the successful management of any enterprise depend on efficient use of road transportation among others.
The Integrated transport system is the integration of different modes of transport in order to increase the efficiency of these modes by complementing one another with the aim of increasing the economic and social benefits. It’s a better way of moving people, goods and services without relying on a single mode of transportation e.g. road transportation. These transport modes are expected to complement one another by functioning together as a single important transport system.
The Integrated transport system deals in best practice methodologies, managing physical and operating with the needed skills for better performance in which each mode is interconnected and the connection is highly unified including ticketing, scheduling, amongst others. However, the following are the benefits of the integrated transport system:
1. It reduces unhealthy competitions while encourages free and healthy competitions
2. It is a means of perfect transportation by using all modes of transportation harmoniously as a single system to provide transport services.
3. It enhance effective use of all transportation modes
4. It is cost efficient
5. The system is environmental friendly when you compare it with each mode operated independently.
6. It enhances capacity, reliability and safety when you compare it with operating each mode independently
7. It is aimed at satisfying customer’s i.e. (passengers) needs as efficiently as possible.
8. The system has the capacity to achieve greater productivity and economy
9. It creates no room for unnecessary gaps. Every mode is efficiently used.
10. It creates unity and cooperation among transport industries.
Here are the factors:
1. Safety and Security2. Transport Policy3. Transport Management4. Communication5. Training.Safety and Security
The issues of safety and security are universal factors that can affect smooth operations of any mode of transport around the world. Since we all know that
transport plays an important role in human life, it’s a major means by which goods and people move from one place to another. Hence, transportation becomes a potential target for criminals. The security weakness in transportation results to several attacks by these criminals on different modes of transport during operations. To this end, the issues of transport safety and security become paramount.
However, there are two major types of safety and security threats to smooth transport operations. These are terrorism and criminal activities. Terrorism is often used for political, social or religious reasons and the major target, among others, is transportation, e.g. September 11 attack on America. Criminal activities, on the other hand, involve high-way robbery, theft in railway transport and freight terminals, etc. These are significant challenges to any mode of transport operation in the world.
Transport policy has to do with the advancement or creation of a set of considerations that are found to achieve acceptable objectives connecting to social, economic and environmental advancement and the functioning and efficiency of the transport system.
The aim of a good transport policy is to produce strong decision on the distribution of transport resorts or resources which include transport management and control of existing transport activities.
Moreover, in most countries of the world, transports are mostly owned and managed by private owners but governments are mostly involved in making transport policy for all transport modes with the aim of achieving a set of
In addition, the importance of transport policy is that it has the potential, either positively or negatively, to affect virtually every aspect of economic, social and political activities of nation states, e.g. deregulation and privatization.
Picture showing transport interchange in Freiburg, Germany.Transport Management
Transport management operations involve all transport modes which have to do with managing all aspects of maintenance, fuel costing, scheduling, communications, carrier selection, cargo handling, staffing, even accounting, among others.
However, there are key factors of transformation that can effect change in
transport management of all transport modes of any given nation state. The
*changes in work practices*changes in customer behavior*changes in technology*changes in workloads*external and unforeseen factors*local peculiarities*trade barriersCommunication
As transport plays an important role in the economy of any given nation, communication, in much the same vein, plays an important role in transportation. Transport system helps to create relationship among different parts of the peoples within a country and between two or more countries and strengthens the feelings of unity among them. However, to achieve this important role of transport, the role of communication in transportation becomes inevitable.
Communication, as it were, is the medium of passing data and news. Communication system assists all modes of transport service providers in any nation to take the right decisions at the right time by making information and news related with transport business available to them. Communication makes it possible for passengers to know about the transport fare of different transport providers in any part of the world in no time and it also helps the transport companies to manage transport operations accordingly through communication system.
Therefore, communication system facilitates transport advancement by making accurate information available for both transport service providers and their numerous passengers. As a result, poor communication system may affect the smooth transport operation of any nation.
Training of the staff in transport business is very important. It’s a way of enhancing the staff skills for efficiency. Training also helps the thinking ability of the staff for quality performance. Training, in transport, is very important for development and success of any transport mode in any nation. Truly speaking, a well trained staff becomes more efficient and productive on his job.
When transport industries train their staff, it tends to enable them understand the mission, vision, working conditions and the rules and regulations of the organization better, thereby helping them key into the vision of the organization.
Training the staff in the transport industries has to do with the accumulation of knowledge of all the staff concerned. It strengthens and improves the skills of the staff. It creates confidence in them to excel at their jobs. Nevertheless, the following are the reasons why training in the transport industry is important:
1. Trained staff will help to build a good customer care relationship.
2. It allows the staff to work at the peak of their efficiency.
3. It increases the performances of the staff.
4. A well trained staff saves time. Because of his or her efficiency, he or she can get a lot of work done in few hours.
5. It creates job satisfaction
A well developed transport system is an index of a developed nation. However, communication plays very important roles in the transport industry and the following indicate its importance in the industry:
1. It improves passenger service.
2. It enhances team work.
3. It can be used to create a good relationship between the staff and the passengers.
4. It helps the staff to have thorough understanding of the transport company.
5. It enhances the staff sense of belonging.
6. It reduces disorderliness while encourages orderliness in the transport industry.
7. It’s a means of updating both the staff of transport service providers and their numerous customers (passengers).
8. It creates a sense of unity.
9. It helps to create peace and commitment to a cause.
10. It serves as a tool for effective management in the transport industry
A picture showing inside of a train driver’s compartment. Source: www.alamy.com
The word ‘driver’ is a common word people use to refer to a person who moves or drives any type of motor vehicle such as car, bus, trailer, heavy duty truck, among others on the public roads. Therefore, everyone knows who a driver really is. And so, a car driver, bus driver, truck driver among others are all types of drivers in road transportation.
Who is a Train Driver?
Similarly, on the other hand, a train driver is a person who drives or moves a train on its tracks. However, to become a qualified train driver requires more intensive training program than to become a road driver. Moving people and cargo, in their large number, to their destinations effectively and safely indeed demands a lot of training and skills coupled with technical know-how or (mechanical knowledge) needed for safe operation. These, among others, explain why it’s a noble career in overland transportation.
It’s important to note that the train driver’s occupation has different names it’s called or known by in different countries. For instance, in Canada and America, the train drivers are called engineers(not synonymous with mechanical engineer) while in some other countries they are called, engine drivers, train drivers, loco pilots, motormen, and train operators. However, whatever names they are called is not the essence of this article; rather it’s really about the occupation, its role and importance in railway transportation.
It is no longer new that some railway transport companies in Europe are planning to be fully automated. It means that trains, as it were, will be operated through the computer and will be also monitored remotely from a station-based control room. However, in line with this new development, a research study was carried out by researchgate.net/publication to know the likely problems related to this
The research, however, revealed that there are hidden core values of a train driver that must not be compromised by any railway industries. Quoting from the said research work, train drivers ‘anticipate, observe, interpret, and react to events in the surrounding environment. Furthermore, they are a significant interaction link between different actors…’
Nevertheless, the conclusion of this research work was that these inevitable roles of a train driver must be reckoned with otherwise, running a fully automated train transport system can affect transport safety and the quality of service rendered to the public.
Notable Responsibilities of a train driver
The task of a train driver as it’s noted above is far more than moving a train only on its track. The train driver performs more important functions during train operations that makes its role inevitable. As a result, the following are the responsibilities of a train driver:
1. Customer care: Train driver is expected to provide good customer care to passengers such that will enable them to patronize the service provider again for other trips. He is expected to build a good relationship with passengers during each operation, such as good and timely communication, operating according to the laid down rules and procedures for efficient and smooth transportation.
2.Safety: In transportation, safety always comes first; it is the first thing that must be considered, and therefore, one of the important responsibilities of the train driver is to ensure the safety of all the passengers during the operations. We all know that the train carries goods and passengers in large number. Therefore, safety and security in public transport operation is very important. He is expected to strictly adhere to safety rules.
3. Effective communication: The train driver also plays an important role in giving necessary information to both the passengers and the management at the right time. If there’s any problem during the operation, he is expected to communicate to the passengers in a calm manner that will not lead to any form of panic. He must be a good communicator both in verbal and written forms.
He also uses the radio communication to find out the state or the condition of the route he is traveling on. For instance, there may be problem on a section of the track; the engineer could be at work on the track, there could also be a blockage probably due to an accident at a level crossing, etc. In any of these situations, the radio communication could be used from the control room probably to divert the train to another route that is free and safer.
4. Concentration: He also demonstrates such a skill as focusing his attention for long periods of time during a long journey. This, he does, to enable him know the track layouts so as to plan stops for signals and stations since we know that the train cannot stop suddenly like a car or motor vehicle. Hence, stopping a train at any particular location must be planned ahead of time. This, indeed, is an additional responsibility in daily schedule of a train driver.
5. A vigorous alert: A professional train driver is expected to be watchful and able to think clearly to perceive a potential danger and to quickly act to avoid it. At times, tracks can be run through a dangerous territory and if the train driver is not vigilant enough this may lead to an unwanted rail accident.
The potential and capacity benefits of a train driver in rail transportation have made the services of train drivers a noble career in rail transportation system. Therefore, to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in railway transportation as well as to enhance its smooth operations, the need for the services of a train driver cannot be over-looked.
Source:MirrorUnderstanding Flight Delay
Ordinarily the word ‘delay’ as it were has to do with the amount of time a man
has to wait beyond the expected time for something to happen. It is a situation
that makes something planned for to take longer time than expected.
The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows that between June 2015 and
June 2016, more than 1 million flights were delayed. Flight delay is one of the
problems air passengers may face in airline industries around the world. The
recurrent of unwanted delays at airport mostly in commercial airlines are one of
the major concerns that aviation industries must address to the barest minimum
so as to make air travel more reliable and convenient for its passengers.
As the world is becoming more global village, hence, air transport as the fastest
mode is playing a key role in this regards, in which people are connected by this
fastest mode of transport to different cities in the world mostly for business
opportunities, this among others explains why more people are travelling by air.
However, the more people are flying, the more the probability that a passenger
may experience more flight delays due to heavy traffic volume. Then, what isflight delay?Flight Delay
A flight delay occurs when an aircraft takes off or lands later than its expected
time. In addition, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) describes flight delay
as a kind of delay that occurs at minimum of 15 minutes after the usual planned
Anyhow, no passenger most especially, the business travelers will enjoy spending
more time than necessary in airport, unwanted long delay mostly when the
passengers have already boarded the plane, may cause passengers to be stranded
in plane parked at the tarmac and may be a major problem and source of
frustration on their business plans.
List of Factors Responsible for Flight DelaySource:TheSlateGroup
1. System Congestion
2. Airline Practices
3. Equipment Problems
4. Labor Actions
5. Severe Weather
6. Aircraft Maintenance
7. Crew Scheduling
8. Late arriver of flight crew
9. Air Traffic Control Problem due to heavy traffic volume
10. Air Operations
11. Poor or Aging Aviation Infrastructures
12. Airlines scheduling more flights than the system capacity
14. Terrorist Attack
15. Aircraft Mechanical Problems
The loss of a loved one in a plane crash is always painful but the failure to know the reason for the crash to prevent re-occurrence may be more painful and highly worrisome. This might explain the personal reason why Dr. David Warren had to
invent the flight-data recorder popularly known as the “Black Box”. Dr David Warren was 9 years old when his father died in 1934 in one of Australian air crashes. As an individual, I cannot imagine how painful it would be for anyone to
lose his biological father at such a tender age of David Warren in a plane crash that would have probably been avoidable. David Ronald de Mey Warren was born on the 20 th of March, 1925. He was an Australian scientist who invented and developed the flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR), with its media name known to the public as the ‘Black Box’. The (CVR) is made to record any radio transmissions and sound in the cockpit e.g. pilot voice and engine noises, stall warnings, landing gear extension and retraction, among others. The sound recorder can also help to determine other factors like engine rmp, system failures, speed, the time of specific incidents, conversation with Air Traffic Control, automated radio weather briefings and conversation between the pilots and cabin crew are the features of CVR while the (FDR) is made to record parameters e.g. altitude, airspeed and heading. More so, other FDRs have capacities to store over one thousand related in-flight features that can provide the investigators a clue to the cause of accident.
David Warren humble beginning
He was born on Groote Eylandt, an island off the coast of the Northern Territory. He went to Launceston Grammar School in Tasmania and Trinity Grammar School
in Sydney. He graduated from University of Sydney, where he obtained his first degree in Science with Honours; he also got his PhD in fuel and energy from Imperial College London, a Diploma of Imperial College and a Diploma in
Education from the University of Melbourne.
David Warren career with dates
*1944-1946:- Teacher of Mathematics and Chemistry, Geelong Grammar School,
1947-1948:- Lecturer in Chemistry, University of Sydney.
*1948-1951:- Scientific Officer, Woomera Rocket Range and Imperial College,
1952-1983:- Principal Research Scientist, Aeronautical Research Laboratories,
Melbourne, (now part of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation).
1981-1982:- Scientific Adviser (Energy) to the Victorian State Parliament.
However, when David Warren was still working in Defence Science and Technology Organisation’s Aeronautic Research Laboratories in Melbourne, he rose to the post of Principal Research Scientist. However, as a Principal Research Scientist in Aeronautical Research Laboratory (ARL), a reputable organization, he was called upon to investigate the plane crash of the first commercial jet-powered airliner in the world, the Comet.
Dr Warren: A Thoughtful Friend of Humanity
While still investigating, he had an idea, he had a deep thought within himself, that it would be good and far better, if there would be an object or device that would record all that would happen in a plane immediately before the crash. He, however, supported his idea first with a miniature recorder he had seen in a trade fair.
He further thought that if such a recorder could be installed in a plane to record details and be able to get it back from the wreckage. It would go a long way to determine the cause of a plane crash and to prevent it from re-occurrence. His thought showed concern for the needs and feelings for all people. What a good thought for humanity!
A Dogged Persistence in Pursuing a Vision and a Mission for Humanity
He had a vision and a mission; his vision is to invent a device that would make air transport safe for all and his mission is to do everything possible to bring his vision
to reality. It is interesting to know that Dr David’s vision was not welcome in his home country in the first place. So, he made it known by writing to air transport
authorities in other countries in the world, yet no country showed interest.
However, in a bid to make his vision acceptable, he took time off to build a
cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder with capacity to store up to 4
hours before any crash. All of these efforts were parts of his mission to make his
vision successful. So, the first black box was made. Hence, the saying, ‘seeing is
A successful Vision
However, Dr David’s efforts eventually paid off in 1958 when the former British
air Vice-Marshal, Sir Robert Hardingham visited Aeronautical Research Laboratory
(ARL). During his lunch hour, Dr Warren was asked to showcase his project; it was
then he was able to prove the importance of the black box. Sir Robert saw it as a good project; therefore, he was invited to England to exhibit his project and it was
a successful exhibition as the Ministry of Aviation announced that the installation
of the black box would soon be made mandatory in England. The exhibition was
also made in Canada and America through Australian Embassy.
Dr Warren’s project used magnetic recording media which accepted easy erasing
and re-recording and which made it useful for commercial airliners. Despite this
qualities, Warren’s project lacked Australian support at first, yet Dr Warren was
never discouraged until the project was accepted in other countries, wherefore,
in his home country better plans for the project were made for better development and production.
This project, however, without doubt, has proved immensely useful for plane
crash investigations. There were incidents where CVR provided important
information to the accident cause. For instance, as fate would have it for Dr
Warren, in 1960, after the crash of a Fokker Friendship at Mackay (Queensland), it
was strongly recommended that the black box flight recorders be installed in all
aircraft. Why? It is because data recorded through the black-box were good
evidence to be used in plane crash investigations and more importantly, the box
can provide data or information that may be difficult if not impossible to obtain
by other means. As a result of this, Australia was the first country to make the
black box mandatory. Hence the saying, ‘persistence may be a bitter plant at first
but it has a sweet fruit’.
The Qualities of a Black Box
With the modern technology, the black box is the most survivable object of a
plane crash. The box is made and protected with an Under-water Locator Beacon
(ULB); the ULB is to provide protection for the black box if it falls in water or river, and if this happens, the device known as “Pinger” is set off or turn on, and from
the depth of 14,000 feet, it sends auditory wave on 37.5 KHz to a unique receiver.
However, once the black box is found from a crash, a special unique computer
and audio equipment can be used to get the information stored in the recorder
and to inter-print it into a comprehensive manner that will help the transport
investigator to determine the cause of the crash and to prevent the re-occurrence.
Honor to Who Honor is Due
Dr Warren’s passion for humanity has been honored by several organizations for
his dogged commitment to air safety for all. However, the following are the honors and awards credited to Dr Warren:
*FAIE-Fellow of the Australian Institute of Energy
*The Australian Institute of Energy Medal (1999)
*Hartnett Medal of the Royal Society of the Arts (2000)
*Centenary Medal (2001)
*Lawrence Hargrave Award of the Royal Aeronautical Society (2001)
*Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) (2002)
*ICAO Edward Warner Award (2016)
*In November 2008, Qantas named one of their Planes A380s after Warren in
honor of his commitment to aviation industry.
*Dr Warren’s casket had an inscription that read “Flight Recorder Inventor, Do
Not Open.” However, he died on July 19, 2010, when he was 85 years old.
*The ACT Government named a road after his name, in the suburb of Hume, in
*In November 16, 2013, his name was instated into the Australian Aviation Hall of
*The Defence Science and Technology Organisation, on 25 th of March 2014,
named their Canberra Headquarters after his name.
Beyond Air Transport
Having considered the great importance of the black box in air transport safety, the Federal Railway Administrations (FRA) US has also made it mandatory for the US; Canadian and Mexican trains operating above 30 miles per hour on the US rail net work must install event recorders. This is (FRA) ‘final rule 49 CFR part 229’ that was revised on June 30, 2005.
The Black box in rail transport is also an object that records data about the train
operations. The Modern Train Event Recorder is used to record so many things in
train operations such as time, distance, speed, horn signal, brake pipe pressure,
throttle position, emergency brake system, independent brake cylinder pressure
U.S. Specification for Modern Train Event Recorders
The Modern Train Event Recorder is expected to follow the International or
National Standards like IEEE Std.1482-1999; FRA Final Rule 49 CFR Part 229; IEC
62625-1; among others,. However, here are the specifications in terms of hardness to test the crash worthiness:
*It must be able to resist fire temperature of 750 at least for one hour e.g.
temperature of burning fuel.
*It should be able to accommodate impact shock of 55g.
*Static crush of 110 KN for five minutes: this is to test when there is locomotive
derailment with blunt object impact
*It must be able to withstand fluid immersion at least for two days in diesel,
water, salt water, and lube oil.
*Hydrostatic pressure equivalent to immersion to a depth of 15 m in water for
*It must be able to store the last 48 hours of safety-critical train data.
UK and Ireland Specifications of the Modern Train Event Recorder
The Modern Train Event Recorder is expected to follow GM/RT 2472 standard;
wherefore, all trains operating in UK and Ireland are to install the black box that
has the following specifications:
*It must be able to resist fire of 700 C for 5 minutes
*It must be able to accommodate impact shock of 100g, 3 times on each of its 6
*Static crush of 20 KN for 1 minute, to all edges and faces.
*It must be able to withstand fluid immersion in water, AFFF or R134A for 1 hour
Black Box in Road Transport
Dr Warren invention is not only relevant to air transport, but to other modes of
transport. It is important to note that the Modern Event Data Recorders are now
installed in cars these days; new cars now come with installed black boxes. Speed
has been identified as one of the leading factors of road accidents and one of the
functions of the black box is to record speed at a particular time before any road
accident or collision. Undeniably, the black box remains relevant not only in air
transport but also in road transport.
Black Box Components
Without any element of doubt, at this point, you will also agree that the
importance of the black box in modes of transport cannot be over-emphasized.
The plane, the train and the motor car are all equipped with the black box for
safety purpose. Wherefore, one may be wondering to know the component parts
of this important box. However, the major components of this inevitable box in
transport operations are stated below:
*A Steel Plate
Black Box: A positive revenge for father’s death and a strong desire for safety
As a writer of this article, I will not like to conclude this article without providing a
broad overview of Dr. Warren’s history in line with the above sub-title. As an
individual, I see Dr Warren’s history and project as positive revenge for his father’s death and strong desire for safety for all. Indeed, David Warren was a friend of humanity. Like I noted earlier, David Warren lost his dad in 1934, in one of the Australian air crashes, when he was just a 9 year – old.
Young David Warren became a fatherless child and probably grown up with a pain
for losing his dad in a plane crash. By that time, he might not know the cause of
the plane crash that killed his father; all he knew was that his father also died in a
plane crash. Plane crashes, without having the clear pictures of what the causes were, might be the most worrisome issue in the heart of a researcher like David
As fate would have it, Dr. Warren got a job in 1952 in Aeronautical Research
Laboratories (ARL), Melbourne: a science research organization that deals with
the operations of aircrafts. It was there he rose to the post of Principal Research
Scientist and as a researcher in such an organization, he carefully studied to find
new knowledge for transport investigators to easily determine the cause of a plane crash and to have the clue to preventing a re-occurrence.
Actually his father died in a plane crash many years ago when he was nobody; so
when he became a researcher in ARL, he took the matters into his own hands and
revenged the death of his father for the safety of humanity. He discovered the
black box for the benefit of humanity. He had successfully defeated the plane
crash that hurt him many years ago for the benefit of all.
His passion for safety for all is a famous land-mark to reckon with in the history of
humanity. Even though he was not paid for his selfless service to humanity, what
he had done for the human race cannot be easily forgotten. Even though he is no
more but his handiwork still speaks for him till today.
He was a man of vision and mission. Like I noted earlier, his vision was to make
the air transport safe for all and his mission was to do all he could to actualize his
vision. He introduced his vision in his country, he was turned down. He later took
a bold step to write to other countries about his vision, yet he was also turned down. Nonetheless, he was not discouraged; he took time off to build the black box. These are parts of his mission to actualize his vision and indeed, his vision was accomplished.
Despite the discouragement, he was still focused. A man with vision is a man with
a focus. This is the attitude of the persistent people and they never lose their focus. David Warren’s vision for safety came to pass. Experts have judged the air transport as the safest mode of transport in the world. Indeed, he actualized his vision for all.
I humbly and really celebrate a man who was a hero to all; I celebrate a man whose work touches lives;I celebrate a man who loved unconditionally; I celebrate a man who believed in sharing knowledge and vision for humanity sake; I celebrate a man who believed in caring for humanity; I celebrate a man who desired safety for all and also put a smile on people’s faces. Though he is no more, but his legacy lives on. My tribute to a hero: Dr. David Ronald de Mey Warren.
There have been 254 collisions between cars and trains at public road level crossings in New Zealand from 2004 to 1 September 2015. Source:http://www.tracksafe.co.nz/issues/level-crossing-collisions
The level crossing is a place or level point where railway, road or path meets or crosses each other. It is also known as a grade crossing, railway crossing, railroad crossing, train crossing, etc. Every human being on earth has only one life to live; no one has more than one life.
The way and manner we protect our lives from dangers determine how long we shall to fulfill destiny in life. If one imagines the thousands of people that have lost their lives in different modes of transport, one may wonder if the modes of transport are death traps for man on earth. This explains why safety in transport is very important.
Without any element of doubt, modes of transport and the new technologies are
meant to make life easy for man and to benefit man in all ramifications but
human errors and poor safety attitude of some people are the leading factors of
most accidents in any mode of transport. These may also explain why there is high rate of rail accidents in the world. For example, according to Department of Transport and the Federal Railroad Administration, more than 2,500 train accidents occur every year in the US.
If all railroad users, train drivers and the entire railway staff consider safety as
their first priority, railroad will be safer. For instance, there is speed limit a train
driver is expected to obey at a particular route section. Train’s lighting and the
good condition of the track must not be in doubt, the train must be equipped
with functional horn and train bell, the train driver is expected to honk, at least,
1,000 feet distance from the point of the level crossing and he is also expected to
allow the train bell to ring until the last car of the train left the level crossing, train
driver’s sensitivity during operation must not be questioned. These, among
others, are the obligations every individual concerned must keep to make the
Having read the above caption as a reader of this article, probably you are one of
those that would have expected the caption to be: “Don’t endanger your life:think twice when you are at the level crossing” not “…when you are approaching the level crossing.”
You may further assume it is only necessary to think twice when one is already at the level crossing not when one is still approaching it. If you hold this kind of opinion, it is good. Why? It is because it will help you after reading through this article to understand how dangerous the level crossing accident is and the reason why you need to think twice when approaching it.
As an individual, my observation reveals that the frequency of the level crossing
accidents these days is becoming more worrisome and the consequences thereafter are even more serious than any other kind of accident in railway transport. For instance, in Europe not less than 400 people and in the United States over 300 people are killed every year in level crossing accidents. Source: Wikipedia.
In addition, in 2016, there were 2025 collisions in the US, resulting into 265 fatalities and 798 injuries; also, in 2015, 2075 collisions occurred resulting into
233 fatalities, 1032 people injured, while also, in 2014, there were 2,295 collisions in the US., resulting into 262 fatalities and 873 injuries. Source: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
However, from the above data, you will notice that over 2,000 collisions occurred each year. Obviously, there is progress in reduction of collision at the level crossing. For example, in 1981 and 1982, there were 9,461 collisions and 7,932 collisions in the US, respectively (FRA). So, when you compare it to the last 3 years, you will see there’s obvious reduction, like I have noted earlier. Yet these figures, as it were, in the last 3 years are still not acceptable. Why? It is because the level crossing collisions are avoidable accidents. Therefore, from zero collision to over 2,000 collisions is still a great figure and it’s not acceptable.
It is important to note that the majority of level crossing accidents happens during the day where the level crossings are even equipped with automatic warning devices. One may wonder why the majority of this kind of accident still happens during the day. This, among other reasons, justifies the above caption, “Don’t Endanger Your Life: Think Twice When Approaching the Level Crossing”. This is because the cyclist’s, the pedestrian’s and the driver’s negligence at the level crossing may be a costly mistake that can kill you.
Picture showing a woman at a dangerous location
The unparalleled features of the rail transport over other land transports are
undeniable. As a result, the rail transport is gaining more patronage day by day.
Many people want to travel by rail while many organizations also like to engage
the services of the rail transport in moving their products in large quantities to where they are needed. This, they do, to reduce the transport cost for their
products. Wherefore, rail transport is playing a key role in moving people and
goods in large number.
It is important to note that many people gamble with their safety when making use of the rail transport. Passengers’ safety must not be the concern of rail transport management only but individual rail passengers must also have concern for their own safety while using or traveling by the rail transport.
Attitude is everythingPicture showing a bad and dangerous attitude of some passengers
Poor attitude of some passengers to railway safety is highly worrisome. The misbehavior some passengers exhibit while traveling in rail transport show their poor safety culture and that many of them are gambling with their lives. Poor or bad attitude to rail transport safety can be described as the way you think and behave that can endanger your life and the lives of other rail transport users.
Poor attitude of many people to transport safety also suggests their lack of safety culture to the transport mode they make use of. Safety culture in transport, as it were, is the way you are expected to think and behave in a particular environment with respect to transport safety. In other words, safety culture in transport is the transport safety features of everyday existence shared by people in a particular place. Anyhow, in a simple language, is a way of life with respect to transport safety.
A mature safety culture in railway transport is characterized by the way people
notice and understand the importance of safe operation in rail transport and the
urgent need to manage or reduce risk to an acceptable level. In a bid to improve
the railway safety, the responsibilities of individual passengers who have a potential impact on the safe operation of the railway system must not be compromised.
Is this a Sign of Poverty or Shortage of Public Transport?
The safety of the railway depends on the behaviors and attitudes of everyone in the system e.g. the staff and the passengers. Having examined the pictures, one would wonder why people in their large number would have to take rail safety for granted; one may still be wondering why many people we see in this picture had to hang on rail cars why many of them sat on top of the train. It is not because of poverty or shortage of public transport that would make people in their large number to take their lives for granted as rightly shown in the pictures.
The reasons are simply due to lack of good transport safety culture in the community and poor safety attitude of individual. It is needless to say, as you have also noticed in the pictures used in this article, that lack of safety culture with poor safety attitude can lead to misbehavior of many transport users that will increase the risk of accidents.
Often times, rail accidents are caused by people. They are not made and they can be preventable instead of managing them. One way to achieve this is good safety culture with good safety attitude of individual; in fact, it’s a collective responsibility of all rail transport users. To address the misbehavior of people towards safety, hence, good safety culture and individual safety attitude are important directions to make the rail transportation and other modes of transportation safer.
Responsibilities for railway staff during operations
*The safe movement of rail transport must start from the railway stations.
* Rail vehicles’ safety condition must be certified before any operation.
*Rail staff must ensure that every passenger behaves in a safe manner while
making use of the rail transport.
*The staff must take strong safe decision to control all types of safety risk or
misbehavior of all passengers during operation.
*They must ensure that safety regulations are complied with throughout each
5 ways of building and maintaining transport safety culture
Good transport safety culture is not what people can achieve in a moment or in a
day, it is a kind of belief people grow up with in a particular environment that can easily be noticed in their behavior. For instance, in one of the television stations, I heard the story of a senior transport safety officers from one of the African countries who traveled to one of the overseas countries. According to him, as he wanted to cross to the other side of the road, he said immediately he stepped on Zebra crossing with just one leg, he saw all the motorists both from left and right on such busy road stopped immediately.
So, he said he was afraid thinking that something bad like accident must have happened and so, he ran back from the road to see what actually had happened on the road. He saw the drivers calling him to cross the road; it was then he knew that it was him they actually stopped for. Why did he have to run back to know what was happening? It’s because he lacked road safety culture, even though he’s a senior road safety officer in his country, yet where he’s coming from he has not seen motorists, in one accord, stop at once for just a pedestrian to make use of the road. So when he got to a well cultured environment, it was a big surprise to him.
Nevertheless, here are some ways to build and maintain good safety culture:
1. Education: People need to be thought in a community or environment
where transport safety culture is lacking. Several efforts must be made to
teach people the importance of transport safety in the best language they
2. Orientation: Periodic orientation must be given to the people on what they
have been thought and necessary information about new transport safety
they need to know.
3. Watchfulness: Individual transport users must always be careful enough to
notice any form of danger in their environment. The misbehavior of
individual transport users must be monitored and reported to the authority
concerned to correct such individuals.
4. Ability to change: Individual must be ready to adjust to any safety rules or
5. Fair Justice: A fair culture treats people in a way that is reasonable and
proper. A fair culture encourages and rewards individual who would report
the misbehavior of some transport users and treats the report with required seriousness and thereafter, metes out just punishments to anyone
whose behavior is truly unacceptable.
6. Observations and report: To build a good safety culture, individuals must
also be encouraged to report their observations to the right authorities.
Often times, these have to do with sensitive reports such as highway
robbery, terrorist attack and so on.
7. Study: A study on past safety records and how to improve on them for
future purpose is another method to sustain a good transport safety
Nonetheless, the rail transport service provider must play a leading role at all
times in sustaining rail safety culture through education, public enlightenment among others. More so, railway infrastructure manager and the entire staff managing the infrastructures must also play their own role to sustain rail safety culture by fixing railway infrastructures such as track, station, signaling and electrification in an acceptable manner for safe operation. The engineering department must also play their own role; the department must ensure that every rail vehicle set for operation is in good condition.
In conclusion, the railway staff, the management, the individual passengers
and potential customers, that is, different organizations engaging the services
of railway transport for their products must all rise up to the task to fulfill their
individual responsibilities and co-operation to build and sustain rail transport
safety culture. Rail transport accident is always painful due to the number of innocent lives and goods that are usually involved, wherefore; cultivating the
mind of people towards rail transport safety culture is a great gain.
It is an undeniable fact that rail accidents have become a significant concern in the world and this explains why several efforts have been made by different countries concerned to reduce the rate of accident in their countries. However, in this article are the 3 major types of railway accident and the list of their causes.
3 Major Types of Railway Accidents
Derailment Accidents and
Other Means of Accidents 1. Rail Accident by Collision
A collision is a crash in which 2 trains hit each other. In other words, a collision occurs when a train runs into another or an object. Once it happens, the result is always very serious, if not fatal. This is why collision is the most dangerous accident in rail transports. However, the major types of collisions include:
* Head-on collision,
* Rear-end collision and
* Side collision
Types of Rail Accident by Collision
Since a collision involves 2 or more objects crashing into one another, hence this type of crash includes:
Collision involving Trains
Collision involving a Train and a Motor Vehicle
Collision Involving a Pedestrian
Collision involving Trains
This is a head-on collision between 2 trains. This kind of accident always results to great disasters.
Collision involving a train and a motor vehicle
Several motorists and passengers have lost their lives in level crossing accidents. It is very difficult if not impossible for a train to stop like a motor vehicle for any object at the level crossing.
Collision involving Pedestrian
As a collision can occur between a train and a motor vehicle, likewise pedestrians, in fact, a collision involving a pedestrian or pedestrians is more likely to result infatality.
Rail Accident by Derailment
A derailment occurs when a train leaves its tracks; better still, a derailment is
said to occur when a moving rail suddenly runs off its tracks. When a single car or coach derails, it may affect other cars and at times, you see the whole train derails completely.
A derailment can be due to a defaulted plain track, over speed at a cross section, junction or a collision, among others.
Rail Accident by other meansFire Accident
During a railway operation, a fire accident may occur in a train, probably due to a
vehicular electrical fault, or an attack by terrorists. People sitting on top of a train
and people hanging on a moving train may also fall down. These, among other
means, are possible ways by which accidents can occur in rail transport.
List of Causes of Rail Accident
There many factors that can cause rail accident, below are the list of some of these factors:
Brake Rigging Defects
Hand Brake Defects
Other Brake Defects
Center-Plate/Car- body Defects
Wrong Use of Switches
Track and Structure Defects
Truck Structure Defects
Side-bearing, Suspension Defects
Level Crossing Collisions
Other Wheel Defects
Non-Traffic Weather Causes
Loco Electrical and Fires
All other Locomotive Defects
Track Geometry ( excl. Wide Gauge )
All Other Car Defects
Rail Defects at Bolted Joint
Joint Bar Defects
Broken Rails or Welds
Brake Operation (Main Line)
Other Rail and Joint Defects
Failure to Obey/Display Signal
Train Length ( Car-mile- related and train-mile- related accident)
This consists of a detailed list of considerations to be used in negotiating a set of
road standards in an environment. This includes the following:
1. Resource management objectives: These indicate the reasons and
purpose a particular road should be built in a particular area. For instance,
it may have to do with the economic benefits derivable in such an area
when the expected road is constructed e.g. access to rural community for
easy transportation of agricultural produce.
2. Physical environmental factors: The topographic, climatic, soil and
vegetative characteristics of an area, the physical features of the land as
well as the type of road to be constructed and so on must be determined if
a road must be built in that area or not.
3. Environmental limitations: There are social-political limitations e.g.
erosiveness of soils, difficult geologic conditions, high rainfall. Others
include land ownership boundaries, state of the local economy and the
public opinion about the given project.
4. Traffic requirements: The average daily traffic should be estimated for
different user groups and the traffic volume will also determine the kind of
road needed in such an area.
5. Traffic service level
The volume of traffic in an area is often considered in determining the road
designs in such an area. However, such factors usually include the following:
1. Number of lanes
2. Turnout spacing
3. Lane widths
4. Type of driving surface
5. Sight distances
6. Design speed
8. Horizontal and vertical alignments
9. Curve widening
10. Turn around
Oftentimes, one may wonder why some motorists, especially the commercial
ones, choose to ply a particular route to carry out their daily activities, as if there
are no other routes for them to use. There are reasons why motorists will choose
and not to choose a particular route for the same journey. Hence, the saying
“there is no smoke without fire.” Also, most of their reasons are for their better
advantage. Following are the reasons why drivers choose a particular route for
1. Speed: This is the rate at which a vehicle travels. Most drivers like to drive
their vehicle at a particular speed convenient and safer for them.
2. Travel time: The time at which a driver, mostly a commercial driver, uses to
complete a particular journey matters a lot. The route that is full of
different obstructions that may cause unnecessary delay, thereby
increasing the driver’s travel time will not encourage many motorists to ply
such a route.
3. Traffic interruption: Anything that interrupts will discourage the motorists
to continue to ply such a route if there is a better alternative.
4. Freedom to maneuver: Drivers will prefer a wide route that will enable
them to move their cars easily and carefully probably to overtake or to
avoid accidents. Therefore, a road that is very tiny or narrow to maneuver
will discourage them.
5. Safety: A road must be free enough from any form of danger, otherwise
both the drivers and the passengers would be discouraged to travel on such
6. Driver’s comfort: When a driver travels on a long journey and throughout
the journey he feels less worry and more importantly, he feels safe
travelling on such a road, undeniably he will be eager to travel again on the
7. Convenience: When you drive on a good road, the time and the stress you
would have encountered if you are on a bad road would be reduced.
8. Operating cost: Every transport service provider is expected to have
practical and economical mindset to manage his business. He must be able
to choose the routes that are cost-effective for his business.
9. Business orientation: No commercial vehicle driver will hesitate to travel
on a route where he can easily get goods and passengers to carry. Since his
business is to carry goods and passengers for economic gain, then it will be
unwise of him to abandon a route where his desire can be met.
10. Inevitable route: Every motorist going to their offices and houses will have
no choice but to pass through the road that leads to their houses and
A shipwreck1. RMS TITANIC
RMS Titanic is one of the popular shipwrecks in the world history. It was an
ocean liner said to be unsinkable but later proved to be most notable sinkable
ship in the world. In 1912, precisely on April 10, the ship was on a journey. 4
days as the journey progressed, precisely on April 14, 1912, the ship suddenly
hit an iceberg just before the midnight and the ship sank less than 3 hours,
killing 1,514 lives.
However, in 1985, a Franco-American expedition discovered the ship and
found that the ship split into 2 parts, each part lying about a 3 rd of a mile from
2. RMS REPUBLIC
RMS Republic was built 1903 and sank on January 24, 1909 at about
8:40p.m. 6 lives were said to be lost in that incident. The bad incident
occurred in 1909, on January 23 rd , when the ship collided with the Lloyd
Italiano liner SS Florida and the ship sank at about 8:40 p.m. on the said
3. RMS LUSITANIA
RMS Lusitania started operation in 1906 and it sank on May 7 th , 1915. 1,
191 lives were said to be lost in that incident. It was said that the shipwreck
was caused by a German U-boat.
4. USS ARIZONA
USS Arizona was specially built for the US Navy in1915. It was bombed by
the Japanese on December 7 th , 1941. It was said that 1, 177 crew members
and officers were killed in the incident.
On the 5 th of May, the shipwreck became National Historic Landmark in the
US and the remains, known as USS Arizona Memorial, are viewable in the
5. THE MARY ROSE
It was a Tudor warship used during the reign of Henry VIII and it was
used in many battles against France, Britain and Scotland and it was
sunk during a battle against French.
It was a Swedish warship, believed to have been built between 1626
and 1628. It sank on the 10 th of August, 1628, after being hit by
strong winds and flooding, sinking 20 minutes and less than a mile
into its journey.
7. THE ANNE’S REVENGE
It was an 18 th century warship popularly known as the ship of the
legendary pirate Blackbeard. It used the ship less than a year with
greatest achievement during this short period of time.
8. MV DONA PAZ
MV Dona Paz is referred to as the deadliest of all peacetime maritime
disasters. In December 20 th , 1987, the Philippine registered ferry with
over 4,000 passengers collided with an oil tanker MT Vector resulting
into fire accident killing an estimated number of 4, 386 passengers
and there were only 24 survivors.
It took 8 hours for Philippine maritime authorities to hear of the
incident due to poor communication equipment. However, because
of the fatal incident, it is referred to as ‘Asia’s Titanic’
9. THE BLACK SWAN
It is a Spanish war ship known as Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes.
The warship sank in 1804 off Portugal territorial waters. However, in
2007 an American Company, Odyssey Marine Exploitation,
discovered gold, worth of $500 million.
However, the Spanish government made it known to be the rightful
owner of the said gold, hence the case was decided in the US
Supreme Court, and the court ordered the gold should be returned
to Spanish authorities.
10. MS WORLD DISCOVERER
It was a Danish cruise ship manufactured in 1974. The disaster
occurred when the ship struck a rock at the Solomon Islands; all the
passengers survived the incident.
Sitting on the driver’s seat for the first time to drive the vehicle alone may excite a new driver but it’s not an easy task for him. Such a new driver is likely to be nervous and fearful while driving.Also, such a driver is likely to be over conscious not to hit any object or being hit by other drivers. These, among others, are the predictable misbehavior of new drivers.However, below are the common mistakes of a typical new driver on the road:
Inferiority Complex: Often times, they drive under pressure. Why? It is because they think other experienced drivers on the road are better than they are.Hence, consciously or unconsciously, they become anxious to the point of making several mistakes while driving.
Panic or fear:At times, they feel they are very conscious while driving but in the real sense, they are panicky.As a result, often times, you see them stopping suddenly on the road causing unnecessary traffic delays.
Poor understanding of the Traffic rules and Regulations: One of the qualities of a good professional driver is the ability to interpret and understand the traffic rules and regulations. In fact, they are one of the ways to drive safe on the road.The difference between a driver and a man who moves the vehicle on the public road is proper understanding of the traffic rules and regulations.
Poor Routine Checks: Failure to carry out daily routine checks such as engine oil, brake oil, battery terminal, light operations to mention but a few, before driving behind the wheel is part of typical new drivers’ mistakes.
Lack of Basic safety information: This is common to those that did not attend a driving school before starting to move the vehicle on the road.They lack safety information to make the road safe such as why they need to equip their vehicle with a functional horn; when and how to join the road; when to brake and accelerate and so on.
Poor Reverse: New drivers often find it difficult, if not impossible, to reverse the vehicle easily without being assisted, otherwise they hit their vehicles on any object behind them.
Failure to keep proper distance from the vehicle in front while driving
Sometimes new drivers forget to use the traffic indicator lights when turning or moving out of the lane.
Failure to use inner mirror when necessary.
In a bid to avoid the danger of being involved in an accident, some new drivers tend to drive too slowly for the road condition, which thereby affects the easy flow of traffic.
A passenger car is made to carry passengers who travel regularly from one place to another. The passenger train cars have been improved in terms of convenience, comfort and speed.Due to these qualities, people enjoy traveling a long distance with passenger train cars and this means of transport is also more desirable in heavily populated areas.
Moreover, the articulate passenger cars are gaining more popularity in Europe and in the US. This is because major cities in Western Europe are connected by high-speed rail services and such cities include London, Paris, Brussels,
Amsterdam, Geneva, Berlin, Rome, among others. In articulated passenger train cars, joint cars are attached to a truck for normal operations; this also creates more room for more passengers to be carried in a single journey.
However, as many people around the world are patronizing rail transport daily for short and long mobility, for example, Indian Railways carries 22.21 million passengers daily, similarly there is an increase in rail accidents. However, there are 3 factors that can make rail accidents extremely dangerous; they are:
The speed &
The weight of a train
A passenger train is much lighter than freight or cargo train.In other words, the weight of a commuter or passenger train is less than the weight of a cargo train. When passengers in a commuter train are involved in a crash or collision with a cargo train, injuries resulting from the accident are reflected on the passengers and this force is affected by the physical weight of a cargo train. Therefore, if there is a train crash or collision between a commuter and freight train, probably due to poor communication, the cargo train has a lot more mass and momentum to win the fight. In other words, the cargo train has the capacity to cause more harm to passenger train if an accident or a collision occurs.
In a collision that involves 2 trains e.g. a cargo train and a commuter train, which differ in weight, the lighter train will be at a disadvantage. The heavier trains i.e. (cargo train) will have more force due to the weight to push the lighter one which is the passenger train backward during the impact, which often results to derailment of the passenger train.
The speed of a train
Speed has been identified as one of the potential factors for rail accidents; many people have lost their lives in rail accidents due to high speed of train drivers. Often times when over speed is the direct factor of a rail accident, the result is always horrifying.
The Length of a Train
length of train
The length of the train is another important factor we need to consider that can cause rail accidents but unfortunately, most people, including accident investigators, pay little or no attention to this undeniable factor. The longer the train, the higher the chances of involving in an accident than a shorter train. Often times, when rail accidents occur, the investigators have to examine the potential factors that may cause the wreck and the factors they usually look at are: the speed as at the time of the incident, track conditions, throttle and brake settings among others.They may even go a bit further to interview the engineer, the passengers, and so on, in order to determine the cause of the accident but it is interesting to note that most of these accident investigators hardly consider the effects of the train length on train accident rate.
They take the length of a train for granted. They do not know that the longer the length of a train, the greater the potential factors for an accident to occur in rail transport. They do not know that the longer the length of a train, the higher the risk the of a train involving in an accident.
The train length is considered to have an effect on rail accident rate; this is because the mo t the more cars in a train increase, the higher the probability that a car or track elements in or below a train may fail at any point in time during operation. With this knowledge, the causes of accident in this regard can be divided into 2 types which are: firstly, the accident that can result from the number of train-miles covered and secondly, the one that can occur due to the cars-miles covered. (CCP 1995, Arthur D, Little (ADL) 1996). However, the length of a train in this article means the total number of the cars in a train. It is not the linear measurement of the actual length of a train. It is the total number of cars that is attached to a single truck to move with.
A Worrisome Factor
A passenger train is specially made to carry people in their large number. The longer the train, the higher the number of passengers it will carry. Most rail accidents are avoidable accidents because they are caused by human errors; yet it is humans that suffer most in the accidents for many people suffer permanent injuries while others even lose their lives. This is worrisome. For instance, when there is a collision between two passenger trains, the object that suffers most is the occupants (the passengers), hence, the saying when two elephants fight, the grass will suffer.
India’s worst rail disaster
plunges into the Baghmati river. Hundreds more are never found, with an estimated death toll ranging from 500 to 800
The most painful thing is that most innocent people suffer when accidents happen.It is important to note that it is not only passengers that suffer when a rail accident happens, even the pedestrians, bystanders, motorists etc. also suffer in rail accidents. However, for better understanding on the most worrisome factors in rail accidents, below are the examples of rail accidents:
‘At least 23 people died and dozens were injured when 2 passenger trains collided head-on in southern Italy on Tuesday,’ source: New Europe al jazeera.
A total of 27, 581 Indians died in 2014 in railway related accidents…. By the National Crime Records Bureau.
On 26 Nov., 1998, in khanna, at least 212 killed as a train collided with a derailed train.
On Sept., 2002, in Rajdhani, the Rajdhani Express derailed on bridge, killng at least 130 people.
On May 28, 2010, in West Midnapore, West Bengal, : The Calcutta-Mumbai passenger train derailed, killing at least 100.
On August 2, 1999, at least 290 killed as two trains carrying a total of 2,500 people collided.
Nevertheless, ‘The worst accident was the November 20, 2016 derailment of the Indore-Patna Express near Kanpur which resulted in 150 deaths and over 150 injuries.’ Source: hindustantimes
Nevertheless, you will notice from the given examples of rail accidents that the most common fact is the death of people in the accidents. Many important personalities in their communities were sent to their early graves for choosing the rail transport for their journey. Painful enough, most of these are caused by human errors and in a simple language, humans make errors that send other humans to their early graves. This is the most worrisome truth in this article.
All over the world where rail transportation exists, the high demand for it cannot
be denied. People like to travel by rail for both long and short distances within
and outside the country. Rail transport is becoming more attractive and popular,
mostly in Europe, North America and other parts of the world. Rail transport has
been an effective means of transporting people and goods in their large number
for over 10 decades.
In some countries such as India, North America, U.S., Canada, Japan, China to
mention but few, it will not take you a longer time before you see trains in their
large numbers in operation moving large number of people and goods along
thousands of miles in both urban and rural areas. One may wonder why many
people like to travel by rail.
In fact, in India, it will surprise you to see how many people patronize rail
transport. It is a common sight in India to see many people in their large number
hanging on the outside of the rail cars while hundreds of others sitting on top of
rail cars, though this is not a good safety attitude in India yet. The question
remains, why people like to travel by rail? Why do organizations these days also
choose rail transport as a means of transporting their products? However, below
are the notable reasons why people like to travel by rail:
1. It is economical: When you consider the long distance to be covered
and the amount of goods to be carried, you will discover that rail
transport is the right choice for you to use because it is cost-effective.
Bulk freight rail transport has the capacity to pull the weight of over
10,000 tons of goods at a cheaper rate. As many organizations also look
for ways to cut down transportation costs, hence, they use rail transport
as a means to achieve this aim. Even governments in different countries
also encourage their business owners to use rail transport for their
Some organizations that are into liquid and gas business also prefer to use
rail transport because there are rail cars specially built to carry such
People also like to travel by rail because it is much cheaper than to travel by
2. It accommodates more baggage: Rail transport allows passengers to
carry more bags without stress. People come with their baggage without
unnecessary limitations and if you are to pay for much luggage you
carry, you pay still at a cheaper rate too. So, many people like to travel
with their belongings by rail than by air.
3. It is less stressful: The stress a passenger needs to pass through before
boarding a flight is enormous. This is not so in rail transport, you don’t
need to have a stressful day before you can travel by rail.
4. Passengers enjoy fixed price: People also like to use rail transport
because of its relatively stable fares. They already know the amount
they are going to pay for their journey anytime, any day.
5. It is much more environmentally-friendly: the carbon emission from rail
transport is not as dangerous as the one coming out of an aircraft. This
is also one of the reasons why the government will also encourage
different organizations to use the rail transport for long-distance
journeys for their products than to use trucks or trailers.
6. It reduces travel time: High speed train can reduce your travel time by
half. In rail, you enjoy travel without unnecessary delay or traffic hold
7. Comfort and convenience: Trains these days are equipped with
comfortable seats that can make you feel relaxed without disturbing
anybody. You can move around during the journey to reduce the stress
of sitting down in a particular seat for hours. This is not possible in road
and air transport.
8. Free from traffic: People also like to travel by rail in order to avoid
unnecessary delay on the journey.
9. Travelling by rail, you will enjoy knowing more cities.
10. People like to travel by rail because it is safer than road transport and
the second safest mode of transport.