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 weight
- The speed &
- The length
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
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.