Fatal train collision on China-Tibet railway line

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Fatal train collision on China-Tibet railway line
    • One person killed and 52 injured on Qinghai-Lhasa line
    • Driver killed and 10 injured in separate crash in NE China


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    The crash on the Qinghai-Tibet line occurred on Wednesday evening, when two trains collided. Photograph: Alamy

    Two trains collided on a famed railway line to Tibet, killing one person and injuring 52 others, state media reported on Thursday. Separately, another passenger train collided with a coal truck, killing the train driver and injuring 10.

    The crash on the Qinghai-Tibet line occurred on Wednesday evening when an empty passenger train ended up on the wrong track and collided with another train at East Golmud railway station in western Qinghai province, according to an announcement on the website of Golmud city's propaganda department.

    State broadcaster CCTV said one person died and 52 were injured. Calls to local authorities and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company rang unanswered.

    The 1,250 mile) 2,000km railway to the Tibetan Autonomous Region is the world's highest railway line, popular with tourists who previously had to fly or travel by road to reach the remote Himalayan region. It runs from Xining, Qinghai's provincial capital, through Golmud to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.

    In north-eastern China, a passenger train collided with a coal-loaded truck early on Thursday, killing the train driver and injuring 10 people, the official Xinhua news agency said.

    The incident happened at a railway crossing in Jiamusi city in Heilongjiang province. Xinhua said police had detained the truck driver and the cause was being investigated.

    China's railways have a good reputation for safety overall, although a July 2011 collision between two trains on a high-speed line in eastern China killed 40 people and injured 177.

    Fatal train collision on China-Tibet railway line | World news | theguardian.com

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    This is most unfortunate.

    RIP.

    The Chinese railway system is very modern and so it is extraordinary that the crash on the Qinghai-Tibet line could occur when an empty passenger train ended up on the wrong track to collided with another train at East Golmud railway station.

    As far as the other railway accident where the truck collide with a train at a crossing, it is understandable and possible.

    Whatever, it is most unfortunate.
     
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  3. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    I could not understand this part, Sir..
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Qinghai-Tibet line is a prestigious railway.

    It carries thousand of foreign tourists.

    China is very careful and doubly careful in projecting an efficient and modern China to foreigners.

    Therefore, this Qinghai-Tibet line is a show-piece.

    Errors cannot take place as far as China is concerned.

    In the flagship HSD, the deadly July 23 high-speed train crash in the eastern coastal city of Wenzhou, the Chinese authorities blamed sloppy development of the signalling equipment, bidding irregularities in the contract to provide it and lapses by safety inspectors who were supposed to ensure its quality.

    The bulk of the responsibility the former railway minister, Liu Zhijun, and the Railway Ministry’s deputy chief engineer, Zhang Shuguang and Mr. Liu, the Minister, was arrested on corruption charges!

    Ma Cheng, the former head of China Railway Signal and Communication Corporation, that specializes in rail-control technology and provided the signalling equipment for the Wenzhou was so harassed that he died of a heart attack a month after the accident.

    Therefore, it will be seen that the Chinese on flagship and prestigious projects will not allow anything or anyone any leeway to make China lose face!
     
  5. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    thankfully the death toll isn't heavy..
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    What is great about the Qinghai-Tibet railway is that it is built on permafrost.

    Scientists originally planned four possible railways to Tibet: the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, the Yunnan-Tibet Railway, and the Xinjiang-Tibet Railway. They settled on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway because, apart from the frozen earth aspect, it is much the best choice of the four as regards avoiding avalanches, desert, and marshland.

    The Qinghai-Tibet Railway traverses a low-latitude zone, where the frozen earth is unstable owing to strong sunshine and a relatively high earth temperature. The railway presented, therefore, an engineering and ecological challenge of proportions.

    frozen earth penetrates three to five meters below the earth's surface, where it is even harder than the surface earth. Beneath the frozen earth is permafrost, and on top of it is a seasonally thawing layer. These three layers form a kind of sandwich, with frozen earth as the filling. The frozen earth closest to the seasonally thawing layer is largely ice. In certain areas it is exclusively ice, and therefore sensitive to temperature changes in the seasonally thawing layer. It is thus clear that the seasonally thawing layer is of vital importance to preservation of the frozen earth on which the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is built.

    The seasonally thawing layer is like a quilt over the frozen earth. It stops hot air from the earth's surface filtering down to the frozen earth layer, preventing it from thawing and subsiding. The core of the problem is maintaining frozen earth heat stability. Protecting the seasonally thawing layer is, in a sense, a means of conserving the frozen earth.

    In order to adapt to various frozen earth characteristics, different forms of roadbed have been adopted, such as the slab-stone ventilation roadbed, pipe ventilation roadbed, a sun-shaded roadbed, and a bridge-style road. The method most widely applied on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the slab-stone ventilation roadbed.

    The Chinese transported the stones to a 15-meter-long experimental roadbed, and piled them up to form a one-meter-deep slab-stone layer. On top of this they laid earth, sleepers, and rails, and thermometers were inserted in the crevices between the slab-stones, to test their effect and influence on the frozen earth.

    Why use slab-stones rather than gravel?

    Slab-stones are better than gravel at diffusing heat, and a one-meter-thick slab-stone layer keeps the rail a safe distance from the frozen earth. In warm seasons, the heat that descends and passes through crevices between the slab-stones dissipates more readily. In cold seasons, the crevices accelerate the flow of cold air down, thus preserving the frozen earth.

    Building a roadbed is most difficult across unstable frozen earth zone. Conditions in this zone forced the Chinese invent a bridge-style railroad. This is a concept arising from the perspective of global warming in the coming decades that will make the frozen earth zone even more unstable. Trains can travel over this 'bridge' as the pile foundation rests directly on permafrost, making it much easier to build a reliable roadbed.
     

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