Granville Train Crash


On January 18th, 1977 a commuter train on its way to Granville, a suburb in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, reached a curve at 78km/h.

The speed limit for the curve in the railway near where it passed under a road bridge was set at 80 km/h, arguably outside the operational envelope as it was 10km/h higher than all other curves in NSW. On top of this, track maintenance was poor.

The locomotive struck and destroyed both stanchions on one side of the bridge. The first two carriages derailed, the other six remaining on the tracks.

A severed mast caused 8 fatalities in the first carriage. The bridge collapsed onto the third and fourth carriages causing another 75 fatalities. In total, 83 people were killed and 213 injured.

Aside:

Members of the public sent the driver death threats, although he was cleared of all blame, unlike the driver in the Gare de Lyon crash.

More?

A bridge may have been in accordance with the inherent safety principle of simplification, but a level crossing would have gone against the principle of attenuation.