wed 24 feb 2010 03:58:49 witte de withstraat
update on saturday's metrobotsing
anonymous metro drivers have spoken to AT5, even while the investigation is ongoing into the causes of the metro collision last saturday at wibautstraat station. here's the general drift of what happened:
at centraal station, smoke started pouring out of a metro train, so the train and the station had to be evacuated.
another train at wibautstraat station was instructed to wait, and go no further inbound.
a third inbound train had just left amstelstation, diving from the overhead into the underground, and taking a curve. at this point, an automatic lubrication system squirts the wheels to keep them from squealing so loud.
the train should have encountered an automatic stop signal in mid tunnel, showing that the station ahead was not yet clear. but drivers say that lubricant had made the tracks slippery enough that the driver of the incoming train couldn't brake in time to fully stop before entering wibautstraat station and rear-ending the train waiting there.
boom. passengers got thrown all over each other in both trains. some thirty people were hurt, ten needed hospitalization.
of course it could have been much worse, like in the fatal train crash in belgium the week before. but there have now been three metro accidents in amsterdam in about a year or so, and a lot of people are getting kind of alarmed.
the policy is sposed to be that no train leaves any station before the next station is clear. that way people won't get trapped in a tunnel during an emergency. but the transport company GVB can run more trains through by having a stop signal at mid tunnel, so that's what they've been doing.
if i heard correctly, the alderman for GVB says the system is 'safe enough'. don't worry, be happy.