RAIL

20 October 2021: London, UK

Transport for London (TfL) has announced that the Night Tube will be returning in time for the busy Christmas period after being suspended since March 2020 due to the pandemic. Services on the Central and Victoria lines will run throughout the night on Fridays and Saturdays from Saturday 27 November, providing more options for customers who need to travel at night either for leisure or for work, while also making journey times shorter and offering safer routes home for women, girls and all Londoners. TfL continues to run as many services as possible whilst seeking to secure the long-term, sustainable Government funding needed to go on supporting London’s recovery. The Central and Victoria lines were previously two of the busiest lines on the Night Tube network and provide crucial links between large parts of London and the center of the city. Restoring night running on these lines will help businesses like bars, clubs and restaurants as London’s night-time economy continues to recover following the pandemic. It will also provide a safe, quick travel option for Londoners and visitors looking to make the most of all the capital has to offer in the evenings, and those who need to travel to or from work at night. The Night Tube offers a safe, low crime environment. More than 2,500 police and police community support officers and 500 TfL enforcement officers patrol London’s transport network, while thousands of frontline transport staff support customers and an extensive CCTV network is in place across the Tube. TfL operates one of the most extensive night bus networks in the world and it continues to ensure everyone can travel around the capital whatever the hour. Well over a hundred routes currently run through the night, while licensed and regulated taxis and private hire vehicles provide door to door transport at all times of the day. The Tube continues to operate between approximately 05:30 and 00:30 through central London from Monday to Saturday, and TfL has started running some trains earlier on Sunday mornings to help customers travel at those times. The Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter also sets out guidance for venues, operators, charities, councils and businesses to improve safety at night for women — including better training of staff, encouraging the reporting of harassment and ensuring public spaces are safe. Over 600 organizations are now signed up, with more joining all the time.

RAIL

31 October 2021: Tokyo, Japan

Seventeen people were injured — one of those stabbed — when a man dressed as the character “The Joker” from the movie Batman, entered a train and began lashing out with a knife the night of October 31. It happened on the Keio Line train in Tokyo. A 70-year-old man was reported in critical condition after he was stabbed in the chest. The perpetrator also sprayed lighter fluid around the train car and lit it on fire. Some passengers pulled the emergency stop and escaped through the windows. A 24-year-old man self-identified as Kyota Hattori was arrested at the scene. He told authorities, “He wanted to kill people and be given the death penalty,” according to the Tokyo Police. He is shown here calmly smoking a cigarette after the attack, before the authorities arrived.

RAIL

1 December 2021: Munich, Germany

An explosion caused by an old aircraft bomb injured three people in Munich. The explosion occurred just outside Donnersbergerbruecke station where construction is ongoing. Witnesses reported that there was a loud explosion near the Donnersberger Bridge, then they saw a column of smoke. “At this time there is no evidence of criminal offenses. According to initial findings, we have three injured people, the danger area is largely cordoned off and train traffic is blocked on the main route,” said a Munich police press officer. “There is no danger outside the immediate area,” the local police asserted. Finding old aircraft bombs dating back to World War II has happened before on several occasions.

RAIL

24 September 2021: Thongmeroud Village, Kasi District, Laos

A man was arrested in the Vientiane capital for stealing railway construction components along the Laos-China Railway. According to a report posted on the Lao Youth Radio Facebook page, approximately 147 steel joints and 39 rail bolts used in the construction of the Lao-China railway had been reported stolen in Dongphosy Village, Hadxaifong District, Vientiane Capital. The suspect, identified as 22-year-old Mr. Armee, from Thong Meuat Village, Kasi District, Vientiane Province, was arrested on Friday, September 24 for having stolen the parts. The parts were found at the man’s residence in Dongphosy. He had been found selling them to scrapyards. According to the laws of the country, those who engage in activities deliberately posing a danger to the safety of aircraft, ships, trains, vehicles, airports, ports, train stations or bus stations are subject to heavy fines and up to twenty years imprisonment. Authorities are warning scrap dealers and residents in the area to watch out for their customers and to report property suspected of being stolen from any project.

RAIL

19 August

At 09:01 hrs on 19 August 2021, a freight train consisting of a class 66 locomotive and 36 container wagons struck a loaded farm trailer at Kisby user worked level crossing, situated near to March, in Cambridgeshire. The train driver applied the train’s emergency brake around 6 seconds before the collision occurred, but the train was still travelling at around 58 mph (93 km/h) when it struck the trailer. As a result of the collision, the trailer parted from the tractor that was pulling it and was then dragged along by the train. The leading axle of the locomotive and an unladen wagon in the middle of the train also derailed. The train ran derailed for around 780 metres before it came to a stop. Both the train and tractor drivers suffered shock following the accident and the train driver was also treated for minor injuries.

RAIL

25 September 2021: Joplin, Montana

Three people were killed and more than 50 were hurt when eight cars of an Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana. Rescuers had to extricate passengers from the cars that tipped over and came to a halt in the grass and dirt knoll off the sides of the rails. Amtrak stated that at “4 p.m. MT on Saturday, Sept. 25, Empire Builder train 7/27, traveling westbound from Chicago to Seattle/Portland, derailed operating on BNSF tracks near Joplin, MT. There were 146 passengers and 16 crew members onboard. The train consisted of two locomotives and 10 cars, with eight of those cars derailing.” The tracks in the area are run by BNSF Railway. The National Transportation Safety Board launched a go team. A statement from Amtrak said: “Our Incident Response Team has been initiated, and we are sending emergency personnel and Amtrak leadership to the scene to help support our passengers, our employees and their families with their needs.” Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn, Amtrak President Stephen Gardner and the company’s chief safety and operations executives went to Montana to the accident site to support National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Railroad Administration investigators and officials to ensure any assistance necessary is made available to them.

RAIL

23 February 2021: Waterloo Station, London, UK

The UK’s South Western Railway is having to apologize to a size 18 woman due to an inspector who described her as being of “fat build”. The rail firm said the word ‘fat’ was used to describe Natasha Kaur and that it was derogatory but only after she made a formal complaint following a row over not having a valid ticket. The rail worker called the 28-year-old a woman of ‘fat build’ in the written description when she could not produce her ticket. Kaur said she did not realize her ticket had expired until she got to London Waterloo.

RAIL

26 June 2021: East Chicago, Indiana

Two adults and a child were killed and three other children were injured when their vehicle was hit by a train. The incident occurred at a railroad crossing in East Chicago, Indiana, Saturday morning, June 26. A surveillance video proved the caution signals were working and the gates were down at the time the vehicle was struck. The vehicle, a Honda Odyssey minivan, went around the gate and into the path of the train, according to a the East Chicago Police Department.

RAIL

6 April: Washington, DC

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) finalized its 2021-2022 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements during a board meeting held in early April. The five-member board voted to include 10 items in the 2021-2022 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements which involve all modes of transport, including rail. One the one main item for rail is “Improve Rail Worker Safety” but what was not included drew some attention in the rail industry. Positive Train Control (PTC) first appeared on the Most Wanted List in 2001 and has been included in some form until the current 2021-2022 list. PTC is a technology that offers extra control of a train’s movements and prevents certain train accidents from occurring. The U.S. rail industry was required by law to have the technology installed by Dec. 31, 2020. Two days before that deadline, Dec. 29, the Federal Railroad Administration said PTC was in operation on all required freight and passenger railroad route miles. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released a statement noting its appreciation of NTSB removing the safety recommendation from its Most Wanted List. “After commuter rail agencies invested more than $4 billion to implement PTC, they successfully met the statutory deadline of Dec. 31, 2020, for full PTC implementation. In addition to the $4 billion implementation cost, commuter rail operators will spend more than $100 million each year to maintain and operate the PTC system,” said Paul Skoutelas APTA president and CEO in a statement. “Industry-wide implementation of PTC has been a massive undertaking, achieved only through dedication and innovation by commuter rail operators along with PTC equipment providers, consultants and the Federal Railroad Administration.

RAIL

2 April: Tilburg, Netherlands

Two women were arrested in Dutch National Railway NS after dodging fares and being confronted by security. The security guard was bitten in the arm and also sustained head injuries. “The duo did not want to cooperate with the check and started to resist. When the NS employee stopped one of the women, she started to swear and hit,” a police statement said.