/ Montenvers train derailment
The Montenvers train is not running right now. There was a derrailment this afternoon (I was on it, it was "interesting" and thankfully no one was hurt).
It will probably be a couple of days work to clear the train from the tracks and get it running again.
great, now the 2 hour wait for the midi will become a 4 hour wait!
I don't think it will take two days to get it re-railed unless the entire train has come off. Railway engineers are generally pretty adept at dealing with derailments.
The engineers I spoke to up at the train yesterday thought it would be a couple of days. Live boards are showing it shut today.
So it came right off the tracks then?
Blimey, here are the pictures: https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/auvergne-rhone-alpes/haute-savoie/chamonix/chamonix-petit-train-du-montenvers-deraille-pas-blesse-grosse-frayeur-passagers-1709728.html
Yeah, it did! And lucky it was there and not elsewhere on the line.
Apparently it happens from time to time at the points at the ends of the passing places. The train did slide to a point where there was a wider flat area on the downhill side. 15m further up there is a 3m high retaining wall to have gone over!
Interestingly, the CEO of the CMB yesterday was publicly blaming the driver, claiming "it's not a problem with our infrastructure, it was human error". Given it was under 24hrs from the incident (so no time for a proper investigation) I would be dubious about this claim, especially given the number of problems the CMB have had with their infrastructure over the past few years:
- Midi cable issues
- Planpraz cable / pylon issues
- Hellbronner cables twisting and a major rescue
- Bochard ground stability
You would have to ask whether they are investing properly in their asset base.
Not forgetting Grands Montets or having to close Le Tour early last year. And with Flegere closed for rebuilding. They've made huge efforts but there does seem to be some jinx tracking them.
Two of the midi incidents many years ago were human error. One when it was being re-tensioned or changed and the cable was dropped. The other when it wasn't open to the public and the cabin controls were in manual mode and the controller slammed the cabin into the building.
That doesn't mean the derailment was, but it's not always an infrastructure problem.
Perhaps building and operating these systems in the mountains is challenging and occasional failures are a risk.
> Not forgetting Grands Montets or having to close Le Tour early last year. And with Flegere closed for rebuilding. They've made huge efforts but there does seem to be some jinx tracking them.
Yes they do seem to be jinxed. However, apart from the disruption that this series of incidents have caused for everyone else - skiers, climbers, guides, local commerces etc, I can't say it upsets me that much as I've always felt they've thrown their weight around and bullied their way around the valley. No doubt if I still lived there I'd feel differently, of course! I was however unaware of their history - it makes interesting reading. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compagnie_du_Mont-Blanc
I work in public and regulated infrastructure asset management. You can point to individual root causes, but when you get repeated incidents, you have to ask whether there aren't organisational or cultural issues underlying the issues.
- Does the organisation have an adequate safety culture?
- Is work properly planned and organised?
- Is the organisation investing sufficiently in maintaining its assets?
- Are the staff properly trained at their jobs?
While I agree it is a challenging environment, there are lots of them out there, and CMB does seem to be doing particularly badly. I had also not included the Grand Montets fire, caused by roofing subcontractors.
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