Page 3 - Investigation Results

At the beginning evidence was collected
The electric loco is a Duplo model that operates on 3V DC battery power. At the bottom there are two contacts which are operated by devices mounted between the rails, similar to Belgian crocodiles. If the right button (as seen from top into forward direction) is depressed, the loco moves forward, if the other is operated the loco reverses. In case the loco is already moving in the said direction, no change is induced.
When both buttons are pressed simultaneously, the loco stops.
In either case an audible signal informs the driver that a crocodile was passed.

Another button is located on the loco's roof, enabling to stop or start the loco in forward direction.

E-Lok, Unteransicht

acclok2.jpg (14447 Byte) 

The push loco is driven by external power, usually the driver (hence the name push loco). acclok3.jpg (15043 Byte) 
A picture of the crocodiles. In the centre you see an adjustable device at the right, one that allows only movements in the direction given by the arrow. It is not clear yet, whether the arrow is itself a proper signal (as signals are usually not placed between the rails) or if an Sh 0 or Sh 2 signal would have to be used additionally. However, this was not evaluated, as it would have had no consequences on the investigation results. Krokodile 
Concerning the signals at this installation, special signals are used. Both the semaphore and the Hp colour light signals are made of painted cardboard. In case the signal needs to show another aspect the entire signal device is removed and replaced by another one. Here you see an Hp distant signal showing aspect Vr 1: expect clear, below the distant signal post plate. Vr 1: Vorsignal 


The investigation revealed that the installation had a fundamental design flaw.
The signals were working fine and showing the appropriate aspects. However, only one signal (the semaphore that was later overrun by the Dwarfington Southbound) was protected by a crocodile. This crocodile was appropriately placed in the stop position. The other crocodile that should have protected the colour light signal was used instead for protecting the level crossing, and the third one that should have been available was lost and could not be found at the time of constructing the tracks.

The flaw was, that the signal protected by stop crocodile no. 1 was travelled by a push loco, which by design is not influenced by a crocodile (as neither the push loco nor (unfortunately) its driver have a stop button). So the push loco was pushed beyond the crocodile and its signal, thus causing this accident.


The driver (to the right in the picture) was thus found guilty, however to his favour it was judged that his attention at the time of the accident was completely seized by Ernie and Bert. After he served his prison term (see picture) the demolition team (to the left) was called to destroy the faulty installation, which was achieved by crawling across the rails, throwing Lego and Duplo bricks, and chewing on the cardboard signals. Fahrdienstleiter