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Friday 19 September 2014

11 Luas trams have faulty cables replaced after flash fire

Published 29/08/2014 | 02:30

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A worn hydraulic cable caused a flash fire on board a Luas tram last November
A worn hydraulic cable caused a flash fire on board a Luas tram last November

A WORN hydraulic cable caused a flash fire on board a Luas tram last November.

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Rail accident investigators found that a hydraulic cable was not fitted correctly to the tram, causing it to rupture over time and release fluid which ignited while passengers were on board.

The incident occurred on November 7 at 4.30pm as the tram approached the Busaras stop on the Red Line in Dublin city centre. A tram driver travelling in the opposite direction saw a fire underneath the tram, and notified the driver.

Officials at the Rail Accident Investigation Unit (RAIU) found that the cause was the hydraulic hose fretting, or rubbing, against a cable which caused it to rupture.

Hydraulic fluid was released in a fine spray, which ignited and caused the flash fire.

Defects to these hoses were generally repaired within seven days of being discovered or during routine maintenance, it found. Checks after the incident found similar problems on 11 trams, and damaged components were replaced.

The RAIU report said that at "no point" did the fire penetrate into the passenger area of the vehicle. It found that specific instructions on how to install the hose to prevent fretting were not set out in maintenance manuals.

The problem was recorded more than 10 times a year, and there was no prescribed procedures in place to address it. Transdev, which operates Luas, has since changed its instructions to maintenance staff to avoid problems in the future.

Irish Independent

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