25,000 VOLTS HIT DAD-TO-BE Jul 2 2003; Engineer fights for life after rail horror Paula Murray A RAIL engineer was fighting for his life yesterday after suffering a massive electric shock from a power line. Scot Richard McBride, whose wife is expecting their first child, was working near Birmingham when the 25,000-volt blast hit him. The 28-year-old, originally from Drongan in Ayrshire, was working on new overhead lines at Marston Green Railway Station when the accident happened at around 1.30am. He suffered severe burns after electricity arced from one of the existing power lines and hit him. He was rushed to the Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham before being taken to the special burns unit at Selly Oak Hospital. Last night, doctors there described his condition as "critical but stable". Richard and his wife Nicola Anne, 29, whom he married in Prestwick three years ago, had just moved into a new home in Rugby, Warwickshire. Last night, she said: "Richard is still critical but stable. He's OK. I've been by his side since the accident happened. "I am expecting our first child and I was up all night. I'm really tired." Richard was contracted to Kent-based Elec-Track Installations Ltd. A spokesman for the firm said: "We have an excellent safety record and all staff are given training. "Our thoughts are with the employee concerned and his family." One ETI worker, who declined to be named, said: "It is terrible. I've heard he suffered up to 45 per cent burns." The Health and Safety Executive and Network Rail immediately launched investigations. A Network Rail spokeswoman said: "Electricity can arc and it looks like this might have happened. "There will be a full investigation."
Paul, Would have this guy been working close to the lines?, the flash-over distance at this voltage is as little as 300-400mm, this is different, if the Lines are sleeved. I reckon that he got too close to the existing lines. It's such a shame when accidents like this happen.
Re: 25,000 VOLTS HIT DAD-TO-BE Jul 2 2003; Engineer fights for life after rail horror#149106 07/04/0304:59 AM07/04/0304:59 AM
Old thread,but I will add few comments here since I have some knowledge and expertise with electrical railway infrastructure.Max flashover distance of MV power lines can be pretty good judged byy the lenght of insulators. OHL support insulators for 25 kv @ 50 Hz railway should be at least 400 mm long (linear lenght,outdoors).Here you can see how typical railway insulators look like: http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/4025/p3010003io5.jpg Any gap shorter than insulator's lenght is in danger of being closed by arc if the sufficiently high overvoltage arise in the system.In comparision with ordinary 3-phase MV utility lines ,25 kV railway lines are more dangerous ragarding these matters. Play safe, always respect minimum approach distance rules.And even if you play strictly by rules you're not 100% safe.Freak accidents are statistical rarity but reality too...