Strongly recommend Signals to Danger podcast if you’re interested in engineering disasters & postmortems.
The presenter is a railwayman and gives an excellent level of detail and deep-dive into the operation and procedures of the UK rail network across the years in examination of many significant rail accidents. A great one for long trips and even background listening if you want to. The most recent episode, Quintinshill 1915, dissects the deadliest accident in UK rail history with scientific but sympathetic rigour. It’s about as graphic as any episodes get.
I particularly appreciate the way Daniel Fox is scrupulous about detailing the exact procedures that should have been followed, with clarifying examples for non-rail experts, how they were contravened, and how it fits into the broader safety management system of the rail network.
It’s definitely for nerdy folks but very well done for a one-person operation.
This episode in particular is an excellent case study in the criticality of not slipping into informal “harmless shortcuts” because one shortcut, with time, always begets another. And while each, taken individually, seems unnecessary, very quickly every single redundant mode of protection, which statistically provide the real safety, is eroded.
On top of that, the informal “white lie” alternative procedure is inevitably based on a fragile tower of assumptions, which collapses invisibly with the slightest unexpected change or lapse.
Strong content warnings for this (necessarily intense) episode include: semi-graphic description of mass death, described suicide under duress, and painful death of young children. Nevertheless, it’s not played for gore points.
If that’s a bit much (it certainly took me a bit to process), give the Doncaster 1951 episode a try.
@s0 it's absurdly well-produced considering that Fox doesn't have a background in podcasting or audio production either. And the website is great too!
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