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Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
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   Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
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   Author  Topic: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured  (Read 1052 times)
HwyHaulier
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #20 on: Sep 18th, 2008, 7:46am »
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on Sep 17th, 2008, 7:27pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...There has been more on the TV out here, again mostly wrong or silly.  Our wonderful California congresscritter Dianne Feinstein appeared on TV stating that she is shocked that freight trains and passenger trains share the same tracks.  Maybe she really is that stupid.  Would not surprise me.  There is a real stampede by all levels of government to "do sumthin".  The results will probably not be good.  Reminds me of one of Mark Twain's statements,  The Congress is out of session.  The republic is safe for another year...    

George - Hutch - Clyde - All -
 
Heaven help us all! Now we get to hear from the astonishly ignorant, with predictable posturing in gauche self promotion so as to hustle up  
a few more votes. In the example you cited, Clyde, just more confirmation of what the swells and their staffs don't know, and indicative of no  
knowledge whatever of much of anything they ever vote on and enact...
 
Located here in the Mysterious East, of sorts, local news feeds have dropped this story way down in lists of things to air. Same way with the  
national feeds, but I try to avoid watching much of any of its entertainment packaged as news.
 
With the accidents, one can surely appreciate the clinical, dispassionate and objective statements from NTSB. BTW, a comment that aired,  
a reporter claiming that Congess said to have some sort of legislation with authority for application of PTC. Reported to be bottled up in that  
esteemed body, too. More of talking a good game of a panacea du jour?
 
...................Vern..................


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ClydeDET
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #21 on: Sep 18th, 2008, 2:37pm »
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More of talking a good game of a panacea du jour?
 
Yeah, probably.


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Les_Shepherd
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #22 on: Sep 19th, 2008, 7:22am »
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This tragic event has received considerable interest from railfans on this side of the Pacific. Sadly the Moderators of our local web forum have effectively closed down discussion due to a policy of prohibiting material to be posted where deaths and/or graffitti are invloved.
 
Like several of the posts I have some reservations about the combination of ATP systems with CTC systems. They are complex, and expensive to install and maintain. Failure to maintain basic systems have contributed to some nasty accidents in the UK.
 
The simple systems like the signal trip pioneered in NY continue to perform excellently. What is the use; if any; of derails in conjunction with stop signals?
 
It is very much standard practice here for switches to be set to a derail position at stop signals in situations like this one. Very simple, cheap and effective. Any derailment will mostly be at low speed with minimal damage to equipment and a low risk of casualties.


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Les_Shepherd
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #23 on: Sep 19th, 2008, 7:26am »
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The following report from AP in Los Angeles has been posted on our local web forum.
 
Quote:
LOS ANGELES (AP) — They stand within feet of speeding locomotives, climb signal poles to photograph passing trains and try to befriend conductors and engineers.
 
Passionate train buffs call themselves railfans, but they are derisively known as "foamers" by critics who say the hobbyists foam at the mouth at the sight of a train while reveling in the minutiae of engine types, timetables and whistle sounds.
 
Most rail companies have long regarded them as nuisances and now railfans fear their access may be further limited with news that a Metrolink engineer was exchanging text messages with young rail buffs before running a red light and plowing into a freight, killing 25.
 
"After this there'll be questions as to what the relationship should be between railfans and employees," said Jim Wrinn, editor of Trains magazine, who estimates there are several hundred thousand train fans across the country.
 
Fascination with trains is a worldwide phenomenon that dates back to the original iron horses that helped create the Industrial Revolution. In the U.S., the railroad has captivated the public imagination long before the first steam engines stampeded across the Great Plains, bringing settlers to the West.
 
Train fans today have clubs, Web sites and magazines. They listen to railroad frequencies on scanners, take train watching picnics and organize trips by rail. They memorize schedules, film trains in motion and even don rail-related garb.
 
"Trains are massive, huge, loud, powerful," said Todd Clark of Canyon Country, who streams rail video on his Web site trainorders.com. "It's kind of neat to watch these beasts in operation."
 
John Almeida, of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, is a typical railfan. He sets up five video cameras at different angles along a stretch of railroad near his house and posts online movies of trains zooming by at 110 mph.
 
Their pastime, however, has come under increasing scrutiny in the wake of 9/11 security concerns. Buffs are now often questioned about why they're taking photos and watching trains.
 
"It's been a lot tougher," said Russ Johnson, a Stockton railfan who's studying to be a brakeman — not for a job, just for his hobby. "People get hassled even if they're on public property, not even railroad property."
 
Rail companies say they vigorously prosecute trespassers, railfans or not.
 
"We feel fortunate that people have such passion and enthusiasm for our industry," said Gary Fease, spokesman for Jacksonville, Fla.-based railroad CSX. "But anyone trespassing on our property is putting themselves in great physical danger."
 
Some companies have embraced fans in limited ways, using their photos in corporate calendars, taking reports on derailments or cars on the tracks and even enlisting them as unofficial security patrols.
 
Burlington Northern Santa Fe launched a Citizens for Rail Security program two years ago, a sort of neighborhood watch in which railfans, who know the tracks as well as employees, report anomalies such as damaged equipment or suspicious persons.
 
"They would write to us unsolicited with their concerns," said BNSF spokeswoman Lena Kent. "So we reached out to them."
 
About 8,000 people have joined the program, which does not provide special access, but recognizes their contributions. So far, the company has termed it a success, Kent said, although she could not provide any specific results.
 
With the Metrolink disaster, which apparently followed a string of text messages engineer Robert Sanchez exchanged with teen train buffs, railfans now wonder if friendships they've struck up with railroad employees could also be in jeopardy.
 
"Railroad employees may not be as friendly to railfans," said Mike Huggins, a Phoenix railfan. "Crews may report more suspicious activity about us."  
 
AP


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HSSRAIL
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #24 on: Sep 19th, 2008, 12:32pm »
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Calling out signals:
 
The FRA required that Engineers operating on passenger trains without someone else in the cab must call out any signal less favorable than clear  on the radio.
 
The Conductor has a portable radio and must acknowledge the engineers transmission.
 
The engineer also calls out restrictions like Form Bs and slow orders and grade crossing malfunctons. Since prior posts indicate no signals were called out by this engineer conductor probably assumed all signals were clear.


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ClydeDET
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #25 on: Sep 19th, 2008, 4:20pm »
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Thinking of Les_Shepherd's post, I picked up a book a year or so ago called WHY TRAINS CRASH(or similar - book seems to have gone into hiding so i can't verify the exact title). In any case, it deals with  train wrecks, mostly in UK and a LOT of them seem to have happened on various lines that have some form of positive train control. So - surely NOT a complete cure, eh? And others from somebody ignoring a signal///

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RRG2

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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #26 on: Sep 19th, 2008, 4:37pm »
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In this case I do not think even the Amtrak LSL system would have stopped the wreck. I have seen way too many times,first hand how fast you can get into trouble when operating trains. The first step any "powers to be" can do is to mandate a second person IN THE CAB. But,this costs more money and I doubt it will be acted upon.Taking away cell phones is NOT the answer,either. One would hope this will set back any attempt to remote control main line trains,which is coming someday my friends.........

« Last Edit: Sep 19th, 2008, 4:49pm by RRG2 » Logged

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George_Harris
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #27 on: Sep 19th, 2008, 6:28pm »
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on Sep 19th, 2008, 4:37pm, RRG2 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
In this case I do not think even the Amtrak LSL system would have stopped the wreck. I have seen way too many times,first hand how fast you can get into trouble when operating trains. The first step any "powers to be" can do is to mandate a second person IN THE CAB. But,this costs more money and I doubt it will be acted upon.Taking away cell phones is NOT the answer,either. One would hope this will set back any attempt to remote control main line trains,which is coming someday my friends.........

However, there have been several cases where BOTH people in the cab went to sleep.  One not too long ago on the ex SP/CRIP Golden State Route.  Don't remember exactly where.
 
The peculiar thing about the Metrolink accident is how soon after leaving a station the train ran through the signal, one that had to have been in plain sight.  
 
 
A 30 page slideshow by the California Public Utilities Commission
www.latimes.com/media/acrobat/2008-09/42434650.pdf    
 


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #28 on: Sep 19th, 2008, 10:11pm »
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on Sep 19th, 2008, 7:22am, Les_Shepherd wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...It is very much standard practice here for switches to be set to a derail position at stop signals in situations like this one. Very simple, cheap and effective. Any derailment will mostly be at low speed with minimal damage to equipment and a low risk of casualties...  

Les -
 
Seems to me that derails, and runoff switches and runaway tracks were fairly widely used in US practice. Now, how much of that has been  
abandoned with the excuse of clearly passe, low tech approach rationale, I don't know.  
 
In an over the years view, we can suppose the methods and hardware became part of the long ago mechanical interlocking plants. Earliest  
use likely predates the interlockers, though. IIRC, the former PRR continued in its use of derails and runoffs, at sites on (now) NEC, as an  
extra level of protection to the more advanced ATC and Cab Signal  installations. PRR was usually most cautious in its approaches to safety,  
and it was hardly a surprise they applied a great deal of redundancy.
 
Message up (12:32 pm) by HSSRAIL is most distressing. Silence on the radio taken as a presumed clear signal! Whoa! Talk about "human  
factors" failures!
 
.........................Vern...................


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ClydeDET
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #29 on: Sep 19th, 2008, 10:13pm »
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I would say the implication of the most recent accident report up on the NTSB site is that both crewmen (engineer, conductor) were asleep in the cab. They both paid the ultimate price for that (or inattentiveness if they weren't asleep).
 
Removing cell phones from train crews (including in engine service) probably isn't a good idea. Too useful in emergencies, for one thing. But texting while driving a train strikes me as a poor idea, almost as bad an idea as  doing that while driving a car...


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CN5710
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #30 on: Sep 20th, 2008, 12:48am »
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on Sep 19th, 2008, 10:13pm, ClydeDET wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I would say the implication of the most recent accident report up on the NTSB site is that both crewmen (engineer, conductor) were asleep in the cab. They both paid the ultimate price for that (or inattentiveness if they weren't asleep).
 
Removing cell phones from train crews (including in engine service) probably isn't a good idea. Too useful in emergencies, for one thing. But texting while driving a train strikes me as a poor idea, almost as bad an idea as  doing that while driving a car...

 
Being a engineer myself I agree you 100% . I layover out of town often and it is nice to have a phone to stay in touch with my wife & kids but I have seen something like this happening sooner or later and there are going to be some serious consequences over this whole mess as there should be . I am not much of a phone person and my phone is not set up for texting . The scary thing about this is it could happen to any of us train crews  


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ClydeDET
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #31 on: Sep 20th, 2008, 12:36pm »
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Well, as best I can tell from the news reports, the UP crew in this wreck did everything right - and STILL got hurt.  
 
I understand about the economic implications of single-crewed cabs, but i wonder if it really is worth it, I truly do. I mean the costs associated with one accident with this many people killed will (just in monetary terms) pay the salary and bennies for a significant amount of  extra cab crew, now won't it?


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #32 on: Sep 20th, 2008, 3:48pm »
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All -
 
In deference to one of our esteemed colleagues, let me put it this way: Should it please the Court, at thiis time we wish to place into Evidence  
an article from the Los Angeles Times of today, and titled, "Metrolink runs on a shoestring budget in a complex environment".
 
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/los_angeles_metro/la-me-metrolink20-2008sep20,0,6615809.story?page=1
 
Readers with railroad employment, or those with long experience in much observation of the danged old train may find the column raises  
more questions than it answers. But, I'll allow the reader to come to their own conjectures, hypotheses and rants...
 
...................Vern...............
 


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CN5710
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #33 on: Sep 20th, 2008, 6:19pm »
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This happened where I work back in 2001 . A train went out of the siding and another train was lined through on the main and the crew that went out of the siding lived and the other crew that was lined past the siding died as a result of the collision . We all know what happened but I can't talk about it . I will add that the engineer that died was a close friend . I was his student engineer at one point and he was also a guest at my wedding . Nothing will change unfortunately , it will happen again someday somewhere .

« Last Edit: Sep 20th, 2008, 6:20pm by CN5710 » Logged

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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #34 on: Sep 20th, 2008, 8:05pm »
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CN5710 sorry to here about your friend.  I have an idea what might have happened in the metrolink wreck,but will not voice it here,even though I left the railraod because the railroad(conrail) left me.  I have seen some pretty crazy things happen and the real truth never comes out. Things will continue ,and wrecks will happen.

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George_Harris
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #35 on: Sep 20th, 2008, 9:45pm »
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on Sep 19th, 2008, 10:11pm, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Les -
 
Seems to me that derails, and runoff switches and runaway tracks were fairly widely used in US practice. Now, how much of that has been abandoned with the excuse of clearly passe, low tech approach rationale, I don't know.

Usually where they were used, the derails were on the siding to keep the train in the siding from going out on the main before the main track switch was thrown for it.  In this situation, the train that overran the switch was on the main and hit the train that was supposed to enter the siding.  Do not know whether anyone even installed derails on the main line to prevent this sort of situation.


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ClydeDET
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #36 on: Sep 20th, 2008, 10:05pm »
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on Sep 20th, 2008, 3:48pm, HwyHaulier wrote:       (Click here for original message)
All -
 
In deference to one of our esteemed colleagues, let me put it this way: Should it please the Court, at thiis time we wish to place into Evidence  
an article from the Los Angeles Times of today, and titled, "Metrolink runs on a shoestring budget in a complex environment".
 
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/los_angeles_metro/la-me-metrolink20-2008sep20,0,6615809.story?page=1
 
Readers with railroad employment, or those with long experience in much observation of the danged old train may find the column raises  
more questions than it answers. But, I'll allow the reader to come to their own conjectures, hypotheses and rants...
 
...................Vern...............
 

 
Several "conjectures and hypotheses" occur to me, including that the writer doesn't understand much about his subject. And that the Board's members are right when they claim a lack of expertise.  But the boards of must organizations have little expertise in actual operations - that's why they have operating staff....
 
I will refrain from ranting, though i see several things I could get a good one worked up over.
 
 
Note: I have no railroad employment experience. The closest I've come is involvement in a couple of lawsuits over crossing accidents. Which wound up teaching me a fair amount about several thngs involving trains. And those days are past and will NOT come again.


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ClydeDET
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #37 on: Oct 2nd, 2008, 2:02pm »
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Well, heard a news release from NTSB on the Radio yesterday afternoon, confirming prior rumors about the engineer on the Metrolink train having been doing a lot of texting on his cell, including one session just (like a minute or less)before the wreck. In fact, the timing sounds suspiciously as if he had his head into the texting when he passed the last signal...
 
Apparently the subpoena tot he cell provider led to a time line, and it sure enough sounds like texting had (to a fair probability) something to do with the matter. Probably a missed signal, from what has come out so far (rather than just running one). Distraction can be VERY costly, eh?


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HwyHaulier
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #38 on: Oct 2nd, 2008, 2:32pm »
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Clyde - All -
 
Detailed article with update including much expansion of otherwise brief reports on WE 1 OCT radio and TV. Source: L A Times
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-crash2-2008oct02,0,4888640.story?track=rss  
 
.................Vern..............


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ClydeDET
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Re: Metrolink Collided With UP Freight. 17 Killed, 135 Injured
 
« Reply #39 on: Oct 5th, 2008, 4:40pm »
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Hard to see how you can conclude anything but that the engineer was NOT paying attention to running his train (including watching for signals). Very sad.

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