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Thread: Trainspotting leads to Rail Disaster?

  1. #16
    Moderator Matt Molnar's Avatar
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    Re: Trainspotting leads to Rail Disaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil D.
    Isn't that cost split up among the many many train companies that are out there?

    $50 billion is definitely more important than saving lives and preventing what seems like regular light-running anyway, right?
    I'd rather see them spend $50 billion on new rail lines and added service...making trains an attractive alternative to driving would save many more lives I think.
    Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem.
    All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them under control.
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  2. #17
    Senior Member Planesntrains's Avatar
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    Re: Trainspotting leads to Rail Disaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil D.
    On the NYC subways, if a train goes through the red signal, the brakes automatically lock. And I mean LOCK. What are the emergency functions on the other trains?
    The others include an alerter that requires the engineer to acknowledge that he is awake, "alert", and alive every 110 seconds. Unfortunately, the line in question does not employ cab signals, would immediately dump the train into emergency if he failed to react properly.
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  3. #18
    Moderator mirrodie's Avatar
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    Re: Trainspotting leads to Rail Disaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by GothamSpotter
    Yep, most commuter and long-distance trains, including LIRR and MNRR, have nothing.
    matt, are you positive? I mean its been 10 years since I worked on the LIRR but I recall those trains, both diesel and electric, having auto brakes that were triggered in certain situations. Missing signals was one of those I thought was included.
    And I, I took the path less traveled by
    and that has made all the difference......yet...
    I have a feeling a handle of people are going to be very interested in what I post in the near future.

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  4. #19
    Senior Member Planesntrains's Avatar
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    Re: Trainspotting leads to Rail Disaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by mirrodie
    Quote Originally Posted by GothamSpotter
    Yep, most commuter and long-distance trains, including LIRR and MNRR, have nothing.
    matt, are you positive? I mean its been 10 years since I worked on the LIRR but I recall those trains, both diesel and electric, having auto brakes that were triggered in certain situations. Missing signals was one of those I thought was included.
    MNCW and LI both run cab signals, which puts the train into an emergency application if the engineer fails to acknowledge a signal, or fails to react properly.
    Cheers,
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  5. #20
    Moderator Matt Molnar's Avatar
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    Re: Trainspotting leads to Rail Disaster?

    My mistake, was not aware of that.
    Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem.
    All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them under control.
    I trust you are not in too much distress. —Captain Eric Moody, British Airways Flight 9

  6. #21
    Moderator Matt Molnar's Avatar
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    Re: Trainspotting leads to Rail Disaster?

    LA Times did a profile of the engineer today, sounds like kind of a troubled guy, sad story. No definitive insight on the cause, though there's mention that he may have been involved in a fatal pedestrian accident earlier this month.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me ... 7629.story
    Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem.
    All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them under control.
    I trust you are not in too much distress. —Captain Eric Moody, British Airways Flight 9

  7. #22
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    Re: Trainspotting leads to Rail Disaster?

    The New M7 trains and older AMD-103 engines on the MNRR and LIRR lines have something called an ATC(Automatic Train Control) that do what Planesntrains said. If the train runs a red, or is not acknowledged or it overspeeds, the penalty brake will automatically apply.
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  8. #23
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    Re: Trainspotting leads to Rail Disaster?

    [quote=GothamSpotter]
    Quote Originally Posted by flyboy 28
    Quote Originally Posted by "Phil D.":13iom4s2
    On the NYC subways, if a train goes through the red signal, the brakes automatically lock. And I mean LOCK. What are the emergency functions on the other trains?
    I saw on the news this morning that the Acela trains have this feature. To put it on most commuter trains, it would cost something like $50 billion. So they said the cost outweighed the benefit.
    Yep, most commuter and long-distance trains, including LIRR and MNRR, have nothing.[/quote:13iom4s2]

    Finally something I can speak intelligently about. I have several friends who are on the UP as conductors and engineers as well as having completed their conductor training myself before I realized I much preferred to stay with fast shiny things as opposed to slow greasy things. :lol: Anyway, the issues with the automatic braking system is that first UP would need to implement it as the tracks are theirs and second all who have trackage rights would need to have their rolling stock equipped for it. In that region alone this could include Amtrak, Metrolink, and BNSF. If UP went system wide for this you could now be including METRA, which UP actually operates with their own crews, CN, CP, the various Pro Rail subsidiaries, CSX, and many others. Now this line appears to have been CTC, but remember the current UP is much like the current US Airways, it is a product of many, many acquisitions over the years. Just the ones I can recall are CNW, SP, and Rio Grande. The result is much of their track is dark territory and not CTC. IN the old CNW area alone many of the mains are single track track warrant territory. These are the reasons the 50 billion dollar number comes up so often. In the end though while this accident was indeed tragic, it was a very low probability accident. In fact there are far more incidents with RCO operations than there are with blown signals. In fact the overwhelming majority of blown signals are only by a few feet and self reported to the dispatcher. Sadly it does appear (so far) that the inattention of the engineer (whether due texting or not is immaterial) and the lack of a 2 man cab crew to both watch for signals are what caused this, not the lack of automatic braking. On the UP the conductor is supposed to call out all non clear signals and the engineer repeats so there is communication that both saw the signal and the engineer is responding. In fact GCOR specifically gives the conductor the authority to dump the air if the engineer does not respond to a signal to prevent the train from blowing the signal. I myself actually had to do this once right after training as I had an engineer that decided to answer his cell phone and was about to blow a stop board approaching a bridge.
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  9. #24
    Moderator Matt Molnar's Avatar
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    Re: Trainspotting leads to Rail Disaster?

    A train operator at the helm during a deadly collision in California last month sent 29 text messages while on the job that day -- including one just 22 seconds before the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board announced Wednesday.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/Aheadofthe ... id=5930052
    Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem.
    All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them under control.
    I trust you are not in too much distress. —Captain Eric Moody, British Airways Flight 9

  10. #25
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    Re: Trainspotting leads to Rail Disaster?

    Too bad I didn't see this earlier to post when the event was fresh. This incident hits close to home for me because I have a friend who's an engineer for CSX and we text and talk on the phone while he's running sometimes. Of course some friend's tried to get me to stop feeling guilty about what I do by saying he's grown and it's his decision to text and make calls.

    About CTC, most lines in the northeast that all operate under NORAC signal rules usually have CTC in place. A few SEPTA branches don't have it but after the collision we had on the R2 in July 2006 they've stepped up the Cab Signaling of the rest of the branches that lack it. The NORAC tests in place that engineers operating in the northeast have to take are extremely stringent and at least I know the NORAC and Qualifying tests for all engineers operating on the Northeast Corridor all require a 100% passing grade. There is no huge rush to Cab signal lines that are not electrified - especially in the west. Of course in the northeast Passenger lines that intermingle with freight eventually got Cab signaling like the RF&P down south of DC. Of course I'm rambling here but we sure don't have to worry about this happening in the NE because of the safety measures put in place due the fact of the shear number of people the lines carry.

    As for those kids throwing the deceased engineer under. There won't be a week in their life that will go by without them thinking about how they technically caused it and they'll live with that forever.

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