Pennsy E8 Crunched at C.U.S.? Details anyone?

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Pennsy E8 Crunched at C.U.S.? Details anyone?
Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 2:42 PM

Hello,

I recently stumbled across a photo of an apparently brand new (witness how spotless those Farr grilles are!) Pennsylvania Railroad EP-22 which seems to have been significantly damaged by trying to occupy the same space as the CB&Q observation car just ahead of it. 

One caption I came across for the photo mentions a 9-19-1947 date but this can not be accurate since the 5805 was built in July of 1952.

 PRR_5805_CUS by Edmund, on Flickr

Impact was obviously heavy enough to force the frame to collapse at the designed "crush-zone" and it is difficult to know if the engines were traveling light, and the train has already been pulled away, or were they at the head end of a departing train?

This "official" PRR photo had to have been taken shortly before the wreck, or was it after the repairs? 

 PRR_EPA-5805 by Edmund, on Flickr

I'm always fascinated by researching the whys and wherefores of railroad accidents and it would appear someone was not paying attention to signal indications here. Getting a copy of the ICC report would, of course, answer many questions.

Anyone recall this wreck or have any further leads on information?

Thank you, Ed

 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 3:25 PM

I doubt it hit that observation car.  If that was the case that obs car would have significant damage itself, and it doesn't seem to have a scratch on it.

A E unit would have to had run into a bridge abutment to bend like that!

Something seriously damaged that E unit, the question is what?

The mystery deepens.

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 4:17 PM

My "assumption" is the cut of cars, obs leading, was backing in to the platform area. Maybe a trainman wasn't positioned where he was supposed to be to watch the back-up move and possibly ran a signal?

There are brake and cab signal valves in a compartment at the rear of the obs where the crewmember can apply the brakes. Or, did one of the Pennsy E's run a signal when coming out from the platform area?

I'm looking at the truck on the obs, on the ground and the venetian blinds knocked out of place. I'll bet the rear of the car was raised slightly and dropped to the ground upon impact where the EMD designed crumple zone absorbed the impact behind the cab.

Again, just a guess from what I can gather from the one photo. More pictures would sure help Whistling

So far none of the PRR diesel roster books I have mention the 5805 returning to LaGrange or Altoona for rebuild or repair work. Seems like this accident got swept under the rug.

Thanks, Ed

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 4:34 PM

I see what you mean.  If that's true, that was one tough obs car!

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 6:42 PM

gmpullman
Hello,

I recently stumbled across a photo of an apparently brand new (witness how spotless those Farr grilles are!) Pennsylvania Railroad EP-22 which seems to have been significantly damaged by trying to occupy the same space as the CB&Q observation car just ahead of it. 

One caption I came across for the photo mentions a 9-19-1947 date but this can not be accurate since the 5805 was built in July of 1952.

 PRR_5805_CUS by Edmund, on Flickr

Impact was obviously heavy enough to force the frame to collapse at the designed "crush-zone" and it is difficult to know if the engines were traveling light, and the train has already been pulled away, or were they at the head end of a departing train?

This "official" PRR photo had to have been taken shortly before the wreck, or was it after the repairs? 

 PRR_EPA-5805 by Edmund, on Flickr

I'm always fascinated by researching the whys and wherefores of railroad accidents and it would appear someone was not paying attention to signal indications here. Getting a copy of the ICC report would, of course, answer many questions.

Anyone recall this wreck or have any further leads on information?

Thank you, Ed

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 6:53 PM

Mike (Wanswheel) sent me a link to a Chicago newspaper article concerning the wreck.  I can't forward the link  Bang Head but in a nutshell here's what happened...

The wreck occurred March 11, 1954.  The Pennsy train was arriving at the station just as the CB&Q train was backing in to recieve passengers, and somehow or another both trains wound up on the same track.  There were 34 injured on the PRR train, the CB&Q train was empty. 

There was one fatality, but not on the trains.  He was Sergeant John Malloy, a 25 year veteran of the Union Station Police, who collapsed with a heart attack during the excitement.

Again, that's one tough obs car!  They probably could have mounted a 90mm gun in the rear window and used the car as a tank destroyer! 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 7:02 PM
INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION
 
WASHINGTON
 
REPORT NO. 3560
 
CHICAGO UNION STATION COMPANY IN RE ACCIDENT AT CHICAGO, ILL., ON MARCH 10, 1954
 
Report No. 3560
 
SUMMARY
 
Date:                                                       March 10, 1954
 
Railroad:                                                Chicago Union Station
 
Location:                                               Chicago, Ill.
 
Kind of accident:                                  Collision
 
Equipment involved:                           Passenger-equipment                  : Passenger train
train
 
Train number:                                       : 58
 
Engine numbers:                                  C.B.& Q. Diesel-                           : P. R. R. Diesel-electric
electric units                                         units 9805A and 9895A
9911A and 9911B
 
Consists:                                               7 cars                                              : 11 cars
 
Speeds:                                                  Undetermined                               : Undetermined
 
Operation:                                             Interlocking
 
Tracks:                                                   Station tracks; tangent; level
 
Weather:                                                Clear
 
Time:                                                      3:42 p.m.
 
Casualties:                                             72 injured
 
Cause:                                                    Failure to operate Chicago, Burlington & Quincy passenger-equipment train in accordance with a signal indication
 
INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION
 
REPORT NO. 3560
 
IN THE MATTER OF MAKING ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION REPORTS UNDER THE ACCIDENT REPORTS ACT OF MAY 6, 1910.
 
CHICAGO UNION STATION COMPANY
 
April 20, 1954
 
Accident at Chicago, Ill., on March 10, 1954, caused by failure to operate the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy passenger-equipment train in accordance with a signal indication.
 
REPORT OF THE COMMISSION 1
 
CLARKE, Commissioner:
 
On March 10, 1954, there was a collision between a passenger-equipment train and a passenger train on the line of the Chicago Union Station Company at Chicago, Ill., which resulted in the injury of 37 passengers; 3 Pullman Company employees, 23 dining-car employees, 4 train porters, and 5 train-service employees. This accident was investigated in conjunction with representatives of the Illinois Commerce Commission.
 
 
Report No. 3560 Chicago Union Station Company Chicago, Ill. March 10, 1954
 
Location of Accident and Method of Operation
 
This accident occurred on that part of the railroad extending between Roosevelt Road and Chicago Union Station, Chicago, Ill., 0.76 mile. Trains of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad are regularly operated over this portion of the line of the Chicago Union Station Company. Between Roosevelt Road and Harrison Street Interlocking Station, 0.41 mile north of Roosevelt Road, this is a seven-track line, over which trains are operated by signal indications. The main tracks are designated from west to east as tracks Nos. 8, 6, 5, 1, 2, 3, and 4. Within interlocking limits, and immediately north of Harrison Street Interlocking Station the main tracks diverge to 14 station tracks. The station tracks are designated from west to east by even numbers consecutively as tracks Nos. 2 to 28. A lead track connects with the south ends of station tracks No. 16 and No. 18 at switch 33, crosses main track No. 5 at double-slip switch 57-59, and crosses main track No. 1 at double-slip switch 59-61. Slip switches 57-59 and 59-61 are provided with movable center points. Switch 33 and the center of slip switch 57-59 are located, respectively, 624 feet and 286 feet north of Harrison Street Interlocking Station. Station track No. 18 is 1,240 feet long. A passenger loading platform and a baggage loading platform are provided on the east and west sides, respectively, of this track. The station tracks in this vicinity are located below street level. The north ends of the tracks are covered by a train shed, and between the south end of the train shed and a point 415 feet north of Harrison Street Interlocking Station the tracks are covered by buildings and other structures. The accident occurred at a point 6 feet south of the center of slip switch 57-59, where the lead track crosses track No. 5. Track No. 5 is tangent throughout a distance of more than 2,100 feet immediately south of the point of accident. From the north on track No. 18 and the lead track there are, in succession, a tangent l,122 feet in lengh, a 9 degree curve to the left 46 feet, a tangent 7 feet, a No. 8 turnout to the left 61 feet, a tangent 15 feet, a 6 degree curve to the left 22 feet, a tangent 55 feet, a No. 10 double-slip switch to the left 68 feet, a tangent 60 feet, a No. 8 turnout to the right 70 feet, and a tangent 54 feet to the point of accident. The grade is level at the point of accident.
 
A yard of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad designated as 14th Street Passenger Yard is located a short distance south of Roosevelt Road. Trains moving from this yard to Chicago Union Station via track No. 5 enter track No. 5 immediately north of Roosevelt Road.
 
Semi-automatic signal Ll42, governing north-bound movements from 14th Street Passenger Yard to the main tracks of the Chicago Union Station Company, and semi-automatic signals L72 and L58, governing north-bound movements on track No. 5, are located, respectively, 2,358 feet, 1,584 feet, and 451 feet south of the point of accident. Signals L142 and L58 are of the dwarf type, and signal L72 is mounted on a signal bridge above and to the right of track No. 5 in the direction in which it governs. Semi-automatic dwarf signals RB20, R22, and RB48, governing south-bound movements from station track No. 18 to main track No. 1 via slip switches 57-59 and 59-61 are located, respectively, 461 feet, 338 feet, and 36 feet north at the point of accident. Semi-automatic signal R74, governing south-bound movements on main track No. 1, is located on a signal bridge 667 feet south of the point of accident. These signals are of the position-light type and are continuously lighted. Aspects applicable to this investigation and the corresponding indications and names are as follows:
 
Signal                                                     Aspect                                           Indication                      Name
 
L142                                                        Two white lights in                      Proceed; slow speed within       Slow-Clear.
RB20                                                       vertical position                           interlocking limits.
RB22
RB48
 
L72                                                          Three amber lights in                   Proceed prepared to stop at       Approach
diagonal position to                            next signal. Train or engine
the right                                                 exceeding medium speed
must at once reduce to
that speed.
 
L58                                                          Two white lights in                      Proceed at restricted speed.       Restricting.
diagonal position to
the left
 
L58                                                          Two white lights in                      Stop.                               Stop-signal.
RB48                                                       horizontal position
 
R74                                                         Three amber lights in                   Proceed.                         Clear.
vertical position
 
The controlling circuits are so arranged that when the route is lined for movement from station track No. 18 to main track No. 1 via slip switches 57-59 and 59-61, the route is unoccupied, and signal R74 indicates Proceed, signals RB20, R22, and RB48 each indicate Slow-Clear and signal L58 indicates Stop. If a conflicting north-bound movement passes Signal L58 under these conditions, the indication of signal RB48 changes from Slow-Clear to Stop when the north-bound movement reaches a point 164 feet south of the signal. When the route is lined for movement on track No. 5 from signal. L72 to signal L58, and signal L58 indicates Stop, signal L72 indicates Approach.
 
Harrison Street interlocking is of the electro-pneumatic type. It is equipped with 133 working levers. It is provided with mechanical, indication, time, and route locking. Mechanical looking prevents the manipulation of a signal lever unless a route governed by that signal is established, and prevents the establishment of a conflicting route and the manipulation of a lever controlling any switch or movable point frog within that route while the signal lever is in position for the signal to display an aspect to proceed. Route locking prevents the manipulation of the lever of any switch in a route which has been established and for which a proceed aspect has been displayed after a train or movement occupies the first track section of the route. Time locking prevents a route for which a proceed aspect has been displayed from being changed until the train or movement for which the aspect was displayed has passed the signal or until a predetermined time interval has elapsed after the signal has been caused to indicate Stop. A model board showing the track layout of the interlocking is provided. Track occupancy is indicated on the model board by illuminated indicators which become extinguished when a track section is occupied. Visual indicators are provided which show whether a signal displays an aspect to stop or to proceed. A train-ready indicator light is provided on the model board. This is actuated by a member of the crew of a train which is ready to depart from the station. An acknowledging indication is provided which authorizes the train to depart on receipt of the proper interlocking signal indication. Emergency signal whistles are located adjacent to the tracks at points, respectively 684 feet south and 210 feet north of the point of accident. These whistles are actuated by push button controls located in the interlocking station.
 
This carrier's operating rules read in part as follows:
 
DEFINITIONS
 
Medium Speed--Not exceeding one-half maximum authorized speed but not exceeding 30 miles per hour.
 
Slow Speed--Not exceeding one-half maximum authorized speed but not exceeding 15 miles per hour.
 
Restricted Speed--Proceed, not exceeding 15 miles per hour, prepared to stop short of train, obstruction, or anything that may require the speed of a train to be reduced.
 
34.                                                           All members of train and engine crews must, when practicable, communicate to each other by its name, the indication of each signal affecting the movement of their train or engine.
 
606.                                                         EMERGENCY SIGNALS
(Whistle)
 
(Note. --The signals prescribed are illustrated by "o" for short sounds; "-----" for longer sounds.)
 
Sound                                                    Indication
 
(a)                                                           -----                                                 All trains and engines within interlocking limits stop immediately.
 
663.                                                         A train or engine must stop clear of an interlocking signal indicating stop. * * *
 
The maximum authorized speed in the vicinity of the point of accident is 15 miles per hour. It is restricted to 10 miles per hour on station platform tracks.
 
Description of Accident
 
The trains involved in this accident were a north-bound Chicago, Burlington & Quincy passenger-equipment train, hereafter referred to in this report as the equipment train, and No. 58, a south-bound first-class Pennsylvania passenger train.
 
The equipment train, which was to be operated from Chicago Union Station as No. 23, consisted, from north to south, of one observation, car one parlor car, one dining car, three coaches, one club-baggage car, and Diesel-electric units 9911B and 9911A. The Diesel-electric units were coupled in multiple-unit control. The cars were of stainless steel construction and were equipped with disc type brakes. All units of the train were equipped with tightlock couplers. This train departed north-bound from 14th Street Passenger Yard en route to Union Station about 3:38 p.m. It passed signal L142, which indicated Slow-Clear, was routed to main track No. 5, passed signal L72, which indicated Approach, passed signal L58, which indicated Stop, and while moving on track No. 5 at an undetermined rate of speed it collided with No. 58 at a point 6 feet south of the center of slip switch 57-59.
 
No: 58 consisted of Diesel-electric units 9805A and 9895B, coupled in multiple-unit control, one passenger-lounge-baggage car, two coaches, two sleeping cars, two dining cars, three sleeping cars, and one sleeping-lounge-observation car, in the order named. The fifth car and the eighth to the eleventh cars, inclusive, were of light-weight steel construction, and the other cars were of conventional all-steel construction. The first three cars, the fifth car, and the eighth to eleventh cars, inclusive, were equipped with tightlock couplers and D22 type air brake equipment. The other cars were equipped with type E couplers and UC type air brake equipment. This train departed from Chicago Union Station track No. 18 at 3:40 p.m., on time, passed signal RB20, which indicated Slow-Clear, and entered the lead track. It passed signal R22, which indicated Slow-Clear, passed signal RB48, which indicated Stop, and while moving over slip switch 57-59 at an undetermined rate of speed it collided with the north car of the equipment train.
 
The equipment of both trains stopped upright and in line with the respective tracks on which the trains were moving. The equipment train was moved southward a distance of about 6 feet by the force of the impact. The north truck of the north car of this train was derailed. This car was badly damaged. The other cars of the train were somewhat damaged, and the Diesel-electric units were slightly damaged. The first Diesel-electric unit of No. 58 stopped with the right side of the front end against the north end of the north car of the opposing movement. The front truck of this unit was displaced and moved northward a distance of about 3 feet by the force of the impact, and the body structure of the unit buckled over the front truck location. The rear wheels of the front truck of the first Diesel-electric unit and the front wheels of the front truck and all wheels of the rear truck of the second Diesel-electric unit were derailed. The front truck of the first car, the rear trucks of the second and fifth cars, both trucks of the sixth car, and the front truck of the seventh car were derailed. The rear end of the second car was off center. The first Diesel-electric unit was considerably damaged, and the second unit was slightly damaged. The first four cars were slightly damaged. The fifth to the eighth cars, inclusive, and the rear two cars were somewhat damaged.
 
The pilot of the equipment train and the engineer, the fireman, the brakeman, and the flagman of No. 58 were injured.
 
The weather was clear at the time of the accident, which occurred about 3:42 p.m.
 
The locomotive units and all cars of the equipment train were provided with equipment for electro-pneumatic operation of the brakes. C.B.& Q. 360, the north car of this movement, is of the observation type. The observation end is tapered and rounded at the rear. It is equipped with a DE-1 type back-up valve. This is a composite type brake valve which functions in electro-pneumatic or automatic operation of the brakes without necessity of shifting. This valve is located in the rear of the observation compartment to the right of the center-line of the car.
 
Discussion
 
On the day of the accident the equipment of Chicago, Burlington & Quincy No. 23, scheduled to depart from Chicago Union Station at 4 p.m., was assembled in 14th Street Passenger Yard. A train-service employee, designated as a pilot, was assigned for the back-up movement of the equipment to the station. This employee proceeded to the locomotive, which was coupled to the car equipment, and identified himself to the engineer as the pilot in charge of the movement. A terminal test of the brakes was then made in both electro-pneumatic and automatic operation, after which the brakes were applied in emergency by use of the pilot's brake valve in the observation car. The brakes functioned properly in all of these tests. This equipment train departed from 14th Street Passenger Yard en route to Chicago Union Station about 3:38 p.m. Immediately after the departure the pilot made a running test of the brakes by manipulating the brake valve of the rear car. The brakes functioned properly. As this movement was approaching the point where the accident occurred the pilot was maintaining a lookout northward from a position adjacent to the brake valve in the north end of the observation car. The enginemen were in their respective positions in the control compartment of the first Diesel-electric unit. The engineer estimated that the speed was about 12 or 14 miles per hour when the movement entered track No. 5. It was then reduced to approximately 7 or 8 miles per hour by a service application of the brakes initiated by the pilot. The engineer then reduced the throttle to No. 1 position. Signal L72 indicated Approach. The pilot said that when signal L58 became visible to him he observed that it indicated Restricting and that the switches north of the signal were properly lined for his movement. He estimated that the speed was about 6 or 7 miles per hour, and he made a light service application of' the brakes which reduced the speed to about 5 miles per hour when the observation car was approximately 150 to 200 feet south of the signl. He said that when he observed No. 58 moving toward the track over which his movement was routed he immediately moved his brake valve to emergency position. He left the rear of the observation car before the collision occurred. He said that he heard the emergency signal whistles sounded after he had made the emergency application of the brakes. He thought his train was stopped before the collision occurred. The enginemen were unaware of anything being wrong until the brakes became applied in emergency. These employees were not certain whether their train was stopped as a result of the collision or by the emergency application of the brakes before the collision occurred. They said that they did not hear the emergency signal whistles sounded before the accident occurred.
 
No. 58 departed from station track No. 18 immediately after a color-light indication was received by the crew which authorized the train to proceed on proper signal. The engineer and the fireman were in the control compartment at the front of the locomotive. The conductor was in the rear car, and the other members of the train crew were in various locations in the cars of the train. The headlight was lighted dimly. The brakes of this train had functioned properly when tested. Signals RB20, R22, and RB48 each indicated Slow-Clear, and the indications were called by the enginemen. These employees observed that the switches of the route were lined for movement to track No. 1, and the engineer observed that signal R74 on that track indicated Proceed. The speed of the train was increased to approximately 12 miles per hour. The engineer said that he first observed the north-bound movement on track No. 5 soon after his locomotive entered the lead track. He said that he continued to observe it as his locomotive was closely approaching signal RB48. When he became aware that the north-bound movement had passed the point at which conflicting movements on main track No. 5 usually were stopped he made an emergency application of the brakes. The fireman said that he called a warming when he observed the conflicting movement closely approaching. These employees said that the speed of their train had been considerably reduced and that the equipment train was still in motion when the collision occurred. They said that they did not hear the emergency signal whistles sounded before the accident occurred.
 
After the equipment train reached a point 128 feet south of the point of accident, signal RB48 was caused to indicate Stop. A signal maintainer who was in the vicinity of the signal said that he observed the signal immediately before No. 58 passed it and that the signal indicated Stop at that time.
 
The train director at Harrison Street Interlocking Station said that immediately after the train-ready indicator became illuminated, indicating that No. 58 was ready to leave the station, he instructed the leverman who operated that portion of the interlocking machine to line the route for the movement of No. 58 from station track No. 18 to main track No. 1. He then actuated the color-light indicator to inform members of the train crew that their train was authorized to depart from the station on receipt of proper signal. He observed that the route was properly lined for the movement. He said that No. 23 usually departed from station track No. 16 and he intended to hold the equipment train at signal L58 until No. 58 had passed and then route the equipment to that track. He said that when he observed that the equipment train had overrun signal L58 he immediately actuated the emergency signal whistles. He thought that each train was moving at a speed of 7 or 8 miles per hour when he sounded the whistles and that both were in motion when the collision occurred. The leverman said that the levers operated properly when he lined the route for the movement of No. 58. He said that he was observing the progress of No. 58 on the model board and was not aware of anything being wrong until the emergency signal whistles sounded a few seconds before the collision occurred. There were no other movements in progress in the vicinity of the point of accident at the time the accident occurred.
 
The signals and the signal apparatus of Harrison Street interlocking which were involved were examined immediately after the accident occurred. The levers of the interlocking machine were found to be in position for the route as established for the movement of No. 58 from station track No. 18 to main track No. 1. The switches in the route and their related apparatus were in correspondence with the positions of the levers. In tests which were made after the accident occurred the interlocking apparatus and signal system functioned as intended and no defective condition was found. Signal L58 was continuously observed during a 48-hour period and functioned properly at all times during that period.
 
While the route was lined for the movement of No. 58, a conflicting route could not be established. The employees in Harrison Street Interlocking Station and the enginemen of No. 58 said that the route was established for the movement of that train before the train departed from the station, and after the accident occurred the levers and switches were found to be in position for movement from track No. 18 to track No. 1. No defective condition of the interlocking was found, and under these conditions it appears that the equipment train passed signal L58 while that signal indicated Stop.
 
Cause
 
This accident was caused by failure to operate the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy passenger-equipment train in accordance with a signal indication.
 
Dated at Washington, D. C., this twentieth day of April, 1954.
 
By the Commission, Commissioner Clarke.
 
(SEAL)                                                   GEORGE W. LAIRD,
 
Secretary.
 
FOOT NOTE:
 
1.                                                             Under authority of section 17 (2) of the Interstate Commerce Act the above-entitled proceeding was referred by the Commission to Commissioner Clarke for consideration and disposition.
sizemagorus

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 7:22 PM

Thank you!

BaltACD
You may have to create an account to view.  It doesn't cost anything.

Yes, I have an account there Yes

Thanks for copying the report, Penny.

Trying to search "PRR wreck union station" brings up 99% hits for the Washington runaway. Thanks for providing the link to the ICC report.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 7:58 PM

Thank you!

BaltACD
You may have to create an account to view.  It doesn't cost anything.

Yes, I have an account there Yes

Thanks for copying the report, Penny.

Trying to search "PRR wreck union station" brings up 99% hits for the Washington D.C. runaway. Thanks for providing the link to the ICC report.

DunceDunceDunce I now see the error in my ways. I was searching Pennsylvania Railroad and not Chicago Union Station Company Indifferent

Regards, Ed

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Posted by seppburgh2 on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 8:50 PM
In reading the report, the Towerman is quoted "he immediately actuated the emergency signal whistles." What is an Emergency Signal Whistle? Seem neither crew heard them, so thinking the whistle is something external and fixed. Not an automated whistle in the locomotive cab. Can someone help me out here?
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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 8:59 PM

gmpullman
Thank you! 
BaltACD
You may have to create an account to view.  It doesn't cost anything. 

Yes, I have an account there Yes

Thanks for copying the report, Penny.

Trying to search "PRR wreck union station" brings up 99% hits for the Washington D.C. runaway. Thanks for providing the link to the ICC report.

DunceDunceDunce I now see the error in my ways. I was searching Pennsylvania Railroad and not Chicago Union Station Company Indifferent

Regards, Ed

I searched the years from 1947 through 1954 looking at both CB&Q and PRR incidents - until I clicked 1954 and saw the CUS listing.  I must say the PRR had a high number of incidents during those years.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 9:55 PM

seppburgh2
What is an Emergency Signal Whistle?

Mentioned in the report.  Adjacent to the track, actuated from the interlocking tower (which seems odd as the movement director testified he was surprised when the whistles went off).

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, April 11, 2019 7:09 AM

A different photo of this incident, a side on view, was used by Commonwealth Engineering as an indication of the strength of the Budd stainless structure in their catalogues from the early 1960s.

Peter

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Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, April 11, 2019 8:57 AM

Does anyone have any details on PRR 5805:2. It's a new frame rebuild of 5805:1 after the wreck shown in the photo. Was the work done at Altoona or at LaGrange. EMD repair order #8034 is blank and fits the date. Also Trade In orders 7518 and 7519 state they were unused, but fit the date range of when this E8 was rebuilt. This E8A went on to become PRR #4270/PC #4270/ NJTR #4270.

 

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Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, April 11, 2019 9:04 AM

gmpullman

So far none of the PRR diesel roster books I have mention the 5805 returning to LaGrange or Altoona for rebuild or repair work. Seems like this accident got swept under the rug.

Thanks, Ed

 

 

The 5805 2nd is a "new frame" rebuild. By keeping the old identity intact the railroad could have the unit rebuilt at cost and continue to depreciate the unit at the standard rate. The rebuilt unit would have an EMD warranty on new parts if it was rebuilt at EMD. Or EMD could have sent a new underframe to Altoona for the rebuild. It's all murky 1950s railroad accounting the way this rebuilding was done. 

 

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Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, April 11, 2019 9:48 AM

EMD 1959 Product Data shows no additional information for PRR 5805. It's shown as an E8A built on order #6354. This suggests an in-house rebuild. 

 

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Posted by SSW9389 on Friday, April 12, 2019 11:06 PM

Penn Central E8A #4270 sat derelict for years at the Elizabethport Shops as a parts source. It never wore NJT lettering or was in service as NJT #4270. There are photos of it on the rrpictures archives. 

 

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
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Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, April 18, 2019 10:24 AM

Online photos show a 20 month old E8A with a broken underframe. In 1954 terms that means the unit is a write off, because EMD did not repair underframes until later. In historical terms there is no problem because there were 74 Pennsylvania E8As and 74 matching EMD serial numbers. The first 5805 was EMD serial 15669 built in July 1952 on order 6354A. The history of the unit goes on with renumbering to PRR 4270, PC 4270, and finally to NJTR 4270, renumbered on paper only as this unit was a parts source at the Elizabethport Shops. A serial number inventory of units will not reveal this kind of repair if the serial number was not changed.

But now there is a roster anomaly of 74 unit numbers, 74 serial numbers, that were built on 75 underframes. Besides the photo and the ICC report the repair is undocumented. No confirming information has been found on where the repair was done. A repair of this nature will easily cost three quarters of the cost of a new unit or more.  Does the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society have additional primary source documentation that could shed some light on this major rebuild? 

Ed in Kentucky

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, April 18, 2019 1:46 PM

I still find it amazing that a passenger car (and its train that was behind it) can buckle the frame of a locomotive (that also had a train behind it).  I am sure the engineers (not the throttle operators) can calculate all the forces involved and offer the reason, however, engines are supposed to be designed to handle much higher forces than cars - freight or passenger.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, April 18, 2019 3:03 PM

The rear of the PRR train was composed of heavyweight cars, I wonder if the slack ran in hard at the same time the collision happened, hammering 5805 into the anvil of the Burlington train, which was in emergency and may have already been stopped. 

Also, no one seems to have noticed yet that the Burlington train's lead unit was E5A 9911A (Silver Pilot), which is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, April 18, 2019 8:54 PM

I understand that the CB&Q Pilot was judged to have run a Red Signal. 

What I don't understand is how the Harrison St. Interlocking could have allowed a route to be lined that would bring the two trains into contact - even when one ran a red.  The switches within the interlocking had to have been aligned in some manner, that even when the signals were against the CB&Q move it was still lined into the face of the PRR move.

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, April 18, 2019 11:15 PM

BaltACD
What I don't understand is how the Harrison St. Interlocking could have allowed a route to be lined that would bring the two trains into contact - even when one ran a red.

From what I understand, CB&Q was backing in to same track PRR was coming out of once he cleared, and was going to occupy same platform. Here is a crop of the diagram:

 ICC_4-crop by Edmund, on Flickr

By running signal L58 they met right in the middle of the same slip switch, 57-59 that would have allowed #23 to back in to track 18.

And the full page (after so many copies and iterations much of the contrast has been lost) I tried to correct for some of the poor contrast.

 ICC_4 by Edmund, on Flickr


 

Several wrecks I've seen photos of showing EMD E and F type cab units where the frame buckled just behind the cab. I understand, and what I refered to in my earlier replies as the "crumple zone or crash zone" was an EMD design to mitigate some of the shock of impact and attempt to protect the crew. EMD was concerned enough with PRR's specification to mount of lifting lugs on the noses of their locomotives that they "signed-off" on the liability of keeping the frame intact by lifting at the nose instead of the jacking pads. Presumably aware of the inherant weakness at this point in the frame.

 Regards, Ed

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, April 19, 2019 9:28 PM

Nice! Well done NDG. Great research.

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, April 20, 2019 6:17 AM

The Burlington pilot would have seen the near points on the double-slip lined for his movement.  If the tight space of the CUS throat, both point sets on each end of the double slips were operated by the same switch machine.  In this case the points on the north end of the switch should have told the pilot that the double slip was lined for a movement crossing the track he was on.

It's hard to tell from contemporary photos how the crossing frogs on the double slips were constructed, but today's frogs in the same locations don't appear to be movable, so the pilot would not have had their position as a clue.

I'm sure the pilot made the same movement nearly every day.  A lot of ICC and NTSB reports note that about accidents...

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Posted by NDG on Friday, July 05, 2019 5:12 PM
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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, July 06, 2019 12:26 PM

Great shots of the crumple zone on a EMD cab unit.  

This F-unit bore the brunt of a much harder head-on crash, but its cab remained intact.  I can't find any reference as to whether or not the crew survived:

https://i.pinimg.com/564x/ff/39/58/ff3958a9a17f2f97094d18843f4d9e62.jpg

Another link if the photo doesn't show up right:

http://www.drgw.net/gallery/v/DRGWDieselContainer/F7s/DRGW5661/drgw_5661_millfork_ut_dec_1963_000.jpg.html

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, July 06, 2019 3:11 PM
Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, July 06, 2019 12:26 PM

Great shots of the crumple zone on a EMD cab unit.  

This F-unit bore the brunt of a much harder head-on crash, but its cab remained intact.  I can't find any reference as to whether or not the crew survived:

 

Photo of the Day caption doesn't mention any deaths. http://ctr.trains.com/photo-of-the-day/2019/05/crumple-zone
NDG
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Posted by NDG on Saturday, July 06, 2019 4:29 PM

Great Photo.

 Thank You.
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Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, July 11, 2019 9:23 AM

Contemporary E9As built in 1954 when PRR 5805 was rebuilt are IC 4036, UP 943-947, and CB&Q 9990-9995. There were also cancelled orders for NYC E9As and additional IC E9As. 

 

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