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CSX Freight Hits Interstate Bus in Biloxi Mississippi

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CSX Freight Hits Interstate Bus in Biloxi Mississippi
Posted by samfp1943 on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 4:39 PM

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 6:13 PM

Trains don't hit vehicles that aren't blocking or fouling the track. 

I don't have an Atlanta Division ETT available, but I seem to remember speed through Biloxi being 25 MPH or less - in part because of all the road crossings but also because of the drawbridge across Biloxi Bay.

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Posted by mudchicken on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 6:17 PM

boarded speed is 45 (per FRA DOT record), but agree with you on the stupid number of crossings.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 6:27 PM

mudchicken
boarded speed is 45 (per FRA DOT record), but agree with you on the stupid number of crossings.

25 MPH over Biloxi Bay Drawbrige

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Posted by mudchicken on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 6:57 PM

Roger that (practical side noted/ trainhandling)...we are 6 miles away at 726.81 with a NB bus and an EB train.... 340-185W

Flashers/Bells/cantilever flashers & no gates with "stuck on track" injuries and fatals in the past...It isn't like CSX just raised the tracks...Other crossings have similar issues, must be like running a gauntlet.

Bang HeadBang HeadBang Head Appears that the city ignored the AASHTO/AREMA joint spec (they are responsible for the approach grades, probably up to the edge of ballast (rail +2 feet) like most states)...Wonder what the MsDOT/MsPSC/MsRRC record has to say at this location.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by ATSFGuy on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 7:27 PM

How much damage?  Any fatalities on the bus?  Did the train derail?

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 7:36 PM

ATSFGuy

How much damage?  Any fatalities on the bus?  Did the train derail?

 

According to the accounts in the other thread on this matter, at least three of the passengers died.

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Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 9:01 PM

Chartered casino bus, mostly senior citizens, four dead.

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 9:05 PM

mudchicken
Flashers/Bells/cantilever flashers & no gates with "stuck on track" injuries and fatals in the past.

Google street view shows gates.  Of little use if you're high centered...

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 9:35 PM

Responding to MC's post, from: 

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-mississippi-train-crash-20170307-story.html 

"Records show there have been 16 accidents at the crossing since 1976, including in 1983 and 2003, each of which involved one fatality. A delivery truck was also struck at the same crossing in January, WLOX-TV reports. No one was injured in that crash.

From: http://www.sunherald.com/news/local/traffic/article136966968.html (emphasis added):

"A problem for years’

It’s the second time in two months a train has hit a vehicle at the Main Street crossing. A CSX freight train hit a Pepsi-Cola delivery truck. The tractor-trailer got hung up on the steep grade. The driver of the truck, owned by Allen Beverage of Gulfport, got out and phoned for help but the train couldn’t stop in time.

Mark Robinson said that crossing “has been a problem for years” and city officials should close it or figure out a way to make it less hazardous.

One man who lives on Esters Boulevard less than a block from the crash said he’s seen many accidents there. He said there’s a steep-grade sign at the tracks, adding buses would be better off using the crossing at Caillavet street.

Another woman at the scene said she remembered when a Mardi Gras float got stuck on the track years ago, but the krewe made it off before the train plowed into it."

Pepsi truck incident:  http://www.sunherald.com/news/local/traffic/article124693519.html 


Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/news/local/traffic/article136966968.html#storylink=cpy

- PDN. 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 9:59 PM

Some one who knows the history and agreements for the Sunset east needs to enter into this discussion.

This poster vaguely recalls a statement that for the service to be restored that the city of Biloxi was to close some grade crossings.  Any truth ?

With all the accidents at this crossing Amtrak needs to refuse to begin Sunset east service until this problem crossing is mitigated.   We don't want an Amtrak train hitting a tour bus and in the confusion media thinking many train passengers hurt.

 What some one who is living there needs to tell us is why the city has not taken care of the problem crossing.  2 previous deaths and many accidents what is going on ?   Politics ?  

After Katrina was there a proposal to move the CSX route out of Biloxi to the north ?    

 

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Posted by mudchicken on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 12:27 AM

blue streak 1

Some one who knows the history and agreements for the Sunset east needs to enter into this discussion.

This poster vaguely recalls a statement that for the service to be restored that the city of Biloxi was to close some grade crossings.  Any truth ?

With all the accidents at this crossing Amtrak needs to refuse to begin Sunset east service until this problem crossing is mitigated.   We don't want an Amtrak train hitting a tour bus and in the confusion media thinking many train passengers hurt.

 What some one who is living there needs to tell us is why the city has not taken care of the problem crossing.  2 previous deaths and many accidents what is going on ?   Politics ?  

After Katrina was there a proposal to move the CSX route out of Biloxi to the north ?    

 

 

Streak: Since the MsDOT has inherited the railroad regulatory side of this after the re-purposing of MsPSC, MsDOT has to call the shots. (again - I'd love to see any city or railroad complaints lodged with those folks....something tells me the city went mute once they found out what it would cost them and that MsDOT would hold them financially responsible....then there is the high possibility that MsDOT is all bus/rubber tired bubbas and they do not understand the steel-wheeled side of the equation and have nobody on staff with even a few months of railroad pedigree)

Amthrax is a tennant of CSX and is struggling to keep the route alive. Grandstanding can only bring you trouble. Be wise about where you pick a fight and analyze the consequences carefully.

Wonder how far apart FRA and NTSB will be at the release of investigation findings. FRA may also growl at Biloxi and MsDOT because the accident report did not get posted with the 16 others. (IMHO and experience, the incidents at crossings often go unreported or improperly reported - look at the errors in the reporting of the other 16 sheets and keep in mind that the older reporting sheets were not as detailed as they are now.)

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 6:11 AM

Does anybody have the actual address of this crossing?  I would like to see what it looks like upon approach, and particularly what the signs look like.

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Posted by ACY on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:21 AM

Google Maps views of the crossing at Main Street and Esters show signs indicating low ground clearance, about 20-30 feet from the tracks on both sides. The hump does not appear to be too great, but it looks like enough to hang up a long bus with very little ground clearance. That's hard to judge from the Google view. The track is straight, and visibility appears to be pretty much unrestricted for a pretty long distance. There are flashing lights and gates. 

Obviously I have no idea of the current condition of the low ground clearance signs, or the weather & lighting conditions, or other factors.

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:48 AM

Euclid
Does anybody have the actual address of this crossing?  I would like to see what it looks like upon approach, and particularly what the signs look like.

It's in the news stories...  Several folks already have found it and checked the Google street view.

 

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Posted by samfp1943 on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:49 AM

By way of following up and updateing some information on the incident in Biloxi, Ms. ON 3/08,

Here is a linked site with comments and additional photos@ http://heavy.com/news/2017/03/biloxi-bus-crash-train-accident-photos-videos-watch-derailed-deaths-toll-injuries-update-louisiana/

FTA:"...The Sun Herald reported that four people declined medical treatment, three died at the scene and a fourth died later. Among those injured, 10 are reportedly listed in critical condition while another 10 are in serious condition...

The bus was reportedly traveling from Austin, Texas through Biloxi on Main Street when it attempted to cross over the train tracks, but got stuck and was hit by the train.

The senior citizens were on the bus from Bastrop Senior Center, located in Bastrop, Texas. The center confirmed it was their bus at a press conference later in the day..."

Per information posted by Paul D. North on this Thread..This particular crossing in Biloxi does have a history of recent incidents; regarding this railroad/highway crossing.

Since the Casinos have started in Biloxi , motor traffic has picked up, exponentially; tourists began flocking to the Gulf Coast.    The railroad has also been an intrigal part of the City, and Coastal traffic for a number of years. It is primarily a freight route, and was once part of the Sunset Limited route East from the New Orleans area ,That route is poised for a 'comeback', and as traffic has grown in the years since Hurricane Katrina devestated that area, and both motor and rail traffic volumes recover, and that ' interaction'become more problematic.  

Biloxi Police Chief John Miller addressed media members shortly after responding units arrived to the scene. He said the crash occurred around 3:12 p.m. EST and the scene was understandably chaotic once emergency personnel arrived.

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:56 AM

Without knowing the actual itinerary of the bus trip, I can only speculate, but - There are casinos at both ends of Main Street.  I wonder if they were just arriving in town, or were travelling between casinos...

A friend on FB pointed out that it's possible a slightly shorter bus might clear the crossing (albeit barely).  There is the possibility that this was the first time this driver had a longer bus and didn't anticipate the problem.  

The view in Street View shows many scrape marks on the pavement adjacent to the tracks.  One might conclude that in addition to the actual collisions on the crossing, there have been many "close calls" where a vehicle got stuck but cleared before any trains arrived.

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 8:16 AM

 

It seems like a dangerous situation that should not be allowed to exist.  I suppose some drivers don’t notice the sign, but I suspect that far more do not assimilate the full meaning and implication of the message.  It seems pretty obvious that something is not working there as evidenced by all the accidents and deep gouges in the pavement as it humps up over the track. 

 

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Posted by RDG467 on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 2:03 PM

I've been to Biloxi for work and remember this stretch of track fairly well.  It was the 'Dam' for Hurricane Katrina- remember all the debris that was piled up along this stretch?  There's a road about 40 feet to the north of the crossing, so it would've been near impossible to build up the grade on that side of the tracks. It has been leveled out more on the other side. I wonder if there were more warning signs of the Low Crossing a block or more away from the tracks. It's kinda hard to make a good driving decision if the only sign is right in front of the grade crossing.....

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Posted by RDG467 on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 2:04 PM

Euclid

It seems like a dangerous situation that should not be allowed to exist.  I suppose some drivers don’t notice the sign, but I suspect that far more do not assimilate the full meaning and implication of the message.  It seems pretty obvious that something is not working there as evidenced by all the accidents and deep gouges in the pavement as it humps up over the track. 

One of today's pix shows the crossing gates lying on the ground after the bus knocked it over.  On the post is a blue sign with an 800 # for CSX and the crossing information. Wondering why no one on the bus (ie the DRIVER) noticed it after the bus had been stuck for more than a few minutes?  Reports were that it was there as long as 5 minutes before being struck. The trackage is about as tangent as you can get through Biloxi, and given the fact that the bus was shoved about 300 ft, the train was going fairly slowly before impact.

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 2:47 PM

   Just saw preliminary report to news media by NTSB representative on TV, but haven't found updates on their web site.   Train was going 26 MPH when emergency applied about 500 ft before crossing, 19 MPH when collision occurred.   That's from my memory, so numbers might not be too reliable.

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 2:49 PM

RDG467
I wonder if there were more warning signs of the Low Crossing a block or more away from the tracks.

I didn't see any. Here's a view of the "drop-off" side and, although it doesn't show here, as [ACY] Tom points out there are plenty of scrapes in the asphalt of the crossing.

You can barely make out the "low ground clearance" sign on this side (just above the painted "Stop" stripe. The back of the other sign is visible just to the left of the crossing signal on the other side of the track. By the time a driver is committed to turning onto this crossing I'm sure it is easy to miss these signs.

It seems to me that many vehicle manufacturers are concentrating on lowering ground clearance presumably to improve air-flow dynamics and, in turn, improve their EPA fuel consumption numbers.

Compare one of these motor coaches to a school bus as far as ground clearance goes.

That makes me wonder if this "coach" has a system of air suspension. I understand many city buses can "lower-to-the-curb" for easier egress. There were problems with air springs on a large group of Cleveland buses that caused them to lean severely when one of the "bags" leaked.

Could the air-suspension system have caused the coach to ride exceptionally lower. Did the driver have a way to override the system to raise the clearance?

Also, there is usually a set of un-driven (trailing truck?) wheels that aid in suspension on these coaches. If they were taking weight off the driving wheels the coach would have been spinning it's wheels trying to move.

I'm sure this will all be considered, just random musings on my part...

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 3:47 PM

gmpullman
It seems to me that many vehicle manufacturers are concentrating on lowering ground clearance presumably to improve air-flow dynamics and, in turn, improve their EPA fuel consumption numbers.

I think I posted on the other thread that a friend who has driven such buses noted that what might clear a 40' bus might not for a 45' bus.  If that's the case, if the driver had a new bus, he might not have realized that this one wouldn't clear.

Or, he was blindly following his GPS, or simply wasn't paying attention.  Lotsa possibilities.  We'll have to see what the investigators come up with.

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Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 6:47 PM
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Posted by RDG467 on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 6:58 PM

I watched part of this earlier today. I'm wondering how the engine crew only reacted to this when 500 ft away....this is tangent track...if the bus was stuck for 5 minutes.  Determining the time line will be key, according to the NTSB. 

There's a road overpass to the west, but I can't see how it would've impeded their view of the track. The sun shouldn't have been in their eyes at 2 pm when going east......

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:06 PM

I wonder if there are warning signs along the street that parallels the railroad. I have seen such which warn against turning from the parallel road if you have a low clearance vehicle.

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:18 PM

RDG467
I watched part of this earlier today. I'm wondering how the engine crew only reacted to this when 500 ft away....this is tangent track...if the bus was stuck for 5 minutes. Determining the time line will be key, according to the NTSB. There's a road overpass to the west, but I can't see how it would've impeded their view of the track. The sun shouldn't have been in their eyes at 2 pm when going east......

I wonder about that too.  Vehicles can foul the crossing during a long approach.  They can't all be treated as an emergency if they are a long distance away because they are likely to clear in time.  But the key to this is a large boxy vehicle standing still on the crossing for five minutes which likely included the entire approach of the train. 

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:33 PM

   I have no experience in this matter, but I wouldn't be surprised if over and over, every day, crews saw vehicles momentarily stopped in crossings that moved off before the train reached the crossing.   If they threw the train into emergency in every one of these situations, they'd be doing it over and over every day.   This was one case where the vehicle couldn't move, but the crew couldn't have known that from a distance.   That's my opinion, but I'd like to hear from someone who knows.

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:57 PM

I would think the current signs were put up in response to vehicles having problems at this crossing.  The installing agency should then have done a follow up to see if the signs solved the problem, perhaps by counting new scratch marks.  If the problem was not solved, signs should have been posted denying use for all trucks and buses.

Yes, there are many trucks and buses that CAN easily make it over that hump.  But with the existing signs, it is expected that EVERY driver crossing the hump can and will make a proper evaluation of his vehicle.  In this case, it obviously did not happen.  And it is unlikely the only failure.  Hence my concept of a total ban.

The intersection of (northern) Esters and Main should have been raised to lessen the dip between it and the tracks.  The whole road did not need to be raised, only the intersection.

I am not currently impressed with the competence of the local highway department.

 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 8:05 PM

7j43k
I am not currently impressed with the competence of the local highway department.

Ed

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