"Growing length of freight trains in federal crosshairs after crashes"

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"Growing length of freight trains in federal crosshairs after crashes"
Posted by Victrola1 on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 10:51 AM

By Eric M. Johnson, Reuters

SEATTLE — The investigative arm of the U.S. Congress is launching a probe into the safety of increasingly long freight trains being operated by CSX Corp , Union Pacific Corp and other major U.S. railroads to boost profitability, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said.   

http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/nation-and-world/growing-length-of-freight-trains-in-federal-crosshairs-after-crashes-20171206

 

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Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 11:42 AM

Victrola1

By Eric M. Johnson, Reuters

SEATTLE — The investigative arm of the U.S. Congress is launching a probe into the safety of increasingly long freight trains being operated by CSX Corp , Union Pacific Corp and other major U.S. railroads to boost profitability, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said.   

http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/nation-and-world/growing-length-of-freight-trains-in-federal-crosshairs-after-crashes-20171206

CN has also been seen running some pretty lengthy trains through Durand, Miichigan. We refer to them as "land barges". Some have three locomotives up front, with mid-train DPU's,  and others have them on the rear. Given that CN's trackage across Michigan is as flat as a pancake those DPU's reveal they must be hauling a lot of tonnage.

Norm


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Posted by Victrola1 on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 12:09 PM

"DeFazio said his office has received complaints over safety and traffic jams at rail crossings."

The above is from the linked article. Are most of the complaints about crossing delays? 

"CSX, the No.3 U.S. railroad by revenue, told investors in October its freight trains have increased more than 400 feet to 6,833 feet (2.08 km) on average since March, when newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison launched his plan to boost profits and streamline operations."

The article devotes more attention to CSX than other railroads. 

 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 12:52 PM

Victrola1
"DeFazio said his office has received complaints over safety and traffic jams at rail crossings."

The above is from the linked article. Are most of the complaints about crossing delays? 

"CSX, the No.3 U.S. railroad by revenue, told investors in October its freight trains have increased more than 400 feet to 6,833 feet (2.08 km) on average since March, when newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison launched his plan to boost profits and streamline operations."

The article devotes more attention to CSX than other railroads. 

From my experience, 6800 feet was considered a short train and has been so considered since the turn of the century.

         

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 1:09 PM

BaltACD
From my experience, 6800 feet was considered a short train and has been so considered since the turn of the century.

Probably an average.

As I've related elsewhere, I heard a train hit the detector at Whitesboro, NY a few weeks ago with over 700 axles.  That puts it over 10,000', roughly figured.

Everything else I see go by at Utica when I"m there is pretty long, and usually a mish-mash, whereas things like the "salad shooter" used to be pretty much contiguous reefers and little or nothing else.

Where trains through there generally ran with two locomotives, It's not unusual now to see three or four on the point.  I don't think I've ever seen in-train locomotives on the Water Level Route.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by Soo 6604 on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 2:02 PM

Here's a Union Pacific train I caught back in May on the triple main: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59Pl7tZOyMQ

 

Took me 38 years to catch one over 200 cars and I caught 5 of them Labor Day weekend, longest being 285 cars

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 4:49 PM

Soo 6604
Here's a Union Pacific train I caught back in May on the triple main: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59Pl7tZOyMQ 

Took me 38 years to catch one over 200 cars and I caught 5 of them Labor Day weekend, longest being 285 cars

Back in the day - on the B&O at Willard - terminal people thought nothing about 'forcing' a 225 car empty hopper train out of the terminal right ahead of the Capitol Limited.

30 years later, when Willard was a part of my territory - they would do the same thing ahead of Amtrak's Three Rivers.  What is old, is new again.

         

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 11:46 PM

I remember thinking a 9000 foot train was big.  Now it's a rarity for most manifest symbols.  For some symbols 10000 ft is now short.  13000 ft, giver or take a 1000 ft, is closer to the norm.  Even some intermodals are usually 9000+ feet.

Last trip out I had a 6600 ft manifest out of the Twin Cities.  I was following two 12000 ft manifests out of Chicago.  I felt like I was slacking off.  Coming home today I only had 5800 ft because the DP failed at North Platte and they decided to cut the train in half to get it out of the yard.

Jeff 

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Posted by JPS1 on Thursday, December 07, 2017 4:58 PM

jeffhergert

I remember thinking a 9000 foot train was big.  Now it's a rarity for most manifest symbols.  For some symbols 10000 ft is now short.  13000 ft, giver or take a 1000 ft, is closer to the norm.  Even some intermodals are usually 9000+ feet.

Last trip out I had a 6600 ft manifest out of the Twin Cities.  I was following two 12000 ft manifests out of Chicago.  I felt like I was slacking off.  Coming home today I only had 5800 ft because the DP failed at North Platte and they decided to cut the train in half to get it out of the yard.

Jeff 

What is the marginal risk of operating a 10,000 to 13,000 foot long freight train compared to a 9,000 foot long train?

I wonder how many people have complained about the length of freight trains?  If my experience is any indicator, it only takes a couple of politically influential people to blow the statistics out of proportion, which results in an investigation by a regulatory body.

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, December 07, 2017 5:03 PM

jeffhergert

I remember thinking a 9000 foot train was big.  Now it's a rarity for most manifest symbols.  For some symbols 10000 ft is now short.  13000 ft, giver or take a 1000 ft, is closer to the norm.  Even some intermodals are usually 9000+ feet.

Last trip out I had a 6600 ft manifest out of the Twin Cities.  I was following two 12000 ft manifests out of Chicago.  I felt like I was slacking off.  Coming home today I only had 5800 ft because the DP failed at North Platte and they decided to cut the train in half to get it out of the yard.

Jeff 

 

 

I travel to KC every so many months and stay next to the joint UP-BNSF line through downtown past KC Union Station (I think officially it is still Kansas City Terminal Trackage but not sure).     Those trains are huge that pass through there and some have mid-train units as well as trailing.

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Posted by samfp1943 on Friday, December 08, 2017 8:44 PM

12/8/2017.. "Freight train Derails in Union New Jersey area

 linked story @ https://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/freight-train-derails-in-new-jersey-causing-commuter-delays-1.15373375

FTA:"...UNION, N.J. - (AP) -- A freight train en route to upstate New York derailed in northern New Jersey on Friday afternoon, leaving rail cars strewn across the tracks and snarling the evening commute for thousands of people leaving New York.

Fire officials in Union Township, southwest of Newark, said the roughly 140-car train operated by CSX Transportation derailed about 1:30 p.m. on its way to Selkirk, New York, a suburb of Albany.

Fire Chief Michael Scanio said the tracks suffered "severe damage" but that the train cars were empty according to the engineer's manifest, and there were no injuries.

Overhead images showed at least a dozen rail cars off the tracks or lying on their sides.

People were evacuated from nearby homes and businesses, Scanio said, but were being allowed to return to their homes by late afternoon after hazmat teams cleared the accident scene.

The tracks affected by the derailment are owned by Conrail and are also used by commuter railroad New Jersey Transit, which suspended service on its Raritan Valley Line in both directions in the area of the derailment..."

Whistling  More grist for the long train mill? Sigh

 

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, December 08, 2017 9:37 PM

samfp1943
12/8/2017.. "Freight train Derails in Union New Jersey area

 linked story @ https://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/freight-train-derails-in-new-jersey-causing-commuter-delays-1.15373375

FTA:"...UNION, N.J. - (AP) -- A freight train en route to upstate New York derailed in northern New Jersey on Friday afternoon, leaving rail cars strewn across the tracks and snarling the evening commute for thousands of people leaving New York.

Fire officials in Union Township, southwest of Newark, said the roughly 140-car train operated by CSX Transportation derailed about 1:30 p.m. on its way to Selkirk, New York, a suburb of Albany.

Fire Chief Michael Scanio said the tracks suffered "severe damage" but that the train cars were empty according to the engineer's manifest, and there were no injuries.

Overhead images showed at least a dozen rail cars off the tracks or lying on their sides.

People were evacuated from nearby homes and businesses, Scanio said, but were being allowed to return to their homes by late afternoon after hazmat teams cleared the accident scene.

The tracks affected by the derailment are owned by Conrail and are also used by commuter railroad New Jersey Transit, which suspended service on its Raritan Valley Line in both directions in the area of the derailment..."

Whistling  More grist for the long train mill? Sigh

Why complain about a baby train?

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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