Old video clip, Tornado hits UP train in Harvard, IL

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Old video clip, Tornado hits UP train in Harvard, IL
Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 4:32 AM

This is an old video clip of a Tornado in Harvard, IL hitting a UP train and derailing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYubpuIe3cw

 

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 9:46 AM

I always find that video amazing.  You cannot actually see the tornado, but you can see the trees really start to get whipped around by high wind, and then hear tree debris beginning to strike the cab of the locomotive. 

Apparently the tornado lifted and derailed several cars at the same time while they all remained coupled together with air still coupled.  That entire string of running, derailed cars was draped down the fill bank, onto the low ground alongside, and back up the bank.  Some of the lowest cars were nearly on their sides, while the entire derailed string was sill coupled up with the rest of the train.  As the train continued, the derailed, dragging cars pulled more cars off the rails toward the head end of the train, and possibly also toward the hind end.  

All of this was happening out of sight of the camera which was still blocked by the leading hopper car.  Then you hear the brakes dump the air, and a couple seconds later, the derailed, dragging string is revealed as its forward end reaches the leading hopper car, and tips it over. 

So this was a lot of train all running on the ground at around 40-50 mph.  It was without any track, and apparently guided only by a tendency to maintain the straight line that was established only by the force of its own intertia.

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Posted by zardoz on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 8:49 PM

Fascinating to watch that tank car heading towards the camera at a high rate with sparks a-flyin'............waiting for the BOOM!

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Posted by traisessive1 on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 10:45 PM

What boom? The placard holder looks empty to me. 

Please don't assume a tank car is carrying flammable materials simply because it's a tank. 

10000 feet and no dynamics? Today is going to be a good day ... 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 10:54 PM

Everybody in the non-railroad world expects tank cars to go boom when touched like a Ford Pinto

         

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, May 17, 2018 7:32 AM

traisessive1

What boom? The placard holder looks empty to me. 

Please don't assume a tank car is carrying flammable materials simply because it's a tank. 

 

Someone at one point in previous discussions about this wreck, said that the tank car was carrying brake fluid.  But in any case, that is one angry looking tank car.  Notice how it strikes the the end of the bridge raised plate girder truss.  The resulting bounce of the tank comes down and disintegrates its leading truck just before the car collides with the engine. 

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Posted by zardoz on Thursday, May 17, 2018 10:56 AM

traisessive1

What boom? The placard holder looks empty to me. 

Please don't assume a tank car is carrying flammable materials simply because it's a tank. 

 

My comment was intended to be a possible reaction of a person on the locomotives (I realize that the video was from a trailing unit). In the middle of a tornado, with debris flying everywhere, and vision obscured by rain, I don't think someone would bother to note the placard as a possible bomb was heading towards me at 40+mph with sparks already apparent.

Next time you're in a similar situation, let us know how you reacted.

Sheesh!Bang Head

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Posted by zugmann on Thursday, May 17, 2018 11:27 AM

traisessive1
What boom? The placard holder looks empty to me. Please don't assume a tank car is carrying flammable materials simply because it's a tank.

Also don't assume a tank is not a hazmat simply because a placard is absent.

 

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, May 17, 2018 2:36 PM

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by CShaveRR on Thursday, May 17, 2018 9:14 PM

The tank car in question was carrying ethylene oxide.  Hazardous, yes, but definitely not as boom-inducing as, say, ethylene.

Balt, those were tornadoes that day (January notwithstanding).  Maps showed the path of several tornadoes in the area, of which this one was the worst.  The same tornado blew apart the barn at our favorite apple-gathering venue in Poplar Grove, Illinois.

I don't remember nasty weather in Proviso that day, but I was definitely working when that particular train left town.

Carl

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CAACSCOCOM--I don't want to behave improperly, so I just won't behave at all. (SM)

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, May 17, 2018 9:34 PM

CShaveRR
The tank car in question was carrying ethylene oxide.  Hazardous, yes, but definitely not as boom-inducing as, say, ethylene.

Balt, those were tornadoes that day (January notwithstanding).  Maps showed the path of several tornadoes in the area, of which this one was the worst.  The same tornado blew apart the barn at our favorite apple-gathering venue in Poplar Grove, Illinois.

I don't remember nasty weather in Proviso that day, but I was definitely working when that particular train left town.

I am aware the UP incident at Harvard was a tornado.  I was questioning the Argintene steam powered roll over.

         

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Posted by Euclid on Friday, May 18, 2018 6:57 AM

That wreck in Argentina was amazing to see, and amazing that it happened to be caught by video.  In watching the distant video, it is mysterious and impossible to understand what exactly is happeneing as it begins, and surprising to see it result in much of the train derailing.

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, May 18, 2018 11:26 AM

If you look at how the steam was trailing off the locomotive, it's obvious that there was a serious crosswind there.  The train being on top of a high embankment is a force multiplier, and stringlining was also likely a factor.

At first it appears that part of the roof of one car is blown off.  Then the cars start to tumble.  I suspect the locomotive was pulled over by the cars - it might have remained upright on it's own.

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Posted by Gramp on Friday, May 18, 2018 2:21 PM

Carl,

I'm thinking you're talking about Edwards' Apple Orchard.  Bob Edwards was my science teacher at Roosevelt Junior High in Rockford.  He would often talk about the orchard in class, and how he was heading there after school to take care of it.  He ended up retiring from teaching to run it full time.  Very popular in Poplar. Smile  A really fine man. 

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Posted by zardoz on Friday, May 18, 2018 9:39 PM

tree68
the locomotive was pulled over by the cars - it might have remained upright on it's own.


I seriously doubt most tornadic winds could knock over a locomotive. Maybe a F5+(>300mph) if the wind hit directly broadside, but otherwise...nah.

The F5 rating is for tornadic winds above 261mph; the 318 top limit shown on the scale is used because as of yet no winds on Earth have ever been recorded over that speed.

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/f-scale.html

Interestingly, about half-way down on the page I linked to above, the NWS has a graph showing conditions required for up to an F12 (speed of sound) tornado. Perhaps they are just planning ahead for when climate change creates a new paradigm for severe weather.

At least we're not yet dealing with Neptune-like winds (1500mph) https://www.space.com/21157-uranus-neptune-winds-revealed.html

 

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Posted by rdamon on Saturday, May 19, 2018 12:06 PM

You can always add a wind break the the DRGW did in Coal Creek Canyon ..

Always thought that that was a novel idea ..

http://www.coloradorailfan.com/TrainLog/logs.asp?p=010602

 

 

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