Whoa, baby!

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Whoa, baby!
Posted by Murphy Siding on Thursday, July 12, 2018 1:11 PM

 

     So let’s say I’m cruisin’ down the ol tracks. I glance in the rear view mirror and notice a few of my trailing cars are derailing. Instinctively I blurt out “oopsy-daisy” or some such to my conductor to signal my surprise. What happens then?

 

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Posted by zardoz on Thursday, July 12, 2018 2:03 PM

Ya grab the big red handle and pull!

And your colorful metaphor will likely be a bit more colorful than, "Oopsy-daisy".

Seriously, if the air hasn't already dumped due to the derailment, you will need to quickly determine whether the risks are greater by going directly to emergency, or instead do a hard set before emergency to give the rear brakes a chance to set, as you don't want the rear of the train behind the derailment to run in to the derailed cars.

In most cases it will be better to drag the derailment away from the rear of the train, as some extra tore-up track is likely to be less expensive and/or dangerous than your train's rear end colliding. Also, be sure to bail off the independent after either application (for the same reason).

This is one of those decisions that must be made instantly, and one where experience counts. Is your train all empty hoppers, or is it an oil train--the type of train and the potential risk will determine your course of action. 

 

The above is, of course, a condensed version of what to do; there are myraid factors to consider when this happens, and to write them all down might be difficult due to the large number of conditions and if-then scenarios.  I wonder how well Trip Optimizer and it's ilk will deal with such situations.

   

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Thursday, July 12, 2018 2:48 PM

     Can you explain the trip optimizer part?

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Posted by mudchicken on Thursday, July 12, 2018 4:01 PM

Pencil geek's software trying to tell you what to do with little real-world experience.

(zARDOZ: Whatever you do, try not to invite Hulcher to the party. The cowboys on the yellow toys will really tear things up and make it much worse with those sideboom cats! Mechanical and Operating supervision don't get it, until AFTER they exceed the Unit of Property test threshold.)

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 Murphy Siding on Thursday, July 12, 2018 9:32 PM

    If the train becomes unoupled because of a derailment somewhere back in the train, does that automatically cause the brakes to set?

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, July 12, 2018 9:45 PM

Murphy Siding

    If the train becomes unoupled because of a derailment somewhere back in the train, does that automatically cause the brakes to set?

Yes.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by traisessive1 on Friday, July 13, 2018 1:50 AM

Don't really have to worry about the tail end running in if you pop it from the tail end via the EOT toggle swtich at the same time you pop the handle into emergency. 

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

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Posted by zardoz on Friday, July 13, 2018 11:41 AM

traisessive1

Don't really have to worry about the tail end running in if you pop it from the tail end via the EOT toggle swtich at the same time you pop the handle into emergency. 

 

...unless the derailment is close to the head-end; otherwise you are correct.

However, if the derailment has already progressed such that you can see it in the mirror, chances are that going into emergency is something that will soon happen without Engineer assistance.

   

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, July 13, 2018 12:21 PM

I suppose it depends on how you define "derailed."  

If you see a lot of dust but the cars are still more or less in line, dumping the rear may help keep the train stretched and things less chaotic, at least until something "digs in."

If the view in the rear view mirror is cars hither and yon, dumping the rear might help reduce the number of cars in the pile, but it's still gonna be a mess.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by CShaveRR on Friday, July 13, 2018 8:24 PM

An experienced engineer may know about the derailment before he sees the cloud of dust and hears the clatter of hoo...trucks.

Many of the engineers that I worked with in the yard could tell when their cut was on the ground, or when they "got" a knckle or drawbar, just by the way the cars behaved.  And any officer worth his salt would trust these guys' instincts!

If I were [an engineer] in multiple-track territory and knew of other trains in the area, I'd be yelling "Emergency, Emergency, Emergency!" as soon as I felt that strange tug.

Carl

Railroader Emeritus (practiced railroading for 46 years--and in 2010 I finally got it right!)

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

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Posted by zardoz on Saturday, July 14, 2018 1:31 PM

tree68
If you see a lot of dust but the cars are still more or less in line, dumping the rear may help keep the train stretched and things less chaotic, at least until something "digs in."

Unless you're in dynamic braking at the time.

Like I said before, there are so many variable in the "to dump or not to dump" equation that to spell them all out would be quite a serious undertaking.

 

With apologies to the Bard.....

To dump, or not to dump,
That is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outraged management
Or take air against a sea of derailing cars
And by not going into emergency, dump them?

To sleep, perchance to dream: ay, there's the rule violation.

   

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Sunday, July 15, 2018 9:38 AM

That's amazing, zardozBow  It should be shared with the Brotherhoods!

- PDN. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by edblysard on Sunday, July 15, 2018 10:07 AM
Wow, that is most excellent dude!

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