Why to stand back from moving trains

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Why to stand back from moving trains
Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, September 09, 2019 10:40 PM

Lumber, pipe, and the steel banding used to tie down all manner of loads can do this too:

No photo description available.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Monday, September 09, 2019 11:19 PM

At Night, in the rain, and wind at 45 MPH.

Not touching the ground = no sparks nor noise

Deadly.

 

Safety First!

 Thank You.

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Posted by PennsyBoomer on Monday, September 09, 2019 11:36 PM

Lading straps, scrap metal, wood chips, et al. When handing on train orders one was always best advised to stand back once the lead locomotive passed and step back in when the caboose markers neared until delivery was effected. Occasionally one would see a faint sparking as some object dragged in the ballast.       

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 6:41 AM

We were boarding one of our Polar Express trains some years ago when an eastbound freight came through Utica on track two.  Fortunately, our platform is on the north side of track one - a nice safety margin.

About ten cars from the end of the train we spotted a large chain dangling off a flat car, bouncing off the ballast.

As they say, "that would have left a mark."

We contacted the dispatcher, who presumably contacted the train.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by chatanuga on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 8:12 PM

I've seen straps, chains, tarps, lots of stuff hanging off the sides of cars as trains roll past.  I always keep a safe distance back, and I always prefer to watch the direction that the train is coming from watching for any trouble approaching rather than having my back turned and not see something before it's too late.

Kevin

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 9:18 PM

chatanuga
I've seen straps, chains, tarps, lots of stuff hanging off the sides of cars as trains roll past.  I always keep a safe distance back, and I always prefer to watch the direction that the train is coming from watching for any trouble approaching rather than having my back turned and not see something before it's too late.

Kevin

By the same token - when stopped as the head out car at a road crossing - give the train room - 50ft cars go sideways in derailments - give yourself a chance.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 10:54 AM

A public safety hazard at any speed. 

In their frenzy for short term profits (before and above and beyond PSR)  the railroads don't have enough personnel to run properly and safely.  Cut too many corners and accidents happen. 

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 11:07 AM

chatanuga
...tarps, ...

A while back I was watching the Deshler rail cam and spotted a tarp hanging over a tank car.  A Large Tarp.  

The call taker at CSX was a little incredulous that someone in NY had spotted a problem in OH, but took the information.  

I presume the unfortunate conductor had a bit of a walk ahead of him - it was closer to the rear of the train than the front.  Not to mention the fun he probably had wrestling the tarp off the car.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by mvlandsw on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 11:57 AM

I was stopped on the ex NYC Shortline at Parma Oh. to line the switches to the ex B&O Cleveland subdivision with the Q641. This train carried blocks of construction debris, some of which were covered with large tarps, some of which were not securely fastened. An overtaking train passed by with a tarp wrapped completely around the cab.

At McKees Rocks on the ex P&LE work was being done on the overhead highway bridge. As I passed underneath with permission of the flagman at the site the workers lowered a safety net far enough that my locomotive caught it and pulled it from the bridge.

Back to the original topic, CSX had a dragging chain rip out a facing point switch stand causing a derailment.

A friend of mine had his ear almost cut off by a steel band while waiting for a train to clear a siding switch.

Mark Vinski

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 1:37 PM

As to damage to switch stands, for many years the Southern Railway had ATS on many lines. Back in the seventies (it may have been the late sixties), the pickup coil on a freight engine came loose and cleaned a switch stand. The vibrations as the train passed moved the switch and the following cars were derailed. The end result was that the Southern petitioned to discontinue all its ATS system--and the petition was granted. In all of the ETT's that I had seen, the maximum allowed for passenger trains was 80 mph, which was then reduced to 79 mph, and the highest freight speed allowed was reduced from 60 mph to 59 mph in all ABS territory.

The damage took place on the AGS above Birmingham.

Johnny

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 4:21 PM

Deggesty

As to damage to switch stands, for many years the Southern Railway had ATS on many lines. Back in the seventies (it may have been the late sixties), the pickup coil on a freight engine came loose and cleaned a switch stand. The vibrations as the train passed moved the switch and the following cars were derailed. The end result was that the Southern petitioned to discontinue all its ATS system--and the petition was granted. In all of the ETT's that I had seen, the maximum allowed for passenger trains was 80 mph, which was then reduced to 79 mph, and the highest freight speed allowed was reduced from 60 mph to 59 mph in all ABS territory.

The damage took place on the AGS above Birmingham.

 

I can understand the changing of the passenger trains by 1 mph, but not the freight.  I don't think that freight train speeds in signalled territory were restricted, other than the 79 MPH, without cab signals, ATC, or ATC, etc.  I've seen ETTs of other railroads that had 60 MPH, and even 70 MPH, speeds allowed for freight trains in territory that only had ABS and no other additional safety appurtenances.

Jeff 

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 4:23 PM

I just like how they used the excuse of a derailment to get rid of ATS.  Makes me wonder if it was even the cause.

 

Any wonder why PTC got shoved down their throats?

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 5:53 PM

How does lowering speed limits by only 1 mph have any meaningful effect at all?

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 6:08 PM

Lithonia Operator

How does lowering speed limits by only 1 mph have any meaningful effect at all?

 

You'll have to ask the lawyers.

Jeff

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Posted by York1 on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 6:22 PM

When Amtrak made the new ruling that passengers in private cars were not allowed on open platforms or open windows, I thought it was silly.

I guess it wasn't as silly as I thought.

Saints Fan John

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Posted by oltmannd on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 7:50 PM

zugmann

I just like how they used the excuse of a derailment to get rid of ATS.  Makes me wonder if it was even the cause.

 

Any wonder why PTC got shoved down their throats?

 

Exactly.  

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 7:50 PM

Jeff, there may have been an ICC order later than the one in 1948 which restricted freights to 59 mph in ABS territory, but that is the only one that I know of. It limited dark territory speeds to 49 mph for freights and 59 mph for passengers.

With ACS or ATC there was no ICC ordered limit.

Regardless of the ICC limits, we know that many engineers, knowing their territory, would run much faster. I recall, riding in the center seat of the engine on the City of New Orleans between Memphis and Grenada, seeing the speedometer needle hover around 90 mph most of the way. Once, when riding #4 from Bookhaven to Jackson, I timed a mile above Crystal Springs in 35 seconds--two engines, RPO, baggage, and three coaches.--all with ABS. (single track from just below Memphis to North Jackson and crossing Pass Manchac.

On that run from Memphis, I handled the horn until it became too dark for me to distinguish mile posts from whistle posts; going through some towns, it was impossible to blow a proper signal for all of the crossings--by the time we reached one crossing the first blast for the next crossing should have been blown--the engineer did not correct me for my style in that situation (last blast for one was the first blast for the next).

 

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Posted by oltmannd on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 7:53 PM

Sometimes you have to watch for flying ice!

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/357034/

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/8998/

...from the tops of the ties.

The cool thing here was seeing a Metroliner unescorted by a GG1 in the snow.

 

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 7:53 PM

zugmann

I just like how they used the excuse of a derailment to get rid of ATS.  Makes me wonder if it was even the cause.

 

Any wonder why PTC got shoved down their throats?

 

Removing ABS systemwide did reduce some of the operating expense.

Johnny

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 7:54 PM

Deggesty
Removing ABS systemwide did reduce some of the operating expense.

Which they're paying for now, tenfold.

 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 Deggesty on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 7:56 PM

Lithonia Operator

How does lowering speed limits by only 1 mph have any meaningful effect at all?

 

It does not; at that time, many engineers did run as fast as they thought was proper, considering the road  and anything else that could have an effect on their speed.

Johnny

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 8:08 PM

Deggesty
It does not; at that time, many engineers did run as fast as they thought was proper, considering the road  and anything else that could have an effect on their speed.

Dating back to steam days - NYC, of course, ran electrics out of NYC, then changed to steam engines for the rest of the trip to Albany and points beyond.

I read of one steam engineer who got his orders (and others probably got the same orders) - "Do not arrive in Albany before..."  Ie, just don't get there early.  Otherwise, we don't care how fast you run... 

LarryWhistling
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Posted by zardoz on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 8:56 PM

Deggesty
the pickup coil on a freight engine came loose and cleaned a switch stand. The vibrations as the train passed moved the switch and the following cars were derailed. The end result was that the Southern petitioned to discontinue all its ATS system--and the petition was granted.

Of course the derailment was the fault of the ATS system, not the poor maintenance of the equipment. And in the same mentality, if it wasn't for all those pesky boxcars and tank cars making our trains so heavy, we could really make a profit! We might lose a dollar on each load, but we'll make up for it in volume.

   23 17 46 11

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 10:30 PM

Lithonia Operator
How does lowering speed limits by only 1 mph have any meaningful effect at all?

It keeps you from violating Federal law.

All the speed restriction stuff regarding ATS/ATC refers back to the Esch Act of 1920, which prohibits passenger trains from going 80mph, or ultimately freight trains from going 60mph, without functioning automatic train control.  The "79mph" is nothing more than the highest speed that doesn't violate that rule.

The ICC Order of 1947 just re-imposed strict adherence to the earlier limits, since they were already in law.

I had to chuckle a bit at that NYC story about the engineer on NYC electrics making up time.  William Wilgus effectively lost his job when a couple of NYC engineers got a bit too excited in the first days of the electrification and piled up what were designed as 2-D-2s 1-D-1s; (see following post); the 'fix' was -- without telling the designer -- to shoehorn a pin-guided four-wheel truck under each end.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, September 12, 2019 7:11 AM

You're conflating the Whyte system and the AAR system.  NYC's S-motors were built as 1-D-1 (2-8-2) and rebuilt to 2-D-2 (4-8-4) to improve tracking as speed.  At any rate, they were virtually indestructible and a handful wound up on the Conrail roster.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:12 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
You're conflating the Whyte system and the AAR system.

No, it's fat fingers on a phone late at night.

Wilgus designed them with a Bissel at each end, to maximize the weight available on drivers (and with reasonably good knowledge that Bissels as leading trucks on high-speed locomotives could be made to work -- see LS&MS.)

After the two wrecks, NYC brass (I don't know exactly who) went over Wilgus' head entirely to bring the motors into Harmon on a crash priority and install those four-wheel engine trucks.  (I'm still astounded they could get them to fit in there!)  Wilgus, miffed, tendered his resignation as a tactic ... and it was accepted.  For that reason he gets only a shred of the credit he deserves for making the whole Grand Central Station plant work.

Does anyone here remember if the timeline for 'converting' the LS&MS Prairies to inferior Pacifics postdates the "issues" with the electrics?

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:17 AM

Overmod

 

 
Lithonia Operator
How does lowering speed limits by only 1 mph have any meaningful effect at all?

 

It keeps you from violating Federal law.

All the speed restriction stuff regarding ATS/ATC refers back to the Esch Act of 1920, which prohibits passenger trains from going 80mph, or ultimately freight trains from going 60mph, without functioning automatic train control.  The "79mph" is nothing more than the highest speed that doesn't violate that rule.

The ICC Order of 1947 just re-imposed strict adherence to the earlier limits, since they were already in law.

I had to chuckle a bit at that NYC story about the engineer on NYC electrics making up time.  William Wilgus effectively lost his job when a couple of NYC engineers got a bit too excited in the first days of the electrification and piled up what were designed as 2-D-2s; the 'fix' was -- without telling the designer -- to shoehorn a pin-guided four-wheel truck under each end.

 

Thanks for proving the correct year for the ICC's repetition; I was relying on my memory. And, for stating the possible consequence of running one mph faster than the limit. To me, it was obvious that if the fiat stated that x mph was the limit, the railroads would so state that in their rules. 

Employee titmetables do state the maximum speeds allowed on the roads.

Johnny

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, September 12, 2019 5:30 PM

oltmannd

Sometimes you have to watch for flying ice!

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/357034/

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/8998/

...from the tops of the ties.

The cool thing here was seeing a Metroliner unescorted by a GG1 in the snow.

 

 

Sometimes it ain't just ice from the ties...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-Cb9x70gYQ  

Even better...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Npm4ElvJWJg  

"We're singin' a song, as we go along, walkin' in a Winter Wonderland!"

So the moral of the story is kids, when you're trackside keep your eyes and ears open, stay alert, atay engaged, be aware of your surroundings, and what's going on in those surroundings!

"Cause you never know, do you?

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Posted by Harrison on Friday, September 13, 2019 7:01 AM

tree68

We were boarding one of our Polar Express trains some years ago when an eastbound freight came through Utica on track two.  Fortunately, our platform is on the north side of track one - a nice safety margin.

About ten cars from the end of the train we spotted a large chain dangling off a flat car, bouncing off the ballast.

As they say, "that would have left a mark."

We contacted the dispatcher, who presumably contacted the train.

 

Tongue Tied Next time I'm in Utica, I will stand a few more feet back... Too bad I can't call dispatch... 

Harrison

Homeschooler living In upstate NY a.k.a Northern NY.

Modeling the D&H in 1978.

Route of the famous "Montreal Limited"

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, September 13, 2019 7:20 AM

Harrison
Next time I'm in Utica, I will stand a few more feet back... Too bad I can't call dispatch... 

Just program the CSX emergency number in your phone.  

We have some folks who know people, if you will.

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

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