EMD SD70ACe collision posts and other safety features

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EMD SD70ACe collision posts and other safety features
Posted by Ayden on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 9:02 AM

Howdie Friends Across the Pond,

I'm currently doing a research project on the SD70ACe (with a focus on safety features). I can't find out where exactly the collision posts are. Can anyone help me locate them?

Also, does the sand at the front of the train have a role in the train's safety, or is it just used for spreading on the tracks to increase friction?

Thanks!

Tags: Collision , EMD , posts , sand , SD70ACe
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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 10:06 AM

To see where the collision posts are, find the online pictures of UP 8485 after the Chatsworth collision.  For some idea of the internal structural considerations look at the S-580 AAR standard and discussions, some on this forum, of safety-cab design.

Note that the BNSF Red Oak accident, a couple of years after Chatsworth, revealed a weakness in the collision-post design: the isolated cab could be broken off and rotated to where it could more easily be deformed or crushed — there were significant recommendations to amend S-580 to reflect this issue and I encourage you to follow up on how collision-post design changed as a result.

There is no similarity between ‘buffer cars’ on things like oil trains and provision of sand on SD70ACes, to my knowledge.  The sand is only there to be dispensed for traction.

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Posted by Ayden on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 10:25 AM

Dear Overmod,

Many thanks for your reply.

Am I correct in thinking that the collision posts are indistinguishable from 'the frame' of that perturding part of the front of the train (please excuse my non-technical language) - the door on one side and the ladder on the other? I.e. is the front crushed up until the collision posts?

Thank you for that very interesting note. It may well be of use in my research.

Great to know about the sand!

Many thanks again.

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 9:53 PM

The front is crushed in, between the collision posts.  The posts frame the roughly rectangular opening “into” which the door and sheet metal of the nose have crumpled up.

There is also some safety framing in the cab itself, including an angled ‘collision strut’ that angles down at the rear of the cab space (it can be seen in a couple of the “online cab tour” pictures).  Again, I suspect there was some interesting design to keep this bracing effective while also implementing cab isolation, and that there has been some even more interesting redesign since the Red Oak incident.

For further reading and some additional suggestions for how to proceed with your research, see 71 FR 36887 (and following pages in the Federal Register).  AAR standard S-580 is incorporated in MSRP (the AAR 'manual of specifications and recommended practices) section M, which nominally costs $165 in PDF; updates are indicated by circular letters which are an additional paid service.

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Posted by Ayden on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 4:49 AM

Got it! Many thanks for your explanation - really appreciated!

And thanks for pointing out the safety framing in the cab - exactly the type of features I'm researching. 

I'll have  look at the document you mention now.

Thanks again Overmod! Have a nice day.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 10:07 AM

You may be interested in a “wreck” UP had in 2010, in Fontana, CA, right along the I-10 Freeway, resulting in the scrapping of SD70ACe UP 8315.  The conductor also lost his arm, being trapped in the wreckage and a nearby hospital’s surgical team had to operate on him IN THE CAB to extricate him.  In that wreck piping of some sort came through the front of UP 8315.  So, collision posts (“posts”) are not the panacea some people think.  But, they definitely, most of the time, help!

Vidio:

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

Photos:

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/337892/

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/380580/

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2226535

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Posted by Ayden on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 11:29 AM

Many thanks K. P. Harrier!

This is probably the clearest picture I'll get of the collision posts and how they work in a crash!

Poor conductor! A gruesome collision.

Thanks for all the links.

 

Very best wishes

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 12:41 PM

K. P. Harrier
You may be interested in a “wreck” UP had in 2010, in Fontana, CA, right along the I-10 Freeway, resulting in the scrapping of SD70ACe UP 8315.  The conductor also lost his arm, being trapped in the wreckage and a nearby hospital’s surgical team had to operate on him IN THE CAB to extricate him.  In that wreck piping of some sort came through the front of UP 8315.  So, collision posts (“posts”) are not the panacea some people think.  But, they definitely, most of the time, help!

Vidio:

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

Photos:

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/337892/

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/380580/

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2226535

There is very little defense against rearending loads of pipe.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 5:28 PM

BaltACD (10-11):

Yes and no.  The best defense is not running a red signal in the first place!

On that Fontana, CA incident, why TWO experienced trainmen missed a red absolute signal and were dictated by the green intermediate maybe a mile ahead is baffling.  Unfortunately, there was a train between those two signals, and missing the red one proved tragic.

K.P.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 5:47 PM

K. P. Harrier
BaltACD (10-11):

Yes and no.  The best defense is not running a red signal in the first place!

On that Fontana, CA incident, why TWO experienced trainmen missed a red absolute signal and were dictated by the green intermediate maybe a mile ahead is baffling.  Unfortunately, there was a train between those two signals, and missing the red one proved tragic.

K.P.

Unfortunately, complying with a signal in advance of the one that ACTUALLY applies to a train is not that unusual of an occurance.  My former employer had a incident that happend in the 'flatlands' of Ohio.  Train was operating on a Approach indication, missed the Stop indication and thought the Clear that was displayed for the train ahead of their was for them.

         

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 7:27 PM

BaltACD (10-11a):

BaltACD
 

Unfortunately, complying with a signal in advance of the one that ACTUALLY applies to a train is not that unusual of an occurance. 

WHAT?  In comparing that UP collision situation, arn't you getting in advance transposed with after the signal that applies?  In the meantime, I'm going sleep on it!

K.P.

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Posted by Entropy on Thursday, October 12, 2017 7:53 AM

Ayden

Howdie Friends Across the Pond,

Also, does the sand at the front of the train have a role in the train's safety, or is it just used for spreading on the tracks to increase friction?

Thanks!

Sand boxes at either end of the locomotive are just for traction, either automatic or manual sanding, typically up to 20mph. 

To add, SD70ACe-T4 has a feature where the conductor side back window is an emergency exit. 

The cab design itself is designed to have vision i believe 10ft ahead of the cab, safety of those around the locomotive. The angles infront of the wondows arnt just for looks. 

 

 

 

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Posted by Ayden on Thursday, October 12, 2017 10:11 AM

Hi Enthropy,

Thanks for the confirmation regarding the sand boxes!

Thanks also for the details about the T4. Unfortunately the scope of my project doesn't include the T4 version of the SD70Ace, so I won't be able to encorporate this interesting information into my research. But much appreciated anyway.

Veyr best wishes

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Posted by Entropy on Thursday, October 12, 2017 11:04 AM

You're welcome,

Another factor in safety is the fuel tank design and anti climber which is to conform to AAR S-580 crashworthiness. This was adopted in 1989 but not in effect till later. You may want look into S-580.

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Posted by Ayden on Thursday, October 12, 2017 12:06 PM

Can you point me towards any reading for the fuel tank design? It crossed my mind that it would probably have interesting safety features, but as of yet I haven't found anything. 

I've covered the anti-climber, but thanks for the pointer anyway! 

Really appreciated Enthropy! 

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Posted by jeffhergert on Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:31 PM

I disagree somewhat on sand as it relates.  It is part of the required daily locomotive safety inspection.  It's a non-complying defect in the US and regulations on how long it can remain in service before being repaired. 

On newer EMDs the use of sand is limited by speed in power.  Manual Lead Truck sand is available up to about 18mph, manual train line sand to around 12mph.  Speeds above that sand will be deposited when the computer judges it's required.  My experience the computer will allow a lot of slipping on wet rail before it automatically starts sanding the rail.  Usually after the slipping has stopped.  GEs are better about allowing manual sand at any speed, although some of the newest may only allow lead truck sand at all speeds.  I don't know if these are company specified options or "standard" features.

In Dynamic Braking both EMD and GE allow continuous manual sand.  It does aid in controlling speed.  It might only provide an additional 1 or  2 mph reduction in certain situations.  Or it might mean not having to go into higher dynamic settings in other situations.

Both EMD and GE (modern) engines will automatically provide automatic sanding for a minute or two during an undesired emergency (UDE) air brake application, even when stopped.  ( A UDE is when it wasn't initiated by the engineer placing the air brake valve into the emergency position.)

Sand may only help the wheel "grip" the rail better.  Sometimes that might be for slowing down and stopping instead of starting up or to keep going.

Jeff

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, October 13, 2017 2:02 PM

jeffhergert
I disagree somewhat on sand as it relates. It is part of the required daily locomotive safety inspection. It's a non-complying defect in the US and regulations on how long it can remain in service before being repaired.

Exactly.  It's "emergency stopping sand", since the sanders come on when the train is put in emergency.  Being out of sand is a FRA defect.

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

I occasionally post off-topic remarks.  Adults can handle that.

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