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Amtrak derailment in NYC

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Amtrak derailment in NYC
Posted by rluke on Friday, March 24, 2017 10:33 AM

Just saw this online.  Amtraks Accela was bumped off the tracks by a New Jersey tranist train this morning.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/amtrak-derailment-suspends-all-rail-service-at-nycs-penn-station/ar-BByHqG1?li=BBnb7Kz

No injuries reported so far.

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Posted by PNWRMNM on Friday, March 24, 2017 11:34 AM

Reading between the lines of the referenced article, it sounds like a NJT inboud train hit the outbound Acella somewhere in the approach trackage on the geographic west end of NYP.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, March 24, 2017 12:59 PM

IF one train 'bumped' another off the tracks - Who got by the STOP signal?

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Posted by wanswheel on Friday, March 24, 2017 1:11 PM

Sure can’t see it from a helicopter but they try.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQQQkpagss4&t=51m

 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, March 24, 2017 1:13 PM

Amtrak bulletin

Amtrak

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New York Penn Station Service Update

March 24, 2017


2:00 p.m. ET

Due to a minor derailment, Acela Express and Northeast Regional service between Newark, NJ and New York will be subject to delays.

NJ TRANSIT service will terminate either in Newark Penn Station or Secaucus.


Keystone Service will end and originate in Newark where passengers can transfer to Northeast Regional trains into New York. PATH will also honor Keystone Service ticketed passengers in and out of New York.


Empire Service will terminate and originate in Yonkers, NY. A Metro North shuttle train will transport passengers to and from Grand Central Terminal.

 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, March 24, 2017 1:40 PM

Sounds like one tunnel entrance is blocked but probably the north tunnel entrance is available.  This will give some Gateway doubters what will happen if /when one tunnel has to close for an extended time to be repaired.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, March 24, 2017 9:12 PM

Latest bulletin below.  Unconfirmed reports that middle car of Acela derailed.  Another unconfirmed report says wide guage.

 

 

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New York Penn Station Service Update

March 24, 2017

6:30 p.m. ET

Due to a minor derailment, Acela Express and Northeast Regional service between Newark, NJ and New York will be subject to delays.

NJ TRANSIT has resumed Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coastline service into New York Penn Station with some cancellations; MidTown Direct rail service into and out of Hoboken.

Keystone Service will end and originate in Newark where passengers can transfer to Northeast Regional trains into New York. PATH will also honor Keystone Service ticketed passengers in and out of New York.

Empire Service will operate on a modified schedule through the evening.

 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, March 25, 2017 11:24 AM

NJ Transit   Rahway trains not operating but regular Trenton trains operating and covering Rahway stops.

 

 

Amtrak service back to normal weekend.

 

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New York Penn Station Service Update

March 25, 2017

9:15 a.m. ET

Acela Express and Northeast Regional service between Newark, N.J., and New York City are operating on its scheduled service today.

Services were disrupted on Friday, March 24, after Acela Express 2151 had a minor derailment while moving at a slow speed departing New York Penn Station. The Acela Express made contact with a NJ Transit commuter train as a result of the minor derailment.

Empire Service is operating on its regular schedule. Customers may experience minor delays.

 

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Posted by mudchicken on Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:13 PM

Derailed and fouled?

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 blue streak 1 on Saturday, March 25, 2017 8:25 PM
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 2:27 PM

NJT's derailment Mon apr 3 has caused additional delays today.  Wonder if the Acela - NJT collision messed up some tracks ?

 

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Northeast Corridor Service Update for Tuesday, April 4

Modified service between Washington, D.C. and New York

 

April 3, 2017

10:00 p.m. EDT

Amtrak will operate a modified schedule on the Northeast Corridor Tuesday, April 4 due to a NJT incident that occurred at New York Penn Station Monday, April 3, which temporarily prompted the closure of several tracks at the station. Customers on trains arriving/departing New York Penn Station may experience delays up to 60 minutes during rush hours and 30 minutes or less during non-rush hours.

Due to reduced track capacity, the Northeast Regional service will operate a modified schedule with reduced frequencies between Washington, D.C. and New York, NY. To accommodate passengers during the modified schedule, Amtrak is providing some additional stops in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey on Tuesday, April 4.

The Empire Service and Keystone Service will also run on modified schedules with some reduced frequencies.

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 7:15 PM

I left Boson at 9:10 this morning on the Acela, and arrived in Washington this afternoon three minutes late. Apparently the Acela trains, at least, were expedited through.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, April 05, 2017 12:38 AM

Latest news is that NJ Transit has added some rush hour trains in and outof Penn.  Not the full schedule yet, however.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, April 05, 2017 1:59 PM

Anotheer day of delays due to Monday's  NJT derailment.  From Amtrak.

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Northeast Corridor Service - Wednesday, April 5

Modified service between Washington, D.C. and New York through April 6

April 5, 2017

11:00 a.m. ET

Amtrak will operate a modified schedule on the Northeast Corridor through Thursday, April 6 due to a NJ Transit incident that occurred at New York Penn Station Monday, April 3. Customers on trains arriving/departing New York Penn Station may experience delays up to 30 minutes between New York and Newark, NJ.

Due to reduced track capacity, the Northeast Regional service will operate a modified schedule with reduced frequencies between Washington, D.C. and New York, NY. To accommodate passengers during the modified schedule, Amtrak is providing some additional stops in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Empire Service and Keystone Service will also operate a modified schedule with some reduced frequencies.

________________________________________________________

EDIT  and NJT as well till Friday !

http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/transportation/2017/04/04/crowded-commute-expected-rails/100014082/

 

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Posted by wanswheel on Thursday, April 06, 2017 2:44 PM

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, April 06, 2017 6:22 PM

Don't know why it is taking so long just a very few persons working on the problem ? ? ?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/05/nyregion/train-tracks-amtrak-penn-station-derailment.html?_r=0

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, April 06, 2017 8:48 PM

blue streak 1
Don't know why it is taking so long just a very few persons working on the problem ? ? ?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/05/nyregion/train-tracks-amtrak-penn-station-derailment.html?_r=0

Guess they never heard of special track work.  With all the slip switches and other CUSTOM MADE special track work that needs to be replaced - I suspect some of it has to be MANUFACTURED and shipped to the site to be able to fix the derailment damage.

MofW in chronically underfunded operations keep a bare minimum of spares - suspect the spares got used in the 1st derailment and now there are no spares.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, April 06, 2017 10:07 PM

The statement about rail mismatched causing a step of the Acela wheels sounds like a joint bar problem ?  But who knows ?  broken bar or loose bolts or any ofanother 100 items ?

Wide guage for second ?  MC can tell us.  Would one bad cross tie enable a wide guage ?  Was the lack of replacement waiting for special ties maybe concrete ?  Amtrak has said in the past that the west interlocking was scheduled to be upgraded  to increase speed limit thru the interlocking.  Was the pending overhaul a reason to skirt on regular PM ?

http://media.amtrak.com/2017/04/statement-amtrak-president-ceo-wick-moorman-new-york-penn-station/

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, April 07, 2017 8:46 AM

blue streak 1
Wide guage for second ?  MC can tell us.  Would one bad cross tie enable a wide guage ?  Was the lack of replacement waiting for special ties maybe concrete ?  Amtrak has said in the past that the west interlocking was scheduled to be upgraded  to increase speed limit thru the interlocking.  Was the pending overhaul a reason to skirt on regular PM ?

http://media.amtrak.com/2017/04/statement-amtrak-president-ceo-wick-moorman-new-york-penn-station/

Considering that any upgrades will be taking place in a constrained area - raising speeds throught the interlocking will decrease the track to track flexibility of the interlocking - higher speed crossovers take up more linear space than do slow speed crossovers so after the 'upgrades' I fully expect there will be fewer possible routes through the interlocking.

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Posted by PNWRMNM on Friday, April 07, 2017 8:48 AM

blue streak 1

The statement about rail mismatched causing a step of the Acela wheels sounds like a joint bar problem ?  But who knows ?  broken bar or loose bolts or any ofanother 100 items ?

Streak - I take the statement to be refering to significant mismatch of top corner gauge face at a joint. Think of a curve worn rail abutting a new rail. No need to invoke broken bar or loose bolts. As I recall the FRA track standards address this and it is clear from both this written statement and Moorman's press conference that ATK has its own standards, which may or may not have been same as FRA's. My guess is this Ax was in a curve where a not quite condeming sharp flange hit the mismatch moving from curve worn rail to new, basically picked the new rail and went over the top of the rail. Since FRA standards are based on maximum speed, they will be less stringent, class I or class II in the depot throat, than out on high speed track.

Wide guage for second ?  MC can tell us.  Would one bad cross tie enable a wide guage ?  Was the lack of replacement waiting for special ties maybe concrete ?  Amtrak has said in the past that the west interlocking was scheduled to be upgraded  to increase speed limit thru the interlocking.  Was the pending overhaul a reason to skirt on regular PM ?

http://media.amtrak.com/2017/04/statement-amtrak-president-ceo-wick-moorman-new-york-penn-station/

As to wide gauge, one bad tie will not usually weaken the track sufficiently to allow a wide gauge condition to result. It generally takes a "nest" of at least 3-5 bad ties. Again I suspect this Ax was on a curve which causes the outside wheels to press against the rail tending to widen the gauge as the train passes over.

Both of these derailments indicate a state of deferred maintenance. That said, there are always better and not so good places on any railroad. The trick is to use available money to fix up the not so good places before a derailment forces you to fix it at much higher cost, and with some embaresment.

Part of ATK's problem on the NEC is that it is forced to charge marginal cost rates to the commuters, NJT and LIRR in this case. In short, here ATK is subsidizing the commuters in the same way and through the same mechanism, that the freight carriers subsidize ATK where ATK is the tennant. If ATK could charge average cost rates they would have the funds to maintain their track and bridges better than they do now.

Mac

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Friday, April 07, 2017 1:02 PM

Its got to be difficult to work with a crane in that cramped and confined area under 11 kV catanary and around 600 V DC third rail. Not sure how much can be sectionalized to provide a "dead" work zone. From earlier diagram, it appeared the area is just west of the platforms but the area is very confined.

I have concerns about the Amtrak maintained track at Chicago Union Station. Riding the BNSF Metra trains causes me to have some concerns as they have some pronounced sway as they navigate the switches leading to/from tracks 2-12. And about a week ago, the Lake Shore Limited derailed at a puzzle switch while coming into the station. Have not learned the cause but it appeared that one car split the switch. Does Amtrak need to review its track maintenance practices? Has budget issues compromised maintenance? These events create concerns. 

http://wgntv.com/2017/03/27/amtrak-train-derails-at-union-station/

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Posted by RME on Friday, April 07, 2017 2:33 PM

blue streak 1
Don't know why it is taking so long just a very few persons working on the problem ? ? ?

Here are some still pictures of the NJT incident that may be useful:

 
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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, April 07, 2017 6:14 PM

Keep a organization underfunded for 45+ years and what do you get - deferred maintenance. Trying to get the last dollar's use out of everything and replacing it JUST before it fails. Play it that fine and you will have a few failures.

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Posted by PNWRMNM on Friday, April 07, 2017 7:03 PM

To illustrate Balt's point, the shortline I once worked for made an agreement to lease a certain Class I's assets and provide service, inclding fixed plant maintenance. I was Chief Engineer, which was basically convincing the owner to spend the money to keep the property maintained in servicable condition.

There was an interchange track switch that we used at least twice a day to move 8-10 cars per trip over. Not big volume but critical to serving the customers on "that side". I agreed with the roadmaster that the switch needed work, virtually all of the ties replaced. We bought the switch ties and got the extra gang scheduled to do it. All would have been well except that THE DAY BEFORE the extra gang was to go to work, the crew derailed some cars on the switch. At least we had the material and labor headed that way anyway but it certainly cost more than if the ****ed cars had not derailed.

The interesting thing about these NYP derailments is whether or not Moorman will use them as an example of the high cost of patchwork maintenance. He also needs to get NJT and LIRR, who both put more trains into NYP than ATK does, to pay more for their access. He has a golden opportunity and it goes right back to his start in the business.

While I am not an ATK fan, the NEC does usefull work for both its customers and the larger economy. I hope he attacks!

Mac

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, April 10, 2017 12:34 PM

Would imagine that it is not possible but if somehow a live feed of the NYPS track diagram and dispatcher's presentation could be put on Trains forum could be very interesting. 

Also CHI, NOL, & LAX        

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, April 10, 2017 4:02 PM

Here's a map from a Penn Station blog that shows the affected area just to the west of the track 9/10 platform:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GitH-lVG3yg/UxEYjbpegoI/AAAAAAAAA_U/MaodFknm1Qc/s1600/NYPall.jpg

 

 

Penn Station "A" Ladders

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Posted by oltmannd on Monday, April 10, 2017 4:08 PM

I imagine part of the problem in Penn Station is maintaining drainage.  Cross ties don't live very long when they are sitting in mud all the time.

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

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Monday, April 10, 2017 8:23 PM

BaltACD

Keep a organization underfunded for 45+ years and what do you get - deferred maintenance. Trying to get the last dollar's use out of everything and replacing it JUST before it fails. Play it that fine and you will have a few failures.

 

You know that about this particular accident?  Do you know that this terminal trackage is not getting regular and proper maintenance and this is not a condition that slipped by whatever tests and inspections are performed?

What does "underfunded" mean when the NEC is said to be the one portion of Amtrak with an operating ratio below 100%?  The NEC turns a profit by whatever accounting method, a sparse network of long-distance trains is supported by cross-subsidy and appropriation from Congress, and the other corridor trains are at least in part supported by the individual states?

What does adequately funded mean in the context of Amtrak?  Amtrak gets an appropriation from the Federal government, it gets payments from states, it charges fares that are by some measures competitive with other modes, and then it runs trains with that money.  Were it to get more money, it would provide more train service, were it to receive less, it would run fewer trains.  Is Amtrak mandated by Congress to run a number of trains not supportable with the appropriations they receive?

Were Amtrak to receive a higher, perhaps more consistent appropriation, would there not be an expectation that they run more train service, and then where are we with adequate maintenance?  What does "underfunded" mean -- that we lack the political will to pay more money for the level of service Amtrak is providing?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by PNWRMNM on Monday, April 10, 2017 9:36 PM

Paul Milenkovic

What does "underfunded" mean when the NEC is said to be the one portion of Amtrak with an operating ratio below 100%?  The NEC turns a profit by whatever accounting method, a sparse network of long-distance trains is supported by cross-subsidy and appropriation from Congress, and the other corridor trains are at least in part supported by the individual states?

I am no supporter of ATK, except in the NEC where it does provide a usefull and competitive service.

Under funded as a term of railroad art means that all of the revenue streams are not adequate to support all of ATK's operations and to maintain the NEC to a standard of normalized maintenance sufficient to safely and reliably support the operating demands made on it.

Limiting our examination to the NEC, the vaunted "operating profit" is a political chimera. It does not cover equipment amortization, which is several times more than the "operating profit". I do not know how ATK accounts for the cost of "routine" track maintenance or program maintenance, which since ATK owns and maintains the fixed plant is in the range of at least $100,000,000 per year just for routine track maintenance. New tunnels and new bridges are capital expenditures in the billions.

If you look at Class I practices you will see that they tout this year's $X billion capital budget. Read more carefully and you will see that the majority of the capital budget goes for capitalized maintenace, which for the sake of simplicity we will say is large rail, tie, and ballast programs. They are accounted for as a capital investment in year zero, and then amortized (expensed) over the life of the asset. There are also pure expense items, like the wages of track inspectors. Expenses appear in the operating, not capital budget. At the shortline I worked for I always figured we expensed small quantities of rail and ties consumed in spot repair/replacement. We bought each of our three section gangs 1,000 ties per year for spot work as they saw fit, for example. This is all just maintenance of the existing capacity. New track, new cars, new locomotives, PTC, new computers and programs, and new or expanded Intermodal Terminals go in various OTHER Capex budgets.

Underfunded means that the MofW department does not get enough money to keep up with normal wear and tear of the fixed plant, regardless of whether funds are in capital budget or the expense budget. When your MofW department is underfunded trains fall into wide gauge in a switch in the station throat.

Underfunded also means that big, hunky bridge and tunnel capital projects do not get funded.

Mac   

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Monday, April 10, 2017 9:38 PM

BaltACD
 
blue streak 1
Don't know why it is taking so long just a very few persons working on the problem ? ? ?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/05/nyregion/train-tracks-amtrak-penn-station-derailment.html?_r=0

 

Guess they never heard of special track work.  With all the slip switches and other CUSTOM MADE special track work that needs to be replaced - I suspect some of it has to be MANUFACTURED and shipped to the site to be able to fix the derailment damage.

MofW in chronically underfunded operations keep a bare minimum of spares - suspect the spares got used in the 1st derailment and now there are no spares.

 

BaltACD:

I think that "blue streak 1" was using mild sarcasm in asking "Don't know why it is taking so long . . .", especially in light of the link to the Times article.

I followed the link to the article; it appears to me that the Times reporter very much indeed heard of special track work -- upon interviewing officials from Amtrak and the transit agencies who know about such things.  There is a very clear answer to "Why is this taking so long?" along with a photo showing the cramped working conditions for the repair crew along with trains still operating nearby.

For all of the shade thrown at the New York Times, especially by the political right, it appears that their reporters write very accurately, descriptively, and present potentially conflicting statements from the officials they interview in a balanced way.  The Times reporter doesn't put "CUSTOM MADE" and "MANUFACTURED" in all caps either -- maybe that is a tradition at the New York Times that reporters get their point across without the written-word version of shouting at their readers.

The Amtrak representative was very careful to not jump to conclusions with an active investigation underway, but the reporter interviews people who indeed hint at the possibility that maintenance of an aging facility may be a factor. 

Speaking of jumping to conclusions, wasn't your initial reaction here that it had to be a train driver who ran a signal?  Do you suppose it is reasonable at this very early stage in the accident inquiry to not rush-to-judgment regarding deferred maintenance as the cause?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?

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