Amtrak 501 Derail in Washington State

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Amtrak 501 Derail in Washington State
Posted by steve24944 on Monday, December 18, 2017 10:48 AM

Train De-Rail this morning.  Part of train went off bridge onto highway

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/amtrak-derailment-train-crashes-near-tacoma-washington-n830751

Steve

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Posted by steve24944 on Monday, December 18, 2017 11:01 AM

Amtrak Train 501

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Posted by longhorn1969 on Monday, December 18, 2017 11:04 AM

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/18/us/amtrak-derails-washington-latest/index.html

 

There are reports of casualities, hope for the best for the passengers.

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, December 18, 2017 11:21 AM

Ahh, the Talgo again.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 18, 2017 11:24 AM

This looks extremely bad.  Scroll down in the CNN coverage to the 'close-up' shots of the damaged cars (I tried to paste an image or link to their pictures, but the format is evidently incompatible with the Kalmbach tools).

rdamon was able in the General Discussion section to paste at least one CNN image (before that thread was locked), and anyone here is invited to link this if they can:

blob:http://www.cnn.com/d5eb149a-dd91-8443-b5ed-7118bd4aecd3

 

One very likely consequence will be increased difficulty in getting FRA waivers for lightweight HSR construction.  Some of these cars appear to have been opened like beer cans, almost worse than wood-car telescoping.  How much of this is distinctly 'Talgo' rather than normal lightweight construction remains to be determined, but this might be thought of as an American Eschede.

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, December 18, 2017 11:32 AM

According to the Newswire report, "SEATTLE – At least three people are dead after a southbound Amtrak Cascades train has derailed near Olympia this morning, blocking traffic on Interstate 5. 

 

The Seattle Times reports that the three fatalities were aboard the train, although motorists below the overpass were also injured."

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, December 18, 2017 11:41 AM
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Posted by rdamon on Monday, December 18, 2017 11:43 AM

News said that they were running on a new route on recently renovated track.

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Posted by NorthWest on Monday, December 18, 2017 11:50 AM

Too early to say, but the Talgos might've held up pretty well as the train was probably going pretty fast at this point. We will have to wait and see. Other trains are now using the old Point Defiance line.

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Posted by longhorn1969 on Monday, December 18, 2017 11:56 AM

NorthWest

Too early to say, but the Talgos might've held up pretty well as the train was probably going pretty fast at this point. We will have to wait and see. Other trains are now using the old Point Defiance line.

 

 

Did you see the upside Talgo on the ground with the crushed roof? 

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Posted by desertdog on Monday, December 18, 2017 12:00 PM

The bridge appears to be old and covered in grafitti--although that can happen quickly these days. My guess is it's on the old route.

 

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Posted by NorthWest on Monday, December 18, 2017 12:00 PM

Yes, but it looks like the passenger space largely remained intact. The fatalities weren't in that car but apparently the cars that ended up in the woods.

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Posted by rrnut282 on Monday, December 18, 2017 12:13 PM

DD,

It says new route for the Cascades, not necessarily a new track.  

 

Was this in push mode?

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Posted by desertdog on Monday, December 18, 2017 12:18 PM

rrnut282

DD,

It says new route for the Cascades, not necessarily a new track.  

 

Was this in push mode?

 

Interesting question. I've seen the train dozens of times (rode it just once) and I can visualize the cab cars on the southbound end, but I'm not sure if that's SOP or not.

John Timm

 

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Posted by NorthWest on Monday, December 18, 2017 12:21 PM

Engines on both ends-new SC44 1402 leading on south end, P42DC 181 trailing. They're breaking in the new units this way.

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Posted by samfp1943 on Monday, December 18, 2017 12:32 PM

[quote user="NorthWest"]

Engines on both ends-new SC44 1402 leading on south end, P42DC 181 trailing. They're breaking in the new units this way.

 

[/quote]

I picked up on this derailment from a broadcast on FBN. One of their reporters noted that this was the inaugeral run of this train(501). Similar info was detailed in the following linked site, and similar photos[as also posted in this Thread] @  http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/amtrak-train-derails-on-highway-bridge-in-washington-state-several-killed/ar-BBGYGOH?li=BBnb7Kz

FTA:'...The train struck several cars on the highway, he added, causing injuries but no additional deaths.

Seventy-seven people were transported to hospitals in Pierce and Thurston counties, the Tacoma-based CHI Franciscan Health healthcare network said in a statement. Four of them were considered "level red" patients with the most severe injuries.

Approximately 78 passengers and five crew members were aboard the train, Amtrak said in a statement..."

 The FBN report mentioned that this 'new' high speed route had been the area in which several miles of 'new track' had been placed.   It was not mentioned if the site of the derailment was specifically in that area of replaced track. 

Interest to note the comments of a local mayor FTA:"...The mayor of one of the towns through which the rerouted trains travel warned earlier this month that the high-speed trains were dangerously close to cars and pedestrians.

"Come back when there is that accident, and try to justify not putting in those safety enhancements, or you can go back now and advocate for the money to do it, because this project was never needed and endangers our citizens," Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson told transportation officials in early December, according to Seattle's KOMO News..."

Comments that seem to note the Mayor of Lakewood, as possibly clairvoyant, or possibly so,  "anti-"... Whistling Just sayin' Hmm

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, December 18, 2017 12:33 PM

From:

https://www.amtrak.com/alert/cascades-schedule-change-new-trips.html

Amtrak Cascades: Schedule Change and Two New Round Trips between Seattle and Portland

Effective December 18, 2017

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) offers new Amtrak Cascades service with twelve trains every day between Seattle and Portland, effective Dec. 18. WSDOT’s new Tacoma Dome station also opens as do the new tracks on the Point Defiance Bypass. The two new round trips between Seattle and Portland will be Trains 511, 512, 514 and 519. Also, some train numbers have changed. For details, visit www.AmtrakCascades.com.

 News said former freight tracks

 

More info:

https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Rail/PNWRC_PtDefiance/default.htm

This project reroutes passenger trains to an inland route.  The bypass is on an existing rail line that runs along the west side of Interstate 5 (I-5), from south Tacoma through Lakewood and DuPont. It reconnects back to the BNSF Railway main line near Nisqually, on the east side of I-5. It also adds a new Amtrak Cascades station in Tacoma's Freighthouse Square building.

 

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, December 18, 2017 1:27 PM
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Posted by MerrilyWeRollAlong on Monday, December 18, 2017 1:48 PM

There's no way that S-curve over the highway is good for 79mph track speed.  Looking at Google Maps, it would seem the I-5's curve just west of the bridge is broader than the railroad tracks.  The railroad S-curve has be at most 40mph.  

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, December 18, 2017 1:52 PM

Watching the live feed ...   Looks like the lead did not make the turn

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Posted by NorthWest on Monday, December 18, 2017 2:00 PM

30 MPH speed restriction on that curve however there is speculation that there may have been an obstruction on the track however.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 18, 2017 2:10 PM

$800 million expended, and now this on the maiden voyage.

Here is the map of the bypass route, which appears to indicate the curve involved:

I suspect this may turn out to be someone unfamiliar with the route (and, it being so new, would this be a surprise) who lost track of where they were, perhaps a la Bostian distracted by 'something on the track', and maintained speed right into the hazard.  It is now a little clearer why so many automobiles on I-5 were involved in this; look at the position of the Charger relative to the rest of the train.

Interesting to see what possible excuse there is for PTC not stopping this train; while the "79mph" limit indicates it was not enabled, what possible excuse could there be for not having it ready for the first run of a $800M improvement?

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, December 18, 2017 2:21 PM

Holy smokes.  That sure looks like the sort of wreck layout that would be expected from derailing on that curve.  Do they know how fast the train was moving when it derailed?  What reason is there for suspecting that the train struck an object on the track?

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Posted by PNWRMNM on Monday, December 18, 2017 2:22 PM

NorthWest

30 MPH speed restriction on that curve however there is speculation that there may have been an obstruction on the track however.

 

1969 NP track chart shows 30 MPH limit here and train was approaching switch to the freight main and probably a move through a crossover.

One of the news feeds flew over the train, and it looks to have been overspeed with inital derailment just behind the middle of the train. The speculation about hitting something is just that, and I am 99.9% it will be proved wrong.

FWIW the train had just descended about two miles of slightly less than two percent grade. Bad place to loose situational awareness. Another big "oh $hit" for ATK and egg on the face for WSDOT. Good news is the deraiment is on the new bypass, and freight main is unaffected.

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, December 18, 2017 2:25 PM

This was in the story ...

The train was going 81.1 mph moments before the derailment, according to transitdocs.com, a website that maps Amtrak train locations and speeds using data from the railroad's train tracker app.

 

The maximum speed along the stretch of track, known as Point Defiance Bypass, is 79 mph, according to information about the project posted online by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

So not very official .. another story that I saw said PTC was not activated yet.

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, December 18, 2017 2:33 PM

I wonder: how many times had the crew been over this section of track before this morning so that they would be familiar with it?

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, December 18, 2017 2:49 PM

This does not look like a 79 mph curve ..

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, December 18, 2017 2:52 PM

rdamon
This was in the story ...

The train was going 81.1 mph moments before the derailment, according to transitdocs.com, a website that maps Amtrak train locations and speeds using data from the railroad's train tracker app.

The maximum speed along the stretch of track, known as Point Defiance Bypass, is 79 mph, according to information about the project posted online by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

So not very official .. another story that I saw said PTC was not activated yet.

From a operating point of view - I would not trust trainsitdocs.com for definative speed information - momemnts before??? how many moments before????

PTC being activated or not does not change speeds that are permitted.

         

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, December 18, 2017 2:57 PM

Overmod
$800 million expended, and now this on the maiden voyage.

Here is the map of the bypass route, which appears to indicate the curve involved:

I suspect this may turn out to be someone unfamiliar with the route (and, it being so new, would this be a surprise) who lost track of where they were, perhaps a la Bostian distracted by 'something on the track', and maintained speed right into the hazard.  It is now a little clearer why so many automobiles on I-5 were involved in this; look at the position of the Charger relative to the rest of the train.

Interesting to see what possible excuse there is for PTC not stopping this train; while the "79mph" limit indicates it was not enabled, what possible excuse could there be for not having it ready for the first run of a $800M improvement?

I have no idea of what Amtrak did to familarize employees with the new route.

When VRE's operator changed from Amtrak to Keolis, the new Keolis employees were making qualifying trips for nearly two months over the territory prior to Keolis assuming the operation.  One round trip over the territory, to my mind, does not qualify a engineer.

         

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, December 18, 2017 2:58 PM

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