News Wire: Two dead after Amtrak's 'Silver Star' makes contact with a CSX train and derails

4602 views
86 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    June, 2004
  • From: roundhouse
  • 2,667 posts
Posted by Randy Stahl on Sunday, February 11, 2018 6:29 AM

I've been working around trains and locomotive for 33 years and I don't play big shot. 

I've worked in most departments and done nearly every job.

I get $1000.00 per day to consult on locomotive issues. usually short days.

I've also been to perhaps a dozen funerals of friends and co workers killed at work.

A few people here on the forum have met me and as far as I can tell none of them think I am a show off, condescending or otherwise irritating. But do not let my lack of participation in these types of disscussions fool you into thinking I am ignorant or uneducated. 

I'm not easily fooled. 

That said I think this is quite enough dick measuring. 

Randy

  • Member since
    May, 2015
  • 254 posts
Posted by 243129 on Sunday, February 11, 2018 8:07 AM

Overmod

Actually yes, I'm very seldom imperious, on the Internet or not, but I don't suffer either a bullying attitude or repeated nonsense very gladly.  Not for want of trying, either.

As I have said over and over again to you and others, read EO 24 to see how what you keep natteringly about is supposed to be done.  If you had run an actual train since about 2005 this would be for better or worse obvious ... if you were interested in perhaps boring issues like Federal compliance.

My practical running experience in no way compares to yours, nor would I hesitate to take your word without further investigation or cross-checking on a great many things, specifically including contemporary Amtrak training or certain aspects of their 'safety culture'.  This however is a place where your experience does not apply, and some of your opinions and attitude fall short of explaining, let alone enlightening, this specific discussion.  I don't pretend to assert that mine do, either, but I try to get some kind of objective understanding instead of picking the facts to suit the argument.

 

So where/how did you acquire "practical running experience"? Oh wait!!! Silly me you were just kidding.

What a pathetic person. I'm done with you and your 'disciples', your obvious lack of operations knowledge and thesaurus based postulations do not make for an insightful lucid discussion on this tragedy. Now run along and hold court with your little circle jerk.

  • Member since
    May, 2015
  • 254 posts
Posted by 243129 on Sunday, February 11, 2018 8:23 AM

Randy Stahl

I've been working around trains and locomotive for 33 years and I don't play big shot. 

I've worked in most departments and done nearly every job.

I get $1000.00 per day to consult on locomotive issues. usually short days.

I've also been to perhaps a dozen funerals of friends and co workers killed at work.

A few people here on the forum have met me and as far as I can tell none of them think I am a show off, condescending or otherwise irritating. But do not let my lack of participation in these types of disscussions fool you into thinking I am ignorant or uneducated. 

I'm not easily fooled. 

That said I think this is quite enough dick measuring. 

Randy

 

Yeah so???? Your resume allows you to play moderator?

  • Member since
    June, 2004
  • From: roundhouse
  • 2,667 posts
Posted by Randy Stahl on Sunday, February 11, 2018 8:48 AM

Wow, you do have a lot to contribute don't you. It has become clear that your vast experience isn't what you want people to believe either. 

When you degrade or otherwise insult people it is wise to have your facts straight. You do not.

All of us the ability to self moderate the forums BTW, isn't this exactly what you have been trying to do with overmod ? 

You do not have the moral or factual high ground. 

  • Member since
    May, 2015
  • 254 posts
Posted by 243129 on Sunday, February 11, 2018 9:24 AM

Randy Stahl

Wow, you do have a lot to contribute don't you. It has become clear that your vast experience isn't what you want people to believe either. 

When you degrade or otherwise insult people it is wise to have your facts straight. You do not.

All of us the ability to self moderate the forums BTW, isn't this exactly what you have been trying to do with overmod ? 

You do not have the moral or factual high ground. 

 

Tell it to Overmod he set the tone for 'our relationship'. Anytime you want to talk railroad operations you can PM for my phone number. Now tell me where my facts are not straight.

  • Member since
    June, 2004
  • From: roundhouse
  • 2,667 posts
Posted by Randy Stahl on Sunday, February 11, 2018 9:30 AM

243129

 

 
Randy Stahl

Wow, you do have a lot to contribute don't you. It has become clear that your vast experience isn't what you want people to believe either. 

When you degrade or otherwise insult people it is wise to have your facts straight. You do not.

All of us the ability to self moderate the forums BTW, isn't this exactly what you have been trying to do with overmod ? 

You do not have the moral or factual high ground. 

 

 

 

Tell it to Overmod he set the tone for 'our relationship'. Anytime you want to talk railroad operations you can PM for my phone number. Now tell me where my facts are not straight.

 

 

Amtrak P42s do not have  WABCO 30 CDW brakes. They have Knorr CCAB2 or WABCO EPIC AB.

It's obvious in the cab photo's. Like I said, the devil is in the details. If you want the high ground the details count.

 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,628 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, February 11, 2018 11:13 AM

243129
Tell it to Overmod he set the tone for 'our relationship'.

I see we have progressed, or anyway reached, the 'see what you made me do' state of affairs.  This is compounded by the repeated screeching about a few words in a rhetorical phrase, followed by more insults as if trying to find one that would stick.

This should stop, and stop it does now on my end.  I remain interested in finding out the details of what happened.  It is very plain that some form of 'human error' produced this; the first issue in my opinion is to start looking at ways to prevent it from recurring.  

Then when we find out more about the actual kind(s) of hunan error that caused it, we'll already have a range of talked-out approaches.  At this point we have a considerable range of people with experience watching and following.

 

  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • 3,006 posts
Posted by ACY Tom on Sunday, February 11, 2018 11:57 AM

It's really frustrating to come to this site hoping to get some answers, and have to read through so much bickering. Frankly, I don't care how the participants "measure up".

My understanding is that the answers lie in the nature of the communications between the freight crew and the dispatcher, and possibly the communications between the dispatcher and 91. 

Early in this process, Mr. Sumwalt mentioned that the switch was supposed to be lined and locked for the mainline, and a derail set in place. Since then, I have heard nothing about the derail. Was it in place? If so, it was probably designed to prevent a train from moving onto the main from the siding. What effect would it have on a train coming from the main to the siding? Does that explain why 91 seemed to be a bit left of center when it struck the freight train? Sumwalt also suggested that the excessive speed through the switch would probably derail the train. Did it do that, or did 91 remain on the rails until contact with the freight, or with the derail?

Anybody have the answers?

Tom

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,628 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, February 11, 2018 12:30 PM

The derail issue is one of the things I am watching for in the report.

I think, as a non-railroader who was not there, that it is reasonable to expect the derail placed close to the standing power.  The conductor reportedly rode the point of the shove, and to place the derail close to the switch would have had to walk the length of the cut to place it, then walk the length of the cut back to finish the shove, then (eventually) walk back again, tying down the train as he went.  The alternative would be to place the detail at the minimum distance from the 'standing obstruction) after just walking once down the cut.

I have only apocryphal evidence of what a P42 encountering a portable derail 'backward' at over 50mph would do.  "Derail and stop short of standing obstruction" would certainly not be one of them if the derail were placed relative to where the CSX power was. I think several people following this thread have firsthand knowledge of how skates behave when high-speed traffic encounters them; I was only recently reading accounts of the 'crazy eights' fiasco where a portable derail oriented correctly was unsuccessful on far less flexible trucks.

The preliminary EDR data provided by the NTSB appear to indicate the train was still under power several seconds after the locomotive negotiated the switch.  Until I have more data I do not think it would be consistent for a locomotive derailed close to the switch to keep power on, follow the general curve of the track under service and then emergency braking right through a tight gage obstruction without striking it, and still contact the standing power at that speed.

It occurs to me that conductor Cella might have seen a deployed derail at just about the time the EDR recorded the train being put into emergency from the button on his side of the cab.  We can't know that, of course, but it may become part of a reconstruction if the investigation and interviews confirm derail placement.

There is little need to speculate much about whether the locomotive 'derailed'.  Look at the accident site, just through a tight bridge opening (see the pier shadows in some pictures) on a right-hand curve.  Then note where the lead truck wound up, net of the 15 feet the CSX train was reportedly driven back.  I do not think that truck would separate from a unit 'rocked' by a derail, or wind up oriented as it was had the lead truck been derailed at anywhere near 'appropriate' derail placement.

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 8,569 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, February 16, 2018 10:21 PM

NTSB reports CSX engineer in first loco but ran when Amtrak in sight and conductor thrown clear of a CSX loco.  Now the time line of what happened is going to be interesting !

https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/RSR1801.pdf?utm_source=news&utm_medium=email&utm_content=railroad

 

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • 1,256 posts
Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Friday, February 16, 2018 10:53 PM

NTSB reports CSX engineer in first loco but ran when Amtrak in sight and conductor thrown clear of a CSX loco.  Now the time line of what happened is going to be interesting !

https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/RSR1801.pdf?utm_source=news&utm_medium=email&utm_content=railroad

 From the NTSB, the recommendation:

Require that until appropriate switch position warning technology is installed on main track switches (in non-signaled territory not equipped with positive train control), when a main track switch has been reported relined for a main track, the next train to pass the location approach the switch location at restricted speed. That train crew should then report to the dispatcher that the switch is correctly lined for the main track before trains are allowed to operate at maximum authorized speed.[quote user="blue streak 1"]

 

Wonder why this wasn't done on the CSX. 

 
  • Member since
    October, 2008
  • From: Calgary
  • 1,680 posts
Posted by cx500 on Saturday, February 17, 2018 12:31 AM

At least the NTSB report seems to eliminate what had always been a remote possibility of some third party reversing the switch after the freight had cleared properly.  Even more improbable if the crew was still close by on the locomotives; one scenario that can be discarded.

  • Member since
    March, 2008
  • 750 posts
Posted by ruderunner on Saturday, February 17, 2018 6:33 AM

ok am I reading that right? It sounds like the CSX crew had just completed the shove and hadn't yet aligned the switch?

How then did 91 get authority to run through the area?

Modeling the Cleveland and Pittsburgh during the PennCentral era starting on the Cleveland lakefront and ending in Mingo junction

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 13,913 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, February 17, 2018 7:30 AM

ruderunner
ok am I reading that right? It sounds like the CSX crew had just completed the shove and hadn't yet aligned the switch?

How then did 91 get authority to run through the area?

The crew reported they were in the Clear - WITHOUT having restored the switch for MAIN track movement.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    May, 2015
  • 254 posts
Posted by 243129 on Saturday, February 17, 2018 8:14 AM

BaltACD

 

 
ruderunner
ok am I reading that right? It sounds like the CSX crew had just completed the shove and hadn't yet aligned the switch?

How then did 91 get authority to run through the area?

 

The crew reported they were in the Clear - WITHOUT having restored the switch for MAIN track movement.

 

Was that officially determined by the NTSB?

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 13,913 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, February 17, 2018 11:53 AM

243129
 
BaltACD
 
ruderunner
ok am I reading that right? It sounds like the CSX crew had just completed the shove and hadn't yet aligned the switch?

How then did 91 get authority to run through the area? 

The crew reported they were in the Clear - WITHOUT having restored the switch for MAIN track movement. 

Was that officially determined by the NTSB?

res ipsa loquitur

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    May, 2015
  • 254 posts
Posted by 243129 on Saturday, February 17, 2018 12:36 PM

BaltACD

 

 
243129
 
BaltACD
 
ruderunner
ok am I reading that right? It sounds like the CSX crew had just completed the shove and hadn't yet aligned the switch?

How then did 91 get authority to run through the area? 

The crew reported they were in the Clear - WITHOUT having restored the switch for MAIN track movement. 

Was that officially determined by the NTSB?

 

res ipsa loquitur

 

Why the Latin?

I also pointed out in post #13 that they must have reported clear for the southbound to proceed. That in and of itself is most likely the cause, unless the dispatcher assumed that they must be clear,which is possible but not probable. Here again the hiring and training procedures must be scrutizined.

  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • From: Equestria
  • 6,275 posts
Posted by zugmann on Saturday, February 17, 2018 12:54 PM

BaltACD
res ipsa loquitur

I'll wait until an implication becomes a decree.

 

'cause that's pobably the best we can ever get.

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

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • 818 posts
Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Saturday, February 17, 2018 1:19 PM

BaltACD
res ipsa loquitur

In Germany it is a legal procedure meaning: assumed as correct until proven differently.

Is it the same in the USA?
Regards, Volker

  • Member since
    May, 2015
  • 254 posts
Posted by 243129 on Saturday, February 17, 2018 3:24 PM

Perhaps this is a contributing factor.

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2018/02/14/as-csx-workforce-shrinks-accidents-pile-up-and.html

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,628 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 17, 2018 4:55 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR
BaltACD
res ipsa loquitur

In Germany it is a legal procedure meaning: assumed as correct until proven differently.

Is it the same in the USA? 

In general American law (torts) res ipsa refers to the idea that negligence can be proven merely from the fact of an accident, without needing to establish causation.  

Interestingly, there appears to be strong precedent in South Carolina law not to apply res ipsa in tort cases.  It will be interesting to see how some of the suits go forward.

  • Member since
    September, 2017
  • 236 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, February 17, 2018 5:06 PM

Overmod

 

 
VOLKER LANDWEHR
BaltACD
res ipsa loquitur

In Germany it is a legal procedure meaning: assumed as correct until proven differently.

Is it the same in the USA? 

 

 

In general American law (torts) res ipsa refers to the idea that negligence can be proven merely from the fact of an accident, without needing to establish causation.  

Interestingly, there appears to be strong precedent in South Carolina law not to apply res ipsa in tort cases.  It will be interesting to see how some of the suits go forward.

 

According to Law.com, "Res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself) is a doctrine of law that one is presumed to be negligent if he/she/it had exclusive control of whatever caused the injury even though there is no specific evidence of an act of negligence, and without negligence the accident would not have happened."

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • 818 posts
Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Sunday, February 18, 2018 2:29 AM

Thanks for the explanation.
Regards, Volker

Moderator
  • Member since
    August, 2002
  • From: Waukesha, WI
  • 159 posts
Posted by Angela Pusztai-Pasternak on Monday, February 19, 2018 11:31 AM

Folks, perhaps we are back to where we need to be here. Railroading? Please hault the verbal bashing. We are all better than that. I do not want to take away the keys.

 

Angela Pusztai-Pasternak, Production Editor, Trains Magazine

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,628 posts
Posted by Overmod on Monday, February 19, 2018 12:29 PM

Angela Pusztai-Pasternak
Folks, perhaps we are back to where we need to be here.

It's been self-policed since last Sunday, and I think quite civil since; the subject has remained reasonably focused on the (fully railroading-related) topic and most of not all of the posts are either factual or requesting something factual.

In other words more than a week since there was any need for moderation, with lessons learned I think by all concerned.  That leads me to ask if there is anything going on now that is concerning to the mods or that they think has to be changed going forward.

 

Moderator
  • Member since
    August, 2002
  • From: Waukesha, WI
  • 159 posts
Posted by Angela Pusztai-Pasternak on Monday, February 19, 2018 1:01 PM

 

Overmod

 

 
Angela Pusztai-Pasternak
Folks, perhaps we are back to where we need to be here.

 

It's been self-policed since last Sunday, and I think quite civil since; the subject has remained reasonably focused on the (fully railroading-related) topic and most of not all of the posts are either factual or requesting something factual.

In other words more than a week since there was any need for moderation, with lessons learned I think by all concerned.  That leads me to ask if there is anything going on now that is concerning to the mods or that they think has to be changed going forward.

 

 

 

I was out last week. Just doing my due diligence after receiving several messages about this thread. Thanks, everyone! 

 

Angela Pusztai-Pasternak, Production Editor, Trains Magazine

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,628 posts
Posted by Overmod on Monday, February 19, 2018 2:22 PM

Angela Pusztai-Pasternak
I was out last week. Just doing my due diligence after receiving several messages about this thread. Thanks, everyone! 

We appreciate you!

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy