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California Zephyr hit milk tanker in Colorado

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California Zephyr hit milk tanker in Colorado
Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, February 1, 2024 9:46 PM

https://youtu.be/a_xLI6U9F-E?si=E_1y718HDfcbyruD

The crossing only had a crossbucks. Just another indication that train crews need better crossing protection on busy mainlines.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, February 1, 2024 10:29 PM

charlie hebdo
https://youtu.be/a_xLI6U9F-E?si=E_1y718HDfcbyruD

The crossing only had a crossbucks. Just another indication that train crews need better crossing protection on busy mainlines.

Genuine STOP signs are on both sides of the crossing, in addition to the crossbucks.

You get the protection you are willing to pay for.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Thursday, February 1, 2024 11:56 PM

Perhaps one way to motivate truckers and truck companies is to require that they carry insurance that will pay for installation of crossing gates at any truck vs train incident at an ungated crossing where the truck driver was at fault.

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Posted by mudchicken on Friday, February 2, 2024 10:35 AM

if you look at the history of crossing incidents reported from 1970 for that crossing, there have been only two incidents reported and both of those were the motor vehicles'/roadway users'  fault.

One was another driver that ran through a stop sign (like in this case) and into the side of the train. The other was an abandoned vehicle driving off the crossing surface and getting stuck in a snowstorm, then abandoning the vehicle.

The truck driver here was clearly at fault (sherriff dragging their feet on which charges to be filed...Milk producer and driver bought a derailment.)

Northeast Colorado has a problem with Oilfield and Ag truck drivers at grade crossings. PTC could not have prevented this and the local road agencies are failing badly on their  part about improving safety at public and private crossings (follow the money, especially the federal Section 400 allotment$.... Those funds are being thrown at QZ's instead of legitimate safety upgrades.)

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 wjstix on Friday, February 2, 2024 1:26 PM

One of the first TV news reports when this happened a couple of days ago said the tanker truck was stopped on the tracks when it was hit, although later ones said it was moving. Be interesting to see what actually happened.

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, February 2, 2024 6:19 PM

wjstix
One of the first TV news reports when this happened a couple of days ago said the tanker truck was stopped on the tracks when it was hit, although later ones said it was moving. Be interesting to see what actually happened.

It was moving in one plane until it was struck and then moved in a different plane.  At the instant of impact it was stopped in both planes.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, February 2, 2024 6:42 PM

Busy mainlines, especially those hosting pssenger services should have better protection (for locomotive crew and passengers) than crossbucks even with a stop sign.  But perhaps no one cares enough or saving money is trumping safety concerns.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, February 2, 2024 9:07 PM

Why not reflectors on all cross bucks that are aimed to shine loco's headlight blinking into any driver's eyes?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, February 5, 2024 10:04 AM

The key seems to be the amount of traffic on the roadway.  I've seen industrial leads with flashers, both roadside and overhead, and crossing gates when the road is a four-lane artery with heavy truck traffic. On the other hand, I've also seen mainlines protected only by crossbucks when the roadway is low traffic and gravel paved.

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Thursday, February 8, 2024 11:20 AM

One thing that's really bothering me about this, it appears to me that some of these newer models of Amtrak's locomotives have an increased tendency to derail when a car or a truck fouls a grade crossing.

In Michigan, an Amtrak locomotive derailed after merely hitting an SUV that got stuck on the track.

Years ago, when the Class I roads ran passenger trains, it seems to me like they usually wouldn't derail all that easily when they hit a car or truck.  Indeed, on today's freight trains, the freight locomotives don't often derail in a grade crossing incident like that.  It's not that they never derail but just not as likely.

Or, is this just my imagination?  Perhaps it only seems like that to me.  Someone please tell me I'm wrong.

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Posted by zugmann on Thursday, February 8, 2024 11:32 AM

speed?  PAssenger trains usually are going a lot faster. 

I've also seen plenty of freight trains derail after hitting vehicles.  Just doesn't make anything more than the local news. 

  

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Thursday, February 8, 2024 12:58 PM

Zug Mann,

Ja, sie fahren schneller (they go faster) but I have been wondering if these newer model locomotives, while more powerful, might also be lighter.  What is the difference in the weight from a late model Charger or one of these other new locomotives and an E9 from the 1950s or '60s?  Is there any difference in the weight?

Because, if they are lighter, that might make them more prone to derailment in a grade crossing collision.

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Posted by zugmann on Thursday, February 8, 2024 1:04 PM

Seeing photos of Es and Fs wrecked - they ain't pretty.   I think I'd take my chances in a tipped over charger any day. 

From a quick wiki look, the chargers are between the Fs and Es weight wise. 

  

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, February 8, 2024 1:13 PM

Fred M Cain
One thing that's really bothering me about this, it appears to me that some of these newer models of Amtrak's locomotives have an increased tendency to derail when a car or a truck fouls a grade crossing.

In Michigan, an Amtrak locomotive derailed after merely hitting an SUV that got stuck on the track.

Years ago, when the Class I roads ran passenger trains, it seems to me like they usually wouldn't derail all that easily when they hit a car or truck.  Indeed, on today's freight trains, the freight locomotives don't often derail in a grade crossing incident like that.  It's not that they never derail but just not as likely.

Or, is this just my imagination?  Perhaps it only seems like that to me.  Someone please tell me I'm wrong.

50+ years ago when Class 1's ran their own passenger trains there weren't as many road crossings and there weren't as many vehicles on the roads as there are in the 21st Century.

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Friday, February 9, 2024 10:41 AM

BaltACD
50+ years ago when Class 1's ran their own passenger trains there weren't as many road crossings and there weren't as many vehicles on the roads as there are in the 21st Century.
 

 
Balt,
 
I believe that you are absolutely right about that.  That might be a lot of the issue.  In my own personal, honest and humble opinion there are far too many cars and trucks on the road today.  In the semi-rural area where I live, the traffic has at least TRIPLED in the last 40 years.  No one, least of all me, has any idea what to do about it.
 
To that you have to add that there are both a lot more highly aggressive drivers on the road today and many who are just plain stupid. “There is no cure for stupid”.  Into this mix, we now live in the smart phone era where there are a lot more issues with driver distraction.
 
Two things that could be done would be to make crossings safer and impose harsher penalties on drivers who drive around lowered gates (IF, that is, they live to receive punishment).
 
Crossings where the tracks are higher than the road creating a chance where a big truck could get stuck should either be fixed or closed.  To fix them, this should be a highway expense, not a railroad expense since it basically constitutes a highway safety improvement.
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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, February 9, 2024 11:35 AM

Everybody complains about drivers today - if today's drivers were at the skill level of those from the 1940's & 1950's the death totals would likely be 10 times what the counts are today.  

When I was still working, CSX was aggressively undertaking a program to CLOSE road crossings - I don't know the status of the program since I have been retired for seven years, however, it needs to be still in place and still actively working to close more and more crossings.

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, February 9, 2024 1:11 PM

BaltACD
When I was still working, CSX was aggressively undertaking a program to CLOSE road crossings...

I'm pretty sure one can count the total crossings on the "Water Level Route" between NYC and Buffalo on one's fingers and toes.  That's several hundred miles.  Lines away from the now "Chicago Line," not so much.

Nonetheless, a driver recently manage to drive onto the tracks at Fairport, NY, and subsequently got smushed (driver got out OK).

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, February 12, 2024 3:50 PM

Also, in the forties and fifties, people didn't have car radios that played at the decibel level of a jet airplane. I know I was almost in an accident once because a driver signalled a right turn at an intersection and then went straight - his music was so loud, he couldn't hear that his turn signal was on. I wonder if people have been hit by trains because they didn't hear the horn or the warning bells.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, February 12, 2024 11:18 PM

wjstix

Also, in the forties and fifties, people didn't have car radios that played at the decibel level of a jet airplane. I know I was almost in an accident once because a driver signalled a right turn at an intersection and then went straight - his music was so loud, he couldn't hear that his turn signal was on. I wonder if people have been hit by trains because they didn't hear the horn or the warning bells.

 

 
That speculation has some merit.
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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 6:39 AM

wjstix
I wonder if people have been hit by trains because they didn't hear the horn or the warning bells.

Some years ago we almost hit a motorist at a trail crossing - no lights or gates.  We didn't see much traffic there (it was otherwise a dead end).  

We were running our RS3 with the "blaat" horn (single note honker).  As we approached the crossing, bell ringing, horn blaring, a car pulled across the tracks, stopped, then quickly backed up before we (by now in emergency) reached the crossing.  He was upset - he thought we were supposed to be blowing the horn.  

We were.

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Posted by Backshop on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 6:56 AM

Fred M Cain
  In the semi-rural area where I live, the traffic has at least TRIPLED in the last 40 years.  No one, least of all me, has any idea what to do about it. 

You could quit driviing?

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 7:14 AM

wjstix
Also, in the forties and fifties, people didn't have car radios that played at the decibel level of a jet airplane. I know I was almost in an accident once because a driver signalled a right turn at an intersection and then went straight - his music was so loud, he couldn't hear that his turn signal was on. I wonder if people have been hit by trains because they didn't hear the horn or the warning bells.

I see too many people driving with their blinkers on - full time, to believe the blinker UNTIL I see them take actions to SHOW they actually are going to do what the blinker is indicating.  Especially, if the blinker is indicating that they INTEND to turn into the road I am on and intend to move from.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 10:34 AM

My father taught me that blinkers only show 'intent' -- not resolve.

You watch the angle of the front wheels to decide if they're getting ready to turn.  And you never, EVER pass a loaded dump truck on the right.

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Posted by rdamon on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 10:45 AM

Darn kids and their rock and roll music!

This company appears to be building on PTC for MOW and crossing safety.  The goal of a lower-cost / easier to deploy system would be ideal.  Even better if it could alert in-dash or remote navigation systems in cars and trucks.

https://www.lileesystems.com/rail-safety/ 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 11:09 AM

BaltACD
Everybody complains about drivers today - if today's drivers were at the skill level of those from the 1940's & 1950's the death totals would likely be 10 times what the counts are today.  

This has more to do with Ralph Nader and the improvement in safety of the automobile as well as the whole freeway system has been re-engineered several times over to improve flow and reduce accidents.    They are going around the country even now and redoing all the freeway on ramps and off ramps to be higher capacity as well as safer.

Getting a Drivers License in the United States is sooooo easy compared with other country's a fact brought home to me when I had to study for and take the German Drivers License test.    I passed the first time because I studied for it but a lot of Americans fail that test and the failure rate is fairly high.    I would rate it higher in difficulty than a CDL test.    I know Americans do not like to be told they are not as strict in some areas of safety versus the rest of the world but it's a fact.   I said in some areas not all areas.

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 2:24 PM

BaltACD
I see too many people driving with their blinkers on...

I've been guilty of that (unfortunately), but generally on expressways and almost always because the road noise covers the sound of the blinker.  I rarely  listen to the radio when I'm driving.

When possible I use the "lane change" option on the signals - but that only flashes three times on my truck.

 

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Posted by mudchicken on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 2:40 PM

If you had not noticed, BNSF and Amtrak (w/ a contractual assist from UP) have now filed a lawsuit against the truck driver and the milk cooperative that owned the truck. 

Along with the flying pig-feathers, I might see some questions answered, including under whose authority the stop sign was placed.

Warming up the Chad Thomas popcorn popper.

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 BaltACD on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 3:04 PM

Overmod
My father taught me that blinkers only show 'intent' -- not resolve.

You watch the angle of the front wheels to decide if they're getting ready to turn.  And you never, EVER pass a loaded dump truck on the right.

Too many use blinkers to ask the question - Mother may I?

If you haven't decided what you are actually going to do - don't use blinkers for 40 seconds.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 9:37 PM

BaltACD

 Too many use blinkers to ask the question - Mother may I?

If you haven't decided what you are actually going to do - don't use blinkers for 40 seconds.

 

 
Both my GM cars give an audible and visual warning if turn signal on for more than 1/2 mile. Only way to continue signal is to turn turn signal off then back on.
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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 7:01 AM

blue streak 1
 
BaltACD

 Too many use blinkers to ask the question - Mother may I?

If you haven't decided what you are actually going to do - don't use blinkers for 40 seconds. 

Both my GM cars give an audible and visual warning if turn signal on for more than 20 seconds.  Only way to continue signal is to turn turn signal off then back on.

Must be a pain when you want to make a left turn at some of the traffic signals with 2 and 3 minute or longer cycle times.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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