Trains.com

bonus question ans. 54 car wind derrailment

4249 views
16 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2010
  • 339 posts
bonus question ans. 54 car wind derrailment
Posted by efftenxrfe on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 6:33 PM

What was the cause of this derailment?

Low speed, four axle switch engine and a cut of cars.

Walk up and on this side,there,s no apparent track damage and all the wheels are on the rail.

On the other side, though, from the point of the cut back, A wheel is on the rail, the next is not, the next is on the rail not derailed but the next is down and so on, one up, one down, one up one down....

This classically indicative of the cause.

Answer tomorrow.,  Wednesday 18 June.

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: roundhouse
  • 2,745 posts
Posted by Randy Stahl on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 11:54 AM

I assume on a curve ?

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Denver / La Junta
  • 10,550 posts
Posted by mudchicken on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 1:51 PM

Excessive L/V forces with high center of gravity cars. (wind blew over a portable wall)

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
  • Member since
    September 2010
  • 339 posts
Posted by efftenxrfe on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 7:12 PM

Randy, Curved or straight track, matters not..

Mudchicken, that may contribute to setting up the cause, but otherwise, no.

The cause  takes only two words, but first....

It's eerie but when you see it for the first time, it looks weird, but the second time and third time....the pattern always repeats.... one side of the cut normal....the other side alternate wheels, not trucks, one on the rail one off back to the initial point of derailment.

The last one I experienced I was shoving two units and pulling the head-end double over pick-up for the return trip of a Warm Springs Turn. Before I started the pull, a company carryall stops and a newly appointed Asst. RFE and the District RFE get out and climb aboard. The District RFE had  nominated me to be an RFE some years before.....comrades cordially meeting.

Here we go, from the lower yard to the upper to the mainline...plan A.  With my head out the cab window, I see the point unit....well, I'll call it wiggle, sort of like shiver, then the the next does also, and I feel the unit I'm running from, carrying the District RFE, the  fledgling Asst. RFE, and an ex LA Div RFE, ex ESTC instructor feel it bounce....if you've run an engine, you probably know the sensation from "going on the ground."

I get off and inspect one side....nothing wrong or derailed....Dean and Bob inspect the other side.

I meet them at the point unit and see the characteristic every other wheel pattern on their side.. We mutually express and direct expletives at the gods of the High Iron.

Distr RFE, "It'll do it every time....(expletive) WIDE GAUGE."

That's the answer to the question.

3 RFE's  and a derailment occurs....some more expletives utilized among us....
 

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: roundhouse
  • 2,745 posts
Posted by Randy Stahl on Friday, June 20, 2014 4:51 PM

Never saw that on straight track. Curves widen out more than tangent track unless the ties are junk and the ties are center bound with empty cribs .

  • Member since
    May 2005
  • From: S.E. South Dakota
  • 13,498 posts
Posted by Murphy Siding on Friday, June 20, 2014 4:57 PM

Randy Stahl

Never saw that on straight track. Curves widen out more than tangent track unless the ties are junk and the ties are center bound with empty cribs .

  Can you explain that part?

Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar.

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: roundhouse
  • 2,745 posts
Posted by Randy Stahl on Friday, June 20, 2014 5:58 PM

Murphy Siding

Randy Stahl

Never saw that on straight track. Curves widen out more than tangent track unless the ties are junk and the ties are center bound with empty cribs .

  Can you explain that part?

Nothing under the ends of the ties but mud. The track is in gauge until there is a load on it the tie just bends and widens the gauge or simply breaks in the center.

  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: South Central,Ks
  • 6,960 posts
Posted by samfp1943 on Friday, June 20, 2014 10:23 PM

http://www.firehouse.com/news/11505401/train-derailment-near-waynoka-likely-due-to-winds

  This link  was to a story from earlier this month of a BNSF Derailment in the area of Waynoka, Okla. Due to high winds. 

   There were stories from incidents on the MKT's former Sedalia, MO line from Parsons, Ks. to St. Louis of the track being in such bad repair, that it was known that standing freight trains would derail in place.  The wind would cause the cars to rock, and that action would cause the rails to spread ( Widening the gauge).

    I have personally seen strings of standing boxcars derail, blown over by winds ( Not necessarily that high a wind either.   The IC RR used to store strings of old boxcars on sidings in the Mississippi Delta ( To be used in the movement of baled Cotton to market;  Most looked to be in 'ramshackle condition' ( Doors missing, and rough interiors and exteriors).

 

 

 

 


 

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Denver / La Junta
  • 10,550 posts
Posted by mudchicken on Saturday, June 21, 2014 10:30 AM

De-Horn the RFE. Don't buy the partisan argument. Wide gage caused by excessive lateral (L/V) forces. This clown is just like an old Trainmaster in the LA Basin that could see wide gauge from 60 miles away. Betcha the tapes weren't pulled (so the RFE didn't have to show his lack of competence on the way to TM status) and nobody looked at the chain of events at the POD. Derailment determination investigation is best with open minds and input from all departments.

Very easily could be a combination cause, especially on tangent track. I smell something odd as does Randy.

(Randy would remember the problem with the early stack trains that was always blamed on tie condition/gage until the true culprit showed itself)

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
  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: roundhouse
  • 2,745 posts
Posted by Randy Stahl on Saturday, June 21, 2014 11:22 AM

I guess it really does depend on which department is on scene first.

The scenario above does sound odd.

 I have seen unusual stuff like this on trains that stopped or slowed on elevated curves.

Seen plenty of ice caused derailments. Lots of partially run through switches then reverse direction.

Some harmonic rock stuff. (the event recorder data was useful).

Wide gauge at switches on curves and broken points, worn frogs and typical switch issues.

Wide gauge on low rail on curves from string line.

Wide gauge on high rail from jack knife and of course derailments on really bad track ballasted with mud.

 

 

 

  • Member since
    October 2006
  • From: Allentown, PA
  • 9,810 posts
Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Saturday, June 21, 2014 12:59 PM

efftenxrfe
[snipped & inserted from the Original Post - PDN] . . . Low speed, four axle switch engine and a cut of cars.

Walk up and on this side,there,s no apparent track damage and all the wheels are on the rail.

On the other side, though, from the point of the cut back, A wheel is on the rail, the next is not, the next is on the rail not derailed but the next is down and so on, one up, one down, one up one down....

I meet them at the point unit and see the characteristic every other wheel pattern on their side.. . . . Distr RFE, "It'll do it every time....(expletive) WIDE GAUGE." . . .

What was / Can you explain the 'operative mechanism' of the alternating pattern of wheel on / wheel off, especially if the leading wheel of each truck is the one that's still on the rail, and the trailing one is the one that's off ?  (Not sure from how the question was posed if the loco was pulling or pushing, and I take it that the "point of the cut" is the end without the loco ?) 

Usually the leading wheel of each truck spreads or 'rolls' the rail far enough that the trailing wheel falls in too - [EDITED FOR BETTER CLARITY] - it's not usually the trailing wheel that falls in, after the leading wheel has gone by and stayed on the rail.  Either way, why would the other wheelset not fall in as well ? 

- Paul North.     

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 23,105 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, June 21, 2014 2:32 PM

Randy Stahl

I guess it really does depend on which department is on scene first.

The scenario above does sound odd.

 I have seen unusual stuff like this on trains that stopped or slowed on elevated curves.

Seen plenty of ice caused derailments. Lots of partially run through switches then reverse direction.

Some harmonic rock stuff. (the event recorder data was useful).

Wide gauge at switches on curves and broken points, worn frogs and typical switch issues.

Wide gauge on low rail on curves from string line.

Wide gauge on high rail from jack knife and of course derailments on really bad track ballasted with mud.

 

 

 

And the cause can also be determined at the local watering hole, depending on which department buys the most rounds.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 20 posts
Posted by MOWBill on Saturday, June 21, 2014 5:14 PM

I wouldn't expect anything less from somebody from the operating department, it's always wide gage.

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: roundhouse
  • 2,745 posts
Posted by Randy Stahl on Saturday, June 21, 2014 5:19 PM

And if the operating guys and the engineering guys are having a beer together its a tight center bowl on a car or a sharp flange that climbed the rail.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Denver / La Junta
  • 10,550 posts
Posted by mudchicken on Saturday, June 21, 2014 8:22 PM

Yep - Last one there loses.......(even if the wheel flange is sharp to the touch, the AAR gauge can be made to lie)

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
  • Member since
    September 2010
  • 339 posts
Posted by efftenxrfe on Saturday, June 21, 2014 8:51 PM

Randy, my "makes no difference" remark required the tangent track you describe, as in a decrepid industrial park that found a tenant for a warehouse way back  on the leads, unused for years in Alvarado.....straight track: wide guage.

Mudchicken, there were 3 RFE's on the engine. "didn't have to pull the tapes"...."on the way to TM status." This happened when SP stabled, maybe, 20 event recorder equipped units; "1982" there was no tape to pull.

and "on the way to Trainmaster status." What an inglorious fate, an insult,.... to the RFE, similar to demoting Eisenhower to Private.

Mudchicken: eg. a move splits a switch, reversal over the switch results in the car derailing...Do you want input from all departments?....open minded departments? The pattern wide-gauge derailment fits....

Smell something odd... I shouldn't, and won't, get near....

And "the early stack trains," The topmost Chief of engineering, a wilder man than me,led innovation, maintenance, more importantly, design, manufacturing , car acceptance, other tasks, but dissecting for and determining cause, for "Pattern " derailments of the stack cars,...We grew up railfans from 10 yrs old.

TTX.

mudchicken.....saying "true cuiprit" 'I'm guessing says 'conspiracy."

Are you one of those?


  • Member since
    October 2006
  • From: Allentown, PA
  • 9,810 posts
Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Sunday, June 22, 2014 3:43 AM

mudchicken
Yep - Last one there loses.......

"+1" - especially if the clean-up has already started to get the track and equipment back in service again ASAP.  Sigh

- Paul North. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)

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