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Metro North, 6 dead

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 11:25 AM

Yes, there were Burma-Shave signs that gave good advice. Most were amusing, such as Rip a fender Off your car Send it in For a half-pound jar. Burma-Shave. I understand that some people did take fenders off toy cars and send them in; I do not recall if they got their half-pound jars, though.

I do not remember any of the signs that I read.

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 2:46 PM

Deggesty
I do not remember any of the signs that I read.

As we wander far afield...

To jog your memory

I wonder if they would have changed with the times and become " Myanmar Shave."

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 7:51 AM
THIRD RAIL CRASH PROTECTOR
I have thought about a third rail protector.  I would not use any form of added guardrail.  I would use a concrete crash barrier that would prevent debris from underrunning the end of the third rail.  The concrete barrier would also prevent the lifting of the end of the third rail.    
The barrier would be an 8- ft. cube of concrete with 4 ft. above grade.   The concrete cube would have a horizontal notch for the pickup shoe to access the third rail.  The notch would open from the concrete block toward the train.  So concrete would extend up and down from the notch.  The notch would be approximately 1 ½ ft. wide vertically, and 3-4 ft. deep horizontally.    
The pickup shoe would pass through the notch, but a pushed vehicle will be stopped by the massing of concrete on three sides of the notch opening. 
Regardless of whether a vehicle approaches the crash barrier over or under the line of the third rail, it will encounter a solid mass of concrete beforehand.  Any debris making it through the notch on the underside of the third rail will still not be able to lift the third rail because it will be held down by the top of the notch.   
Of course, this presents a crash death trap to the driver whose car is being shoved down the track.  But there is no alternative.  Even without the protective structure, the third rail itself would present a formidable hazard for vehicles to hit.  For the driver to hit the crash barrier, he/she will already have been struck by the train.  So at this point, the driver will probably have been killed in the initial impact from the train.  The next impact of the pushed vehicle with the crash barrier will protect the passengers on the train.
The impact face of the crash barrier should also be angled somewhat to deflect the debris outward from the location of the train.
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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 10:34 AM

Euclid
The barrier would be an 8- ft. cube of concrete with 4 ft. above grade.  

In today's world of breakaway everything, you could get some resistance on that from the highway safety gurus, especially if hitting it from the track side would disable a vehicle on the tracks.

A slanted design (a la buried guardrail ends) with that same notch might get a better reception.

 

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Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 10:49 AM

"The barrier would be an 8- ft. cube of concrete with 4 ft. above grade."

The perfect "immovable object" for the rail cars to hit if they should derail, thereby causing more damage and injury.

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 11:11 AM
I don’t know how the safety experts would look at it.  The existing third rail itself presents a lethal crash obstacle to a vehicle struck by a train.  The basic problem is that if a vehicle is has been caught by the train and is being pushed, any barrier to arrest the track overhang of the vehicle will either pull the vehicle off of the train, or tear the vehicle in two.  
In thinking of this idea, I decided that once a vehicle is struck by the train, the crash protection reverts to protecting the passengers at the expense of protecting the driver.  I don’t see a way to do both.
A crash barrier would indeed be a hazard to trains as well as the struck vehicle.  Trains can derail upon striking a vehicle. But the odds are far greater for a vehicle to be pushed or thrown without derailing the train.  And a train is unlikely to excursion sideways quick enough after hitting a vehicle to foul the third rail crash barrier. 
The crash barrier could certainly be angled as a deflecting ramp to avoid a straight line impact.  It could deflect away from the train, toward the train, or upward.  All three directions have pros and cons. 
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Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 11:32 AM

Using the standard weight of concrete at 150 lb per cu ft, that block would weigh 76,800 lbs. Do you think that would be safe for a rail car to hit at speed?

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Posted by schlimm on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 11:38 AM

Norm48327

Using the standard weight of concrete at 150 lb per cu ft, that block would weigh 76,800 lbs. Do you think that would be safe for a rail car to hit at speed?

 

Perhaps you would volunteer for the test?  Bang Head

 

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 11:49 AM

Norm,

There are already plenty of crash hazards for trains including other trains on double track.  I would trade the risk of a train striking the third rail crash barrier for the risk of a train ingesting the third rail in relation to a vehicle strike.  I think the latter is far more probable.

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Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 12:03 PM

schlimm

 

 
Norm48327

Using the standard weight of concrete at 150 lb per cu ft, that block would weigh 76,800 lbs. Do you think that would be safe for a rail car to hit at speed?

 

 

 

Perhaps you would volunteer for the test?  Bang Head

 

 

Right behind you.

Norm


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Posted by Paul of Covington on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 1:43 PM

rdamon
I can imagine if the end/beginning of the third rail is just a square end it would tend to impale things.

 

I wonder if a design like this would reduce the chances of something getting under it. There could be an insulated joint that keeps them from electrocuting the worms.

 

 

   Let's just go back to this idea that rdamon brought up, but turn it upside down.   Bend the end of the under-running third rail several feet up and out.   The third rail would be deflected outward, preventing it from spearing the train.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 1:57 PM

There is still the problem that the third rail is energized at 600-750 volts DC.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Murphy Siding on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 3:15 PM

schlimm

 

 
Norm48327

Using the standard weight of concrete at 150 lb per cu ft, that block would weigh 76,800 lbs. Do you think that would be safe for a rail car to hit at speed?

 

 

 

Perhaps you would volunteer for the test?  Bang Head

 

 

  Is your snarky, rude comment on norm48327's  post aimed at him; or aimed at euclid?  What's your issue with pointing out a concrete figure- the weight of euclid's prpoposed monolith- into the discussion? 

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Posted by schlimm on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 4:20 PM

Murphy Siding

 

 
schlimm

 

 
Norm48327

Using the standard weight of concrete at 150 lb per cu ft, that block would weigh 76,800 lbs. Do you think that would be safe for a rail car to hit at speed?

 

 

 

Perhaps you would volunteer for the test?  Bang Head

 

 

 

 

  Is your snarky, rude comment on norm48327's  post aimed at him; or aimed at euclid?  What's your issue with pointing out a concrete figure- the weight of euclid's prpoposed monolith- into the discussion? 

 

 

 
Snarky?  Question  1.  There was an emoji Bang Head suggestive of levity. Perhaps you'd prefer something else?  Wink  or   Hmm  2.  The comment was aiming at the absurdity of both posters' comments.    3.  To paraphrase: If you have to ask, you probably aren't really interested in an answer anyway.

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 4:34 PM

schlimm

 

 
Murphy Siding

 

 
schlimm

 

 
Norm48327

Using the standard weight of concrete at 150 lb per cu ft, that block would weigh 76,800 lbs. Do you think that would be safe for a rail car to hit at speed?

 

 

 

Perhaps you would volunteer for the test?  Bang Head

 

 

 

 

  Is your snarky, rude comment on norm48327's  post aimed at him; or aimed at euclid?  What's your issue with pointing out a concrete figure- the weight of euclid's prpoposed monolith- into the discussion? 

 

 

 

 
Snarky?  Question  1.  There was an emoji Bang Head suggestive of levity. Perhaps you'd prefer something else?  Wink  or   Hmm  2.  The comment was aiming at the absurdity of both posters' comments.    3.  To paraphrase: If you have to ask, you probably aren't really interested in an answer anyway.
 

  Prefer something else?  Like what?  A semi-colon? Whistling

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Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 4:37 PM

So you think questioning the advisibility of having a 40 ton block of concrete where rail cars can impact it is absurd? I guess you'd prefer to throw safety to the winds.

Norm


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Posted by Paul of Covington on Thursday, February 26, 2015 11:00 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

There is still the problem that the third rail is energized at 600-750 volts DC.

   I was well aware of the voltage on the third rail, but I still think I would rather have it outside the train than inside.

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Posted by rdamon on Thursday, February 26, 2015 5:33 PM

MTA chief calls for safety improvements at railroad grade crossings

 

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/thomas-prendergast-mta-chief-calls-for-safety-improvements-at-railroad-grade-crossings-1.9977486

"Grade crossing safety is one of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's highest priorities, agency chairman and chief executive Thomas Prendergast said, and all strategies to reduce crossing accidents are on the table, including investments in new technology and possibly eliminating some crossings."

 

 

 

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, February 26, 2015 5:50 PM

rdamon

MTA chief calls for safety improvements at railroad grade crossings

 

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/thomas-prendergast-mta-chief-calls-for-safety-improvements-at-railroad-grade-crossings-1.9977486

"Grade crossing safety is one of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's highest priorities, agency chairman and chief executive Thomas Prendergast said, and all strategies to reduce crossing accidents are on the table, including investments in new technology and possibly eliminating some crossings."

 

 

 

 

That is good news.  I will send him my third rail crash protector idea.

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, February 26, 2015 9:30 PM
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Posted by Jim in Fla on Friday, February 27, 2015 8:19 AM
The LIRR had stop signs at some of the "country road" RR crossings out in the Hamptons back in the 1960s. No gates at those crossings though, at the time.
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Posted by samfp1943 on Friday, February 27, 2015 8:53 AM

Jim in Fla
The LIRR had stop signs at some of the "country road" RR crossings out in the Hamptons back in the 1960s. No gates at those crossings though, at the time.
 

Warning signs, Active Crossing Components(gates/lights,etc) are effective, ONLY if the motor vehicle operator is inclined to obey those warnings.  If said motorist is judging their own risk at that time( to make it/or not make it across BEFORE The train arrives).

The argument seems to become somewhat academic.  NO amount of warning signage, or warning devices will be effective in precluding a collision between the train, and the motor vehicle.   Those devices count on the individual, and that person's sense of obeying laws or their own sense risk management.Mischief[

Some time back I worked with a Traffic Engineer whose big complaint then, was that even with the best traffic signal program, the biggest fault was that the motorists could screw it up at every change of the lights.                      It's  People. People are the problem!Sigh

 

 


 

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Friday, February 27, 2015 4:07 PM

I hope you are not saying "Eliminate People". 

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Posted by edblysard on Friday, February 27, 2015 4:29 PM

23 17 46 11

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Posted by Euclid on Friday, February 27, 2015 4:44 PM
Who are we to mock the stupid?
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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 5:06 PM

I received my March issue of Railway Age today.  The editor, in his front column, talks about this accident.  The question has been asked why the driver didn't back off the crossing, but instead pulled forward.

The editor said the design of the vehicle's steering column mounted electronic gearshift may have contributed to the accident.  It operates a little differently then most automatic gearshifts people are used to.  The driver had only purchased the vehicle a few weeks prior and the editor speculates that she may, while in a panic, inadvertently put the vehicle into forward instead of reverse.

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 7:59 PM

As Tom Clancy once wrote a Russian Army general as saying to a Petroleum Minister engineer-type inhis book Red Storm Rising:

"Your precious numbers have their own kind of precision.  People remain people no matter what we try to do with them."

- Paul North. 

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 8:11 PM

  

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

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Posted by samfp1943 on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 9:46 PM

edblysard

Maybe Charles Darwin was too much of an optimist?

    In the Gene Pool , it is sink or swim.

 

 


 

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 9:55 PM

There used to be an advertisement that declared, "It isn't nice to fool Mother Nature." Certainly it is not nice to introduce a new pattern of shifting in a motor vehicle without giving careful instruction to all drivers of such a vehicle.

Back when more car manufacturers were beginning to put automatic transmissions into their products, it seemed that each manufacturer had its idea as to the shift pattern--which could well have caused confusion to buyers. Eventually, all manufacturers realized that there should be one pattern, no matter who made the vehicle.

And, when car manufacters began putting three on the floor, some built them with reverse and low on the left and second and high on the right--but Buick built them with second and high on the left and reverse and low on the right (no, I am not old enough to remember when these came out, in the late twenties; I have ridden in one or two,though).

The most sophisticated gear pattern that I have used was one with "grandma," or double low, which used a toggle on the stick to put it into use--and I do not remember now just how it was used (more than fifty years since I drove the truck).

There is the tale of man who, in the late forties, was seen driving a Model T with pieces of the manila paper used to wrap it when it was sold sticking to it in places--when he had learned that Ford was going to start building cars with a "new-fangled shift," he decided to buy two or three of the car he knew how to drive so he would not have to learn how to use the three on the floor.

Johnny

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