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BNSF's Panhandle wreck.

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Posted by Euclid on Friday, July 15, 2016 8:18 AM

dehusman
 
Euclid
 
Overmod
We have assuredly not forgotten the dead, or the tremendous miracle that is the fourth person surviving a 100mph+ mutual impact.

  I am wondering what the U.P. rules say about the permissibility or advisabilty of jumping off a train that is about to collide with another train. 

 

 

First off the trains that collided were BNSF trains so UP rules aren't applicable.

No rule book has rules about jumping off a train.  They contain rules that, when followed, keep the situations where somebody might feel the need to jump off a train from happening.

I'm sure the highway laws in your state are silent about "rules" for jumping out of your car prior to an impact.

 

Dave,

I meant to say BNSF.  The reason I ask is that I read maybe 20 years ago about some level of railroad policy had been added that advised against jumping off under any circumstances.  This was stated as the introduction of a policy statement regrarding jumping to avoid being in a collision, which what was recognized as a long standing optional practice. 

As I recall, the policy reasoned that if the locomotive were moving slow enough to not pose grave risk of serious injury or death, it would be safer to ride out the crash.  And if it were moving fast enough to produce a lethal crash, it would be too fast to jump without great risk of death.  So they considered that tradeoff, and then went ahead that made a policy to eliminate the policy of the option to join the birds.

I think it is an interesting point because question of whether to jump and risk death versus riding out the crash and risking death has no clear answer, so a policy recommending one over the other is worthless.  It should be left to the person confronted with the impending collision.  As we learn from this Panhandle wreck, the policy would have probably been wrong.

When I asked about rules, I was referring to any rule or policy or informal recommendation. 

Of course, you are being absurd in your remark about rules for jumping out of your car to avoid being in a collision.  Train collisions are often preceded by a large interval of time to jump off.  The point is that collisions happen despite the fact that rules should be followed.  I can't see someone deciding to ride out a collsion that they could safely avoid by jumping just because the collision is the result of a rule not being followed. 

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, July 15, 2016 6:44 AM

blue streak 1
This may or may not be the reason for the wreck but the FAA takes fatigue very serious. Maybe its time for the FRA to get on board. Oh wait that is another agency can't do that.

Just to level set this situation. 

The crew that ran the red block had been on duty about 2 hours.  The got on the train at Amarillo.  That is their home terminal.  They ran the red block about 25 miles after getting on the train.  Assuming a linear acceleration to 60 mph, that means an average speed of about 30 mph so that means they had only been moving about maybe 45 minutes or so.

I understand all the issues with crews notgetting fully rested in a motel and being drowsy a after working 11 hours, etc. etc.

This wasn't that situation.  This was a crew that spent the night in their own beds, went on duty around 6-630 am, got on their train in the daylight and in the first 25 miles of the trip blew through an advance approach, approach and stop signal.

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, July 15, 2016 6:35 AM

Euclid
 
Overmod
We have assuredly not forgotten the dead, or the tremendous miracle that is the fourth person surviving a 100mph+ mutual impact.

  I am wondering what the U.P. rules say about the permissibility or advisabilty of jumping off a train that is about to collide with another train. 

First off the trains that collided were BNSF trains so UP rules aren't applicable.

No rule book has rules about jumping off a train.  They contain rules that, when followed, keep the situations where somebody might feel the need to jump off a train from happening.

I'm sure the highway laws in your state are silent about "rules" for jumping out of your car prior to an impact.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, July 15, 2016 3:40 AM

This may or may not be the reason for the wreck but the FAA takes fatigue very serious.  Maybe its time for the FRA to get on board.  Oh wait that is another agency can't do that.

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Friday, July 15, 2016 12:25 AM

garbage in garbarhe out

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Posted by cx500 on Thursday, July 14, 2016 5:24 PM

This will cover several more recent subthreads within the original topic. 

With double track direction of traffic operation, I agree that in general head-ons will be fairly unlikely.  However there were a number of reasons that can cause one of the tracks to be blocked, so a number of times a year you could well see a train given orders to run against the current of traffic, and in those circumstances there is potential for error.  And errors did happen.  Furthermore, the train running ACOT had no signal protection against broken rails or obstructions, unlike in bi-directional CTC. 

Crews missing signals caused more than a few collisions even in directional running.  A train plowing into the back of a stopped passenger train had the potential for greater loss of life than a head-on collision.  Pure directional running is not failsafe.

Overtakes were made possible by having passing sidings on the outside of the double track.  An inferior train was required to clear the main well ahead of the time of a following train, and wait until it (and all other superior trains) had passed.  That was one reason for crew districts typically being around 120 miles, and freights might take well over the modern 12 hour crew limit to cover that short distance.

My experience with train orders in Canada was that they would not bother mentioning C&E, the train identity being sufficient.  I cannot think of any situation where only the engineer or only the conductor would receive an order.  The operator would make the required number of copies, usually two for the train (or each train) and one for his record.  If it was a plow train he would likely make another copy for the plow foreman.  A helper could be added ahead or behind the road engine.  As long as the road engine was present there was no need to revise the orders to reflect the helper's engine number.

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, July 14, 2016 5:10 PM

Yes, the system has been improved. Back then, you fed the computer cards you had punched, and the computer would punch cards with its response.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, July 14, 2016 4:15 PM

Deggesty

Balt, after reading the procedure for a Form 31 order you outlined, I recalled an article in Trains many years ago--"Flip Two Switches, Push One Button" (as I recall), which described how much simpler CTC operates.

Nowadays it's not switches and buttons - it's mouse clicks on computer screen(s).  Even creating Track Warrents is a matter of mouse clicks on the computer screen(s).

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, July 14, 2016 4:08 PM

Balt, after reading the procedure for a Form 31 order you outlined, I recalled an article in Trains many years ago--"Flip Two Switches, Push One Button" (as I recall), which described how much simpler CTC operates.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, July 14, 2016 3:51 PM

Deggesty
BaltACD

Balt, well posted. When I first looked at the site, I thought, "I am not going to read all this"--and then saw that the far greater portion of it is a listing of accidents. 

The first section, describing train orders, should inform all interested in working of train orders.

Incidentally, I never saw a Form 31 order--and I have clearance cards stating that there were no orders given with them; however if the ETT states that a clearance card was to be given at a certain point, no train could proceed past that point without having received a clearance card by both C&E.

The general way of thinking of the distinctions between 19 and 31 orders is that form 19's instructions become effective at a distance from the point at which they are delivered.  31 orders are effective at the point of delivery or at a distance that would not permit picking up the orders on the fly, reading them and complying with their instructions.  Trains must be stopped to receive 31 orders and on some carriers they had to be signed for by the crew that received them.

On my carrier for a operator to deliver train orders, the orders had to be acconted for, by TO number as well as any 'messages' that would be delivered with the orders (messages were instructions for such things as pickups and setoffs and any engine moves that were to be made during the trip).  The 'Clearance Form A' (as it was known on my carrier) also had fields that, when used, coveyed authority with other methods of operation.

In my personal experience, trains were operated against the current of traffic 'mostly' between interlockings.  The exchange between Dispatcher and Operator would be something like this -

DI - Station A - 19 East copy 3OPA - Yellow TO signal displayed, ready to copy
DI - Station B - 31 West copy 3
OPB - Red TO Signal displayed; WB Signal to #1 blocked at Stop, ready to copy
DI - A address to T&E Extra 4431 East; B address to Westward Trains
  Extra 4431 East has right over opposing trains on #1 track A to B.  XYZ where XYZ are the initials of the Dispatcher issuing the order.
Each operator repeats the order to the Dispatcher who underlines each word repeated in the Train Order Book.  When BOTH operators have repeated the order correctly the Dispatcher will issue a COMPLETE time which the operators will inscribe on the Order in the appropriate place.

After the orders have been completed, the order along with Clearance Form A with the order number inscribed can be delivered to Extra 4431 East at A and the interlocking set for the train's movement East on #1 track which is signaled for Westbound traffic only.  Operator at B will keep is WB Signal for #1 track blocked at Stop until after Extra 4431 East's markers have cleared #1 track and the interlocking.  Since TO's are defined as remaining in effect until, they are fulfilled, superceeded or annulled, with the observation of Extra 4431 East's markers Clear of #1 track - the order has been fulfilled.  The Red TO Board may be taken down and the block may be removed from the WB signal to #1 track at B.  If Extra 4431 East had Cleared #1 track at some point between A & B and was not going to make any further movement from that point.  Extra 4431 East would report his train Clear at the point - when that information is reported to the Dispatcher, he will then issue a TO to the Operator at B for the Operator at B and for Extra 4431 East at the clearance point.  Order will state 'Order No 999 (or appropriate number) is annulled.  The Operator at B will give the Order to Extra 4431 East and underline his copy of the order as Extra 4431 East repeats it, Opr B will then repeat the order to the Dispatcher who will issue a Complete time, which Opr B will write on his copy of the order and also transmit the Complete time to Extra 4431 East.  With the completed annullment, Opr B can take down the Red TO Board and remove the blocking from the WB Signal to #1 track.

19 Orders were written on Green flimsy paper.
31 Orders were written on Yellow flimsy paper.

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, July 14, 2016 2:23 PM

BaltACD

Balt, well posted. When I first looked at the site, I thought, "I am not going to read all this"--and then saw that the far greater portion of it is a listing of accidents. 

The first section, describing train orders, should inform all interested in working of train orders.

Incidentally, I never saw a Form 31 order--and I have clearance cards stating that there were no orders given with them; however if the ETT states that a clearance card was to be given at a certain point, no train could proceed past that point without having received a clearance card by both C&E.

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, July 14, 2016 2:17 PM

dehusman

 

 
tree68
We get that if we've got a "both ways" Form D and two engines. That way, either can lead. Otherwise, a new Form D would have to be issued for travel with other than the cited engine. Inasmuch as all of our trains are extras, we get "C&E Extra 1234 at Podunk" as the addressee.

 

In GCOR there are no regular trains so there are no extras, everything is just a train.  Authorities are addressed to an engine and direction :  UP 1234 West.

There is no requirement that the addressed engine be the lead engine.

 

And, I have the impression that there is no right or superiority. You move in accord with CTC signals, YL, or TWC

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, July 14, 2016 12:35 PM

n012944

EB did not comply with signal indications.  8:30 AM heading into the sun.  Excuse? Reason? Red Herring?

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Posted by n012944 on Thursday, July 14, 2016 11:39 AM

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, July 14, 2016 10:58 AM

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by schlimm on Thursday, July 14, 2016 10:33 AM

n012944
schlimm:Why don't you do some research before making such a statement?    

n012944: I have, thanks.  But since you seem to be the expert, tell me how the IC ran 100 mph passenger and 60 mph freight on a 2 main ABS railroad, without running against the current?   Or are you just going to continue your pattern of redirecting questions instead of answering them?

Just wait.  I have never pretended to be an expert.  I am trying to get hold of an old friend who dispatched on the 2 main IC/ICG.  That is research by consulting with someone with first-hand, expert knowledge.  I may also reach a former UP/CNW dispatcher for more expert knowledge on an older period on those lines.

[added]  I found a 1972 IC employee TT.  Running against trffic on a second main was permitted, but it sounds quite involved, i.e., not your usual, everyday practice.  As I recall, the IC had a 3rd main in some stretches north of Kankakee and the TT shows 5 long (for that time) sidings 79-206 cars with engine) between Kankakee and Champaign, 8 south of CHA to Centralia. By 1972, the speed limit north of Champaign for passenger trains was 79, freight 60.  South of Champaign was still a 100 mph speedway to Branch Jct. near Centralia.

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, July 14, 2016 10:31 AM

Overmod
We have assuredly not forgotten the dead, or the tremendous miracle that is the fourth person surviving a 100mph+ mutual impact.

 
As I understand it, the one survivor jumped off the engine prior to impact.  There has been a railroad tradition of doing that as the last resort.  There is often considerable warning time as an impending collision becomes apparent.  But jumping might kill a person who would have survived if he/she rode out the collsion.  I am wondering what the U.P. rules say about the permissibility or advisabilty of jumping off a train that is about to collide with another train. 
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Posted by SFbrkmn on Thursday, July 14, 2016 9:45 AM

The UTU @ LaJunta has  obtained a garden bench as a memorial for Lara Taylor. A gold engrave w/ date of birth & death has been added. This bench, as a tribute to a fallen member and former La Junta trainperson, will be placed at the Amtrak depot which also serves as the BNSF depot in LaJunta. Just like the local chairman stated he hopes he never has to again put up a memorial for a fallen coworker

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, July 14, 2016 8:17 AM

tree68
We get that if we've got a "both ways" Form D and two engines. That way, either can lead. Otherwise, a new Form D would have to be issued for travel with other than the cited engine. Inasmuch as all of our trains are extras, we get "C&E Extra 1234 at Podunk" as the addressee.

In GCOR there are no regular trains so there are no extras, everything is just a train.  Authorities are addressed to an engine and direction :  UP 1234 West.

There is no requirement that the addressed engine be the lead engine.

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, July 14, 2016 8:07 AM

Deggesty
Jeff, was not the standard form of address: "C&E train #__ at ___"? I have long had the impression that both train and engine crews knew what orders affected them. I do not have my collection of train orders here, but I recall that all were addressed to "C&E." 

Generally Rules 204 and 206 outlined addresses.    Orders to trains were addressed to the "C&E" and the ID of the train.  For regular trains, that would be the train number, some roads added the engine number:

C&E No 101 or C&E No 101 Eng 1234

Orders addressed to a schedule (No 101 ) applied to all sections of the schedule.  Orders addressed to a section only applied to the section:

C&E Second 101 or C&E Second 101 Eng 1234

Extras were identified by engine number and direction.

C&E Extra 1234 West

Work extras (which have no direction) are just addressed by engine number:

C&E Work Extra 1234

The C&E is necessary because the orders could be addressed to other employees (such as yardmasters or operators).

 

In the orders themselves, the numbers of the engines powering the trains were given. If a train were double-headed, only the number of the engine on the point was given (I think); if it should be come necessary to exchange such engines, the DS had to issue new orders to replace any that were so affected. [/quote]

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 14, 2016 6:58 AM

jeffhergert
Some railroads would list both engines of a double-header. "No 5 engs 123 and 456 coupled." That seems to be more from the steam era, especially the first part of the 20th century.

I would suspect that it might apply to engines with separate crews, and one way to check this would be to see how situations with incompatible diesels operated together were handled.  (I am thinking of that clip on the Long Branch where there is an EMD leading one of the Baldwin passenger Sharks).  A rational application of rule would be to note the situation where multiple independent crews were controlling the power (as distinctly opposed to MU), and it would then be further rational to issue the orders relative to the engines (as an extension of issuing the order to 'the train') and to indicate how they are positioned in the consist.

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, July 14, 2016 1:13 AM

jeffhergert
Some railroads would list both engines of a double-header.  "No 5 engs 123 and 456 coupled."

We get that if we've got a "both ways" Form D and two engines.  That way, either can lead.  Otherwise, a new Form D would have to be issued for travel with other than the cited engine.

Inasmuch as all of our trains are extras, we get "C&E Extra 1234 at Podunk" as the addressee.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Thursday, July 14, 2016 12:51 AM

Deggesty

Jeff, was not the standard form of address: "C&E train #__  at ___"? I have long had the impression that both train and engine crews knew what orders affected them. I do not have my collection of train orders here, but I recall that all were addressed to "C&E."

In the orders themselves, the numbers of the engines powering the trains were given. If a train were double-headed, only the number of the engine on the point was given (I think); if it should be come necessary to exchange such engines, the DS had to issue new orders to replace any that were so affected. 

 

Yes, the address in a train order would be "To C&E ...".  In modern GCOR the address in track warrants/track bulletins is just to the train, for example "To UP 1234."  The conductor and engineer both have to have a copy, but it's not specifically addressed to them.  I do see "To C&E" some times on messages that appear on the conductor's work order.

Some railroads would list both engines of a double-header.  "No 5 engs 123 and 456 coupled."  That seems to be more from the steam era, especially the first part of the 20th century. 

Jeff

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Posted by n012944 on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 10:41 PM

Buslist

 

 
schlimm

n012944:  I suggest you read some histories of what railroads did to modify double track mains.  As to this crash, just use your noodle and try reasoning it out.  Two trains cannot collide head on if the two tracks are strictly for one-way traffic, as they once were in many areas of the US.

 

 

 

so you're lecturing a railroad operations professional on operations. As you asked someone else on another thread what's your expertise?

 

 

Don't hold your breath on him answering that question.

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Posted by n012944 on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 10:33 PM

schlimm

 

 
n012944

 

 
schlimm

  The "wrong way track" was only used for pick ups, set outs and maintenace, not rgular operations.  

 

 

 

 

You really should research some railroad operations before making such a statement.  Might I suggest the IC's main south out of Chicago before it was single tracked?

 

 

 

Why don't you do some research before making such a statement?

 

 

I have, thanks.  But since you seem to be the expert, tell me how the IC ran 100 mph passenger and 60 mph freight on a 2 main ABS railroad, without running against the current?

 

Or are you just going to continue your pattern of redirecting questions instead of answering them?

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Posted by schlimm on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 10:27 PM

n012944

 

 
schlimm

  The "wrong way track" was only used for pick ups, set outs and maintenace, not rgular operations.  

 

 

 

 

You really should research some railroad operations before making such a statement.  Might I suggest the IC's main south out of Chicago before it was single tracked?

 

 

Why don't you do some research before making such a statement?

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Posted by n012944 on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 10:03 PM

schlimm

  The "wrong way track" was only used for pick ups, set outs and maintenace, not rgular operations.  

 

 

You really should research some railroad operations before making such a statement.  Might I suggest the IC's main south out of Chicago before it was single tracked?

 

 

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Posted by n012944 on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 9:32 PM

An example of how 251 running is not as safe as some on this site would like everyone to believe.

 

https://alongtherails.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/the-cobden-distaster/

 

BTW, this head on accident happened on the Illinois Central, I "researched it"....

 

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Posted by Buslist on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 9:25 PM

schlimm

n012944:  I suggest you read some histories of what railroads did to modify double track mains.  As to this crash, just use your noodle and try reasoning it out.  Two trains cannot collide head on if the two tracks are strictly for one-way traffic, as they once were in many areas of the US.

 

so you're lecturing a railroad operations professional on operations. As you asked someone else on another thread what's your expertise?

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 7:46 PM

Jeff, was not the standard form of address: "C&E train #__  at ___"? I have long had the impression that both train and engine crews knew what orders affected them. I do not have my collection of train orders here, but I recall that all were addressed to "C&E."

In the orders themselves, the numbers of the engines powering the trains were given. If a train were double-headed, only the number of the engine on the point was given (I think); if it should be come necessary to exchange such engines, the DS had to issue new orders to replace any that were so affected. 

Johnny

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