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BNSF's Panhandle wreck.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 5:48 PM

ATSFGuy

If the crews for both freight trains had been paying attention, this accident would have not occured. Not only do these accidents claim the lives of trainman, but more locomotive numbers are dropped from the roster.

You not only lose lives, you lose locomotives as well.

 

One crew was paying attention.  Otherwise they wouldn't have attempted to jump.

Jeff

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Posted by zugmann on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 5:25 PM

ATSFGuy
You not only lose lives, you lose locomotives as well.

Sorry, but I couldn't care less about the locomotives.  They are just machines.

 

  

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 5:15 PM

If the crews for both freight trains had been paying attention, this accident would have not occured. Not only do these accidents claim the lives of trainman, but more locomotive numbers are dropped from the roster.

You not only lose lives, you lose locomotives as well.

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Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 5:06 PM

FYI, "Snarky" is defined as "short-tempered, irrelevant, irritable, snide comments."

I offered an opinion, which is a reflection of what others say about rail safety.  Much of the public, who are entitled to have an opinion, believe US railroads are out of date, often dragging their heels on safety.  Some are fed up with it. To say that no more requires a citation than many of your or others' comments. Certain folks on here seem to have a limited perspective because they often have a conflict of interest (a rail connection) and thus are intolerant of any outside criticism.  

The fact is that many double/multiple track lines were downgraded to a single track to save money.  Diitto with bi-directional two-mains. The railroads (and a poster above) claim the latter enhances eficiency.  Maybe so, but at what price in safety?  If that BNSF two-track line were run as it once were, this crash would not have happened.

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Posted by Buslist on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 4:48 PM

n012944

 

 

 
schlimm
So assuming this crash's line is double-tracked, why were trains traveling in opposite directions anywhere near each other on the same track?

 

That is irrelevent.  It doesn't matter if the dispatcher set up the meet that way for a reason or not, those tracks and switches are there to be used as needed and the situation dictates.  

 

 
schlimm

  Sounds like less than optimal safety to most folks.  

 

 

Link? Or are we to assume you speak for "most folks" now?  However it is no less safe than an intersection protected by stop lights.  You expect the other traffic to comply with signal indication.

 

 

Don't be so snarky, he doesn't like it, even if he is a king at it!

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 3:20 PM

Head on collissions are nothing new, I've seen footage and videos of the aftermath.

here is one incident that is similar to the Panhandle Wreck

From Wikipedia:

Sept 25, 2013 - A BNSF freight train collides with the rear of another standing BNSF train in Amarillo, Texas, derailing about 30 cars of the standing train. A third train traveling on the parallel main track collides with the wreckage. Four BNSF Crewnman injured ant treated at local hospitals, No fatalities reported.

 

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Posted by n012944 on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 2:46 PM

 

schlimm
So assuming this crash's line is double-tracked, why were trains traveling in opposite directions anywhere near each other on the same track?

That is irrelevent.  It doesn't matter if the dispatcher set up the meet that way for a reason or not, those tracks and switches are there to be used as needed and the situation dictates.  

schlimm

  Sounds like less than optimal safety to most folks.  

Link? Or are we to assume you speak for "most folks" now?  However it is no less safe than an intersection protected by stop lights.  You expect the other traffic to comply with signal indication.

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 2:36 PM
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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 1:59 PM

schlimm
As posted earlier:  "NTSB rail investigator Richard Hipskind working on scene in Oklahoma, where two Union Pacific freight trains collided."

Only two things wrong with using that image and caption as a resource for this incident, which is why you may be confused.

The incident occured in Panhandle, Texas, and the railroad was BNSF.  The BNSF line through Panhandle, TX, has two tracks.

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Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 1:51 PM

But Google Earth views look like it is double-tracked.  Perhaps this picture was from the Panhandle, OK collision a few years previously.  It is a single track line.

So assuming this crash's line is double-tracked, why were trains traveling in opposite directions anywhere near each other on the same track?  Sounds like less than optimal safety to most folks.  Perhaps we need to be looking at the bigger picture.

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Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 1:23 PM

tree68

 

 
schlimm
No major rail route should be single-tracked, regardless of ATC or PTC.

 

The line through Panhandle is double tracked.

 

As posted earlier:  "NTSB rail investigator Richard Hipskind working on scene in Oklahoma, where two Union Pacific freight trains collided."

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Posted by n012944 on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 12:50 PM

schlimm

Blaming humans is cheaper than admitting the system is unsafe and rectifying it quickly.  No major rail route should be single-tracked, regardless of ATC or PTC.

 

 

A single track railroad is not unsafe.  

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Posted by Buslist on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 12:37 PM

Buslist

 

 
tree68

 

 
schlimm
No major rail route should be single-tracked, regardless of ATC or PTC.

 

The line through Panhandle is double tracked.

 

 

 

 

Details, details!

 

oops not supposed to be snarky!

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Posted by Buslist on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 12:35 PM

tree68

 

 
schlimm
No major rail route should be single-tracked, regardless of ATC or PTC.

 

The line through Panhandle is double tracked.

 

 

Details, details!

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 12:14 PM

schlimm
No major rail route should be single-tracked, regardless of ATC or PTC.

The line through Panhandle is double tracked.

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Posted by BLS53 on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 11:44 AM

CandOforprogress2

This would be a modern example of a "cornfield meet".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpl4Cr3-Tm0

The cornfield wrecks were common in the  early 1900s. The fact that this happened in the 21st century with CTC and PTC is sad indeed. (and then the railroad wants to blame the crew as usual is even more sadistic.I am surprised that no one has put out a drone video of the accedent like that did with CSX Lynchburg Oil train wreck

 

My Grandfather died in such an accident in 1909, at the age of 24. He was a Postal Clerk on the NC&StL between Nashville and Memphis.

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Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 11:14 AM

Blaming humans is cheaper than admitting the system is unsafe and rectifying it quickly.  No major rail route should be single-tracked, regardless of ATC or PTC.

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Posted by 20th century on Monday, July 11, 2016 11:32 PM

Our hearts and thoughts go out ot the families of the crew members who lost their lives in this tragedy. In this day in age such wrecks should have been a thing of the past. It is no wonder the public at large does not have a high opinion of the industry. I guess the BNSF ripped out the old Santa Fe ATC system after dropping passenger services on this route. That system alone probably would have prevented this disaster. The railroads are always hard pressed to spend money  on maintaining safety systems. The railroads are not winning over neither the politicans nor the public. With GPS systems available as well, it is amazing that dispatchers cannot determine two trains are on the same track. With the loss of business, this wreck is just what the BNSF needed is such a horrific loss. 

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Friday, July 8, 2016 4:09 PM

This would be a modern example of a "cornfield meet".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpl4Cr3-Tm0

The cornfield wrecks were common in the  early 1900s. The fact that this happened in the 21st century with CTC and PTC is sad indeed. (and then the railroad wants to blame the crew as usual is even more sadistic.I am surprised that no one has put out a drone video of the accedent like that did with CSX Lynchburg Oil train wreck

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Posted by Norm48327 on Thursday, July 7, 2016 7:47 AM

Sunnyland

I have since heard that one of the engineers went through a red signal, which could have been a major cause of the collision.  I did hear from a retired BNSF engineer friend that this engineer  had done this before. Was on suspension or fired for a time, and had just returned.  We'll never know why because he died in the crash. He also said the conductor in other engine was a woman-I see her pic-. She was right behind him when he jumped but never saw her again.  A very tragic situation. Praying for all involved in this sad event.   

 

If that statemen is fact based and not hearsay, it brings to mind a very troubling thought.

Norm


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Posted by Sunnyland on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 3:48 PM

I have since heard that one of the engineers went through a red signal, which could have been a major cause of the collision.  I did hear from a retired BNSF engineer friend that this engineer  had done this before. Was on suspension or fired for a time, and had just returned.  We'll never know why because he died in the crash. He also said the conductor in other engine was a woman-I see her pic-. She was right behind him when he jumped but never saw her again.  A very tragic situation. Praying for all involved in this sad event.   

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Posted by SFbrkmn on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 5:21 PM

I worked with Laura several times on the Garden City rd switcher.As an engr she briefly was assgined to the job and caught it a few times filling in on the extra bd. She will be missed by many of us

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 5:00 PM

cefinkjr
Aren't all causes ultimately human error?  Even equipment failure should have been anticipated by the design engineers and a backup or fail-safe system devised or regular maintenance should have detected the imminent failure. 

I'll accept that there are incidents that are outside of the realm of human error.  No one was able to specifically predict the tornado that famously derailed a moving train, and I doubt that any reports of said tornado probably would have reached the crew until it was too late - in which case they still might have stopped in the "wrong" spot anyhow.

Some things we know will fail, despite careful and regular inspection and other controls.  It's just a matter of figuring out when.

And who knows when a bit of moisture or dirt will get into a brake valve and make it stick, resulting in a dragging wheel?

OTOH, NTSB no longer routinely refers to "accidents."  Collisions are called just that - collisions.

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Posted by cefinkjr on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 4:20 PM

schlimm
 
eolafan
.(a) human error (i.e. one of the train crews blowing through a red block) or (b) dispatch error (i.e. either a mistake by a dispatcher or a fault in the signal system somewhere. 

 

Two of your three (which seems to cover all the causes) are human error.

Aren't all causes ultimately human error?  Even equipment failure should have been anticipated by the design engineers and a backup or fail-safe system devised or regular maintenance should have detected the imminent failure. 

Chuck
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Posted by tree68 on Monday, July 4, 2016 11:45 AM

petitnj
Does this guy have to wear his high visibility vest at the press conference?

See if the next news conference you see with a police or fire chief has them in street clothes.  Guarantee the fire chief will at least have his helmet on.

For the guy in question, it's his "uniform."

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Posted by wanswheel on Monday, July 4, 2016 11:06 AM

Give the guy a break, that’s his usual work clothes, except for the headgear.

"NTSB rail investigator Richard Hipskind documents track damage on scene of train derailment in Lynchburg, VA."

"NTSB rail investigator Richard Hipskind working on scene in Oklahoma, where two Union Pacific freight trains collided."

“NTSB Investigator-in-Charge Richard Hipskind shows Board Member Robert L. Sumwalt around the Casselton, N.D., derailment and explosion scene last week in below-zero temperatures."

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, July 3, 2016 8:28 PM

petitnj

Does this guy have to wear his high visibility vest at the press conference? Looks like he expects a train to pass by any time now.

Trying to portray himself as a 'hero', fresh from the fight.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by petitnj on Sunday, July 3, 2016 7:11 PM

Does this guy have to wear his high visibility vest at the press conference? Looks like he expects a train to pass by any time now. 

 

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Posted by wanswheel on Sunday, July 3, 2016 5:17 PM
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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, June 30, 2016 12:14 AM

I believe PTC would have prevented this.  But there will be plenty of mileage without PTC, and I hope the investigation turns up a measure or two to prevent such a tragedy in the future.   Meanwhile, my heart goes out to the families involved.

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