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And Another One Bites The Dust... Springfield, OH, March 2023

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And Another One Bites The Dust... Springfield, OH, March 2023
Posted by tree68 on Saturday, March 4, 2023 8:18 PM

Springfield, OH.  Reportedly no hazmat.

A fellow at the OH 41 crossing got part of the derailment on video.

NS can't catch a break...

https://www.whio.com/news/local/deputies-medics-respond-train-accident-springfield/KZUQMTBAKVD3NHMSCLICGXCGYE/

39.90434 -83.73008

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, March 4, 2023 9:25 PM

Oh brother.  Has the once-mighty Norfolk-Southern turned into a house of cards?

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Posted by JayBee on Saturday, March 4, 2023 11:30 PM

215 car trains with empty centerbeams in the middle is a recipe for problems.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 7:12 AM

JayBee

215 car trains with empty centerbeams in the middle is a recipe for problems.

 

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  In my admittedly inexpert opinion 215 car trains are an insanity.  

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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 7:25 AM

JayBee

215 car trains with empty centerbeams in the middle is a recipe for problems.

There are a couple of videos shot at the crossing on-line now.  One starts after the whole thing started, but the other, from the other side of the train, appears to show a rolled steel car derailed as it went across the crossing.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by ns145 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 8:23 AM

Videos of the derailment taken from cars stopped at the crossing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZNNRdgnSE

https://www.youtube.com/embed/7jddyvXKgnU

Good news is that the classic NYC/CR era Type G signals didn't get taken out.

NS is definitely losing the PR war.  While looking for this video clip I ran across some local newscast footage where they listed out the 5 derailments that NS has had in Ohio since last Fall.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, March 5, 2023 8:57 AM

tree68

Springfield, OH.  Reportedly no hazmat.

A fellow at the OH 41 crossing got part of the derailment on video.

NS can't catch a break...

https://www.whio.com/news/local/deputies-medics-respond-train-accident-springfield/KZUQMTBAKVD3NHMSCLICGXCGYE/

39.90434 -83.73008

 

 

If this trend of major derailments continues, the specter of a temporary involuntary cessation of operations may be invoked until they can demonstrate the capability of safe operations.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 9:50 AM
 

ns145

Videos of the derailment taken from cars stopped at the crossing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZNNRdgnSE

 

 

To JayBee's point which I think is the cause as well.

There's a longer version of this video on instagram which has better sound, and you can hear about 5-8 seconds before the derailment. A loud bang that sounds awfully similiar to severe slack action.

 
 
 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 10:20 AM

ns145
Good news is that the classic NYC/CR era Type G signals didn't get taken out.

Hey, it's a miracle that storage facility wasn't taken out. 

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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 12:16 PM

charlie hebdo
If this trend of major derailments continues, the specter of a temporary involuntary cessation of operations may be invoked until they can demonstrate the capability of safe operations.

While those two incidents were occurring, fifty trains a day passed the Deshler cameras without incident...

Meanwhile, not running will cause economic impacts that go far beyond that of the two derailments.

And it did look like there was some damage to the storage facility.  Just a door or two, but it appeared it did get hit.

 

LarryWhistling
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 12:27 PM

tree68
And it did look like there was some damage to the storage facility.  Just a door or two, but it appeared it did get hit.

A door or two they can live with, although it shouldn't have happened anyway.  I'm sure they'll seek damages from NS but I'm also sure the owner of the place is offering a silent prayer of thanks, it could have been much worse.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, March 5, 2023 12:36 PM

tree68
While those two incidents were occurring, fifty trains a day passed the Deshler cameras without incident...

So what is the threshold for strong actions to be taken or ordered?

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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 1:06 PM

charlie hebdo
So what is the threshold for strong actions to be taken or ordered?

Hard to say.  Sometimes it's one event - Chatsworth led to an emergency order banning cell phone from locomotive cabs (now codified in RR rulebooks).  Lac Megantic led to an EO about securing trains, also now codified in rulebooks.

I'm sure that all the railroads (and car owners) are looking at their defect detectors and car inspections after East Palestine.  But their preventative measures are already in place - inadequate as they were in this particular case. 

We don't know what caused the derailment at Springfield yet.  If it's another failed bearing, you can be sure that there will be orders to inspect, etc.  If it was something unrelated, you can chalk it up to another of the 1,000 derailments that occur each year.

I mentioned before that one measure for components in a number of industries is the MTBF, or mean time between failure.  Someone mentioned earlier that the bearing in question was basically designed to outlive the axle it's mounted on.  That's why it's call MEAN time - it's the average.  Some fail earlier, some fail later.  

LarryWhistling
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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, March 5, 2023 1:11 PM

charlie hebdo
If this trend of major derailments continues, the specter of a temporary involuntary cessation of operations may be invoked until they can demonstrate the capability of safe operations.

Invoked by the same people that wouldn't allow a strike for a day because it would cause irreparable damage to the supply chain and economy? 

  

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Posted by Backshop on Sunday, March 5, 2023 1:17 PM

zugmann

 

 
charlie hebdo
If this trend of major derailments continues, the specter of a temporary involuntary cessation of operations may be invoked until they can demonstrate the capability of safe operations.

 

Invoked by the same people that wouldn't allow a strike for a day because it would cause irreparable damage to the supply chain and economy? 

 

That was then, this is now.  They have to show that they're "doing something".

I bet there's 6 other Class One railroads that are glad that the public and the news media are focused on NS.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, March 5, 2023 1:42 PM

tree68
I mentioned before that one measure for components in a number of industries is the MTBF, or mean time between failure.  Someone mentioned earlier that the bearing in question was basically designed to outlive the axle it's mounted on.  That's why it's call MEAN time - it's the average.  Some fail earlier, some fail later.  

What is an adequate mean [and yes, some of us understannd mean or median and standard deviation for that matter] in some situations is completely unacceptable in others.  Context matters. 

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Posted by Convicted One on Sunday, March 5, 2023 2:06 PM

Flintlock76
In my admittedly inexpert opinion 215 car trains are an insanity.  

FWIW, I completely agree with you.  Building trains that long are part of the strategy to maximize economic metrics (the "profit over safety" complaint some here seem so resistant to acknowledge as part of the problem)

 

And, IMO, it's an evolutionary process, if "some is good" then necessarily more must be better. (chain of compromises made in pursuit of profit, that is). We didn't get to this point overnight.

 

Just as a simple illustration, you start out with short trains easily supervised by humans riding in a caboose providing a watchfull eye,  Trains get longer, line of sight becomes more challenging.  IN THE PURSUIT OF EFFICIENCY, men are reduced and an array of new wonderful tech is devised to take their place.  Creative minds push these efficiencies to (and beyond) their limits.   That's where I think we are now, somebody got overly content that the tech being used was foolproof, and 215+ car trains just seemed like the "efficient" direction we needed to pursue.   And we are getting feedback now that some of those assumptions were overly ambitious.

Personally, I think the sensors are going to need to be spaced closer together,  additionally include some form of "trend analysis" to make informed decisions with the data collected, and perhaps include some sort of visual component too. Which no doubt will encounter resistance because people will have to be paid to monitor them.

 

Either that, or shorter trains, with an onboard safety officer riding in an observation car featuring a raised patform, at the rear of the train. Devil

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 2:30 PM

ns145

Videos of the derailment taken from cars stopped at the crossing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZNNRdgnSE

https://www.youtube.com/embed/7jddyvXKgnU

All of us railfans need to take a very hard lesson from these 2 videos.  Notice that both cars with cameras did not stop close to the stop line.   Also as soon as derailment started they backed away.  Guys stay away from the tracks either in cars or on foot.  It can happen anytime of loose lading ( more likely ) or cars coming off the rail.

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Posted by Euclid on Sunday, March 5, 2023 2:35 PM
What East Palestine has kicked off is a narrative about there being too many train derailments.  This latest one yesterday will add to that narrative.  The narrative has a mind of its own, and will not necessarily reflect reality.  But it will certainly affect the industry as well as Government oversight. It will be Bonanza for manufacturers of railroad safety systems.  
 
The narrative blames monster trains and their inability to stop fast enough.  I would say that the narrative involves monster trains, ECP brakes, and other safety technology, particularly hotbox detectors. 
 
I have heard several news reports saying that the East Palestine derailment would have been prevented if the train had ECP brakes.   At least one report said that the train could not stop in time to avoid derailing, which is wrong on so many levels.  It is commonly reported that conventional PCP brakes are obsolete and ineffective because they have not been improved since being first invented in the 1800s.  Clearly, the public has latched onto ECP brakes.  This will fuel a call for another mandate. 
 
The second point that the public is starting to absorb is the alleged increased dangers of “monster trains.”  Oddly enough, much criticism of these recently trending extra-long freight trains is coming from inside of the railroad industry.  It is coming from the railroad labor advocacy, apparently because the longer trains reduce jobs.  More traffic can be hauled per train crew.  Of course management loves this.  But I have seen many opinions pieces written by operating employees that say that monster trains have an outdated brake system, can’t stop quick enough in emergencies, and have too high of in-train forces due to their extreme length and weight. 
 
Clearly they claim that the higher in-train forces cause an increased number of derailments, and they cite ECP brakes as the way to mitigate in-train forces.
 
These are not NIMBYS making these claims.  They are professional railroad operating personnel.  They are the same people who are calling for better quality of life in the working conditions.  They say that monster trains endanger the employees that work with the monster trains.  They say that monster trains are used only to benefit the investors. 
 
The East Palestine wreck has brought fourth many articles commenting exactly on these issues, and they point to the wreck as validating their claims about the heightened danger of monster trains and poor braking. 
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Posted by Convicted One on Sunday, March 5, 2023 2:58 PM

Euclid
I would say that the narrative involves monster trains, ECP brakes, and other safety technology, particularly hotbox detectors. 

The acrobats contorting to insist that the railroad did nothing wrong, how in the name of common sense can you have a train showering sparks for over 20 miles (the other accident) , and pretend nothing is wrong with that picture?  "Fire hazard"?....hello?

And I'm not saying that from the perspective that the railroad should be punished.   I'm just pointing out there should be little difficulty in finding a place to start with needed improvements to the status quo.

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, March 5, 2023 3:20 PM

Convicted One
Personally, I think the sensors are going to need to be spaced closer together,  additionally include some form of "trend analysis" to make informed decisions with the data collected, and perhaps include some sort of visual component too. Which no doubt will encounter resistance because people will have to be paid to monitor them.

Detectors don't like it when you stop or go slow over them.  That can limit placement.  Seems like the technology needs improved a little in that regard. But I'm no maintainer. 

  

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, March 5, 2023 3:21 PM

Convicted One
The acrobats contorting to insist that the railroad did nothing wrong, how in the name of common sense can you have a train showering sparks for over 20 miles (the other accident) , and pretend nothing is wrong with that picture?  "Fire hazard"?....hello?

What acrobats?  

  

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, March 5, 2023 3:34 PM

Convicted One

 

 
Euclid
I would say that the narrative involves monster trains, ECP brakes, and other safety technology, particularly hotbox detectors. 

 

The acrobats contorting to insist that the railroad did nothing wrong, how in the name of common sense can you have a train showering sparks for over 20 miles (the other accident) , and pretend nothing is wrong with that picture?  "Fire hazard"?....hello?

And I'm not saying that from the perspective that the railroad should be punished.   I'm just pointing out there should be little difficulty in finding a place to start with needed improvements to the status quo.

 

One can see some pretty nifty spins, even on here.

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, March 5, 2023 3:35 PM

charlie hebdo
One can see some pretty nifty spins, even on here.

I also saw a lot of people promoting PSR back in the day, even on here. 

  

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Posted by Euclid on Sunday, March 5, 2023 4:10 PM
I have watched the video showing the coil cars appear to derail as they run over that grade crossing, and begin to jackknife, and taking out some of the grade crossing protection structure.  
 
I think one of those coil cars was on the ground before it reached the crossing.  You can see a dark dust cloud under the cars extending back 100 feet or so against the direction the train is coming from.  That dust is visible before the coil car gets to the crossing.  That could have been a wheel on the ties.  Then when the derailed, low riding axle hit the crossing it rode up maybe 6" or more as it instantly climbed the raised edge of the crossing deck.  That tossed the car upward and lifted most of the truck maybe 6" above the top of the rails.  
 
Certainly the crossing perturbed the dragging wheelset, but I don't think the derailment began right at the crossing with that very pronounced upward bounce.  
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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 4:12 PM

tree68

 

 
JayBee

215 car trains with empty centerbeams in the middle is a recipe for problems.

 

There are a couple of videos shot at the crossing on-line now.  One starts after the whole thing started, but the other, from the other side of the train, appears to show a rolled steel car derailed as it went across the crossing.

 

I wonder if that covered steel car was empty. It seemed to buck up as it hit the asphalt.

One wonders if it was not derailed prior to that and was being dragged and then the wheels really bucked up when it hit the asphalt.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 4:22 PM

If you go back to that video and expand it to full screen, then hit "stop", you can advance the video almost frame by frame by clicking on the bar of the video with the red progress dot.

It definitely looks like those white coil cars were on the ground already, but the rear truck of the tank car in front of the centerbeam flat car looks weird as it enters the crossing and the centerbeam is "out of square" with the car behind it as it comes across the crossing also.

At 00:35 the second and third white coil cars are definitely on the ground before they hit the crossing.

Take a look and see what you think.

 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, March 5, 2023 5:56 PM

zugmann

 

 
charlie hebdo
One can see some pretty nifty spins, even on here.

 

I also saw a lot of people promoting PSR back in the day, even on here. 

 

Yes, but they have no influence.

The GOP Senator Sullivan from Alaska said," "Well, I want to hear some of the issues that Sen. [Sherrod] Brown raised, and in particular some of the issues that related to the laying off of workers," Sullivan said. "It's not just going to be him. It's going to be government officials as well on what is happening." 

While government might be slow, without its pressure, NS ain't gonna do diddly.

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Posted by ns145 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 6:02 PM

 

 
charlie hebdo
So what is the threshold for strong actions to be taken or ordered?

 

Hard to say.  Sometimes it's one event - Chatsworth led to an emergency order banning cell phone from locomotive cabs (now codified in RR rulebooks).  Lac Megantic led to an EO about securing trains, also now codified in rulebooks.

I'm sure that all the railroads (and car owners) are looking at their defect detectors and car inspections after East Palestine.  But their preventative measures are already in place - inadequate as they were in this particular case. 

We don't know what caused the derailment at Springfield yet.  If it's another failed bearing, you can be sure that there will be orders to inspect, etc.  If it was something unrelated, you can chalk it up to another of the 1,000 derailments that occur each year.

I mentioned before that one measure for components in a number of industries is the MTBF, or mean time between failure.  Someone mentioned earlier that the bearing in question was basically designed to outlive the axle it's mounted on.  That's why it's call MEAN time - it's the average.  Some fail earlier, some fail later.  

 

C'mon! We need a knee-jerk reaction and we need it now or we're going to lose our phoney-baloney jobs here gentlemen!  Cue Blazing Saddles harumph scene...

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Posted by Convicted One on Sunday, March 5, 2023 7:05 PM

zugmann
What acrobats?  

I really don't want to fingerpoint. You can go back and read through that other thread and fairly easily read the defensiveness of some. And being a railroad forum, that's completely understandable.  If folks find comfort in asserting that NS did everything "expected" or required of it,..perhaps they should peel back an additional layer and contemplate maybe it's time to start expecting more...going forward.    Originally there were another 2 paragraphs of rant on this post, but I thought the better, and deleted them. You're smart, Im sure you can interpret my meaning from whats here. Star

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