Trains.com

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

10858 views
139 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    November 2021
  • 204 posts
Posted by JayBee on Sunday, March 5, 2023 8:01 PM

charlie hebdo

 

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

 

I don't know, but what I do know is that it was claimed that allowing Union employees to go on strike would cost the economy billions per day.

  • Member since
    April 2007
  • 4,557 posts
Posted by Convicted One on Sunday, March 5, 2023 8:21 PM

Would imposing a requirement that all hazmat lading be placed in the train within the first 20 cars following the locomotive, be a step in the right direction? (with buffer cars, of course)  At least that would reduce the number of cars in front of the haz-mat that could contribute to this type of derailment?

Further I was pondering that if you have 15 haz mat cars included in a 220 car train, a catastrophic problem in any of the other 205 cars can potentially be a problem.  If however you limit that  train  transporting  those 15 haz mat cars to no more than 50 cars total,  there are only 35 other cars in that train that could cause a problem....the odds are better.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 11,762 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 9:19 PM

These excess car trains may be a cause of various buff forces that can cause derailments.  Can you even imagine the buff forces on rail lines that are hogback?  Maybe time to limit buff forces on any train ?  These empty lumber carriers are especially subject to derailing subject to buff forces.  Maybe they should only ride on end of trains?

  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 6,778 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, March 5, 2023 9:35 PM

blue streak 1
These excess car trains may be a cause of various buff forces that can cause derailments.  Can you even imagine the buff forces on rail lines that are hogback?  Maybe time to limit buff forces on any train ?  These empty lumber carriers are especially subject to derailing subject to buff forces.  Maybe they should only ride on end of trains?

I am kind of at a loss to explain how we got here because not too long ago I thought the future was the FEC strike breaker model of short and fast manifest trains with two crew members and no caboose.    How in the heck did we get to slow but very long manifest trains. 

Someone should do a study on this because I think the reduction in speed alone, not to mention all the maintenence and operational issues probably still favors short and fast trains as the FEC demonstrated in the 1960's.    Also I would suspect three short .5 mile trains running at 70 mph beats the tails off one long train 1.5 mile train running at 40-45 mph.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 24,776 posts
Posted by tree68 on Sunday, March 5, 2023 10:07 PM

CMStPnP
Also I would suspect three short .5 mile trains running at 70 mph beats the tails off one long train 1.5 mile train running at 40-45 mph.

But that would require three crews, vs one.  And therein lies the rub, as they say.

And, as I mentioned before - the bugaboo is at the terminals.  Running shorter, faster trains just gets them to their hold out point faster.

Not to mention that there's not a lot of 70 MPH running here in the east.  Forty MPH is more like it.

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,751 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, March 5, 2023 10:31 PM

tree68
 
CMStPnP
Also I would suspect three short .5 mile trains running at 70 mph beats the tails off one long train 1.5 mile train running at 40-45 mph. 

But that would require three crews, vs one.  And therein lies the rub, as they say.

And, as I mentioned before - the bugaboo is at the terminals.  Running shorter, faster trains just gets them to their hold out point faster.

Not to mention that there's not a lot of 70 MPH running here in the east.  Forty MPH is more like it.

Not only would three 2500 foot trains require thee crews to operate them - they would each require six to nine miles of track space to operate on clear signals.  The physical plant of a carrier has to be 'designed' to support the Operating Plan that the carrier intends to operate.

]-7500'->___Clear___|___Approach____|____Restricted Proceed or STOP___|

The above spacing would be required between each of the 2500 foot trains.  Many carriers us a 'Advance Approach' indication to give additional waring that the next signal will likely be Approach.  Signal spacing on Class 1 carriers is nominally 3 miles between signals.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Canterlot
  • 9,473 posts
Posted by zugmann on Monday, March 6, 2023 12:17 AM

tree68
And, as I mentioned before - the bugaboo is at the terminals.  Running shorter, faster trains just gets them to their hold out point faster.

But shorter trains also can be yarded/departed quicker.  So can lessen holdout times for other trains. 

  

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

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,751 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Monday, March 6, 2023 7:28 AM

zugmann
 
tree68
And, as I mentioned before - the bugaboo is at the terminals.  Running shorter, faster trains just gets them to their hold out point faster. 

But shorter trains also can be yarded/departed quicker.  So can lessen holdout times for other trains. 

The most insidious constraint on fluidity in the world of PSR operations is Crew Change Locations - especially on Single Track lines.  If there is not a crew available for a train - from a Dispatching perspective, unless there is a passing siding of sufficient length to hold the train in the clear, you can't move that train beyond the last siding where it will clear so that one does not Lock Down the entire line.  Remember at a Crew Change location, trains run in both (or more) directions through the Crew Change location.  It is not unusual when there are crew shortages at a Crew Change location to have sidings blocked for 100 miles in each direction waiting on the avilability of crews.

Once you get into the holding trains out for the availability of a outbound crew, it then takes normally a minimum of two crews to move the train - one to move the train where it was held and went on the law to the crew change location and another to move it out of the crew change location. 

One must remember, in the days before PSR, the carriers went through the era of 'Plant Rationalization', where all elements of the track structure and layout that weren't considered 'critical' to the operation in the 1980's & 90's were removed and sold for their scrap value.  

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • 18 posts
Posted by Big Cat on Monday, March 6, 2023 10:44 AM

blue streak 1

But conductors are still supposed to be outside watching a train go by in less than ideal spacing conditions. Everytime I see one of these derailment videos, I want to move another 30 feet from the track.

 
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.

 

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • 565 posts
Posted by Fred M Cain on Monday, March 6, 2023 11:03 AM

Big Cat

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.

I really and truly believe that this is EXTREMELY good advice.  To modify the old railroad rule to "expect a train on any track and any time", perhaps it's more like "expect a derailment on any track at any time".

It's kind of just a little bit like defensive driving.  STAY SAFE ~ !

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • 565 posts
Posted by Fred M Cain on Monday, March 6, 2023 11:13 AM

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

Well, I'm gonna go out on a limb and put in a good word for PSR.  I think it was a good idea when it first came out and IT is STILL a good idea today.

BUT ~ !  The thing is that the railroads are not really practicing PSR as it was originally intended to be done.

I thought the original idea was to run trains on time,  everyday on a tight schedule whether there were only 15 cars or 150.  That tended to allow crews to get home on time to their originating terminal.  This is NOT what's happening now.

It's all about 200+ car trains to cut costs.  The Wall Street Journal had an article late last week that Harris was returning to the CNR.  He wants to emphasize running shorter trains ON TIME everyday.  Wasn't this what "PSR" was originally supposed to be all about?

That's not what's happening anymore.  One guy in this thread mentioned that running a 215 car train is insane.  Think about this:  When I was a small child the average freight car was around 40 feet. Today it's closer or even more than 60 feet.

So, how long would this train have been in equivalent 40-ft cars in, say, 1958?  300 cars?  350 ?

 

YIKES ~ !

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 24,776 posts
Posted by tree68 on Monday, March 6, 2023 12:00 PM

Fred M Cain
I thought the original idea was to run trains on time,  everyday on a tight schedule whether there were only 15 cars or 150.  That tended to allow crews to get home on time to their originating terminal.  This is NOT what's happening now.

I have an October, 1963 New York Central ETT.  Prominently displayed on the back cover is a line chart entitled, "Operation Sunset, Protected Connections Pay Off - Let's Roll As Advertised."

The chart includes times.  

Precision Scheduled Railroading.  The way it should be - and was, in 1963 on the NYC.

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,751 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Monday, March 6, 2023 12:06 PM

Fred M Cain
 
zugmann
charlie hebdo
One can see some pretty nifty spins, even on here.

Well, I'm gonna go out on a limb and put in a good word for PSR.  I think it was a good idea when it first came out and IT is STILL a good idea today.

BUT ~ !  The thing is that the railroads are not really practicing PSR as it was originally intended to be done.

I thought the original idea was to run trains on time,  everyday on a tight schedule whether there were only 15 cars or 150.  That tended to allow crews to get home on time to their originating terminal.  This is NOT what's happening now.

It's all about 200+ car trains to cut costs.  The Wall Street Journal had an article late last week that Harris was returning to the CNR.  He wants to emphasize running shorter trains ON TIME everyday.  Wasn't this what "PSR" was originally supposed to be all about?

That's not what's happening anymore.  One guy in this thread mentioned that running a 215 car train is insane.  Think about this:  When I was a small child the average freight car was around 40 feet. Today it's closer or even more than 60 feet.

So, how long would this train have been in equivalent 40-ft cars in, say, 1958?  300 cars?  350 ?

YIKES ~ !

PSR as implemented by EHH on CSX was nothing more than Buzzword BS.

At the time I retired, three months before EHH's arrival, CSX was operating a Scheduled merchandise freight network over its system and measuring the adherence to that schedule both on the basis of train operation as well as car scheduling making the right trains On Time.  Three months later EHH arrived on the property and all the scheduling was thrown out with yesterday's bath water, as well as many of the facilities and employees that were used to operate that network.  Six years later CSX is still struggling. 

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • 3,138 posts
Posted by chutton01 on Monday, March 6, 2023 12:41 PM

So Balt, what you seem to be saying that under EHH PSR was neither Precise, nor Scheduled, nor really even Railroading, but rather "Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash".  If so, from what I see,  I would agree.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,751 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Monday, March 6, 2023 1:21 PM

chutton01
So Balt, what you seem to be saying that under EHH PSR was neither Precise, nor Scheduled, nor really even Railroading, but rather "Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash".  If so, from what I see,  I would agree.

Bingo, Bango, Bongo!  We have a winner!

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • 99 posts
Posted by PennsyBoomer on Monday, March 6, 2023 7:25 PM

Perhaps the most recognized of the "short/fast" carriers was Rio Grande when 4000 tons made a train (on some routes) - but that was largely a function of geography and density. The natural low resistance of steel wheel on steel rail tends toward longer consists and with the advent of DPU locomotive consists greater train length has been made much more practicable.

Every economy over the past, say, 40 years has significantly affected operating efficiency. Elimination of the caboose and crew consist reductions increased the amount of time necessary to inspect trains, fix mechanical problems and make set outs and pick ups. Yard capacity was affected by remote control crews slowing the processing of traffic, backing up onto the mainline, draining the crew base. The experiential base was basically disdained and discarded through buyouts so that now one wonders what is left. The days when just about any delay could be resolved within twenty minutes or so are long gone.

Anyone remotely familiar with operations knew PSR was an oxymoron. There are just too many variables in a large-scale operation for any approximation of "precision" other than upon very broad precepts. PSR is just an innocuous sounding phrase for cashing-in of assets - be it employees, physical plant or ability to sustain events and what used to be called surge capacity. Some carriers have apparently reached the point of no return in this arena - as evidenced by UP's "We Can Embargo It" philosophy. The trend seems to be toward transportation entropy as dictated by the eternal buck. The only resistance to this trend, I guess, is regulation; and that is too often a function of reaction to disasters - of one kind or another.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 24,751 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Monday, March 6, 2023 7:57 PM

PennsyBoomer
Perhaps the most recognized of the "short/fast" carriers was Rio Grande when 4000 tons made a train (on some routes) - but that was largely a function of geography and density. The natural low resistance of steel wheel on steel rail tends toward longer consists and with the advent of DPU locomotive consists greater train length has been made much more practicable.

Every economy over the past, say, 40 years has significantly affected operating efficiency. Elimination of the caboose and crew consist reductions increased the amount of time necessary to inspect trains, fix mechanical problems and make set outs and pick ups. Yard capacity was affected by remote control crews slowing the processing of traffic, backing up onto the mainline, draining the crew base. The experiential base was basically disdained and discarded through buyouts so that now one wonders what is left. The days when just about any delay could be resolved within twenty minutes or so are long gone.

Anyone remotely familiar with operations knew PSR was an oxymoron. There are just too many variables in a large-scale operation for any approximation of "precision" other than upon very broad precepts. PSR is just an innocuous sounding phrase for cashing-in of assets - be it employees, physical plant or ability to sustain events and what used to be called surge capacity. Some carriers have apparently reached the point of no return in this arena - as evidenced by UP's "We Can Embargo It" philosophy. The trend seems to be toward transportation entropy as dictated by the eternal buck. The only resistance to this trend, I guess, is regulation; and that is too often a function of reaction to disasters - of one kind or another.

While we can complain about train size - railroads as a transportation entity, operate in a world that says if a little is good, more is better, and a lot more is a lot better.

Truckers every year lobby the various state legislatures to increase both the weight and length of trucks on the highways.  I suspect pipelines, when they feel the need, increase either the size or pressures that the lines operate at.  Ocean shipping has seen vessels move from the size of the Liberth ships that won WW II and formed the basis of the after war merchant shipping fleets of many seafaring countries.  Nowadays the oceans are populated with container ships hauling 24K TEU's and ULCC tankers hauling millions of gallons of oil.

All modes of transportation have accidents - accidents that don't do humanity or the enviornment any good.  Such is the price of living in the 21st Century's industrialized world economy.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 24,776 posts
Posted by tree68 on Monday, March 6, 2023 8:09 PM

BaltACD
Ocean shipping has seen vessels move from the size of the Liberth ships that won WW II and formed the basis of the after war merchant shipping fleets of many seafaring countries. 

The Great Lakes have seen that as well.  There are a number of "footers" (1,000 feet and longer) and they are mainly constrained by the Soo Locks, which can only handle slightly over that.  I believe the longest ship on the lakes right now is 1,014 feet.

Smaller ships are getting fewer and fewer.

Salties are limited to the ~700 feet that can be handled by the St Lawrence Seaway locks and the Welland Canal.

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Central Iowa
  • 6,790 posts
Posted by jeffhergert on Monday, March 6, 2023 8:25 PM

Parts of PSR is, and always was, the way railroads did things.  Other things not so much.

The "scheduled" part is not about train schedules.  It's about scheduling cars, their trip plans and connections within the network.  When we first got deep into PSR, they came out and said we don't care about trains, only cars.  (That kind of thinking fell by the wayside.  Someone must have realized that cars move in trains.)

Another piece of PSR is to have the same number, and as few as possible, in each direction every day.  Move cars that move in irregular unit trains into the manifest network as much as possible.  Once "balance" has been achieved, reduce "excess" assets, mothball or retire equipment and facilities - furlough employees.  Don't consider that external factors might upset the balance.  Don't consider that new business opprotunities might come along.  

After all that, then the PSR proponents say the railroads can pivot to growth.  Some that have actually have started to regrow their business have had to spend money to rebuild what was cut or on additional capacity projects that had been shelved. 

Jeff 

  

  • Member since
    October 2014
  • 1,101 posts
Posted by Gramp on Monday, March 6, 2023 8:32 PM

This subject is as hot as an EV battery fire... Wink

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 1,568 posts
Posted by Erik_Mag on Monday, March 6, 2023 11:20 PM

BaltACD

I suspect pipelines, when they feel the need, increase either the size or pressures that the lines operate at.

Increasing the size of a pipeline is a rather expensive proposition as it involves digging up the old pipeline which is likely on a shared ROW. Pipelines as do railroads have problems with encroach on the ROW, though tends to be worse with pipelines as the pipes are usually out of sight.

IIRC, pipelines are typically limited to 60 to 70% of yield strength in rural areas and 50% in populated areas. There was work being on increasing allowable pressure, but the El Paso pipeline blast circa 2000 put an end to that effort. The PG&E pipeline blast would likely have rolled back the increase if it had gone through.

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Guelph, Ontario
  • 4,773 posts
Posted by Ulrich on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 8:29 AM

PennsyBoomer

Perhaps the most recognized of the "short/fast" carriers was Rio Grande when 4000 tons made a train (on some routes) - but that was largely a function of geography and density. The natural low resistance of steel wheel on steel rail tends toward longer consists and with the advent of DPU locomotive consists greater train length has been made much more practicable.

Every economy over the past, say, 40 years has significantly affected operating efficiency. Elimination of the caboose and crew consist reductions increased the amount of time necessary to inspect trains, fix mechanical problems and make set outs and pick ups. Yard capacity was affected by remote control crews slowing the processing of traffic, backing up onto the mainline, draining the crew base. The experiential base was basically disdained and discarded through buyouts so that now one wonders what is left. The days when just about any delay could be resolved within twenty minutes or so are long gone.

Anyone remotely familiar with operations knew PSR was an oxymoron. There are just too many variables in a large-scale operation for any approximation of "precision" other than upon very broad precepts. PSR is just an innocuous sounding phrase for cashing-in of assets - be it employees, physical plant or ability to sustain events and what used to be called surge capacity. Some carriers have apparently reached the point of no return in this arena - as evidenced by UP's "We Can Embargo It" philosophy. The trend seems to be toward transportation entropy as dictated by the eternal buck. The only resistance to this trend, I guess, is regulation; and that is too often a function of reaction to disasters - of one kind or another.

 

 

The Union Pacific of the 1970s was also known for running short fast trains with enormous power on the point. This seemed somewhat out of step with the times given the oil crisis of 1973 and the 55 mph speed limit imposed on interstates to conserve oil. 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 1,456 posts
Posted by NKP guy on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 8:59 AM

   For NS, the bad news keeps on coming.  This morning in Cleveland a dump truck collided with a locomotive on the Cleveland-Cliffs property and the NS conductor was killed.  

 https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/local-news/cleveland-metro/norfolk-southern-train-collides-with-dump-truck-kills-1

  • Member since
    July 2016
  • 2,498 posts
Posted by Backshop on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 9:21 AM

tree68

 

 
BaltACD
Ocean shipping has seen vessels move from the size of the Liberth ships that won WW II and formed the basis of the after war merchant shipping fleets of many seafaring countries. 

 

The Great Lakes have seen that as well.  There are a number of "footers" (1,000 feet and longer) and they are mainly constrained by the Soo Locks, which can only handle slightly over that.  I believe the longest ship on the lakes right now is 1,014 feet.

Smaller ships are getting fewer and fewer.

Salties are limited to the ~700 feet that can be handled by the St Lawrence Seaway locks and the Welland Canal.

 

Actually, the days of some of the thousand footers may be numbered.  There are 13 of them.  Two or three of them were constantly supplying the coal power plants of Essexville, St Clair and Monroe. Essexville just converted to NG and St Clair is closing. US Steel is down to 2 blast furnaces in the Pittsburgh area so Conneaut is very slow. Interlake Steamship just built a 630ft boat and with many of the smaller 1950s era boats near the end of their economic lifetimes, I expect the more versatile 600-730ft boats to be the wave of the future.  

  • Member since
    August 2004
  • From: The 17th hole at TPC
  • 2,255 posts
Posted by n012944 on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 10:03 AM

chutton01

So Balt, what you seem to be saying that under EHH PSR was neither Precise, nor Scheduled, nor really even Railroading, but rather "Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash".  If so, from what I see,  I would agree.

 

 

As someone who lived and worked through EHH's PSR at CSX, I disagree.  Had he lived to see it through, I think it would have been a decent operation.  Despite Balts claims, it was a scheduled railroad.  One of the first things EHH did was to get rid of the the stupid "28 hour day" stupidity schedule that CSX was using, and run manifests on true schedule.  There was a real push to run trains and time, pushing late trains to get them to destination quickly.  It was after his death, that we got PSR on a budget, and it showed in the quality of operation.

In the end, people don't like having to do more with less, and there was a lot of pushback from that. 

An "expensive model collector"

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Canterlot
  • 9,473 posts
Posted by zugmann on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 10:05 AM

n012944
In the end, people don't like having to do more with less, and there was a lot of pushback from that. 

Pesky things like engines, cars, maintenance, inspectors.  

I'll give you that the original PSR ideals have gotten bastardazied, but I also didn't see too much vocal opposition from PSR proponents. 

  

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

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • 565 posts
Posted by Fred M Cain on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 11:13 AM
Group,
 
You know, I’ve looked at a number of online videos of recent train wrecks and derailments and noticed a couple of common threads.  The vast majority of the incidents involved long, so-called “manifest” trains.  The other thing I noticed is that much of the equipment was covered with graffiti.  Is there a connection here?

Back in the early ‘80s, my Dad & I were driving to a ball game at Yankee stadium when we saw a subway train roar by overhead on an elevated structure.  The subway’s equipment was covered “head to toe” with graffiti.
 
 
My Dad just shook his head in disgust.
 
Dad:  “I don’t think I’d ever ride on that thing again”.
 
Me:  “Oh yeah?  Why not?”
 
Dad:  "Because.  I just don’t think I’d wanna ride on anything in that kind of condition".
 
So, maybe “condition” is the key word here.
 
Think about this for a moment:  If the railroads and other car owners cannot manage to keep the graffiti cleaned off the equipment and keep it painted, what else are they missing?  Are the brakes, cylinders and wheel bearings getting a thorough inspection?
 
I might be onto something here or not.  But at the very least, with all that graffiti, it would seem to me that the railroad industry is presenting itself in such a way and sending a subliminal message to the public that all is not well on America’s rails
  • Member since
    August 2004
  • From: The 17th hole at TPC
  • 2,255 posts
Posted by n012944 on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 11:17 AM

Fred M Cain
 Is there a connection here?
 

 
No.

An "expensive model collector"

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • 565 posts
Posted by Fred M Cain on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 11:39 AM

n012944

 

 Fred M Cain
 Is there a connection here?
No.
 

 
Sorry, but your "no" is not convincing.  Someone needs to look into this.
 
At the very least, re-read my last paragraph.  It makes the entire industry look bad and it's probably disquieting to the general public at large.  Surely no way to build confidence especially after some high-profile derailments.
 
Having equipment covered with that much graffitti is no way to gain public confidence.
  • Member since
    April 2007
  • 4,557 posts
Posted by Convicted One on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 12:24 PM

Fred M Cain
  Are the brakes, cylinders and wheel bearings getting a thorough inspection?

Remember when auto chassis had zerks, and a periodic "chassis lube" was standard fare?  I recall taking my car in for work about 30 years ago, insisting that they include a chassis lube as part of the work list, and the guy just laughed at me.   

In view of the claims made by people here that the bearings in question are built to have a longer service life than the axels they are mounted to,   I'd anticipate that thourough, hands-on bearing inspection likely isn't real high on anyone's list.  At least not  until they report as hot to some detector. 

 My experience with permanently sealed bearings is that they are amazingly durable, unless there is a flaw built into the seal, permitting contamination to find it's way in.   Visual inspection at the factory  doesn't always catch that.

And considering  the environment that rail car axels operate in, I'd guess that contamination is a risk.

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