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Why Trains Keep Derailing - Video Documentary

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Why Trains Keep Derailing - Video Documentary
Posted by JOHN RICE on Monday, March 27, 2023 1:20 PM

 https://youtu.be/olnVwQzQZRs

Documentary by the More Perfect Union channel on why they think North America suffers from 1700 derail events a year.

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Posted by azrail on Monday, March 27, 2023 2:38 PM

The majority of which involve industrial trackage and/or a pair of trucks slipping off the rails. How many auto/truck accidents per year? How many are fender benders?

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, March 27, 2023 2:43 PM

Every person/group with a youtube or twitter thinks they are the next Ken Burns.  

  

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 JOHN RICE on Monday, March 27, 2023 2:45 PM

Can't verify their data and where they got it, but if they are looking at "everything" including the mentioned fender bender types over the past 30 years, that would still be a lot in percentage terms.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, March 27, 2023 2:52 PM

Elements of fact, elements of fiction.  Propaganda

A bigger indictment of current business ethics in the entirety of the country.

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, March 27, 2023 6:34 PM

Using 2018 numbers (they popped up first), the railroads have about 1 reportable derailment per billion ton-miles (if I did the math right - 1.7 trillion ton miles, 1700 derailments).

From another direction, that's one reportable derailment per 82 miles of track.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, March 27, 2023 7:42 PM

Almost breathtaking how much they don't comprehend, or miss entirely.

Why in tarnation do they invoke the SD&AE as if it's a good thing, increasing competition with the Octopus and all that, when it was such an unparalleled operational disaster ... including if you tried to run any modern consist on it, ignoring the disasters of climate change on maintaining it, ignoring the fun of diving through Mexico, ignoring all the curves... a much, much better approach would be to get hold of Michael Sol and take up the 'superiority' of the Pacific Coast Extension against the hedge-fund monopolists -- but they have no comprehension of what that was, or who Sol is, or really, what makes rail lines distinctively competitive.  The big thing they ought to be complaining about is removing multiple tracks suitable for directional running (to get rid of facing train derailment issues) but, again, they are clueless about what that would imply.

They need to use an index of reportable derailments involving hazmat release, which is something easily defined within limits and far short of the 'reported cases'.  For all I know, there is indeed a trend in serious derailments associated with various flavors of PSR, hedge cost-cutting, SLSF-style consolidation without common sense... etc.  But it ought to be substantiated scientifically, not with at best half-truths.

It's gonna be funny to see the NAS revisit the old chestnut about 2-man crews being 'safer' -- there's been no real change in the logic since it got thrown out definitively the last time.  Even funnier will be just how the additional inspections called for in the legislation will actually find catastrophic bearing failures like the one in East Palestine -- ask their whistleblower how you can detect it in a typical pretrip inspection, even if you roll back the abbreviated pretrip inspection that's such a hot-button topic to certain legislators with agendas.

Of course the actual point to be made here involves PSR and OR-optimizing management at a very fundamental level... they don't WANT to transport hazmat that comes with these increased 'safety' concerns.  They want, very simply, to embargo it until insurers and shippers pay the added costs associated with whatever level of "safety" the mayors, and Congresspeople, and FRA staffers want to see.  And let's face it, only the Government unfunded mandate that is the obsolete 'common-carrier obligation' stands in the way of that very effective safety.  No hazmat to drop in the Fox River at all is just like the talking point about 'no handguns means no gun crime' ... and it's even more justifiable as there isn't the proscription in Article 1 section 8 that there is in the Second Amendment...

As I noted earlier, there's a case to be made for a detector suite every 15 miles... or every 10 miles as the proposed legislation indicates... or even at each signal block point.  But if the Government thinks that's vital, let them subsidize it, or arrange tax setasides, or remove the need to impose it on what under PSR is getting to be slower and slower traffic.

Funny, too, how there is no call whatsoever to go after 'community organizing' the single biggest thing controlling these hedge-fund 'optimizations' -- the STB and its supporting bureaucracy.  Master that, and you can re-introduce all the competition and reciprocal-switching rights and intermodal fairness you want.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, March 27, 2023 9:49 PM

Ovemod:  Perhaps you can volunteer to give that speech to the residents of East Palestine to set them straight?  Perhaps condense it for those with short attention spans?

 

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Monday, March 27, 2023 10:14 PM

With respect to SD&AE, one reason for keeping the line open is a back-up for the Surf Line. A major bluff failure in San Clemente or Del Mar could cause a very long shutdown of rail service to San Diego. The "all American" route of the San Diego, Cuyamaca and Eastern would have had a longer route. The branch to the Julian gold mines would have been interesting.

One significant derailment per billion ton miles - wonder how the trucking industry compares?

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Posted by jeffhergert on Monday, March 27, 2023 11:35 PM
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Posted by JOHN RICE on Monday, March 27, 2023 11:49 PM

I think the SD&AE railroad is served in the video as an example of the amount of cost cutting modern railroad operators perform. Even though that rail ROW cost millions and was done with considerable risk and engineering, it was abandoned quickly and left behind without a whimper.

At least that is what I was gleaning from their short story.

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Posted by Euclid on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 9:27 AM

Overmod
Even funnier will be just how the additional inspections called for in the legislation will actually find catastrophic bearing failures like the one in East Palestine -- ask their whistleblower how you can detect it in a typical pretrip inspection, even if you roll back the abbreviated pretrip inspection that's such a hot-button topic to certain legislators with agendas.

I was wondering how bearing failure could be avoided by routine inspections; or specifically how an inspection could determine the health of a railcar bearing.  
 
If the miles run and load carried by a bearing were measured and recorded; and if the bearing performance life was consistent with its duration known, bearings could simply be replaced when their service life had expired.  However, even if the bearing life could be accurately predicted, that prediction would also be affected by conditions outside of bearing quality consistency.  Such external conditions would be track surfacing, rail joints, running speed profile, and maybe even outdoor ambient temperature. 
 
So assuming that there is no way to know when a functioning bearing should be replaced, the only way to know would be to observe the bearing to be in the process of failing, which begins with rising temperature, rising vibrations, smoke production, and melting of the bearing components and axle journal. 
 
So maybe the intended purpose of hotbox detectors is to find bearings that have begun the process of failure before they actually fail.  Maybe this has become the alternate to inspecting bearings that are outside of wear limits, but not yet begun the process of failure.  If this is the intention, the detectors are placed too far apart.
 
In the East Palestine case there was a heat rise, but it was deemed normal.  Yet it quite possibly was not normal, and was a true indication that the bearing failure process had begun, and eventually wrecked the train 20 miles later. 
 
Thus it seems to me that using the current systems of detectors to determine when a bearing needs to be replaced, is not doing the job.  The system failed because the interval between detectors was too long.  It also appears to have failed because the bearing and axle journal was in the process of melting when it passed the detector prior to the one at East Palestine.  And yet that detector found the temperature increase to be within the acceptable limit, and thus was allowed to continue running without stopping to inspect. 
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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 10:42 AM

Euclid
I was wondering how bearing failure could be avoided by routine inspections; or specifically how an inspection could determine the health of a railcar bearing.

The short answer is that it can't.  No inspector can gauge anything other than an already-ridiculously-damaged bearing in a static inspection; in fact, unless obvious heat damage at the outer race is already present, a bearing with the catastrophic damage discussed in the 1998 report (which would proceed to detectable overheat failure in 20 miles or less) would show no signs.  I suspect that acoustic detectors scanning the train on both sides during a full Class I brake test leaving a yard would find very few issues that even the current spacing of lineside detectors would not have found before or after the yard...

I came to the conclusion long ago that the only suitable technology was one physically mounted on the sideframe, communicating with other systems on the car, that continually tracks bearing temperature, truck alignment, acoustic signature, and some other associated things including center and side-bearing binding.  This would use a carrier on the PTC SDR equipment to transmit both telemetry and proposed reactions to developing conditions.  Anything short of that is at best a political boondoggle.

The next 'best' solution is to have detectors spaced sufficiently closely to determine a failure trend, and this would jibe with the proposed 10-mile spacing (and extension to WILD and acoustic detection at all the detectors, which ought to be in the proposed legislation if there were anyone actually familiar with railroad practice writing it).  This might still not be sufficient to recognize derailment conditions before dangerous damage or misalignment occurs... no noncontinuous system can do that effectively.

Since the East Palestine accident really qualifies as more of a black swan than a "derailment", we're left in a disturbingly familiar replay of politics post-Glendale, where we can expect political feel-good (and some other stacking of decks at unwilling people's expense) instead of intelligent response that gets the best response over time.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 10:47 AM

JOHN RICE
Even though that rail ROW cost millions and was done with considerable risk and engineering, it was abandoned quickly and left behind without a whimper.

No one with even passing understanding of the SD&AE understands it as anything other than a Spreckels boondoggle; no one with even passing understanding of the construction and operation of the line would propose spending the money to bring the tunnels up to stable condition, let alone giving them modern stack clearances.  There are far better examples they 'could' have used, including Soloviev's grain train project, or for that matter why even the 'second coming' of the Ramsey-survey line (of 1906) or the Sam Rea line and its extension to serve the New York high-speed passenger market directly would today be highly expensive boondoggles rather than high-speed service routes.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 10:57 AM

charlie hebdo
Ovemod:  Perhaps you can volunteer to give that speech to the residents of East Palestine to set them straight?  Perhaps condense it for those with short attention spans?

You, me, and the fellow behind the tree all understand that the East Palestine accident was an unfortunate combination of circumstances as regards the actual derailment, and an appalling failure of common sense and professional discipline regarding the post-accident response.  I have far more to say, with considerably more venom, regarding the pile-on of secret and not-so-secret agendas to capitalize on the suffering of the residents of East Palestine... and of the as-yet-unrecognized others who are going to have to deal with the aftereffects of responder stupidity.  But I am waiting for the NTSB report to document exactly what happens before I give any more voice to my suspicions -- as, perhaps, should you.

I note in particular the organized pile-on to try to make NS safety culture look lacking or negligent.  Perhaps there are indeed aspects where it is, and I would fully expect NTSB to bring this up in specific recommendations when the report comes out.  On the other hand, equating Springfield with East Palestine is almost an embarrassing stretch at this point in the investigation, and Buttegieg's gratuitously-insulting, grandstanding letter would be appalling if it were not so sadly business-as-usual for how solution-making is conducted in this relatively truth-free age of politics.

Would you propose to remove any hazmat trains through East Palestine, as the documentary indicates Elgin and those other communities along the Fox would like to do?  Then let's push for elimination of the common-carrier requirement so these railroads can embargo specific categories of PIH and other material legally.  Anything short of that would be missing an important point that in my opinion needs to be clearly and openly discussed: whether railroads should be compelled to take dangerous material through cities at all.

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Posted by azrail on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 2:34 PM

That hazardous material will still need to move...more than likely in trucks-lots of trucks, which have their own hazmat issues.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 2:47 PM

azrail
That hazardous material will still need to move...

No, most likely in trains -- but it will be on a fully compensatory basis net of all additional "safety" costs and other concerns.  That rate will likely wind up being very close, perhaps greater, than specialist hazmat road carriers (cf. Shadow's owner's) but it will be net of all mandates.

It will be amusing to see if the Department of Transportation attempts to compel railroads to continue transporting dangerous material through city centers.  Their likely approach will be the one applied to lead-acid battery plants when the issue of pregnant employees arose -- no, they couldn't discriminate against women; no, they couldn't require employees 'not to get pregnant'; no, they were still on the hook for unlimited damages for any health issues involving lead.  Their "recourse" was to eliminate lead exposure as a working condition...

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 5:33 PM

Overmod
the East Palestine accident was an unfortunate combination of circumstances as regards the actual derailment,

Are you actually employed now as a Spinmeister?  And then sailing on into the usual distraction of blaming Big Brother and their employees. 

Great job, OM!!

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 5:57 PM

Overmod
...the East Palestine accident was an unfortunate combination of circumstances as regards the actual derailment...

All the holes in the Swiss cheese lined up.  Or, for the tech minded, all the holes in the Hollerith cards lined up.  As with any incident, remove one piece of the puzzle and the derailment would not have happened.  We've been over that.

What happened afterwards is a different story.  We'll have to wait for an authoritative account of what did happen, and when.

I would submit that there was a certain amount of "the fog of war" involved.  Or, as the old saw goes, when you're up to your derriere in alligators, it's hard to remember that your mission is to drain the swamp...

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 6:36 PM

charlie hebdo
Are you actually employed now as a Spinmeister?  And then sailing on into the usual distraction of blaming Big Brother and their employees.

No, and no, of course.

You conveniently forget that I've been advocating for effective technological action to prevent accidents like this from recurring, specifically including my approval of closer detector spacing and more effective sensor fusion and tracking.  I've also gone on record with the only type of technology that would actually catch this type of problem before catastrophe... much more of the time than existing detectors... but it remains to be seen if this gets mandated successfully as a legitimately safety-improving action.

No one but an idiot thinks any bearing-related problem short of existing massive failure could be detected by the most rigorous standing car inspection.  But that's one of the things both houses of Big Brother's legislature seem to be pushing as a talking point.

If it is proven that NS "safety culture" is directly responsible for not satisfying the Government's then-existing detector requirements, then you can expect me to call that spade a shovel.  But as far as I can tell, this is an unfortunate (and, if we can believe the AAR, a remarkably rare) catastrophic failure occurring just at the wrong time between Federally-compliant detectors.

People are doing a fine job of spinning this up into a major disaster without any assistance from me... but, as I said, it is going to be highly interesting to learn who had the bright idea of simultaneous breach of all five vinyl-chloride tanks.  THAT is the problem that turned this from a severe derailment into an ecological disaster.  It appears to me that a concerted effect to pin this on NS was 'in the works' at a point in the investigation too early to objectively determine if that were so.  I would submit that that qualifies as much worse spinmeistering than anything I'm discussing here.

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 8:44 AM

Overmod

 

 
Euclid
I was wondering how bearing failure could be avoided by routine inspections; or specifically how an inspection could determine the health of a railcar bearing.

 

The short answer is that it can't.  No inspector can gauge anything other than an already-ridiculously-damaged bearing in a static inspection; in fact, unless obvious heat damage at the outer race is already present, a bearing with the catastrophic damage discussed in the 1998 report (which would proceed to detectable overheat failure in 20 miles or less) would show no signs.  I suspect that acoustic detectors scanning the train on both sides during a full Class I brake test leaving a yard would find very few issues that even the current spacing of lineside detectors would not have found before or after the yard...

 

I came to the conclusion long ago that the only suitable technology was one physically mounted on the sideframe, communicating with other systems on the car, that continually tracks bearing temperature, truck alignment, acoustic signature, and some other associated things including center and side-bearing binding.  This would use a carrier on the PTC SDR equipment to transmit both telemetry and proposed reactions to developing conditions.  Anything short of that is at best a political boondoggle.

The next 'best' solution is to have detectors spaced sufficiently closely to determine a failure trend, and this would jibe with the proposed 10-mile spacing (and extension to WILD and acoustic detection at all the detectors, which ought to be in the proposed legislation if there were anyone actually familiar with railroad practice writing it).  This might still not be sufficient to recognize derailment conditions before dangerous damage or misalignment occurs... no noncontinuous system can do that effectively.

Since the East Palestine accident really qualifies as more of a black swan than a "derailment", we're left in a disturbingly familiar replay of politics post-Glendale, where we can expect political feel-good (and some other stacking of decks at unwilling people's expense) instead of intelligent response that gets the best response over time.

 

I agree that the car truck-borne detectors checking for bearing vibration would be the best approach.  But when I metioned routine inspections, I did not mean to exlude everyting other than a person just looking at the bearings.  It would also include the possible use of an inpection tool, and it also could be a periodic indpection with a much longer interval than just a per trip inspection.

Basically, I am wondering why bearings fail.  Is it wear that leads to a defect in transmitting the load dthrough the bearing?  Is is a seal failure?  If a seal failure is the cause of a bearing failure, is there telltale lubricant leakage that could be observed by inspection?  Can the bearings be checked for lubricant level and allow more lubricant to be added.  

Incidentally, I saw a video describing a recent bearing failure that went form able to pass a dector without any problem noted, to buring off the axle, all within 6 miles.  I will see if I can fin't that video.  

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 9:37 AM

Let me divide this into sections for my convenience in answering, not for any more objective reason.

Euclid
I did not mean to exclude everyting other than a person just looking at the bearings.  It would also include the possible use of an inpection tool, and it also could be a periodic inspection with a much longer interval than just a per trip inspection.
You may want to find and read one of the online copies of the M-942 standard (regarding long-life grease-lubricated AP ("package") bearings, and some of the discussion about the bearings.  Once they are installed and packed, there is no way to analyze them via typical NDT when they are not rotating; in fact, there is no way to sample the lubricant quality via either provision of a 'port' or reading surface, or a tap to extract a sample for "Blackstone" type analysis of the lubricant quality.  Equally unfortunately, there is no good way to assess many types of developing failure unless the bearing is correctly loaded, including the effect of transverse load on both sets of tapered rollers (the inner race being more critical for a number of reasons).  It is difficult to arrange this in a typical three-piece truck construction for reasons you will realize when you analyze how the truck 'works'.

Basically, I am wondering why bearings fail.  Is it wear that leads to a defect in transmitting the load through the bearing?

None of the typical types of bearing wear have any bearing (pun intended) on the concerns at hand -- they result in the ride height very slightly decreasing, with no perceptible increase in heating, and the brakeshoes easily accommodate this over time.  If you look carefully at the 1998 report, you can read about a number of the more important types of failure; curiously to me they thought that individual-roller damage from flat or damaged wheels was comparatively slight and negligible.  You can readily understand that as long as the rollers are turning and the cage is intact, only damage that radically impairs internal lubrication will lead to enough heating or spalling that the bearing converts to the equivalent of a needle bearing (where the hardened surfaces act as the 'bearing' with hydrodynamic lubrication across the line contacts) and, since line contacts are not capable of this continuous load-bearing, rapid heating, metallurgical damage, seizing of inner races and resulting very rapid axle heating.

Is is a seal failure?  If a seal failure is the cause of a bearing failure, is there telltale lubricant leakage that could be observed by inspection?

Unfortunately, the seal that most 'matters' is the inside seal, guarding the inner race of the bearing, and in a position between the sideframe and the wheel face.  Frank "leakage" of grease here might be determined by a static inspection, but it would have to be down low around the curve of the axle, probably requiring a specialized boresight-camera-type device.  But there is no 'guarantee' that seal failure hasn't let contamination into the bearing without demonstrating leakage, so the inspection might require careful 360-degree inspection, and here the fact that at least 99.9% of seals will not be damaged rears its head: Car inspectors looking at cumulative thousands of bearings a week may not be able to spot the 'one' that might be a critical issue within the next few miles but was not visible 'last time' -- that looks disturbingly like a death march.  And keeping the borescope-camera records and analyzing them with AI/ES offline is not really much better... except in finding convenient proof after the fact that a death-marched inspector missed a spot.

Can the bearings be checked for lubricant level and allow more lubricant to be added?

Timken, SKF, and AAR all specifically rejected even the option of having field-serviceable level determination or fill ports, although there are variants of zerk or other fittings that could be used for the purpose.  Their reasoning was that in a railroad environment the risks of contamination from failure, improper procedure, tampering, etc. outweighed the risk of proper quality control.   

Incidentally, I saw a video describing a recent bearing failure that went form able to pass a detector without any problem noted, to burning off the axle, all within 6 miles.  I will see if I can find that video.

Find it and post it, and see if there are postmortem analysis pictures that cover the sequential failure mechanism.

The 1998 report used a synthetic method of simulating a bearing failure (heavy spalling damage across the width of one of the rollers) but I was not able to determine whether they accounted for progressive damage from 'spalled material' to other rollers, bearing races, or cage/roller interaction.  Even in the absence of progressive damage, they were able to document 'critical overheating' of such a bearing within 20 miles on testing at Pueblo.

The only prospective thing that would catch many of the black-swan/perfect-storm failures is proper detector suites at each absolute block, with reasonable tracking between them to catch failure 'trends' of concern.  However, to this would have to be added some sort of compensation for all the new 'false positives' -- and I bet there'd be a lot -- that now require stopping the train and conducting an analysis that (as noted above) has to be moving, under load, when conducted, or else promptly cutting out the affected car, on a route that increasingly under PSR has no expedient setout location, with a crew that may well not be capable of performing the setout without assistance, or within HoS.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 10:59 AM

Overmod
People are doing a fine job of spinning this up into a major disaster without any assistance from me..

Au contraire, Meister. More of the minimizing the underlying structural problem, i.e., "the big picture."  The series of accidents on various railroads, some catastrophic, others less so, suggests that there is something terribly wrong with the way rails are being run. There is simply too much weight placed in maximizing profits, whether by PSR or some other form of cost (corner) cutting, and insufficient emphasis on service and safety. 

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 11:59 AM

Euclid
Basically, I am wondering why bearings fail. 

I have in my possession a single roller from an air search radar.  The roller is 2.25" in diameter and 2.25" wide.  It has a pretty significant spall on the bearing surface - which is why I have it.  The bearing was replaced by another section of the unit I was assigned to at the time.  I worked on weather equipment.

Keep in mind that such radars have rather large rotating antennas, and that those antennas generally turn at a single digit RPM.  A railcar bearing on an axle with 36" wheels will turn 1760 times per mile.  A train doing 60 MPH will result in 1760 RPM.

I never saw any of the other rollers, and I wasn't involved in the changeout.

That said, it appears that it may have been a manufacturing defect that caused the spall. 

Bringing that over to railroads, it's not hard to conceive of a roller in a bearing failing, to the point that it comes apart and fouls the rest of the bearing, causing a pretty rapid failure thereof.

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 12:38 PM
Thanks Overmod,
 
That is good information.  I will look at those references.
 
Here is that video about by a guy who works for the Cumberland Mine Railroad.  In this case, the bearing heated up and the axle burned off in just 6.5 miles of continued running. 
 
Here it the video and some of his notes about the bearing failure:
 
Coal Car Derailed - Axle was Cut in Half!
 
 
99,698 views Dec 1, 2022 #Derailment
6 1/2 inch thick axle cut in half caused this hopper car to derail. Not a good day on the railroad. Hulcher to the rescue.
 
You'll see the cut in half axle along with several of the bearing parts which had been thrown from the truck set alongside the track. Bad wheel bearings happen on the railroad cars. I have no way of knowing who had made this bearing or where it was manufactured at. They are all sealed bearings and thus cannot be greased.
 
This bearing was a Brenco. Amsted Rail-Brenco is located in Petersburg Va. And from what I could find out that is where the bearings were manufactured.
 
I do know that axle bearings are subject to radial impact loading from jointed rail as well as flat spots on wheels. In addition they are subject to axial loads caused by lateral movement as the trains go thru curves. Thus there is an uncommon amount of these stresses on the axle bearings just from us having 16 miles of jointed track along with us having 70 curves over half of which are 7 degree or higher. Then there are additional stresses on the bearings from sections of track that may contain track perturbations as well as battered rail heads where the car wheel will "hit" harder than in normal track conditions.
 
So with that said, we have had a greater amount of bearings go bad over the years than many other railroads do and I think that a big part of that is because of our track adding uncommon amounts of stress to the bearings themselves.
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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 2:01 PM

 

Remember - Cumberland Mine cars spend more of their lives moving loaded than do the cars in the US interchangeable fleet.  I think the total distance operated is 17 miles - so the cars is loaded, moved 17 miles, emptied, moved 17 miles reloaded - rinse & repeat.  I suspect the cars experience multiple load cycles during a calendar day.

Cars in Interchange service among the Class 1 carriers, would be loaded and take 3 days to a week or more to get to the unloading location, get unloaded and then return to a loading location.  For a car to average two round trips per month would be considered high utilization.  In most cases the distance traveled in the round trip (for Eastern coal hauling) will be on the order of 600+/- miles.

The Cumberland Mine operation is a very high utiliztion operation for its equipment - both locomotives and cars.

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 2:08 PM

Even if they make 4 runs a day - that's only 68 miles a day loaded.  

 

That doesn't seem like a lot.   I know coal train sets go from Pittsburgh area to Consol, get unloaded usually within 24 hours, then head back, and return in a day or 2.  They probably go a couple hundred miles a day, average. 

  

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 2:21 PM

zugmann
Even if they make 4 runs a day - that's only 68 miles a day loaded.   

That doesn't seem like a lot.   I know coal train sets go from Pittsburgh area to Consol, get unloaded usually within 24 hours, then head back, and return in a day or 2.  They probably go a couple hundred miles a day, average. 

Day after day the mileage ads up.  At a 300 mile one way trip, interchange cars would be loaded for 600 miles in the month based on two round trips per month.

68 loaded miles per day is 680 miles each 10 days or 2040 miles on a extrapolated 30 day period.

I might add that the Consol operation at Baltimore, both NS and CSX are delivering carriers - in many cases Consol trains may wait a day or more for a track slot at the Consol facility.  

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  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Canterlot
  • 9,538 posts
Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 2:23 PM

BaltACD
I might add that the Consol operation at Baltimore, both NS and CSX are delivering carriers - in many cases Consol trains may wait a day or more for a track slot at the Consol facility.  

Not unless they are shut down.  They're pretty consistent at unloading within a day.  Now they're running double sets there. 

And 2 round trips a month?  I'm just looking at Pitts to Consol, but some of these trainsets make that in a week, easy. 

 

  

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  • Member since
    February 2007
  • From: Christiana, TN
  • 2,134 posts
Posted by CSX Robert on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 2:50 PM

BaltACD

 

 
zugmann
Even if they make 4 runs a day - that's only 68 miles a day loaded.   

That doesn't seem like a lot.   I know coal train sets go from Pittsburgh area to Consol, get unloaded usually within 24 hours, then head back, and return in a day or 2.  They probably go a couple hundred miles a day, average. 

 

Day after day the mileage ads up.  At a 300 mile one way trip, interchange cars would be loaded for 600 miles in the month based on two round trips per month.

68 loaded miles per day is 680 miles each 10 days or 2040 miles on a extrapolated 30 day period.

I might add that the Consol operation at Baltimore, both NS and CSX are delivering carriers - in many cases Consol trains may wait a day or more for a track slot at the Consol facility.  

 

Doesn't really matter if a car goes 10 miles a day or 1,000 miles a day, if a bearing can go from "fine" to derailing the car in 6.5 miles, it can do that in either case and is a problem.

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