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METRA - Video footage of malfunctioning crossing

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METRA - Video footage of malfunctioning crossing
Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, May 28, 2021 8:44 PM

Watch the conductor at video mark 4:10.....(heh-heh).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3CW2U4oCC8

 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, May 28, 2021 9:39 PM

If this video wasn't two years old I'd wonder if someone got the bright idea of defunding the crossing gates.   

Wink

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, May 29, 2021 3:15 AM

Flintlock76
If this video wasn't two years old I'd wonder if someone got the bright idea of defunding the crossing gates.   

Note how many trains run across the crossing and none of them realize that gee, maybe one of us should flag the crossing per the rules.    You have to wonder how long it took for the report of the malfunctioning gates to have any effect on METRA's operations.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, May 29, 2021 9:33 AM

CMStPnP
 Note how many trains run across the crossing and none of them realize that gee, maybe one of us should flag the crossing per the rules.    You have to wonder how long it took for the report of the malfunctioning gates to have any effect on METRA's operations.

Were the trains that did not stop NOTIFIED of the the crossing malfunction.

The first train 410 had the protection work properly.  412 had the protection not work in advance of the train and should have been the train that reported the malfunction, I also suspect some of the 'near misses' may have reported the malfunction on the cell phones.  However, we are not provided this information.

Once the Train Dispatcher was notified of the crossing malfunction - by any of the responsible parties - the appropriate Train Message should have been issued to ALL trains that would be transversing that point.  I don't know what METRA's (or the freight carriers on whose tracks METRA is operating upon) specific rules are in what the Train Message is to state as the appropriate actions.

410 passed at 0705 wihtout crossing protection failure. 412 passed the location at 0722 with the protection not operating.  416 passed the location at 0800 and the protection 'kinda' worked - much too late.  506 at 0843 had complete failure, however, there appears to be a Signal Maintaners truck on site and we are not privy to any communications that may have occurred between the Maintainer and 506.  508 obviously was in possession of a 'Stop & Flag' style train message and complied with it.

Without having records of what the Train Dispatcher knew, when he knew it and what he did about it - everything else is conjecture.

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Posted by chatanuga on Saturday, May 29, 2021 8:22 PM

That video is a perfect example of why you always expect a train at a crossing, regardless of whether or not the signals are operating.

Kevin

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, May 30, 2021 12:42 PM

BaltACD
Were the trains that did not stop NOTIFIED of the the crossing malfunction.

I am not sure but once again this is an area of railroad "safety" I just cannot understand why it is so lacking.    Whose idea was it to post signs everywhere on if you see this crossing signal malfunction please call this number?    Seriously?    You can't build a self monitoring circuit that calls a control center via celluar if something is detected wrong?     We are not talking a huge expense per crossing here either.   

Now in remote areas without cellular coverage yes it would be more expensive because then you would have to rely on satellite phone technology.    Even so the railroads should be able to afford this and in my view it would be a trivial cost for greatly enhanced safety.

Now, I heard that PTC monitors crossing signals now but I am not sure to what extent it does so and also unsure of the reporting mechanism.    Would be curious to find out.    Just seems that railroads do not care all that much about safety when there is money involved or when money has to be spent.

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, May 30, 2021 12:48 PM

CMStPnP
Now, I heard that PTC monitors crossing signals now but I am not sure to what extent it does so and also unsure of the reporting mechanism.    Would be curious to find out.    Just seems that railroads do not care all that much about safety when there is money involved or when money has to be spent.

Have you read anything about Denver's fun adventures with PTC crossing gates? 

  

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, May 30, 2021 2:49 PM

CMStPnP
 
BaltACD
Were the trains that did not stop NOTIFIED of the the crossing malfunction. 

I am not sure but once again this is an area of railroad "safety" I just cannot understand why it is so lacking.    Whose idea was it to post signs everywhere on if you see this crossing signal malfunction please call this number?    Seriously?    You can't build a self monitoring circuit that calls a control center via celluar if something is detected wrong?     We are not talking a huge expense per crossing here either.   

Self monitoring circuits fail too.  

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, May 30, 2021 2:59 PM

zugmann
CMStPnP
Now, I heard that PTC monitors crossing signals now but I am not sure to what extent it does so and also unsure of the reporting mechanism.    Would be curious to find out.    Just seems that railroads do not care all that much about safety when there is money involved or when money has to be spent.

Have you read anything about Denver's fun adventures with PTC crossing gates? 

I'd rather not, we in Edmonton still have PTSD from the years of fighting with crossings and signals on a new LRT line.  Edmonton Transit eventually gave up on trying to repair the system while it was in operation and took it out of service, with the trains operating at restricted speed in the meantime.  It got depressing enough that I stopped paying attention, and I'm not sure if the system was ever repaired properly or if they just outright replaced it.

Balt is spot on about how defective crossing protection works, and the same goes for new slow orders or planned protection zones (Rule 42 in Canada) where the flags may not be in place.  

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, May 31, 2021 7:26 AM

Still. the number of 'incidents" resulting from deliberate violators appears far greater than those from defective crossing protection.

Has anyone designed or marketed a crossing-protection system based on a train interrupting a lazer beam?

It would be fail-safe and coiuld be the redundant system parallel with the existing track-circuit system.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 5:20 PM

The lazer beam would probably get a lot of false activations from deer, birds or two-legged 'wildlife' messing with it.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 5:57 PM

SD70Dude
The lazer beam would probably get a lot of false activations from deer, birds or two-legged 'wildlife' messing with it.

I purchased a movement detector so I could respond when FedEx would arrive with a package that required my signature.  Deliveries are made to my side door that opens onto my driveway and is approximately 100 feet from the street.  My 'office' is not in ear shot of a knock on the side door.

After I installed the detector it would go off 'seemingly for nothing'.  As a result of all the 'false activations' I also purchased a 'Trail Camera' that is also motion activated.  One would be amazed at all the squirrels, rabits, foxes, deer, possum, cats and dogs that will wander around a typical suburban house

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Posted by zugmann on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 6:26 PM

SD70Dude
The lazer beam would probably get a lot of false activations from deer, birds or two-legged 'wildlife' messing with it.

Rain, snow, and fog, too.  

 

We have some industry gates that use those.  They've closed on top of our trains already. 

  

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 8:25 PM

Nothing works.  Costs too much.  Let's do nothing.  Same ol same ol.

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Posted by zugmann on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 8:56 PM

charlie hebdo
Nothing works.  Costs too much.  Let's do nothing.  Same ol same ol.

Let's learn from what doesn't work to make it actually work. 

  

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 1:50 AM

When you think about it, the current "same ol same ol" is actually pretty reliable.  How many level crossings with automatic warning devices exist in North America, and how often do they fail in this manner?

I've never actually personally seen one fail to activate for a train, the failures I've encountered have always involved devices that would not deactivate after a train passed.  Or they had been damaged by a vehicle attempting to beat the gates.  

I'm sure the laser (now that I've remembered how to spell) could be mounted and programmed in such a way as to minimize 'false alarms' from animals, weather and debris.  But this system would still be susceptible to the power loss and human error situations that have typically led to crossings failing to work in the past, and it would probably not be any more reliable than the current track circuit-based system in those cases.  

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 7:36 AM

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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