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String Lining.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, April 25, 2020 1:47 PM

seppburgh2
This past week in Central Pennsylvania, NS seems to have suffered a classical mid-train string-lining situation.

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/04/train-derails-in-perry-county-near-susquehanna-river.html

Being a Professional IT Project Manager, my job is to look out for risks and developed mitigation strategies.  So when a train is assessed and turned over to the train crew, does the crew walk the length of the train to ID a String Lining car arrangement?  If so, and one is found such as what is pictured in the above news feed, are they allowed to have the cars rearranged to prevent it? My two cents is the time at the terminal to rearrange the cars is worth losing the main for several days.  Thoughts from the experts here?

I don't know exact NS procedures.

On CSX crews receive 'Train Documents' for the train they are to be handling.  Among the 'exceptional' items that the Train Documents identify is the location High-Wides, Hazmats, Long Cars, Short cars - a HAZGRAPH of the train is provided that graphically represents loads, empties, and a number of issues that various cars may have as identified in the Train Handling Rules.  In addition to that each Sub Division has its own TTSI (Time Table Special Instructions) that may have specific restrictions on the specific Sub Division.

When I was last working, The S word had great impact upon the operations.  Crews could appeal 'train make up issues' on the basis of safety and compliance with Train Handling Rules and request that the train be brought into compliance.  Local Operating Officials could over rule the S word - however, if something happened it could be their career.  What it is like in the EHH world of CSX, I have no idea.

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Sunday, April 26, 2020 11:10 AM

2 - 3 months ago NS had a pair of string-lining type derailments on Horseshoe Curve that rated a thread or two here, with much the same comments.  The difference here is that this one occurred on what used to be known as the "Middle Division" (now Harrisburg?), whereas Horseshoe Curve is on the Pittsburg Division.  Despite these incidents being less than 100 miles apart, vastly different curvature and grade characteristics. 

Still, NS needs to look at its train-makeup rules, compliance with same, and train-handling by the crews.  Some changes seem to be indicated . . . OTOH, how much traffic is running these days?  Maybe that's why it happened - trying to combine 2 trains into 1? 

- PDN. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, April 26, 2020 12:03 PM

Paul_D_North_Jr
Maybe that's why it happened - trying to combine 2 trains into 1? 

I would opine that pre-blocking may play a part as well.  If the troublesome cars should be in the block for "A", but that puts them at the head of the train...

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 26, 2020 12:29 PM

tree68
I would opine that pre-blocking may play a part as well.

I think this is likely.  In a 'computerized' system not administered and run by bean counters, this could be addressed comparatively easily with a quick reiteration of train resistance each time a block is added to a consist -- this quite possibly calling for more than one cut and flat switch to reorganize the prospective order of cars.  A good PSR system would do this predictively to the extent that traffic flows within the consist's 'lifetime' were reasonably anticipated or "known".

Let he who sees, understand.

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Posted by Juniata Man on Sunday, April 26, 2020 1:30 PM

From what I have read on Train Orders; the cars that derailed at the west end of Rockville Bridge were more to the center of the train, with roughly 80 some odd cars behind and another 70-80 ahead.  While the photos and the location of the derailment on a curve would tend to confirm this was a string line derailment; my personal jury is still out regarding whether train makeup or some other factor was the primary cause.

Curt

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, April 26, 2020 1:46 PM

Juniata Man
From what I have read on Train Orders; the cars that derailed at the west end of Rockville Bridge were more to the center of the train, with roughly 80 some odd cars behind and another 70-80 ahead.  While the photos and the location of the derailment on a curve would tend to confirm this was a string line derailment; my personal jury is still out regarding whether train makeup or some other factor was the primary cause.

Curt

It doesn't particularly matter where in the train the susceptible cars are located - it is more the matter of how much trailing tonnage is behind the susceptible cars.  The trailing tonnage is what 'draws the string tight'.  That 'tonnage' can be increased by attempting to move the train BEFORE brakes have fully released on the rear of the train.

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Posted by Juniata Man on Sunday, April 26, 2020 2:54 PM

My thought as well Balt.  I recollect a string line derailment on the old bridge at Harpers Ferry a few years back where exactly that happened; the engineer started pulling before the train brakes and completed releasing.

Curt

 

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Posted by cx500 on Sunday, April 26, 2020 3:02 PM

CPR has what is called TrAM (train/area marshalling) which when the computer creates the consist list checks it for marshaling violations, such as long empty cars ahead of lots of tonnage.  The criteria vary with the territory, depending of gradients, curvature, etc, with I think something like four classes.  It also factors in the location of DPUs so must have fairly sophisticated algorithms.

Of course meeting the TrAM criteria does mean assembling the train can take more time, and a set-off may not be in the most convenient portion of the train.  That will take longer, which the PSR fanatics hate and why they prefer to ignore basic physics.  It ususally takes several derailments before it finally sinks in to their narrow minds that just maybe what the veterans are telling them might be correct.

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, April 26, 2020 7:22 PM

Juniata Man
My thought as well Balt.  I recollect a string line derailment on the old bridge at Harpers Ferry a few years back where exactly that happened; the engineer started pulling before the train brakes and completed releasing.

Curt

It was only about 6 months ago - a train of grain empties heading from Winchester to Brunswick - started pulling before the air had released on the rear of the train and stringlined several cars from the head end into the Shenandoah River.

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Posted by NDG on Sunday, April 26, 2020 9:14 PM

Good Point.

Thank You.

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, April 27, 2020 8:16 AM

cx500

CPR has what is called TrAM (train/area marshalling) which when the computer creates the consist list checks it for marshaling violations, such as long empty cars ahead of lots of tonnage.  The criteria vary with the territory, depending of gradients, curvature, etc, with I think something like four classes.  It also factors in the location of DPUs so must have fairly sophisticated algorithms.

Of course meeting the TrAM criteria does mean assembling the train can take more time, and a set-off may not be in the most convenient portion of the train.  That will take longer, which the PSR fanatics hate and why they prefer to ignore basic physics.  It ususally takes several derailments before it finally sinks in to their narrow minds that just maybe what the veterans are telling them might be correct.

 

These people who are so hot for PSR before they have learned some of the basics of operating railroads are as bad as, if not worse than, the man who was hired off the street and put into some supervisory position--he noticed that there were short sections of rail here and there that had no direct connection to the running rails, and suggested that they be taken up and put to use as running rails; he was told that they were guard rails and were highly useful right where they were.

Johnny

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Posted by Juniata Man on Monday, April 27, 2020 8:30 AM

BaltACD

 That was only six months ago?  Geez!  I guess this solitary confinement has warped my sense of time!

Curt

 
Juniata Man
My thought as well Balt.  I recollect a string line derailment on the old bridge at Harpers Ferry a few years back where exactly that happened; the engineer started pulling before the train brakes and completed releasing.

Curt

 

It was only about 6 months ago - a train of grain empties heading from Winchester to Brunswick - started pulling before the air had released on the rear of the train and stringlined several cars from the head end into the Shenandoah River.

 

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 12:20 PM
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 1:52 PM

McKeen carbodies seem to have been overbuilt since they have found a lot of non-railroad uses.  Too bad that the mechanicals didn't work so well.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 2:11 PM

I wonder if it's still there?  Hmm

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 3:03 PM

The McKeen cars were certainly unique - there's no mistaking them for much of anything else.

A short line here (the Carthage and Copenhagen - 7 miles, 1906 - 1918) had one.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, April 30, 2020 7:16 PM

Flintlock76

I wonder if it's still there?  Hmm

Northern Alberta had two, inherited from the Alberta & Great Waterways, who had acquired them secondhand from an American line.  The other carbody was at Dunvegan Yard in northwest Edmonton.  They both got scrapped decades ago.  Were just rusty, empty shells by that time anyway. 

One of my NAR history books has the approximate date, but I can't find it right now (being bored from self-isolation, the kat decided to attack my library last week).

NAR was an extreme example of the 'hoarder' mindset that so many railroads had.  Nothing was ever thrown away, all old equipment was shoved off to the side or out back in a yard, awaiting the day when it might be needed.  Or to be used as a shed to store parts salvaged from still other cars that had rotted or rusted away. 

CN cleaned out and disposed of most of the former NAR yards and servicing facilities during the 1980s.  Most of the old yard in Dawson Creek is now an empty field.

The A&GW acquired the McKeens to run a express passenger/vacation service from Edmonton to a new resort and hotel at Lac La Biche.  This venture did not work out for a variety of reasons, notably the economic depression created by the First World War.  The unreliability of the McKeens probably did not help.

https://mckeencar.com/gallery/a/alberta-and-great-waterways-railway/

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, May 3, 2020 1:25 PM

There is something wrong in this picture:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=4683006

I'm chuckling, but I suppose it's only funny to CN history geeks like myself.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, May 4, 2020 10:07 AM

CN power in what was a Soo Line town (CP is implied) is ironic.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by MikeF90 on Friday, May 8, 2020 2:00 PM

Another BNSF derailment happened this AM on Tehachapi, this one near tunnel 7 (YT drone video here).  This will take some large skyhook to clean up, as one engine is on its side. BTW the Google aerials are slightly out of date as the siding was extended toward the tunnel a few years ago.

Links to my Google Maps ---> Sunset Route overview, SoCal metro, Yuma sub, Gila sub, SR east of Tucson, BNSF Northern Transcon and Southern Transcon

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, May 8, 2020 4:25 PM

MikeF90
Another BNSF derailment happened this AM on Tehachapi, this one near tunnel 7 (YT drone video here).  This will take some large skyhook to clean up, as one engine is on its side. BTW the Google aerials are slightly out of date as the siding was extended toward the tunnel a few years ago.

Has all the characteristics of a string line derailment - double stacks with most likely empty containers on the head end and excessive trailing tonnage - either no DPU or the DPU failed and could not prevent excessive draft forces from being generated on the head end of the train.

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, May 8, 2020 6:44 PM

The fourth loco almost took quite the ride by the looks of it.  

LarryWhistling
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Posted by Overmod on Friday, May 8, 2020 7:07 PM

From the looks of how that trailing unit came to rest, I'd suspect a very sudden and massive drag on part of the consist further back in the train -- perhaps more sudden than a typical DPU failure; if they hadn't pulled the trailing consist away from the site so quickly I'd suspect a derailment.  Almost like a snapback pull spilling that last unit.  Made me think of that Brazilian video where they're trying to slide part of a locomotive in the ditch and manage to pull the consist over.

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Posted by NDG on Saturday, May 9, 2020 8:49 PM

 

A Canadian Pacific Favourite..
 
Train No. 12.
 
Crowsnest Mountain, Alberta.
 
N. Morant. 1952.
 
 

Thank You.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, May 9, 2020 9:41 PM

Our finest years as a country. By far. 

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Saturday, May 9, 2020 11:49 PM

 

FYI.
 
High Water, Bridges and Washouts. Former Kootenay Division. June 6, 1995.
 
 
Bridge Fabro  M. 6.9.  Cranbrook Sub. Washed out behind West Abutment. White Rip Rap.
 
 
Looking South/Upstream. M.6.9.  Cranbrook Sub, Bottom.  Wye South To Corbin. Top.
 
 
 
Bridge M  8.24.
 
 
 
Bridge M. 15.96.  NOTE. Old GN Ry WYE top Right. ( Great Northern Rd. )
 
 
Bridge M. 36.67.
 
 
Hwy. 3 closed for over a Week btwn Natal and The Crow.
 

Thank You.

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Sunday, May 10, 2020 10:30 AM

NDG
. . . High Water, Bridges and Washouts. Former Kootenay Division. June 6, 1995.  
 
. . . Thank You.

Looks like that'll be a good read when I have a little more time.  
 
By John Unsworth, later the author of Design of Modern Steel Railway Bridges (CRC Press, 2010) - see https://www.amazon.com/Design-Modern-Steel-Railway-Bridges/dp/1420082175 .  Looks like there's now a 2017 2nd edition titled "Design and Construction of Modern Steel Railway Bridges".
 
- PDN. 
"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by NDG on Sunday, May 10, 2020 12:32 PM

 

Two Great Bridges.
 
Not all the large Trestle Bridges are in the West.
 
Here is another, in the East just upstream from Quebec City.
 
Cap Rouge.
 
 
 
 
Years ago, Five decades, in fact it was possible to travel
from Montreal to Quebec City by CNR, on the South Shore
and later in the day, return to Montreal on CPR, on the North Shore,
via Trois Rivieres, the CPR Train often behind an E8 and a GMD B.,
 
 Sometimes a Psgr 244 RS10, they being freight geared.
 
 
Anyway.
 
Crossing the St. Lawrence River is The Quebec Bridge, a Marvelous Structure
best viewed from the rear door of the last coach.
 
The Conductor understood.
 
 
 
 
Much, Much more on the Internet.
 
If a copy can be found, a WONDERFUL resource.
 
 
We knew there were two great bridges in the same area and wondered if both the Quebec Bridge AND the Cap Rouge Bridge could be photographed TOGETHER from above?
 
The Answer.
 
 
The Internet, Again!
 
 
If it could be done, it Would have been a great trip to Travel
by Rail from Portland, Maine to Quebec City and thence to Ottawa via Jolliette/St. Jerome/Grenville/Hawkesury on the Ottawa R. and beyond.
 
 
 
From Ottawa, a person could have traveled The Central,
 
Crossed the St. Lawrence once again and on into the USA.
 
 
 
FWIW.
 
As a Codocil.
 
Outbound,  you would have crossed the St. Lawrence ex Montreal on the Victoria Bridge..
 
M&SC on downstream side, left, thru 1955.
 
 
South Shore View.
 
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f8/RailTram_19091030_MSC_PremierTramArriveASt-Lambert.jpg/800px-RailTram_19091030_MSC_PremierTramArriveASt-Lambert.jpg
 
 
Thank You.

 

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Sunday, May 10, 2020 4:01 PM

NDG, thanks for the link to the Middleton book.  That bridge's history is also related briefly in his Landmarks on the Iron Road (if I recall that title correctly).  A lot for eningeers to learn from that tragaic but ultimately successful accomplishment.  We would never tolerate loss of life on that scale today.  In 2017 was its centennial - not many other engineering projects have survived as long and still in service.  The robber barons today would never build something like that.

- PDN. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
NDG
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Posted by NDG on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 1:10 PM

 

NDG, thanks for the link to the Middleton book.

 

You are welcome, Mr. P.D. North.
 
There was another bridge collapse durning construction in the West.
 
Second Narrows Bridge. Vancouver, B.C.  June 17, 1958.
 
 
 
Some Great Images at this site.  Note pier left, canted to left.
 
 
 
Once again, much, much more on the Internet.
 
Another book from Mr. Middleton.  Read.
 
 
 
Bridge at Montreal. Once named The Harbour Bridge.
 
 
 
For years it was a topic of conversation IF Streetcars actually DID cross Pont Jacques Cartier or were set back, then Autobussed, account the effect of The Great Depression.
 
Anyway, this photograph has appeared showing rail and trolley wire entering the bridge from the Ile Ste Helene side for a shuttle car ( Navette ) service.
 
 
The streetcar was converted to Autobus,  the RoWs converted to roadways.
 
The Montreal and Southern Counties had a loop at the South Shore end.
 

http://www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/photos/cnr_interurban/MSC_324.jpg

 
 
 
A nice way to travel, after the War.
 
Leaving Downtown for the South Shore.
 


Montreal in July.
 
 
 
And So On.
 

Merci.

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