Maspeth: Slow moving Freight hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:41 pm

If the New Penn truck had any Haz-Mat in the trailer and Placards displayed,the driver IS required to STOP,
open a window,LOOK and LISTEN for train movement!
Then proceed across the tracks.
Figure on NY&A needing to add a Flagman when switching that crossing in the future,
and LIRR checking all the track circuts for that crossing,Main and siding tracks.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby Tommy Meehan » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:07 am

I believe the crossing involved is the Maspeth Avenue crossing on the Lower Montauk Branch. This was formerly the old Long Island City-Jamaica non-electrified route of the LIRR. Maspeth Avenue is near (just east I think) of the old Maspeth freight yard, near where a passenger station called Haberman was once located. Until about 1998 or 1999 two Oyster Bay revenue trains used to use the branch each way Mon-Fri and I rode the first afternoon eastbound a number of times. There was no station building at Haberman, passengers used to board at a grade crossing (not Maspeth Avenue but 49th Street).

The Lower Montauk was reportedly sold to NY&A in 2012 or 2013. LIRR doesn't use it anymore. But I wonder if NY&A acquired the use of the line or outright ownership? Who is responsible for maintaining crossing gates? NY&A or MTA-LIRR?
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby Backshophoss » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:08 pm

LIRR downgraded the Lower Montauk to Secondary track status and retired the ABS signal system,
then gave the NY&A control of all the freight trackage Jamaica to Bay Ridge.
LIRR still owns the track and tends to the grade crossing signals.
This includes the Lower Montauk and "C" secondary,Jamaica to LI CITY,
Bay Ridge Branch,Fremont(CSX and P+W interchange)to Bay Ridge(NJNY{port authorty} and NYCTA(subway} interchange),
and the Bushwick Branch.
Unknown if NY&A still switches the Arch street Shop for LIRR.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby Tommy Meehan » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:22 pm

Backshophoss wrote:LIRR still owns the track and tends to the grade crossing signals.


That's interesting, thanks. Another level of management between a crew reporting the gates weren't working and the track crew that actually has to go out and make the repair.

If NY&A had purchased the line outright they would also have to pay property taxes too I suppose. If LIRR is still the owner of record I would guess the line is probably still tax-exempt.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby DogBert » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:03 pm

Head-end View wrote: Then later in the report you see a train go thru the crossing with NO activation of the crossing protection. I can't believe what I'm seeing, but the video doesn't lie.


And this is where the magic of editing video comes to play when you want to make a scary news story. NY&A uses a 3 man crew switching maspeth - they don't always use the gates - they flag the crossing with a live person. They can be there 2 or 3 hours going over that crossing a few times, and during weekday afternoons the traffic is heavy enough that using the gates would back up traffic. Flagging keeps everyone moving and works well.

You basically have a crossing in the middle of a yard. The only way to make it 100% safe is to remove the crossing entirely.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby Tommy Meehan » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:59 am

Was this train a yard move or a train headed to Fresh Pond? The crews sometimes deactivate the gates and flag the crossing? That's interesting because residents say the gates sometimes don't work. Is it possible the Maspeth yard crews deactivate the gates and then occasionally fail to reactivate them when they're finished switching?

If there was a crew member present who was flagging this move across Maspeth Avenue I'd say they didn't do a very good job. :-)
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby DogBert » Sun Jul 12, 2015 3:25 pm

This was a through train, from blissville heading back to fresh pond. The gates should have gone down faster. It's also a new move - handling only WM cars - they only started this last month. It's also heavy loaded trash cars - loads haven't been moved out of LIC in decades.

Lemme back up a sec - they flag the crossing when switching maspeth because the gates are only on the mainline tracks. There are 4 additional yard/siding tracks that cross the road. When they are switching, they flag the crossing. Often the moves require blocking the crossing entirely for a few minutes. I'm pretty sure there's some videos on youtube that show some of the shuffling that goes on when they're working maspeth. It's quite the oddball RR show.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby freightguy » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:18 pm

Doesn't the one gate still protect the south most track(yard TRK 8) when the knife switch is activated for yard switching? Years ago that south gate would come down and the gate adjacent to lower MTK number one track when the switch was pulled. The crossing gate next to where the truck was struck would remain upright next to number two track on lower Montauk.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby Head-end View » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:53 pm

Somebody said in an earlier post either here or on the LIRR thread that the track speed limit there is only 10mph. Is that just for the yard tracks or the former Lower-Montauk tracks 1 & 2 also? If so, 10mph, seems unrealistic for trains traveling several miles to the main-line. The train in the collision video appeared to be running considerably faster.
Last edited by Head-end View on Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby Tommy Meehan » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:57 pm

For clarity sake below is a Streetview photo of the crossing, looking along Maspeth Avenue towards Rust Street (the direction the truck was traveling on Wednesday morning). The gate closest to the camera on the right is at Yard Track 8. The gate further away on the right is at main track 2 and the gate furthest from the camera, on the left, is located at main track 1.

Image
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby Tommy Meehan » Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:18 pm

Head-end View wrote:Somebody said in an earlier post either here or on the LIRR thread that the track speed limit there is only 10mph.


In an article in the New York Times this past February -- which I found to be pretty favorable to New York & Atlantic -- the NY&A's President said their trains are limited to 10 mph anywhere within New York City.
Paul M. Victor, the president of the New York & Atlantic, credited the improved safety record of recent years partly to the railroad’s policy of not running its trains faster than 10 miles per hour within city limits. In addition, he said, as a matter of operational procedure, trains are slowed almost to a standstill before passing over crossings....He said he was happy with the company’s safety record in recent years, given that its freight trains cross public streets 40 or 50 times daily in Brooklyn and Queens. But he added, “It is impossible to eliminate all risk." Link to article
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby Head-end View » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:21 pm

I guess it didn't quite work out that way......... And as I said earlier, 10mph is unrealistic. You can ride a bicycle faster than that............
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby jayrmli » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:03 am

A bicycle can stop a lot quicker than a freight train.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby SwingMan » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:37 am

It is realistic. It's a secondary track, not a main track anymore. With the amount of trains they are running and how dangerous some of these crossings can be, 10mph is the perfect speed for this area. In this situation, it has become more and more apparent that this will be an operator error and fines will be harsh.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby jtunnel » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:08 am

Not to pile on, but they could have been making a run for the hill.
Mt. Olivet is the steepest grade on Long Island and trash cars are heavy.
When they were running trash out of Maspeth for SAB Trucking (GADX flats) sometimes the train would almost stall at the top of the hill, quite a smoke and sound show as it came from under the factory over the tracks.
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