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 Sir Ray » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:58 pm

Question - since the trains are required to stop before at that crossing before proceeding, is there a Stop Sign or equivalent signal for the train at that location? Or are some trains not required to stop at the crossing?

I know British railways have such signs at relevant locations, example here, but couldn't immediately find an equivalent North American sign.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby ExCon90 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:27 pm

Many U. S. railroads don't go in much for signs indicating things that crews are required to know anyway. There's usually a section of the Special Instructions in the employee timetable (which operating employees are required to have with them at all times) specifically listing crossings where a stop is required before proceeding.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby SwingMan » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:49 pm

No signage.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby jayrmli » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:46 am

Changing the way railroad rules and procedures are used because the general public is "nervous" is a dangerous path to travel down. These are the same people I see who go around the gates because they are "expert" enough to believe they can make it or that the gates are broken.

Here's what you will see if they put the circuitry back to the "way it used to be," as has been mentioned in this thread...Gates at this crossing will go down back where the old Haberman Station used to be and stay down for an extended period of time. Traffic builds at the busy crossing as the train rumbles along at a robust 10MPH and takes a LONG time to get to the crossing. People assume the gates are broken and start to drive around the gates, and maybe someone gets clipped. Then the same people who are complaining about the gates now will blame the driver, and start saying it was due to Darwin's Law or something. This forum is loaded with those comments.

There are no need for signage instructing crews to stop as they are supposed to be qualified over the rules and physical characteristics of the routes they travel over.

Again, it will be determined that this incident happened due to negligence by the train crew. The sentence in the last paragraph is what should be focused on...not the gates.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby Head-end View » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:54 pm

If all trains are required to stop at a certain crossing(s) there should probably be signage anyway, the rulebook not withstanding. Another layer of redundant protection might be a good thing. After all they have signs with speed limits, and the "W" to remind the engineer to sound the horn for crossings, so why not a "stop sign" of some sort too where that rule applies?
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby freightguy » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:55 pm

by Head-end View » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:54 pm

If all trains are required to stop at a certain crossing(s) there should probably be signage anyway, the rulebook not withstanding. Another layer of redundant protection might be a good thing. After all they have signs with speed limits, and the "W" to remind the engineer to sound the horn for crossings, so why not a "stop sign" of some sort too where that rule applies?


So you're saying make it idiot proof? That's part of earning the big bucks. Like when they added the signs "derail" or "hand thrown switch." They used to just assume you were aware of those without signage denoting such.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby awtprod » Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:21 pm

Hey why not? Other railroads do it. I can only assume they these stop signs are for the trains.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby freightguy » Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:07 pm

I don't think throwing a sign up would made a difference. Seems like the inexperienced engineer was going to tag that truck at speed regardless. Even when LIRR had that area trains of certain weights and lengths could bypass the stop and proceed signals because it was such a huge grade at Mount Olivet. An unfortunate incident and extremely luckily it didn't result in more of direct hit or death. Not to veer off topic, but sometimes changes don't do much.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby railfan365 » Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:58 pm

There SHOULD BE uniform rules for ALL crossings. Basically, the train goes, the road vehicles wait, and there's either signal lights or a lights and gates combination that give adequate notice of an approaching train, or a clear cut obligation for drivers to STOP, LOOK, LISTEN.

I am not supposing where the fault lies in this case, but having different protocols at some crossings only heightens the risks.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby DogBert » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:11 pm

Call me paranoid all day, but my opinion isn't going to change. We had a redundant safety system - a train operation rule stating trains must stop at this crossing, and crossing protection that activated in advance of the trains arrival. This second system was modified to a point where it was rendered useless in this particular incident, and is unnerving to many who encounter it on a daily basis.

Some of you are taking the argument to the other extreme - 'if gates go down and no train comes in a minute or two, people will think it's broken'. Yes. But why on earth would the protection be reset to activate when a train is just plain too close to a crossing (as myself and others are complaining about)? Even if the operator of this train was moving slower, those gates don't look like they would have activated until the train close enough that most people would start to wonder if they're going to go down at all.

Perception is reality. If the public perceives there's a problem with the crossing protection, there's a problem. People will complain - and they should complain. Complaints are great actionable feedback regardless what industry you're in.

What was this track previously rated for in terms of speed? 40mph? I get the need to retime/rewire/whatever-the-right-word-is the gates for a slower speed limit, but it seems like they went way too far. Grandma over there on 88th ave shouldn't be complaining that the train is apparently a few feet from the crossing before there's any warning.

History taught a lesson with the bushwick incident that has been thrown out the window - if there were another runaway incident, there's not going to be a train crew to keep the cars within the speed limit or to stop at the crossing. That incident is the only one to have made the news. My understanding is several of the derailed cars littering east new york over the years came from runaway incidents.

For the record I think there were several factors here: operator error, badly configured crossing protection, the curve in the track limiting visibility, the concrete blocks that the aggregate customer put up which made visibility at this crossing far worse. If you're driving north/east on maspeth ave, you really can't see the secondary tracks until you're maybe feet from the crossing, if not already in it.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby DogBert » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:34 pm

SwingMan wrote:
The way this crossing protection is set-up for safety is quite simple. Traffic can flow normally right up until the train at restricted speed comes upon the crossing in which case drivers can take action to the train. People can adapt, but you seem to make it out like a certain minority of people cannot. Just go down to L.I. City and watch trains approach the Borden Avenue crossing PREPARED TO STOP while crossing activation is activated.


C'mon. You're talking about two very very different crossings. L.I.C. (11th street, I believe) is constantly active during weekdays, often with trains idling feet from it. There's also a very small population of people using that crossing - no homes and only industry. It's not hard to get a limited population used to a pattern that has existed since that yard opened...

Up until LIRR stopped moving equipment on this route (what, 3, 4 years ago tops?), trains moved through the (now former) secondary tracks in Maspeth and many of the other crossings at track speed, with protection activating before the train showed up. Freight was the same way. Don't try to tell me otherwise because I've seen it myself, and probably have photos to boot (or have I not observed this route enough? :P ). Advanced activation was the expectation of those using these crossings, built in by decades of experience. What we seem to have now is activation coming at a point that worries people - they see a train very close to a crossing and the gates not going down - they question if something isn't broken.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:40 pm

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/f ... way--45156
rumor is FRA is specially interested in opinions of this forum.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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

Postby Head-end View » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:52 pm

LOL Dutch, surely you jest.......LOL
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby DogBert » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:19 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:http://www.progressiverailroading.com/federal_legislation_regulation/news/FRA-launches-safety-review-of-New-York-Atlantic-Railway--45156
rumor is FRA is specially interested in opinions of this forum.


Much more likely that local politicians (pushed by normal concerned people that use these crossings) and chuck the schmuck are wondering if this wasn't more than a one-time lapse in judgement.

Everyone seems content to blame the engineer, but if you don't even look at the other issues you'll never get the whole picture. Oh but wait, is FRA is ridiculous and paranoid too?

Good. It's their job to be.
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Re: Slow moving Freight train hits Tractor-Trailer 7/8/2015

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:13 pm

The FRA is giving the NY&A the same kind of "Investagation" that MNR got after their wrecks,
looking over the entire operation of the RR and when running with the LIRR as well.
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