Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

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Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby PrimeMover » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:34 am

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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby SRich » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:30 am

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/amt ... as-n537681

Amtrak said it was working with BNSF, which owns and maintains the track, to investigate the cause of the incident.
Of the 128 passengers and 14 crew on board, around 20 people were transported to local hospitals, according to Amtrak


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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby Rockingham Racer » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:12 am

The westbound train has just started a detour via Wellington and Amarillo.
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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby TrainPhotos » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:34 am

Here is a local news page on the incident..

Just after midnight early Monday morning the Amtrak Southwest Chief train derailed roughly 3 miles outside Cimarron as it was heading east towards its normal stop in Dodge City.

According to a release from Amtrak, the train, traveling along Burlington Northern Sante Fe tracks, was going from Los Angeles to Chicago with 128 passengers and 14 employees on board. Amtrak said in the release there are no life-threatening injuries, but that wasn't confirmed by local authorities.


http://www.dodgeglobe.com/news/20160314 ... r-cimarron
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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby TrainPhotos » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:45 am

Local CBS coverage with video and photos..

Amtrak says its "Southwest Chief" has derailed 20 miles west of Dodge City near Cimarron on a BNSF track. It tells us 128 passengers and 14 crew members were on board at the time.
Our reporter on scene says several people have have been transported to Dodge City and Garden City hospitals. Amtrak says initial reports indicate none of those on board suffered life-threatening injuries.



http://www.kwch.com/news/local-news/amt ... y/38500994
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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:57 pm

Some news reports note #4(12), the derailed Southwest Chief was nine cars; nine cars would mean V-Bag, 2 Sleepers, Diner, Lounge, 3 Coaches.

From photos circulated by media, three Coaches, are on their side, Lounge part way, and presumably everything else is upright and maybe even on the rails.

I'd think Amtrak can "live" through its slow season without that equipment. Maybe they can even get the Coaches back for peak season. Worst case; a #370XX Diner-Lounge "pinch hits" for the Sightseer. Of course, since Auto Train still runs with two Lounges after the threat to cut one off during '14, there is one Sightseer in that pool. Yank it and put a 37- in its place. Nobody will miss it - at least I wouldn't.

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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby ThirdRail7 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:02 pm

They were lucky. Thank goodness no one was killed.
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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby ACeInTheHole » Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:20 pm

yes, between this one and the ACE train that ended up in the water, id say two very lucky outcomes. this train derailed i think doing 70 or so mph.
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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby Jehochman » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:25 pm

An engineer noticed a significant bend in a rail ahead and hit the emergency brakes before the passenger train derailed, a government official told the Associated Press. The train appeared to have been traveling at about 75 miles when the engineer pulled the emergency break.


http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/03/14/in ... ansas.html

AP is reporting that an unreported motor vehicle accident may have damaged the rails. A road running parallel to the tracks is seen in the photos.
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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:00 pm

The MP 373 was seen in a NBC news video,this is 40 mph freight MAS,maybe 55-60 passenger MAS at best
at this part of the La junta Sub.
#4(13) was turned on the Abajo wye and sent to Belen,then east on the transconn,after the stop at ABQ,
#3(13) might have been rerouted at Newton to Mulvane then on the transconn west.
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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby Jehochman » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:50 pm

This story said the train was going 60.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/loca ... 9838930768

The tracks run along Highway 50, which has no barrier that would prevent a vehicle from leaving the roadway and driving near or onto the tracks. The road and tracks are separated by a shallow depression.

Authorities were examining tire tracks leading to the rails. The damage did not appear to be intentional, Gray County sheriff's Deputy J.G. Sharp said.
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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby TrainPhotos » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:31 pm

There are "farmer" access crossings for equipment to get to fields all over this area. Wondering if one of these played a role. Engineer deserves a pat on the back for protecting his charge as he did with the mentioned emergency brake application..
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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:12 am

#3(13) made it to Belen Jct at 8:30p,at the Abajo wye at 8:48p and made it to ABQ at 9:10p,left for LAUS
at 10:21p,along the way,BNSF 6641(ES44c4) was added on point,unknown if it was cut loose or kept on at ABQ.
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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby electricron » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:40 am

From: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation- ... 69522.html
Amtrak’s Chicago-bound Southwest Chief derailed early Monday on a stretch of track in western Kansas that had deteriorated so badly that the railroad was close to reducing train speeds in some spots from 60 mph to 30 mph.
The portion of the route where the derailment took place, between Dodge City and Garden City, Kansas, was awaiting repairs to the track.
“It was definitely the older rail,” said Steve Cottrell, assistant to the city manager of Garden City, which applied for and received a federal grant to begin making the repairs in 2014.
In its 2014 application for a federal TIGER grant, Garden City noted the degraded track conditions for the train, which connects Chicago and Los Angeles, via Kansas City.
“Speeds have dropped from 90 mph in 2002 to 60 mph today and are in imminent danger of dropping again to 30 mph . . . slower than a farm tractor,” the city wrote. “If this decline is not reversed, the train will be terminated or rerouted.”
The application noted that “much of the rail is 30 percent past its normal useful life but still in generally good condition for salvage.”
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced in September 2014 that the department would award $12.4 million to Garden City to make the track improvements.
The Kansas Department of Transportation, local governments, Amtrak and BNSF contributed a combined $9.8 million in matching funds.
The funding enabled the upgrade of 55 miles of older bolted rail with new, continuously welded rail, boosting the top speed on those sections from 60 mph to 80 mph.
But Garden City noted in its 2014 grant application that the funding would address only the most urgent repair needs.
“Although making a significant improvement,” the city wrote, “the TIGER investment does not address the full rehabilitative needs of the route.”
The work to rebuild the Southwest Chief’s track began last fall, Cottrell said, and is to resume this spring.
“We’re just in the first year of that,” he said.

I suggest more derailments should be expected until all the repairs needed are done. :(
What's worrisome to me is that Kansas and Colorado have raised just enough money to replace or repair 115 miles of track, whereas the rail corridor in question is over 300 miles long. That's about one third of the distance, what are we going to do about the other two thirds?.
Last edited by electricron on Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Southwest Chief Derails In Kansas

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:05 am

Site Admin: We're going to have to mostly go by news reports (and leaks) at this time. While speculation is normal about the cause, and let's face it, we're a RAILROAD discussion group! :wink: let's remember it's speculation and not go too far afield about things we can't possibly know yet. If there are concerns about the direction of the topic, please use the PM or report function to direct those concerns to moderators and do not "back-seat" moderate in the thread. Let's leave the hyperbole' for the news.

Your cooperation is appreciated.


Speaking of news reports: FOX NEWS.com

Some of these snips may have been in the previously linked article, but we'll include the updates here.

Rail conditions under scrutiny in Amtrak derailment investigation
...
Local authorities said they were checking whether a vehicle crash may have damaged the track before the accident.
...
National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said Monday evening at a news conference that investigators would review data from cameras and recorders on the train as well as the condition of the rails and crew performance. He put the train's speed at the normal limit of 60 mph.

Weener said there was some initial indication of a "misalignment" on the rail, but it was unclear what that was or what caused it. He said the engineer was vigilant and noticed the variation on the track, causing him to brake. The track was inspected last week, Weener said.
...
The train, which had about 130 passengers and 14 crew members, was making a 43-hour journey from Los Angeles to Chicago when it derailed shortly after midnight along a straight stretch of tracks in flat farmland near Cimarron, a small community about 160 miles west of Wichita. Eight cars derailed, and four of them ended up on their sides.

Thirty-two people were taken to hospitals for treatment. Four of them remained hospitalized Monday night, including two people who were airlifted to Amarillo, Texas. The rest had been released.
...
Andy Williams, a spokesman for BNSF Railway, which owns the track, said the derailment was not caused by poorly maintained track. He said the track is inspected twice a week and meets Federal Railroad Administration guidelines.

The future of the Southwest Chief service — the only Amtrak route through Kansas, with stops at six cities — had been uncertain in recent years. Amtrak had warned it might stop or reroute the line because of disputes over who would pay to install safety technology, but officials reached a deal last year.
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