Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:43 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:why ?? are you an employee and should you have that info ?
Try that line on the National Transportation Safety Board, and once they get possesion of the secrets, they become part of the Public Docket. All of Amtrak's Rules, Timetables, Bulletin Oerders, Special Instructions, Inspecton Records, etc. that were seen as part of the Frankford Jct. wreck are on the Internet!
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby justalurker66 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:17 pm

Suburban Station wrote:the point stands, if it were a highway project they would have funded curve modification to meet safety standards regardless of the fact that professional drivers (in this case an engineer rather than a truck driver) are expected to know the territory (they are).

You assume that this curve did not meet safety standards? Your assumption would be incorrect. The curve met the standards.

You may not like the standards. You may disagree with the standards. But the standards were met.
(And no, the occurrence of an incident is NOT proof in any way that a design standard was not met.)
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby GirlOnTheTrain » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:01 pm

Mod note: This is not a forum for beating a dead horse with axe grinding about the perceived shortcomings of the Amtrak training department, nor is it the proper venue for these complaints.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby glennk419 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:10 pm

Joe Mc wrote:This was by all reports the 'inaugural' run for this service. Where was management? Usually new service is accompanied by the inevitable dog and pony show where management, politicians and sundry 'notables' gather to receive their kudos. At the very least there should have been a road foreman on board when traversing 'new' territory.


The train for the dignitaries was run the previous Friday. This was the first revenue run.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby justalurker66 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:22 pm

There were still a few "special" people on board ...

"The Dec. 18 derailment took three lives and caused numerous injuries. Two of the people killed were members of the WSDOT family and all three were advocates for passenger rail who were on board to celebrate the first passenger run on the new alignment."
http://www.wsdot.com/Rail/questions-ans ... ilment.htm
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby glennk419 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:56 pm

Yes, I was sadly aware of that.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:12 pm

Seems like the PTC on the Bypass was waiting to be integrated into the BNSF's PTC systems including the "Backoffice" systems in Fort Worth,
and locally,and waiting to registering the Sounder equipment and Amtrak's equipment into the "Backoffice" systems.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby David Benton » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:10 am

Engineer in fatal Amtrak derailment hasn't been interviewed yet https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/ ... viewed-yet ,
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby Tadman » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:37 am

justalurker66 wrote:
litz wrote:When safety equipment like this has to be disabled/cut out (due to malfunction, etc), the train doesn't just continue on as if it was still enabled.

It depends on how the equipment is disabled. If I recall correctly, the incident Tadman points to in Michigan had a signal maintainer that cut out a crucial piece of equipment. The system did not see the bypass and as far as the system and train were concerned everything was working fine. Now we can learn from that at come up with a way where required testing can be accomplished without causing a safety risk.

I do not like that there are ways of bypassing the system without at alert and reminders. Perhaps one could call that a design failure but per design the system should not be disabled or bypassed.


You are correct, to my understanding (can't believe it was 6 years ago!), there was a bypass by the maintainer and the signal did not restrict in any way, it just displayed a clear signal. Somehow the bypassing technique let the signal think the route was lined for the main while it was really lined for a very low speed track into a MOW yard.

Bypassing without restrictions means it's not really positive. "Positive" means that in the absence of an active signal noting no hazards from all sources, a restricting signal is displayed because of the lack of 100% clear feedback. For example, in the above Niles case, when the signal is under maintenance, perhaps a restricting signal or 25mph limitation should be enforced for the block under maintenance (are there still blocks in PTC?).

The PTC mandate was sold to the public because of the logic that it was indeed positive, a quality needed and lacking from existing cab signal methods like ATC, ATS, et al... If it's not positive, what did we get sold? Another cab signal? If it's not positive, would it indeed prevent fatalities? Maybe, but not in the Niles case. And it still wouldn't prevent events like the Metro North Valhalla incident (6 fatalities) or the 2011 Nevada truck-on-Zephyr (6 fatalities).
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:03 pm

I must wonder why the three fatalities were railfans. Were they simply sitting in "the wrong seats at the wrong time" or were they running about the train photographing, video recording, and otherwise acting like fanatics (just as the fanatics do at athletic contests, rock concerts, UNAMIT)?
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby glennk419 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:32 pm

My understanding is that all three were respected rail advocates with at least two having worked professionally in some facet of the transportation industry or county government. They were unfortunately seated in the car that went through the trees ( or vice versa ).

http://abcnews.go.com/US/county-transit-employee-killed-amtrak-train-derailment-washington/story?id=51878888
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby STrRedWolf » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:51 pm

Prelim report was issued yesterday: https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/Acc ... prelim.pdf

Nothing new in the report.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby justalurker66 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:04 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:I must wonder why the three fatalities were railfans. Were they simply sitting in "the wrong seats at the wrong time" or were they running about the train photographing, video recording, and otherwise acting like fanatics (just as the fanatics do at athletic contests, rock concerts, UNAMIT)?

Think "dignitaries" not "foamers". They were in the right place at the wrong time.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby justalurker66 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:23 pm

Tadman wrote:Bypassing without restrictions means it's not really positive. "Positive" means that in the absence of an active signal noting no hazards from all sources, a restricting signal is displayed because of the lack of 100% clear feedback. For example, in the above Niles case, when the signal is under maintenance, perhaps a restricting signal or 25mph limitation should be enforced for the block under maintenance (are there still blocks in PTC?).

If it were my railroad I would give the maintainer a form D and enter that into the PTC system requiring the train to STOP regardless of the signal indications unless talked through the work area by a foreman. I would not have PTC change the signals as that could interfere with what is being tested.

Unfortunately nothing is absolute.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:15 am

justalurker66 wrote:If it were my railroad I would give the maintainer a form D and enter that into the PTC system requiring the train to STOP regardless of the signal indications unless talked through the work area by a foreman. I would not have PTC change the signals as that could interfere with what is being tested.

Unfortunately nothing is absolute.


Nor programmed nicely. If it were, the process of issuing a Form D would AUTOMATICALLY code the PTC and signals to the correct form. In other words, the PTC and the signals would work together, not against each other.

Which I think would be a goal of PTC, to be a third layer of cab signals, would it not?
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