Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in VA

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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby justalurker66 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:55 pm

I am surprised the gates survived the incident. Perhaps the truck stalled after clearing the entrance gate. It appears that both signals were intact in the brief coverage I have seen.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:00 pm

145 took the hit on the Fireman's side of the nose,may have reached where the collision post is on the frame,pilot plow bent,sheet metal and
fiberglass shreaded.
May or may not be rebuildable.

Trash truck was a compactor type,compactor body was split off the frame,contents spread out. Total loss.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby DanK » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:03 pm

Maybe it is time to put these back on trains!
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby justalurker66 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:20 am

"Benny Layne, on whose property the truck landed, said the crossing arms had been known to malfunction, sometimes coming down even though no train was approaching. Sometimes, he said, they stayed down for hours.

"He said motorists would get out of their cars to help guide other motorists around the malfunctioning arms so they could cross the tracks.

"Carrie Brown, human resources manager at Buckingham Branch Railroad, which leases the stretch of track and is responsible for maintenance, said she was unaware of any problems with equipment at the crossing. At a Wednesday night news conference, Weener said signal experts would be looking at the safety of the crossing."

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/latest ... 89039.html
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby TRNE » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:50 am

This morning's Washington Post adds this bit of 'local knowledge' to the list of possible causes:

The crash occurred in Crozet, Va., a town of about 5,500 residents 12 miles west of Charlottesville. Residents who live near the crash site said it’s not the first time vehicles have struggled at the ­Lanetown rail crossing.

The crossing “is not good for trucks of any size,” said Ray Page McCauley Jr., who said that the height of the crossing has long posed problems and that he’s seen other trucks get stuck before.

“A lot of tractor-trailers have gotten stuck, and even limos seem to have trouble getting across it,” he said. “If a truck breaks down, there isn’t enough time to call the railroad to let them know.”
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby MCL1981 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:45 am

DanK wrote:Maybe it is time to put these back on trains!

Why? So the truck gets lifted up and put through the cab windshield??
Last edited by MCL1981 on Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:05 am

Both my daily print reads, The Times and Journal, have photos from the scene, front page "above the fold".
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby CPSK » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:46 am

According to information available at: http://fragis.fra.dot.gov/GISFRASafety/, the crossing at Lane Town Rd has crossing arm (gates) protection. The crossing was apparently updated on 01/03/2018!

Open the FRA map at http://fragis.fra.dot.gov/GISFRASafety/, type "Lane Town rd Crozet" into the search box, and hit <Enter>.
Follow the road up and to the right to find the crossing.
Click the orange dot at crossing 224704E, then scroll all the way down to INV_LINK, click the link, you will be taken to another url where you can view/download the U.S. DOT Crossing Inventory Form.
This form was revised on 01/03/2018.
If you scroll down the form to Part III: Highway or Pathway Traffic Control Device Information, you will see in box 3.B Gate Configuration that the box :"2 Quad" is checked. Looking to box 3.D you can see that the crossing has 2 masts with LED lights.
In addition, the form (also under Part III) indicates (in section 2.E) that the crossing has qty 4 "Low Ground Clearance" signs.
So, it looks like this crossing was very recently upgraded (or at least modified). I will not speculate as to where the fault for this accident rests, but from the information I have gleaned from the FRA Safety Map, I would say that the crossing was properly equipped and signed. Whether or not the crossing was functioning as intended is unclear. The news photo linked to in an earlier post showing the trailing locomotive at the crossing does show that the gates were lowered, but who is to say whether that was the case before the train reached the crossing.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby Backshophoss » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:32 pm

So that crossing is on a "Hump",needing the low clearance signage,not quite sure how a trash truck could "bottom out" and get hung up.
from looking at the pics in the thread,the truck was hit in the rear,the compactor body separated from the truck's frame,
believe the truck was running around the gate arms,then the tandem got hung up somehow.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby John_Perkowski » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:53 am

Backshophoss wrote:,
believe the truck was running around the gate arms,then the tandem got hung up somehow.


Oh Lord, I pray not, in some ways. If that's true, and borne out by NTSB, the driver of the trash truck is near involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby Hux » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:48 am

Read a blurb in the Boston Globe today that included quotes from several drivers who encountered gates that were down "even though no train was to be seen" and chose alternate routes. Get the feeling the trash truck driver probably waited for a bit and seeing no train opted for a drive around. Most unfortunate that the guys on the back didn't opt to cross on foot.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby MCL1981 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:04 am

I think it's highly improbable that the truck was actually stuck on the crossing. This was not a low boy trailer. Plenty of ground clearance to handle that rise. Now, if they were trying to navigate the truck around the gates, that would be a time consuming maneuver for large truck like that. Certainly more time than there is line of sight down the tracks in that curve. I can see them being in the middle that maneuver when the train came around the curve. Were the gates down because of the approaching train? Or were the gates down due to an ongoing malfunction that made the driver want to go around them? All remains to be seen.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby Arborwayfan » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:10 pm

I am not a C and S person but I am pretty sure that gates drop when they lose power. That fits the fail-safe logic of basically all RR signals: In track-circuit territory, what happens when a block is occupied? The train diverts the electricity and a relay can no longer pick up; same thing would happen if the power to the track circuit failed. Steady has to be more restrictive than flashing in case a flasher gets stuck on on. No light on a color light or position light signal: treat signal as most restrictive aspect available. Upper quadrant semaphores fall to horizontal (most restrictive) if they lose power (one reason they replaced lower quadrant ones in US, I believe. Etc. I just can't see crossing gates not closing under their own weight if power goes out.
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Re: Amtrak train hits Tractor Trailer in Virginia

Postby n2cbo » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:12 pm

D40LF wrote:Does anyone else think its a little unwise to have this many government officials and politicians traveling together at the same time? I'm not suggesting any crazy conspiracies about this accident, but I think that this kind of setup has inherent security flaws (whether they are traveling by plane, train, bus, or boat).

Also does anyone know how fast it was going? I don't think it was as high as some are saying (70mph).


When I worked at AT&T, there was a rule that no more than 3 people from AT&T on the same aircraft/train/bus/etc...
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:16 pm

Beyond the metaphors about the Republican Party inherent here, it’s encouraging that a number of GOP legislators are riding Amtrak, even if it’s as a charter to an exclusive resort. The more value conservatives see to intercity train service and the more professionalism they see out of Amtrak as opposed to fly-by-night operators like IPH, the more funding and stability Amtrak gets.
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