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 Backshophoss » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:22 am

This crossing has a history of malfuctioning on a somewhat regular basis,was this crossing installed by NS before the shortline takeover of the branch?
Or was it redone by the shortline(or a contractor for the Shortline)?
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby MCL1981 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:54 am

mtuandrew wrote: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.

You really want to go there? K. Last year, when the democrats were on their motorcade of busses going to their expensive retreat at an exclusive resort in West Virginia, this how that trip went. One dead, had to be identified by dental records. Multiple others injured. Accident happened on interstate 70 when their motorcade came through an interchange resulting in a traffic collision. So you should probably not even bother with the political insinuations. It goes both ways, and both ways are equally dumb.

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

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:32 am

Surprised you picked my comment to reply to, MCL, with more inflammatory ones in this thread. My main point was about how bipartisan Amtrak support is encouraging to the railroad’s future. Also, you’re right about the metaphor in Democrats crashing and burning in WV.

Regardless, condolences to all involved in the 2017 bus crash and this year’s train crash.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:47 am

ADMIN NOTE: (pulls out fire extinguisher) Let's keep it on the accident, please.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby justalurker66 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:18 pm

mtuandrew wrote: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.

The treatment IPH received from Amtrak when IPH had the Hoosier State should be a crime. IPH invested a lot of money improving service in Indiana. Improvements that Amtrak refused to do until there was competition to provide service on the line. But that has been covered in other threads.

As for the accident no one should ever go around a crossing gate or even drive past lit signals unless they are under the direction of a railroad employee who is in contact with the trains and dispatchers. That being said, repeated crossing protection failures lead to situations where the public learns not to trust the protection. I am interested to see the outcome of the investigation. How often was that crossing reported? Who was it reported to? Will the people responsible for not repairing the failures be held accountable? Or will "never go around gates" be the end of the story?

(I'd like to see some feedback sent to the dispatchers when a crossing has been activated for more than 5 or 10 minutes ... especially if the block does not show occupancy.)

It is the railroad's responsibility to correctly design and maintain crossing protection. No one should have to die to get a crossing fixed.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby electricron » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:10 pm

Not to sway the discussion too far off topic, but almost all gated and signaled crossings are checked every month at least. The batteries are checked, the electronics and electrics are checked, and the shunting is checked, which checks the compete activation and deactivation cycle works properly. The major problem we had at the crossing I helped maintained was it being the target of local shooters' target practice. We basically had to bullet proof the enclosure with armor. Our crossing was on track rarely used. I wouldn't be surprised if the signals are checked more frequently on well used tracks.

Railroads have to maintain thousands of these crossings. They can't afford to have someone watch it every day all day long. If you notice one not working properly, call the phone number on the posted sign and report it so it can be fixed quickly.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby JimBoylan » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:37 pm

Some crossings have event recorders, or are even connected to the block signal system, giving opportunities for malfunctions or their histories to be noticed.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby litz » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:07 pm

At any rate, the "malfunction" being noted is that the gates were down (note: this is the failsafe position), perhaps when no train was coming.

This does not absolve the road vehicle of blame in any way. Every single drivers manual in the nation clearly states, gates down = do not cross.

Period.

"Oh they're down all the time when they shouldn't be so we just go around" is no excuse, nor is it legal.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby justalurker66 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:49 pm

Accepting failure and absolving the railroad of the responsibility to maintain their equipment is not a good policy.

Theoretically all a crossing needs is crossbucks and one could make the argument that all vehicles must stop for trains. But our country does better than that, installing lights at crossings, and gates, and overhead lights that can be more easily seen. The more equipment that is installed the more it needs maintained. Lights and gates are pointless if they constantly have false activations. The railroads need to make sure their equipment works.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby east point » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:21 am

A CSX source once told us that many false activations come from the power companies power feed having a bad ground. Found that out when we had a malfunctioning crossing for about 3 months. The bad ground he said can be anywhere from meter back to transformer back to bad ground somewhere else.t
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby Tadman » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:03 am

John_Perkowski wrote:
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.


This would be sad, but it illustrates a big point: we do not take crossings seriously. We take crossings warnings as a gentle suggestion to look both ways before we go over them. What crossings really are is (legally) a red stop light; and (per physics, the most immutable law out there) a barrier between you and a train that will absolutely never stop and likely kill you and innocent people.

Here's what I'm interested in exploring: given that the railroads are federally regulated and well accepted as interstate commerce, subjecting them to federal law to the point it supersedes any contrasting state/local law, could grade crossings be made a federally-regulated issue? Instead of having whatever local laws insist on as penalty (usually little and rarely enforced) the penalty could be nationally set at a high dollar amount in order to incentivize drivers to behave.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby MCL1981 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:23 pm

I call BS on taking grade crossings to any more extremes. It's absurd. Everyone drives with ability to handle a red traffic light or stop sign all day long, every day. Every traffic light doesn't have 20 flashing warning lights, a loud bell, gates all over the place, and loud ass horn. If someone is stupid enough to run a red light, they pay the price for the accident they cause, and there is absolutely no question who's fault it is. There is no reason to make grade crossings more idiot proof than they already are. If someone is too stupid to handle it, it's just thinning of the herd in action.
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby Tadman » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:47 pm

MCL, that works until others get hurt. In the case of the Metro North Valhalla accident, seven people on the train were horrendously burned to death because some lady couldn't figure out how to stay off the tracks.

A few years back I was on the City of New Orleans when a pickup went around gates and the driver was killed. So were his three toddlers.

I agree that you can't make gates much more obvious, but you can make the punishments stiffer. Why is it one can lose their license after being caught drunk driving, which endangers others, but not for going around gates?
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Re: Amtrak GOP Charter Train hits garbage/dumpster truck in

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:58 pm

one of problems is, unless railroad is willing to press charges, it gets a bit iffy in court, as the property between gate is railroads, and not the town.
its just like how not many police are pushing issues if they happen in a shopping center parking lot or at a mall.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:53 pm

MCL1981 wrote:I call BS on taking grade crossings to any more extremes. It's absurd. Everyone drives with ability to handle a red traffic light or stop sign all day long, every day. Every traffic light doesn't have 20 flashing warning lights, a loud bell, gates all over the place, and loud ass horn. If someone is stupid enough to run a red light, they pay the price for the accident they cause, and there is absolutely no question who's fault it is. There is no reason to make grade crossings more idiot proof than they already are. If someone is too stupid to handle it, it's just thinning of the herd in action.


THIS.
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