Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby dgvrengineer » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:31 pm

According to this article, the CSX freight conductor confirmed to the Dispatcher that the switch was lined & locked for the main before the dispatcher allowed Amtrak 91 to proceed. I would say human error is the culprit. Seems logical considering the outcome.
Fair use:
"Incorrect information from a CSX Corp. employee at the site of Sunday's deadly Amtrak train crash led to the accident, according to CSX records and a source."

According to safety procedures during such a situation, an on-site employee is responsible for making sure the switch that directs a train to a particular track is in in the proper position. This switch was not, however.
Shortly before the 2:35 a.m. crash, Amtrak 91 stopped five miles before the site of the collision and waited for a go-ahead from a CSX dispatcher, per CSX protocol when a signaling system is being worked on, CSX documents show.
After the CSX conductor on site told a dispatcher that the switch was properly aligned, the dispatcher gave the go-ahead for the Amtrak train, which was carrying 139 passengers and eight crew members bound from New York to Miami, to proceed. "


https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonvill ... yptr=yahoo
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby BR&P » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:36 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:"Amtrak is guilty" or so will say too many readers of every last paper to which those wire service photos were circulated.


Hell, go back several pages on this very thread and you can read that there's 99% chance the Amtrak crew was at fault. Image
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby MCL1981 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:49 pm

This confirms what I think most reasonable people suspected. I'm sure someone here is still gunning for a yet-to-be-revealed reason this Amtrak's fault. But it is what it is.
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:15 pm

Should this turn out to indeed be CSX at fault, does Amtrak have the right to sue CSX for damages? No doubt there will be suits from passengers and the crew’s families (rest in peace.)

An acquaintance of mine who works for NRPC was joking yesterday “glad they haven’t shut us down yet!” Maybe that isn’t a joke today :(
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby BlendedBreak » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:56 pm

MCL1981 wrote:This confirms what I think most reasonable people suspected. I'm sure someone here is still gunning for a yet-to-be-revealed reason this Amtrak's fault. But it is what it is.


BR&P wrote:
Gilbert B Norman wrote:"Amtrak is guilty" or so will say too many readers of every last paper to which those wire service photos were circulated.


Hell, go back several pages on this very thread and you can read that there's 99% chance the Amtrak crew was at fault. Image


You just watch comrade. The railroad rules are written for the detriment and ruin of the employee not the companies that write them. CSX will sue Amtrak if Amtrak sues CSX. If EC-1 is given saying to operate on X track between X and X location. CSX has room to argue. Amtrak used to be a wonderful place. Now it is not.Get over it.
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby BR&P » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:05 pm

BlendedBreak wrote:You just watch comrade. The railroad rules are written for the detriment and ruin of the employee not the companies that write them. CSX will sue Amtrak if Amtrak sues CSX. If EC-1 is given saying to operate on X track between X and X location. CSX has room to argue. Amtrak used to be a wonderful place. Now it is not.Get over it.


None of what you just wrote has any bearing on this incident. Your feelings about Amtrak as an employer have no bearing on the actual FACTS of the case, which seem - at this point - to show the Amtrak crew was not in any way at fault.
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby 8th Notch » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:20 pm

On another note, there is a go fund me for the families of 2 crew members that perished.

https://www.gofundme.com/memorial-fund- ... -amp-kempf
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby litz » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:42 pm

Trinnau wrote:
MCL1981 wrote:So in this territory, Amtrak follows the csx rulebook? And the csx rules do not require approaching switches prepared to stop when signals are inoperative (dcs)?

Presuming that is the case, I do not see how this anything but a 100% CSX screw up.


Correct on both your questions, but there are still 3 possible scenarios based on the information we have now - 2 on CSX and 1 on Amtrak. I'm not CSX rules qualified, but on NORAC these scenarios would exist.

1 - CSX crew reported clear but failed to line the switch
CSX crew reported clear and did not line the switch but notified the CSX dispatcher of a switch in reverse position (might be the case if the crew was close to being on the law and did not have time to normal the switch). This could result in either:
2 - The CSX dispatcher failed to give the switch reverse to the Amtrak crew
3 - The CSX dispatcher gave the switch reverse to the Amtrak crew and they failed to operate accordingly.


On my railroad (a local shortline), when the rules were rewritten to account for the EO24 changes, we were explicitly forbidden from ever leaving a mainline track switch lined/locked to anything other than the mainline, when releasing track authority.

In order words, you could not release your authority unless the switch was back in the mainline position and had been reported as such to the dispatcher. E.g., you had to line/lock the switch first, report that, and only then could you release the track warrant.

From what I remember in the federal paperwork handed out when all this was discussed, that was something the feds wrote; the railroad was passing it onwards.
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby David Benton » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:03 am

Seems to make so much sense , its hard to think of a reason to leave the switch facing the siding.
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby B&M 1227 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:04 am

I'm curious about the timeframe here. Will be interesting to see when the crew released the track/got off their power.
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby justalurker66 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:44 am

dgvrengineer wrote:"Shortly before the 2:35 a.m. crash, Amtrak 91 stopped five miles before the site of the collision and waited for a go-ahead from a CSX dispatcher, per CSX protocol when a signaling system is being worked on, CSX documents show.

"After the CSX conductor on site told a dispatcher that the switch was properly aligned, the dispatcher gave the go-ahead for the Amtrak train, which was carrying 139 passengers and eight crew members bound from New York to Miami, to proceed. "

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonvill ... yptr=yahoo

So it appears that there was a "human signalling system" in place with qualified people stationed along the line who were expected to make sure every switch was correctly aligned for every train. A procedure that should have made the journey safer than relying on the departing crew to realign and lock the switch to the main.

Was the same conductor responsible for verifying both siding switches?
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby SRich » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:50 am

BlendedBreak wrote:...

why you make me cry?

Why are you so indifferent, the evidence shows that the switch was in the wrong position even padlocked witch indicated that is was probably a CSX error and you still blame the 2 AMTRAK men who died as a result that they have done their work according to the rules.
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby MCL1981 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:46 am

BlendedBrake has destroyed his credibility and shouldn't be taken seriously. He clearly has a major axe to grind with amtrak, and he is not interested in facts or reality. Might as well just ignore his posts and pretend he isn't here.
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby electricron » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:47 am

Tommy Meehan wrote:Based on the two satellite photos below, it looks like the siding where the CSX freight was parked began a short distance north of the Charleston Highway overpass (the roadway visible in both images, marked US 321 in Fig 2). In Fig 1 the location of the siding switch would be at the uppermost right corner, though obscured by trees. The impact was at the area in Fig 2 on the siding track about opposite where the rail car on the right is parked. It appears the distance between the siding switch and the collision point were only 300-400 feet at most. So the Amtrak train, traveling at 59 mph, is unexpectedly diverted off the main track onto the siding without enough distance to stop short of the freight train ahead. Tragic.
download/file.php?id=17560&t=1
.

Take a look at the Fig.1 photo again. From a bird's eye view, the main follows along the divergent path, the siding follows along the straight path. Could this configuration have confused the person asked to verify its position, the signal maintenance man? How well labeled are the switch throws? Are maintenance crews expected to learn the railroad configuration as well as the engineers and conductors? Who is qualified to throw and verify the position of the switch?
Apparently, someone was confused and reported to the dispatcher the wrong information.
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Re: Amtrak 91 - CSX Collision Cayce, SC - 2/4/18

Postby bostontrainguy » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:00 am

Wait. I don't see it the way you do and the crews would have to know the setup, BUT in any case . . . you can't align the switch from the main into the train you just parked! You just can't think that is okay.
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