Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

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Re: Amtrak Acela "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby gokeefe » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:13 pm

Triaxle wrote:You'd have to be stepping over the gap at the exact moment it separated to end up in a Wile E Coyote type disaster, and that assumes it separated suddenly.


As I recall Acela is slightly pressurized. The rush of air equalizing with the atmosphere at 125 MPH would probably be more than enough to knock down someone small, frail or distracted. Perhaps most disturbing of all the four recent accidents have all involved different host railroads with a variety of causal factors. What one might describe as a fairly typical grade crossing accident in VA unfortunately involved a VIP train for members of Congress and their staff.

Although safety culture at Amtrak could be a factor in two of the incidents (today and the Cascades) it seems unlikely to be a factor in the Silver Star accident or the Congressional train.

I am starting to wonder if the overall picture points to a weak regulatory framework and that the real reform in addition to completing PTC implementation will be enabling improved safety education and enforcement from the FRA.
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Re: Amtrak Acela "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:03 pm

gokeefe wrote:I am starting to wonder if the overall picture points to a weak regulatory framework and that the real reform in addition to completing PTC implementation will be enabling improved safety education and enforcement from the FRA.

Perhaps the FRA should spend more time and resources on safety education and enforcement and less time on drawing politically-unbuildable imaginary railroads across New York and Southern New England.
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Re: Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby talltim » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:08 pm

I assume that the train stayed nearly together because it is powered from both ends and other connections didn’t break
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Re: Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby justalurker66 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:32 pm

Can we safely blame this on Amtrak? (Their train their rails not a crossing incident. Might be vandals if Amtrak is lucky.)
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Re: Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby KevinD » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:19 pm

According to GPS, the train was on the approach to the Havre De Grace bridge (slowing down?) and stopped account the separation by 5:54 am, went into service disruption while still stopped around 6:25am

https://asm.transitdocs.com/train/2018/2/6/2150
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Re: Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby BlendedBreak » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:49 pm

WOW, who shall we blame today Mr.Anderson?

If this was Delta-we would have known all mechanics who had their hands on equipment for the last 5-30 years. But at Amtrak we wait for investigations.

Again, first step in correcting a problem is admitting that there is one.

Oh, and for whomever is unfamiliar, when a train separates and emergency brakes applied automatically, both parts of train should begin immediate deceleration.

Amtrak procedure for separation of Acela train-set?

Oh yes there is no procedure.. so Just say "EMERGENCY EMERGENCY EMERGENCY", answer questions, wait for relief. Easy money day for crew.

So to sum up 2018 operations.. Turboliner trainsets more reliable on per move basis than Acela. OK
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Re: Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby NYCRRson » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:24 pm

Man oh man are they ever lucky the back half of that thing didn't dig into the railbed or roll over, YIKES..... And if another train passed in the opposite direction... Double YIKES...

Greyhound dosen't look too bad all of a sudden....
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Re: Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:54 pm

All told, Amtrak "owns" this incident to the same extent as they "own" Frankford Jct and Chester.

With a safety culture so in place within the Air Transport industry, that avoided any fatalities WORLDWIDE last year, Mr. Anderson must wonder...WHY?...and "I'm only paid a dollar a year to oversee this cesspool".

Finally, anyone know to what extent the NTSB will have jurisdiction over this incident. or will they investigate only at Amtrak's invitation?
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby BlendedBreak » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:58 pm

Really shows just how out of tune Leadership is with Management.
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Re: Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby David Benton » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:54 am

Surprising there were only 52 passengers on-board. I guess it shows the difficulty in getting pricing right for a corridor service.
As for the cause , when you get a pin and a hole , you get a opportunity for uneven stresses on the pin. You often see uneven wear on the pin , but in the right circumstances the force could shear the pin , without previous signs of wear.
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Re: Amtrak Acela "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby daybeers » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:00 am

Ridgefielder wrote:
gokeefe wrote:I am starting to wonder if the overall picture points to a weak regulatory framework and that the real reform in addition to completing PTC implementation will be enabling improved safety education and enforcement from the FRA.

Perhaps the FRA should spend more time and resources on safety education and enforcement and less time on drawing politically-unbuildable imaginary railroads across New York and Southern New England.

This is an incredibly excellent point, sir! I completely agree.
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Re: Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby johnpbarlow » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:45 am

The video accompanying this NY CBS Local on-line news article shows a side view of the Acela separation at the 0:50 second mark. There are cables/hoses several feet higher than the draw bar that seem to have remained connected although they are understandably taut. But cabling/hoses in the vicinity of the draw bar seem to be disconnected (and dragging on the track?). Which cables/hoses shown in the video clip are air brake hoses and which are MU/HEP cables? I'm guessing the air hoses are near the draw bar while the electrical cabling is higher up?

What would the engineer have observed when this partial separation occurred - emergency brake application?

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/02/06/acela-train-cars-separate/
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Re: Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby Plate C » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:52 am

Not sure why this became a top story across the forums. Technically the train did 'break apart', but no accident, injury, etc.
As such, this was a pretty normal Amtrak operating day IMO.
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Re: Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby Roscoe P. Coaltrain » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:55 am

What? Freight trains separate while in motion, too? Who woulda thunk it.

Freight trains separating at speed really isn't news, however, unless it happens in front of that monetized youtuber from florida, you know, that dumb guy who superimposes videos to make things look like near misses at diamonds. He needs video rubberneckers to help pay for his railfanning.

The media is on it because you don't sell the steak, you sell the sizzle.
Last edited by Roscoe P. Coaltrain on Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amtrak Acela 2150 "Breaks Apart" on NEC in MD 2/6/2018

Postby Rockingham Racer » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:57 am

It's sorta like all the negative publicity that piled up on United Airlines last year: the slightest thing happens and it becomes news.
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