Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

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Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby SouthernRailway » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:59 am

CNN reports that two cars were separated from the Adirondack while the train was moving, but the two cars were stopped when a guy pulled the emergency brake.

Human error or equipment failure? I assume that the cars were Amfleets.
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby STrRedWolf » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:23 am

Google News roundup grabbed a ton of local sources. Local coverage from WABC Albany, NY (WARNING AUTOPLAY VIDEO):

ALBANY, New York (WABC) --
Early Thanksgiving morning, Amtrak passengers finally arrived at New York's Penn Station after two of their train cars separated near Albany.

The incident happened around 7:22 p.m. Wednesday on board Amtrak Train 68, the Adirondack traveling from Montreal.

There were no reported injuries to the 287 passengers or crew.


CNN did not mention the train number nor the name in the text. Local sources got it right.
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:19 am

no need to pull emergency brake, as that happens automatically when brake pipe hoses part.
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby Jeff Smith » Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:58 pm

According to what I read in CNN, the two cars that separated were added at Albany. Surprisingly the NTSB (a member thereof) said they would not be investigating as it was not a derailment or collision.
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:34 pm

Makes sense that they wouldn’t, it was a no-fatality, no-injury incident with little property damage, and they weren’t specifically invited to investigate I sure hope Amtrak OIG does a report though.
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby bellstbarn » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:49 pm

What was the consist? Locomotive + one Amfleet coach + two Horizon coaches??? What was the consist out of Montreal? Just one coach? I find the reports confusing.
Thanks to anyone who can explain the consist!
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby Dick H » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:07 pm

From reports elsewhere, it appears that two coaches were added to the rear of the train at Albany.
The Adirondack usually consists of either four or five coaches and a café car, depending on the season.
Here's a six minute video by Railroad Rambler of both Adirondacks making the seasonable stop at Port
Kent NY in August of this year with four coaches and a café car.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-O_qFYVIZ4
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby JimBoylan » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:11 am

Another version, claiming that the brakes did not automatically apply on the detached cars when they separated. https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/d3-football-player-becomes-hero-on-runaway-train-to-new-york/ar-BBPZVGR?ocid=spartanntp Another news account from a passenger in "the care behind the locomotive" says he heard a pop when the cars separated.
A possible explanation, the angle cock on the rear of the Montreal cars was properly open, allowing the brakes on the front of the train, with the engine still pulling, to apply. If the angle cock on the front of the additional cars was closed, or the brake hose plugged with ice, those brakes would not have applied. but that would mean that a proper brake test wasn't performed after the cars were added, or the angle cock got closed after the test.
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby Patrick Boylan » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:56 am

“He saved our lives tonight,” Helen Crane, a passenger on the train, said. “Our car broke off from the rest of the train and was picking up speed. There was no Amtrak personnel in our car. Reuben calmly went into action and pulled the emergency brake at the front of the car. Thankful he was on the train with my son and I.”

How did it pick up speed, presumably on one of the severe 'water level route' downgrades south of Albany, without hitting the rest of the train in front of it?
And I will not resist complaining about the poor grammar "was no Amtrak personnel" and "with my son and I". Those of you who wonder what makes them poor grammar deserve a couple of scoffs.
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:04 am

few things wrong in that closed angle cock theory, first bottling of air is prohibited, when making cut the angle cock is to remain open.
which would leave cars remaining in station with emergency brakes, it would also prevent train from moving after an incomplete brake test was done.
it also would not let that hero dump air as it was already not there., story other than uncoupling makes no sense.
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby JimBoylan » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:47 am

Dutch, the whole thing doesn't make sense, unless something that was prohibited actually happened.
At Rensselaer, are cars added to the front of the train with the outbound locomotive?
The line along the Hudson River can't be exactly Water Level, or the river would never flow out to the ocean. Anyhow, at night, it might be hard for the public to judge changes in speed.
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:53 pm

even if they bottled the air, it would be with brakes applied, or people would not go between cars to make the cut.
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby STrRedWolf » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:40 pm

That can't be right. The photos shown in all the news reports had the end door open. That would mean it was connected to another coach and not an engine.

Plus, Amtrak's regular MO for LD trains is "engine pulls the coaches". It's not a push-pull like most commuter rails. So the engine would be heading south-towards-NYP bound. In fact, the usual engine for the NYP to Albany is a dual-mode engine. It would of been attached to ether the front (and the pure diesel cut out) or attached at the rear (and the diesel operated as a cab car).

...attached at the rear...

What if there was an engine at the back, controlled from the front, and providing brake air to the rear cars? If braking was done electronically between the two engines (given the order to cut the air and apply brakes) then what's not to say the brake air was still being provided by the rear while the traction was cut out, and the electronics don't "ping" the back engine to make sure it's still there? That would cause the cars to still be moving (and possibly still have HEP, depending on how it was configured) and require a person to pull the emergency brake (which happened per the reports).

I like that theory better. What engines are currently being run on that train?
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby DutchRailnut » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:47 pm

stay with program now, in Albany Rensselear the P42 was replaced with P32acdm and two coaches ........
the split happened between coach 2 and 3
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Re: Cars uncouple from Adirondack while moving

Postby Greg Moore » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:48 pm

JimBoylan wrote:Dutch, the whole thing doesn't make sense, unless something that was prohibited actually happened.
At Rensselaer, are cars added to the front of the train with the outbound locomotive?
The line along the Hudson River can't be exactly Water Level, or the river would never flow out to the ocean. Anyhow, at night, it might be hard for the public to judge changes in speed.


It's about as level as you can get. The Hudson is a tidal river all the way to Federal Dam #1 which is about 10 miles north of ALB station. Troy and Albany are considered to be "at sea level" and we do have tides. So no, there's no real grades south of Albany.

The only way I can see any cars "speeding up" is actually if one group was braking at a faster rate than the other so the relative motion made it appear they car they were on was accelerating.
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