Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:10 pm

While far away from any US jurisdiction, the Italian incident occurring today is just one more nail in the platform that PTC will move forth. I think it is time for the industry to accept the facts of life, stop dragging feet, and get with the program.
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:19 pm

The irritating thing is that much simpler technology than PTC that would have prevented not only Amarillo but countless other head-ons has been in use in various territories for 70+ years but hasn't been installed at many locations--they just don't make the cut at budget time even though the costs resulting from one collision overwhelm any savings.
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:23 pm

Backshophoss wrote:The dispatcher controls signals at Control Points, that might be done via microwave signal commands.
As far as regular radio,the DS picks the closest repeater tower to the train to send verbal orders to the train crew.
The routine of a verbal order requires 1 of the crew repeat the order sent by the DS exactly the same as the DS said it.
If needed the order is repeated till the crew repeats it correctly.

And I believe that under NORAC rules the train must be stopped during that process; is that the rule elsewhere?
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby JayBee » Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:53 pm

ExCon90 wrote:The irritating thing is that much simpler technology than PTC that would have prevented not only Amarillo but countless other head-ons has been in use in various territories for 70+ years but hasn't been installed at many locations--they just don't make the cut at budget time even though the costs resulting from one collision overwhelm any savings.


Point of Impact is 9 tenths of a mile east of the East Siding Switch at Panhandle, TX. Speed of the EB at impact is reported to be 66 mph and 42 mph for the Westbound. Now the EB Control Signal at ESS Panhandle will be a bit further west than the switch, and if it had been equipped with ATS the Inductor would also, but how would the ATS triggering a Penalty application get the EB train stopped in less than a mile? Remember too that the WB whose Engineer jumped will progress further west.
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby scoostraw » Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:00 pm

JayBee wrote:
ExCon90 wrote:Remember too that the WB whose Engineer jumped...

So it was the engineer of the westbound who jumped then?
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:52 pm

The inductors were at every signal,if the signal was other than clear,the engineer had to acknowage the change
and slow down or get the penalty brake.
Inert inductors are used on the Glorieta and Raton Subs to inforce speed restrictions on curves in Glorieta and Raton Passes.
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:46 pm

Has the 4th crew person been found, and from which train?
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:57 pm

If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby scoostraw » Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:15 pm

Thanks Dutch.

So it was the engineer of the westbound who jumped and survived. I would have guessed that it would have been a member of the westbound crew.

No idea what happened of course, but it does fit the scenario that the eastbound crew were both not responsive for some reason. I hope they are able to determine what happened. It's possible tho that they may not be able to.

Re. the 4th crew member, I read or heard somewhere that they were presumed 'cremated' at the scene as a result of the ensuing fire.
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby ExCon90 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:38 pm

scoostraw wrote:
JayBee wrote:
ExCon90 wrote:Remember too that the WB whose Engineer jumped...

So it was the engineer of the westbound who jumped then?

It was JayBee who posted that.
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby ExCon90 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:47 pm

JayBee wrote:
ExCon90 wrote:The irritating thing is that much simpler technology than PTC that would have prevented not only Amarillo but countless other head-ons has been in use in various territories for 70+ years but hasn't been installed at many locations--they just don't make the cut at budget time even though the costs resulting from one collision overwhelm any savings.


Now the EB Control Signal at ESS Panhandle will be a bit further west than the switch, and if it had been equipped with ATS the Inductor would also, but how would the ATS triggering a Penalty application get the EB train stopped in less than a mile? Remember too that the WB whose Engineer jumped will progress further west.

Just to clarify, and to expand on Backshophoss's post, the next eastward signal west of the signal at East Siding Switch would have been displaying a solid yellow Approach aspect as mentioned in Dutch's posted link--thanks, Dutch--and would have required acknowledgment. Failure to acknowledge would have initiated a penalty application which would have brought the train to a stop before reaching the ESS signal.
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby scoostraw » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:12 pm

ExCon90 wrote:
scoostraw wrote:
JayBee wrote:
ExCon90 wrote:Remember too that the WB whose Engineer jumped...

So it was the engineer of the westbound who jumped then?

It was JayBee who posted that.

Without citing any source.

Dutch's post had the link to the NTSB report which confirmed this information.
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby butts260 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:25 pm

Might someone help me out by giving the latitude and longitude of the east switch (points or frog) of the Panhandle control point siding?
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:37 am

It appears there were two missed signals: Dallas News

BNSF train ignored stop signal before deadly Texas Panhandle collision

A train failed to heed a stop signal before it barreled head-on into another freight train last month in the Texas Panhandle, killing three, according to a preliminary federal report released Thursday.

An eastbound BNSF Railway train failed to slow at a yellow warning signal on June 28 and then continued past a red stop signal before striking an oncoming BNSF train, inspectors for the National Transportation Safety Board said in the report.

The eastbound train, bound for Chicago, was supposed to stop and allow the Los Angeles-bound train to pass. It was traveling just over 60 mph when it passed the yellow signal, though trains are not supposed to travel any faster than 40 mph at a yellow signal so that they can stop in time at a red signal. The train was traveling about 65 mph when it passed the stop signal.

NTSB spokesman Terry Williams said it's not clear how far beyond the stop signal that the point of impact occurred.
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Re: Head-on collision in Amarillo, TX

Postby scoostraw » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:16 am

What type of alerters do these locomotives have?
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