Spaulding IL EJ&E Derailment Incident And PTC

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Spaulding IL EJ&E Derailment Incident And PTC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:11 am

While of course the main fallout from the Nov 3 derailment incident at the EJ&E/MILW Spaulding X-ing to the West of Bartlett, IL has been the disruption of METRA commuter service on the MILW (whoops, METRA MD-W in newspeak), I'm sure the "outcry' will begin anew for Positive Train control systems as mandated under RSIA '08.

Although there was HAZMAT in the consist of the CN train that derailed atop that X-ing, none was involved in the incident; as noted, the PTC "outcry" will begin anew.

Also, i would not rule out the Barrington IL area NIMBY's from chanting away that the EJ&E need be "un-merged" from the CN and reverted back to its essentially pre-merger dormant state. Have your fun, rich boys and girls!!.

But more to the point regarding PTC. First, let us not forget that Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (and the "tack-on" PRIIA '08 section) was enacted by a lame-duck President who knew little of nor really cared what he was signing; the provisions within this legislation relating to PTC were the result of the fatal August 08 passenger train incident at Chatsworth, CA. It is inevitable that all line having any volume of passenger trains handled will have PTC, if not already the case. Hey, all passenger trains operating in North America are publicly funded, so who really cares; if they don't spend the "Opium" (Opium+OPM=Other People's Money) there, it will simply be spent somewhere else.

But the mandate for PTC on all lines handling any HAZMAT and any appreciable volume of freight traffic will have to be paid for by the private sector. Sure, the expenditure will be made by the railroads, but it will be quickly reflected in freight rates - and that means everybody pays.

Problem is that I am at a loss to think of HAZMAT related incidents where PTC would have made any difference. I think of Weyauwega (former SOO/WC now CN) and Rockford (former IC, now, guess who, CN) and PTC would have made no difference in the outcomes of either. The only incident coming to mind (that of course hardly means all) where PTC would have prevented fatalities is Red Oak, IA that occurred earlier this year and where one BNSF freight "rear ended' another.

I recognize and respect there are industry professionals active here at the site who disagree with my position relating to PTC, but this is simply what I hold from having followed industry affairs for now almost sixty years - including eleven on the inside.
Gilbert B Norman
 
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Re: Spaulding IL EJ&E Derailment Incident And PTC

Postby CN Sparky » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:04 pm

For those of us who know nothing about the derailment... can you give more details? Has there been a root cause determined?
CN Sparky
 
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Re: Spaulding IL EJ&E Derailment Incident And PTC

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:09 pm

Mr. Sparky, here is discussion from the Chicagoland Commuter Fourm:

viewtopic.php?f=61&t=25150&start=495#p985093

The cause will not be officially known until the NTSB compiles and releases its Railroad Accident Report regarding the incident; and such is likely a year in the future.
Gilbert B Norman
 
Posts: 12897
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Aurora Sub; MP 18.71)


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