1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

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1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby PW team track » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:14 pm

I have a photo of of 2 RS1's that were involved in a derailment. The photo only says "Riverhead 1970". The lead unit #466 is damaged on the engineers side. I am assuming it tipped on its side and the photo was taken after it was righted? Does anyone have any details on this derailment? Thank you.
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby RGlueck » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:04 pm

Please scan and post the picture.
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby PW team track » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:12 pm

I don't own a scanner, so i took this with my cell.
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby freightguy » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:43 pm

That’s a great shot of the aftermath. Think that may be the switching move gone wrong at Agway in Riverhead I thought it was later than 1970.
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby RGlueck » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:18 am

Anyone know the other RS1?
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby 4behind2 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:16 am

This may be the incident where Riverhead was evacuated due to the propane car overturning as seen in the photo. I believe there is a Daily News or Newsday article about this.

If this is the same incident, Danny Boyle was the Engr. and the late Bob McGuire was one of the Brakemen. Cannot recall the rest of the crew.
Last edited by 4behind2 on Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby Norton » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:35 am

Here's a NY Times article dated July 18, 1970 that describes the accident. The crew members listed are different than those named above.
https://www.nytimes.com/1970/07/19/arch ... hours.html
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby FrankAndCindy » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:12 pm

Hello everyone, I remember the incident when it happened. I think the conductor was diaz. They made a drop of the tank car which went wrong. A BAD MOVE> I think it was in the sixties. Thanks Frank and cindy.
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby PW team track » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:15 pm

Thank you for all the information.
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby northpit » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:41 pm

FrankAndCindy wrote:Hello everyone, I remember the incident when it happened. I think the conductor was diaz. They made a drop of the tank car which went wrong. A BAD MOVE> I think it was in the sixties. Thanks Frank and cindy.

can you elaborate on "A BAD MOVE" thanks north and pit
put it on the north pit
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby workextra » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:50 pm

Was this the Crew that did the Flying Dutchman into Paraco?
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby jayrmli » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:56 am

The story I always heard from a retired LIRR engineer is the crew attempted to do a flying switch which didn't go as intended. (Dropping hazmat cars is a no-no to begin with.) There was a subsequent evacuation and obviously numerous emergency personnel were on the scene. Upon investigation of the scene, there were numerous beer cans strewn throughout the locomotive and caboose.

The crew was taken out of service in the incident and one of the charges was a Rule G violation. Of course, this was back in the day before strict testing and breathalizer tests.

The next day, the Long Island Press had a long story on the incident, including volunteer firefighters on site. One of the pictures in the newspaper showed one of the firefighters drinking a beer in the background. This picture was used as a defense by the freight crew, claiming that the beer did not belong to the crew, but rather the firemen. The crew wound up being reinstated.

Different times back then.
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby FrankAndCindy » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:27 am

Hello north pit, Years ago we made drops on many freight cars but NEVER on a propane car. They could have runaround the car in either the north or south side track, the n
shove the car into the paraco siding.
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby northpit » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:20 am

thank you frank and cindy,not sure what you mean by drops?do you mean humping(sort of) the car into the siding?
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Re: 1970 Freight train derailment in Riverhead

Postby LIRRcustoms.com » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:29 pm

This may answer a lot of questions:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/uvb2oxhhmne9hnh/nmb%20-%20riverhead%20tank%20car%20crash.pdf?dl=0

It is a decision of two cases regarding the aforementioned incident. The crew performed a drop or flying switch where the engines are on the facing point end of a switch and are unable to shove the cars into the siding. The engineer will accelerate his engines and the entire train before reaching the switch, bunch the slack, the conductor will pull the pin, engineer will again accelerate past the switch points while a ground man lines the switch for the diverging route after the engines pass over the switch. The cars, now uncoupled from the engines, will roll into the siding at which point a brakeman will tie on a hand brake to stop the cars in the appropriate location.

In this incident, the Engineer recalls seeing a backup sign from the ground man after his engines cleared the switch, so he reversed direction and subsequently collided with the NATX 34440 tanker which eventually exploded, destroying one engine and seriously damaging the other. A container found in the cab which was analyzed by Suffolk PD was found to have a substance which amounted to 7% alcohol by volume. It could not be proven whether this was window washing fluid or an intoxicant used by the crew, so it was eventually discounted. One empty beer can was found in the lead unit and two unopened containers of beer were found in the trailing unit's icebox. All beer cans were not found to be damaged by fire so the crew's defense was that those containers were placed there well after the fire was extinguished, possibly by firemen. It was concluded that performing the flying switch wasn't the cause of the accident but rather the Engineer mistaking a hand signal by a ground man to reverse direction before the entire consist cleared the main track.

I won't post the crew member's names in this thread, but you can see the names of all parties involved in the link above. The outcomes of the two investigations are also listed. The PDF file above was found and saved from the National Mediation Board's website at http://www.nmb.gov/.
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