While we were away......

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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While we were away......

Postby RRChef » Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:28 pm

Does anyone have info on the crash in Maspeth yesterday? Was it LIRR or NYA?
This new site looks great btw
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LIRR Engine runaway

Postby Notinmyneighborhood » Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:31 pm

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Postby DogBert » Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:46 pm

LIRR engine. My theory is that LIRR dropped off some scrap M1s and a DE/DM at fresh pond for the CP train (which later that day had all of the above in it's train), and that the MP somehow got loose from them while at fresh pond.

I stopped by the bush today, and the line was still shut down, MP still sitting there with a scorched nose (front traction motors might have been burned up pretty good, hard to see though from the scott av. bridge). MTA PD was all over the place.

I was surprised that work was being done on the tracks - right at the next intersection near metro (where the work trucks got hit at the end of the MPs joyride) there's a switch replaced. I think I'm more shocked that work was being done on the branch than the engine got away...


Postby Guest » Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:35 pm

From what I heard the engine (160) was set-up as a trailing unit so the Deadman feature is not active. What a freak accident and of all places to happen where there aren't and crossing gates


Postby John 61 » Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:42 pm

There was actually a video on Newsday.com that showed the engine going by and it seemed to be pushing something along the tracks
John 61
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Postby Nasadowsk » Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:54 pm

I wasn't even aware there were any active, non gated crossing in NYC until now.

Heck, I wasn't aware that line was active. I've heard not many others in the area realized it was.

The NTSB report should be interesting.

One thing I noticed - a car off to the right, flipped upside down. Looks like it had been sitting there a while - I swear you can see graffitti on it in some pictures...
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Postby Legio X » Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:27 pm

The Bushwick Branch sees use by two or three trains a day, depending on how much business Waste Management is doing. That said, it is also one of the most dilapidated stretches of railroad you'll ever see. It's surprising the 160 did'nt derail, considering it's estimated speed of 15 mph and the track condition. NYA trains creep along at 5 or 6 mph. I wonder if the City is going to demand crossing gates be installed on the line. NYA should reply "Sure, if you're paying." :wink:
Legio X

Postby RRChef » Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:29 pm

At one time, all of the crossings on the Bushwick branch had gates. The bases are still visable at a few of the crossings. I am not sure of when exactly they were removed, but I seem to recall them being there at least til the early 90's. What I find ironic is that the gates were up for years while the line saw almost no traffic and now that NYA runs there daily, they have to rely on the crew to get out in front of traffic.

I saw that picture of the car with the graffetti. The Bushwick has long been the favorite destination of the local car thieves.
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Deadman, Shmedman

Postby Gruntled » Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:17 am

The papers, radio, and TV mention the deadman feature being "cut out," and I guess you can't blame them for not knowing about train brakes... The "deadman" feature only comes into play when THAT locomotive is the one being run by the engineer. However in this case, the "runaway" engine's brakes should have gone into emergency when the rest of the train cut away from it. Possibly they did, then failed (bled off, etc) for some reason. Possibly the air was "bottled," which is a no-no. One rule when leaving standing equipment is "a sufficient amount" of handbrakes must be applied to keep it from moving... if it moves, it wasn't "a sufficient amount."

Something the papers missed, but the investigators won't: if the derail at the west end of the west yard was in the derailing position, the engine would have run into the side of the hill instead of those four cars.

Postby Legio X » Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:27 am

So I guess that means the NYA will get blamed for this: "The NYA crew working the yard failed to set the derail, thus allowing the LIRR locomotive to run away..."
Legio X

LIRR Runaway

Postby Electric flyer » Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:59 am

Sure looks like SOMEbody will get blamed!The crew that didn't secure or " Protect against uncontrolled movement" as the Rulebook sez! The paper accounts contridicted themselves, after all, as stated above, what do they know about trains? My impression is that the 160 was 'Made up" with 2 other units at the yard, crew wasn't aboard. But that shouldn't have mattered. If 3 lokies are made up, that would mean that the pipes woulda been hooked up? Brake pipe, Main Res. Actuating pipe, those three hoses you see on every engine, the angle cocks opened, brake stand 'Cut out" in each trailing unit, the 27 pin control jumper plugged in so it will power up on command, from the cut in leading unit, no matter how many engines are made up. Now in this situation, if you come apart, EVERYTHING goes "in the hole"and you stop! Game Over! Sooo these wern't made up correctly, or somebody with a strange sense of humor closed the angle cocks on BOTH engines, IF the brakes were released, pulled the pin, and let her go, air bottled, maybe gave her a few notches of power, as I have heard part of the runaway route was up hill? Engines don't defy the laws of physics long or roll UP hill.

Bottom line, and I hope RR knowledgable folks checked real fast angle cock positions, throttle settings, Cutting lever position, was it pulled? Damn sure! When's the last time you heard of a " Pull apart" anyhow, if it, the cut of engines were sitting on a hill, you would hafta Slack it back to get the pin so you could pull it, to set the engine loose, anyhow.Same guy that set the throttle? SOMEbody very familiar with RR operations?Was the engine being towed with no air? Cringe! A NO NO in all our rulebooks! Trucks cut out so it could have air but none to the air brake cylinders to be able to stop it..now ya have a deadly missle! Check for fingerprints on the controls? Should be interesting if the powers that be don't botch the investigation!Cutting lever(s) in an upright, pulled position, pin up, that would be the biggie, meaning deliberate.

Big as trains are, they are relativly docile, rarely attack, even if provoked, and only go in predictable manor
Electric flyer

maspeth disaster

Postby bo-vawn » Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:39 am

I think it's time for the LIRR to rethink it's operation. They have Passenger "Engineers" operating work-trains and performing switching moves that only experienced people should be performing. The LIRR should consider having NYAR operate ALL of it's work-trains and ANY diesel hauled roustabout moves like the recent one to Fresh Pond which resulted in near disaster. Let the freight experienced NYAR people run the non-passenger trains and let the LIRR people who clearly should not be doing anything but passenger work, run passenger trains.


Postby BluePoint » Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:52 am

excellant point Bo. i agree 100%. there was talk of contracting with NYAR for the work-trains and such but the Transfer Agreement prohibits it. so the LIRR is stuck and they know it. it is about time this prohibition is reconsidered and have real freight people run freight.

A couple of clarifications

Postby jayrmli » Fri Mar 12, 2004 3:30 pm

A couple of clarifications for the posts made previously.

The derail at the west end of the yard was lined correctly. If Gruntled is who I think he is, it's not the split-derail type that you remember, but rather a hand thrown derail like what is more commonplace on the LIRR. Apparently, the engine just snapped it in half and kept on going.

When the NYAR was created, man unions on the LIRR were worried about privatization of other LIRR operations other than freight. This is why the transfer agreement prohibits NYAR from operating work trains.

The argument that this wouldn't have happened if "more experienced NYAR employees were operating" isn't necessarily true. There was no freight equipment involved in this particular incident, only engines. No one knows for sure what really happened yet so we shouldn't try to place blame until the investigation is complete.



Postby Joanna » Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:30 pm

Yo, Bo-vawn is RIGHT!!

We LIRR trainmen and traingirls aren't hardly traind on those big deesel locomotives, and I dont think the engineers are too much neither.

There is an expert deesel railroad on LI and thats NYAR. They should pass a law tomorrow that sez that noone can run a deezel locomotive on LI except a certified NYAR engineer!

Then I wouldnt have to be getting dirty and all on those deezel trains and the people would be safe. Only a freight railroad nows how to run deezels, and the LIRR is more like the transit authority..


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