Accident at Brigham Circle

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Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby WatertownCarBarn » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:55 pm

Caused by derailment it says. Any ideas about which one was off?
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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby ck4049 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:01 pm

It looks like the two Type 7s are all that came off. But Im not suprised by this at all.
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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby dieciduej » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:04 pm

From what I am seeing on the TV now the switch that is on the outbound side is normal, set for straight rail. So my guess, and just a guess, the inbound switch wasn't set correctly or not fully closed and the inbound train started to cross over and sideswiped the outbound.

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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby MBTA3247 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:05 pm

ck4049 wrote:But Im not suprised by this at all.

Please elaborate.
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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby WatertownCarBarn » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:55 pm

That's what I was thinking, it looked to me like one of them had started across the switch.
From boston.com:
“Preliminary investigations show that this was a case of human error,” Pesaturo said in a phone interview,
citing that a switch was not in the proper position at a crossover section on the tracks, leading to the derailment.
“It had nothing to do with the equipment or the vehicle.”
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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby dieciduej » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:27 pm

There is a couple of issues here.

If the inbound train, that did the sideswiping had been short-turned, switched outbound to inbound, then both switches would have to be normalize. It appears that the outbound switch had been normalized and the next outbound train proceeded into Brigham Out. Now the train at Brigham In should hold until the inbound switch had been normalize. The question is the that train hold or quickly load? My guess they most likely they did wait since the operators would have to switch ends taking a few minutes to do that. So during that time the Inspector should have normalized both switches. Or the Inspector just didn't normalize the switch, forgot to, called on the radio and lost track of it. But the operator should also have read his/her rail just to make sure.

Maybe the Inspector did normalized the switches but failed to lock them. Streetcars pounding over the switch would inevitability rock the point to a neutral position or diverging position. So if the train that did the deed wasn't just short-turned my guess would be the Inspector failed to lock the switch.

This shouldn't take a long time for a finding but who know. Remember all that I have said in just conjecture from the pictures on the TV and news reports.
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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby MBTA3247 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:12 pm

I guess the T needs to give its operators a crash course in reading switches. [rim shot]

dieciduej wrote:Maybe the Inspector did normalized the switches but failed to lock them. Streetcars pounding over the switch would inevitability rock the point to a neutral position or diverging position. So if the train that did the deed wasn't just short-turned my guess would be the Inspector failed to lock the switch.

Switch locks are to prevent unauthorized people from throwing the switch, and have nothing to do with keeping the points locked in position. The lever mechanism for moving the points is designed so that the action of passing trains can't move them. The single-point switches used on the Green Line in places appear to have a spring mechanism that accomplishes the same purpose.
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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby dieciduej » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:39 am

MBTA3247 wrote:Switch locks are to prevent unauthorized people from throwing the switch, and have nothing to do with keeping the points locked in position. The lever mechanism for moving the points is designed so that the action of passing trains can't move them. The single-point switches used on the Green Line in places appear to have a spring mechanism that accomplishes the same purpose.


True the main purpose of a switch lock is to prevent unauthorized people from throwing the switch. Granted this was from a wise old sage, from the long passed B&M, would always say to us young kids put the lock in the switch otherwise you clean up the mess. (The saying has been cleaned up for human consumption!) Again that was railroad and not streetcar service. From the photos the switches look like conventional two-point type at Brigham Circle, where as the Northeastern crossovers and storage are the single point spring switch. Also the distance from the edge of the Brigham In platform to the switch points the operator should have seen a misalignment. No matter what someone or persons dropped the mental ball on it.

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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby boblothrope » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:32 pm

dieciduej wrote:But the operator should also have read his/her rail just to make sure.


So what's the backup safety system for unsignalled switches? Is the operator supposed to visually verify the lineup of any switch before driving across it?
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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby dieciduej » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:45 pm

boblothrope wrote:So what's the backup safety system for unsignalled switches? Is the operator supposed to visually verify the lineup of any switch before driving across it?


That is pretty much it.

As a sidebar the switch in question is a facing switch. For that reason the train was able to start crossing over and side-swipe the other train. If it had been a trailing switch the points would have been pushed to normal by the train or the front truck would have been on the ground.

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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby jr145 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:06 pm

boblothrope wrote:
dieciduej wrote:But the operator should also have read his/her rail just to make sure.


So what's the backup safety system for unsignalled switches? Is the operator supposed to visually verify the lineup of any switch before driving across it?




Yep you should ALWAYS check the switch points when approaching one.
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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby Bill D » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:19 pm

I was wondering in a situation such as this, how are any other trains at the outer end of the line dealt with? There would be room for two trains at Heath Street and possibly enough room to bring one to the Brigham Circle inbound platform, but any more than that would probably be stranded in the middle of the street.

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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby The EGE » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:39 pm

It would be a very unusual situation, I believe, to have more than 2 or 3 trains on the outer part of the E.
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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby ck4049 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:42 pm

The two cars that derailed are 3633 & 3634.
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Re: Accident at Brigham Circle

Postby Bill D » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:37 am

The EGE wrote:It would be a very unusual situation, I believe, to have more than 2 or 3 trains on the outer part of the E.


I agree that it would be unusual, but I have been at Brigham Circle on occasions when inspectors hold cars at the inbound platform to spread them out and regain the proper headway (usually during A.M. rush hour). It a case like this, there could be bunching towards the outer end of the line. Potentially, it could create a real traffic mess along the street running segment. Maybe I should rephrase my question to ask: if there were more trains than could be held in off street areas, where would be the least disruptive location to hold the extra train(s)?

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