how to properly report track issues?

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how to properly report track issues?

Postby harshaw » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:42 am

We had an interesting issue today on the Worcester line. One of the passengers had reported seeing the tracks move alarmingly up and down as trains pass over the tracks at the Natick or West Natick station. He said the travel was quite significant, perhaps 8-10" of travel up and down. The passenger had taken pictures of the rail and has attempted to report the issue to the MBTA. Apparently he has had no luck getting someone to talk to him despite repeated efforts.

Unfortunately, his efforts at being a good samaritan were not well received. There were transit police who interrogated him this morning before he boarded the train. Obviously, someone was upset at either his repeated efforts or perhaps the fact that he was taking pictures.
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby sery2831 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:52 am

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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby Komarovsky » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:32 pm

Sounds like the famous Natick speed bump is back. I remember it was there when I first started commuting in 2011 and then about a year later they put in a 25mph speed restriction on for about a year until they reballasted it. I've noticed that its back, although not as bad as before.

I was under the impression that the drainage improvements at the station were supposed to resolve the issue that caused it. That said, the ballast is extremely thin on that section of the line for some reason, so I can imagine that even a little excess runoff could degrade the track bed to the point where its gotten to this.
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby CSX Conductor » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:39 pm

If it was Natick on Track #1, that's been a tough spot for years. You're probably speaking of where the Saxonville Industrial Track used to branch off the main line.

Passengers are not experts on track conditions, they are passengers. The tracks are routinely patrolled by track department employees.
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby CRail » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:08 pm

Lateral motion is a problem, up and down significantly less so. 8-10" seems a bit extreme, especially since the ties themselves are only 7" tall, but I wasn't there so I won't say what did or didn't happen.
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby 8th Notch » Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:27 pm

CSX Conductor wrote:If it was Natick on Track #1, that's been a tough spot for years. You're probably speaking of where the Saxonville Industrial Track used to branch off the main line.

Passengers are not experts on track conditions, they are passengers. The tracks are routinely patrolled by track department employees.


While I do agree with that better safe than sorry, things can always happen in between patrols. Yes the signal system should pickup a severe defect but you never know.
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:32 pm

8th Notch wrote:
CSX Conductor wrote:If it was Natick on Track #1, that's been a tough spot for years. You're probably speaking of where the Saxonville Industrial Track used to branch off the main line.

Passengers are not experts on track conditions, they are passengers. The tracks are routinely patrolled by track department employees.


While I do agree with that better safe than sorry, things can always happen in between patrols. Yes the signal system should pickup a severe defect but you never know.


just to clarify for others, the track circuit will only detect a problem if the circuit in the rail gets broken; for example a broken rail will shunt the circuit, making the system think there were train were in the block...and the Dispatcher knows if there is a train or not, and then the track dept is sent out to find said break and joint bar/weld it back together
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby Freddy » Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:58 pm

You can also have a break that has a good bit of separation with the 2 ends resting on a tie plate and still be able to line up a signal down the main. Seen it.
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby harshaw » Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:59 pm

CRail wrote:Lateral motion is a problem, up and down significantly less so. 8-10" seems a bit extreme, especially since the ties themselves are only 7" tall, but I wasn't there so I won't say what did or didn't happen.


I was reporting this second hand and in retrospect 8-10" seems seems extreme :) I did have fantasy the other day that next year they should shut down the worcester line for next August while everyone is on Vacation and completely rebuild the railroad. That's probably what they would do in China.
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby TrainManTy » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:45 am

CSX Conductor wrote:If it was Natick on Track #1, that's been a tough spot for years. You're probably speaking of where the Saxonville Industrial Track used to branch off the main line.


If this is the same Natick Speed Bump I'm familiar with, it was on No. 2 but adjacent to the old Saxonville switch on No. 1.

"Speed Bump" is a bit of a misnomer since in my experience, it's usually a low spot.

CSX Conductor wrote:Passengers are not experts on track conditions, they are passengers. The tracks are routinely patrolled by track department employees.


Agreed. These conditions, while uncomfortable to people in the train, are not uncommon nor necessarily unsafe.
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby Disney Guy » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:27 am

If the track bobbed up and down that much with each passing train, wouldn't the spikes or clips work loose and then the track fall apart in short order?
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby talltim » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:51 am

CSX Conductor wrote:
Passengers are not experts on track conditions, they are passengers.


What precludes them being both?
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:43 am

unless your a track inspector its hard to say what is dangerous or not, ties and rails move, their not solid objects even on NEC its common for 1 to 2 inch up and down movement.
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby Cosmo » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:50 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:unless your a track inspector its hard to say what is dangerous or not, ties and rails move, their not solid objects even on NEC its common for 1 to 2 inch up and down movement.

So then, anything more than 1-2" could very well be considered "UNcommon," and therefore in keeping with the current post-911 cultural criterion of "If you see something, SAY something!" yes?
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Re: how to properly report track issues?

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:59 pm

you want to say something, great , just don't be anal about it when you see no action. RR will check it out , but if track inspector says its ok don't expect a call back.
you report it, fine, now its in RR hands, so stop bothering them about it.
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