MBTA engine 1073

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MBTA engine 1073

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sun Aug 15, 2004 6:53 pm

when was this unit scrapped and why was it scrapped? The accident at back Bay?
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Sun Aug 15, 2004 7:02 pm

Yes, that engine was involved in the infamous accident at Back Bay Depot in 12DEC90 with Amtrak's returning Night Owl from Washington Union Station. FYI the two Amtrak Engines that went down with 1073 were F40's 272 and 366. No P40s, P32AC-DMs or P42s were involved since they weren't even built back then.

Immediately following that accident, MBTA and Amtrak management decided to scrap 1073 and the other two A-units right there on site, since they could not be taken away to the yards, so they scrapped them right there in the BBY tunnelways. I also remember that crash myself, I was 14 going on 15 when it happened.
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sun Aug 15, 2004 7:05 pm

what was the cause of the accident?
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Sun Aug 15, 2004 7:13 pm

It was the Amtrak train that was travelling at an international speed of 91.8 miles an hour and its motorperson was an "apprentice" motorman with very little experience. Also there was no ACSES installed at the time, so if he were doing 91.8 MAH today, the train itself would have slowed down to the official top speed of 29.9 MAH at that curve approach before reaching BBY. But then, sadly we didn't posses that technology, fortunately though, nobody died. Although a few hundred customers on both the Amtrak and MBTA trains (the MBTA one originated out of Stoughton not Attleborough) substained all kinds of injuries, but none really serious, thankfully.
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Back Bay

Postby Paul Cutler III » Sun Aug 15, 2004 7:43 pm

Yes, 1073 was scrapped because of the Back Bay wreck.

A Boston-bound Amtrak train on track 2 was under the control of a student engineer who was being watched/trained by a qualified engineer (who had decades of experience). This student engineer did not reduce speed enough after passing Ruggles, and the teaching engineer did not take corrective action. The Amtrak train overturned in the tunnel just before Back Bay station and slammed into a Canton Jct.-to-Boston local that had just pulled up to a stop on track 1. Both Amtrak engineers claimed to have fallen asleep.

There were no deaths (amazingly, not even the Amtrak engineers), and most of the passengers on the MBTA train that were injured only needed first aid. However, there were several that needed serious medical attention.

One of the passengers on the MBTA train is a friend of mine who was fortunately uninjured. Everything did turn black, he said. His pockets were filled with black soot because the wreck had knocked it loose off the ceiling. He said it "fell like rain" on everything. He helped some injured passengers until help arrived ("it seemed to take forever"). The worst injured were those in the aisle that were standing up to get off the train. He said that the whole train just jumped forward about 6 to 10 feet from a standing stop, and everything and everybody just went flying.

I have access to a video of the wreck clean-up taken by an empoyee (apparently). They used earthmovers that had large snips to cut up the F40PH's.

I also have pictures that I took of the wreck remains that were stored for months in Amtrak gondolas at the old Readville Shops yard by the Dedham branch.

I've talked to one retired Amtrak engineer who had over 40 years on NH/PC/AMT about the cause of this wreck. He stated that, in his opinion, one factor was the lack of a more restrictive slow board in front of Back Bay. IOW, it was 100 mph at Ruggles, then when instantly to a sub-40 mph speed restriction just before the curve. If you lost track of just exactly where you were, it was too late when you saw curve coming to slow down. He also said, "The Union had complained about it for years."

The Amtrak student engineer still works in the industry as an Operator, and I believe the teaching engineer is long retired. The passenger friend of mine still commutes on the Canton local every weekday.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Sun Aug 15, 2004 8:01 pm

Wow, your friend that was on that train still has to commute to town everyday? Well I'm sure things will improve now, as I said earlier ACSES has since been installed, and that will hoepfully minimize the chances for such accidents again.
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1073

Postby GP40MC1118 » Sun Aug 15, 2004 8:05 pm

An engineer friend of mine has photos of the 1073 on its side inside
Back Bay. Some of it was taken out in MBTA Sidedumps. I remember
seeing engine parts inside one in old Yard 14 (prior to the new BET
setup). There is portion of a rear frame out back at BET. I suspect
it might be part of the 1073.

Also, I understand that F40PHM-2C 1036 was bought by Amtrak
for the MBTA as a replacement unit.

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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sun Aug 15, 2004 8:32 pm

wow that is amazing that noone got hurt! thanks for the information guys :D

has there been any other accidents in the MBTA commuter rail system? (i know of the recent ones, but like from '95 and back?)
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Other Wrecks

Postby GP40MC1118 » Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:24 pm

Besides Back Bay, the worst wreck had to be the Prides Crossing head-on collision, whose anniversary was August 11th (1981). Control Car 1301 ended up eventually getting scrapped in 1986.

Then there was the rear-ender on Conrail's Boston Line (1988?) at
CP-3, when an inbound ran into (at slow speed) the read of a CR
piggyback train yarding Beacon Park.

Other than that, in modern times there was No.231 versus a low-boy
trailer stuck on the crossing in Wakefield.

Also an inbound Fitchburg route train clipping a low-boy trailer at
Tower Road in Lincoln.

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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:49 pm

thanks Dave
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Correction

Postby GP40MC1118 » Sun Aug 15, 2004 10:13 pm

The Boston Line rear-ender was just east of CP-4, not CP-3!
Sorry...

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Postby CSX Conductor » Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:07 pm

Dave, what about the rear-ender involving 2 commuter trains @ Back Bay....I seem to remember that it was only about 11 months or so after the one discussed above.

Also, the engineer friend that you said has a lot of shots, was it M.G.?

Paul Cutler, was the video taken by E.B.R.?

Just curios, because both of these guys are old friends from back then, and I would like to check the pics and or video out. :wink:


Robert, Amtrak trains don't have motormen, they have engineers! LOL....as far as ACSES, ACSES would not slow the train to the correct speed, it would give a penalty application of the brakes when the train is over the speed limit.

I too got somepics of the wreck trains on their way towards 5 Yard in Readville :wink:
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Postby AEM7AC920 » Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:23 pm

If anyone has pics I would love to see them.
AMTRAK HAWK DETECTOR TRACK 1 NOOO DEFECTS OUT!
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:17 am

same here, please
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Back Bay

Postby Paul Cutler III » Thu Aug 19, 2004 11:17 am

CSX Conductor wrote:
Paul Cutler, was the video taken by E.B.R.?


Actually, I have no idea who exactly took the video. It's at my RR club library, and the label only says "Back Bay Copy". No one on the video addresses the cameraman by name, nor does the cameraman speak.

Now, considering this cameraman was filming this from so close, it's obvious to me that he had to be an employee.

We did have a guy in our RR club, since deceased, that was an Amtrak electrician out of Southampton St. who was also a cable video guy for one of the towns on the South Shore. He seems to be the obvious choice to me, but it's kind of hard to ask him, if you know what I mean. His intials were R. S. But I still don't know for certain who it was that took the video.
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