UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Discussion about the Union Pacific operations past and present. Official site can be found here: UPRR.COM.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Semaphore Sam » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:15 pm

So, I take it that the consensus is that it was caused by the engineer being unable to read the color signals, and other possible causes precluded? Is it practice on USA trains that only one person is responsible for reading signal aspects? Wow! Talk about the Swiss cheese holes lining up! BTW, in aviation forums speculation is rife, and expected, concerning accident causes, well before NTSB reports are issued...I guess speculation is much more frowned upon over here. Sorry if I offended. Sam
Semaphore Sam
 
Posts: 177
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 7:04 am
Location: New Hampshire

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Freddy » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:12 pm

Semaphore Sam wrote:So, I take it that the consensus is that it was caused by the engineer being unable to read the color signals, and other possible causes precluded? Is it practice on USA trains that only one person is responsible for reading signal aspects? Wow! Talk about the Swiss cheese holes lining up! BTW, in aviation forums speculation is rife, and expected, concerning accident causes, well before NTSB reports are issued...I guess speculation is much more frowned upon over here. Sorry if I offended. Sam

Haven't offended me. I've gotten that impression since joining. That discussing an accident is somehow going to influence an investigation. I'd be interested in an explanation
for it, seeing as how I've had, in my opinion, an innocent post deleted. The very same thing is done out on the real RR, whether it's an accident, personal injury or somebody who happens to get out of their hyrail, without putting it in park,to check an insulated joint and it backs all the way thru town and finally derails at a reversed switch.
Freddy
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:48 pm
Location: Walker Co. Alabama

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby justalurker66 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:13 pm

Semaphore Sam wrote:So, I take it that the consensus is that it was caused by the engineer being unable to read the color signals, and other possible causes precluded?

Incorrectly reading and responding to signals seems to be the primary cause. There are always a list of contributing factors.

Semaphore Sam wrote:Is it practice on USA trains that only one person is responsible for reading signal aspects? Wow! Talk about the Swiss cheese holes lining up!

Different roads have different rules and policies. I suppose it gets boring reading signals to each other in a cab. Even calling them out on the radio (on roads that require it). It isn't the hundreds or thousands of signals one reads right that get one into trouble. It is the one or two in a row that one gets wrong.

Semaphore Sam wrote:BTW, in aviation forums speculation is rife, and expected, concerning accident causes, well before NTSB reports are issued...I guess speculation is much more frowned upon over here. Sorry if I offended. Sam

Some people would be upset by a direct quote from an NTSB report. Personally I prefer any "speculation" to be based on reports from witnesses. When accidents have no survivors to interview one could argue that the NTSB report is speculation - but it is the kind of speculation I like, fact based.

Most causes can be eliminated within a day or two of an incident - if there is a preliminary report from the NTSB or solid media reporting one can have a fact based discussion. The sub facts can be added in as they are revealed.
User avatar
justalurker66
 
Posts: 2086
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby JimBoylan » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:37 am

Does a problem distinguishing red and green explain why the train didn't slow for a yellow signal before the red one?
JimBoylan
 
Posts: 3109
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:33 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:38 pm

I guess the Question now how close was this engineer to retirement age? Or why the chief Medical officer didn't pull his cert after
he failed the FRA vision test?, it's unknown if his eye Doc notified DMV to pull his license due to failing vision.
Backshophoss
 
Posts: 4574
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Freddy » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:03 am

Backshophoss wrote:I guess the Question now how close was this engineer to retirement age? Or why the chief Medical officer didn't pull his cert after
he failed the FRA vision test?, it's unknown if his eye Doc notified DMV to pull his license due to failing vision.

Same thing I wondered about, when I first heard about his condition. Especially with 2 man crews because, if you think about it, with him in that physical state, it was actually a 1 man
crew.
Freddy
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:48 pm
Location: Walker Co. Alabama

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby butts260 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:45 am

NTSB has released: Accident Report NTSB/RAR-13/02 PB2013-107679 "Head-On Collision of Two Union Pacific Railroad Freight Trains Near Goodwell, Oklahoma June 24, 2012"
butts260
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 2:04 pm
Location: Rockport, MA

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Roscoe P. Coaltrain » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Evidently, the final report is online. The hogger's medical and vision state was indeed quite a mess.

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2013/RAR1302.pdf

One thing I noticed, and which the NTSB should be thinking about, is whether these new designs of wayside signals currently being installed that have only one sun-reflecting hood are contributing to the failure to correctly identify signals. In the report, there is an exemplary photo of a wayside signal on the Pratt Sub. The sun glare on the face of the signal, combined with the lack of individual sun hoods that would block the sunlight over each color aspect, makes it more difficult to interpret the signals than it should be. The NTSB needs to track accident frequency on corridors equipped with these new darth vader signal heads.

Unless you go to robots, the health of employees will vary, and some employees will have vision that is more impaired than others. You cannot correct this very cheaply, but you can correct the signal designs, restoring them to the practices of old, for relatively little costs. I mean, just how many pennies would it cost to apply individual sun hoods to each aspect? A few bolts and piece if metal?

Signal engineering seems to be going backwards in the past few decades, driven by cost reduction. Old style engineering practices that were adopted as a result of past safety issues seem to be ignored nowadays with new signal installations. The signals at Georgetown Jct on the B&O, where the collision happened between Amtrak and MARC, is one example. There is a left hand curve as you come into the interlocking. The original EB signal for track 2 was much taller than the EB signal for track 1, to allow a stop aspect on the signal to be seen above the tops of the rail cars on any train moving around the approach curve on the adjacent track. After the accident, when the interlocking was rebuilt, the signals were replaced and the new EB signal for track 2 is now as short as the EB signal for track 1. The result is a shortened sight distance, where you have to be fully around the curve before you can read the signal aspect. This is as good as we can expect in 2013?
Roscoe P. Coaltrain
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 5:01 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby justalurker66 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:49 pm

We have come a long way from position light signals and the semaphores that preceded them.
We have had searchlight signals for decades ... a design with one lens and one bulb with the signal changing color by rotating a color wheel.

While it might be interesting to see if there is a correlation between individual hoods on signals or a shared hood keep in mind the searchlight.
User avatar
justalurker66
 
Posts: 2086
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby ExCon90 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:09 pm

Possibly in line with what Mr. Coaltrain posted, searchlights are tending to be phased out because of the internal moving parts, which color-lights don't have. A big advantage of the searchlight is that there is always an internal roundel in place, so that is the only color that can be reflected by sunlight. British practice lately is to use LED signals, in which one signal light can display red, yellow, or green, just like a searchlight, but without the moving parts. I suppose we ought to be seeing more of those in new signal installations; in a number of recent installations using LEDs the signal is brilliant even in sunlight.
ExCon90
 
Posts: 3461
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:22 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby justalurker66 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:46 pm

Has the NTSB suggested a deficiency in using a searchlight style signal where without color the signal status is unknown?
If so there should be an NTSB recommendation to remove searchlight signals from service.

I do not recall any deficiency noted nor recommendation to remove such signals.
User avatar
justalurker66
 
Posts: 2086
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:38 pm

justalurker66 wrote:Has the NTSB suggested a deficiency in using a searchlight style signal where without color the signal status is unknown?
If so there should be an NTSB recommendation to remove searchlight signals from service.

I do not recall any deficiency noted nor recommendation to remove such signals.

I'm not sure what you mean by "without color." As far as I know there is always a roundel of some color (red by default, in case of a signal failure) in place on a searchlight signal.
ExCon90
 
Posts: 3461
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:22 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby justalurker66 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:15 pm

ExCon90 wrote:
justalurker66 wrote:Has the NTSB suggested a deficiency in using a searchlight style signal where without color the signal status is unknown?
If so there should be an NTSB recommendation to remove searchlight signals from service.

I do not recall any deficiency noted nor recommendation to remove such signals.

I'm not sure what you mean by "without color." As far as I know there is always a roundel of some color (red by default, in case of a signal failure) in place on a searchlight signal.


The thought was "when the color is unknown" ... a reflection on a colorblind or otherwise visually impaired enough engineer or conductor could not tell the signal aspect because they could not rely on seeing which bulb was lit.

The complaint was that with the new three light hoods it would be harder to tell which bulb was lit. If there was a deficiency issue it should have been noted with searchlights.
User avatar
justalurker66
 
Posts: 2086
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby David Benton » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:53 pm

I would have thought it would be;if in doubt,stop.
Moderator worldwide railfan , Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.
User avatar
David Benton
 
Posts: 7834
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby justalurker66 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:21 am

David Benton wrote:I would have thought it would be;if in doubt,stop.


It is in most rulebooks. But having proper vision is also in the rulebook and stopping for green lights is a good way to expose a vision problem one is trying to hide.

Color signals are intended to be read based on their color ... not the position of the bulb that is lit.
User avatar
justalurker66
 
Posts: 2086
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Union Pacific

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests