MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby ExCon90 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:57 pm

In this day and age, wouldn't the investigators have taken photos of everything, including the interior of the cab? If so, it would appear that the only wiggle room would be whether the cab was ever unattended at any time between the time the train was stopped and when the photos were taken, and whether there would have been time for some unknown miscreant from who knows where to sneak in and malevolently tie a cord on the handle--not much help there.
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby CRail » Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:34 pm

The train was boarded by a crew and operated before investigators ever got to it. Photographic evidence proves nothing except how the train was left by the crew that last ran it.
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby danib62 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:26 pm

CRail wrote:The train was boarded by a crew and operated before investigators ever got to it. Photographic evidence proves nothing except how the train was left by the crew that last ran it.

I'm not sure that's necessarily true. They also pushed the train with a different one to Cabot, presumably to preserve the state of the cab.
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby MBTA3247 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:52 pm

Even so, they would have had to change one control or another to tie down the train before the second one could come up behind it. Otherwise it would have just taken off on its own again the moment power was restored.
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby CRail » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:37 pm

There are ways to keep the train from taking power.

I thought I read that the train was operated to the next stop where passengers were let off. I could be mistaken.
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby Disney Guy » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:20 am

If it had been 70 years ago and there was a runaway train and they succeeded in stopping it before a crash occurred --- say, then they found a cord holding down the controller handle, they would have had jumped to conclusions, untied the cord, written up a brief report, and put the train back in service with a different motorman and perhaps the same passengers on board after a few simple tests.

One news report said that, after the train stopped, some passengers including some nurses migrated to the front car "to check on the motorman," of course tripping the brake valves as they pulled levers to open the end doors. This would be expected to cause the train to not move if power were restored. I am not sure whether they invaded the front cab, possibly disturbing any cord on the controls or other evidence the next T crew wanted to see. So, among other things, the T train crew would have had to reset all of those brake valves.

Pulling the end door emergency lever does not enable opening the side doors simply by pulling them sideways.
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby dbperry » Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:53 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:About two years ago, a similar runaway incident occurred with a CTA 2600 series set on the Blue Line, this time with an empty consist that crashed into another parked set. The commonality in both cases is the single handle controller (possibility of deadman or interlock failure as state above).


Interesting that the new article this AM doesn't mention the above incident. R36, do you have more details or a reference?

Two other MBTA employees were accused of tampering with the throttle of a train over the last 16 years, a sign that the practice that apparently led a Red Line train to take off without its operator this month was not unprecedented.


http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/1 ... story.html
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:15 am

dbperry wrote:
R36 Combine Coach wrote:About two years ago, a similar runaway incident occurred with a CTA 2600 series set on the Blue Line, this time with an empty consist that crashed into another parked set. The commonality in both cases is the single handle controller (possibility of deadman or interlock failure as state above).


Interesting that the new article this AM doesn't mention the above incident. R36, do you have more details or a reference?


I believe the one R36 is referencing was the Blue Line In Chicago. I am guessing that's why the Globe did not reference it.
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby MaineCoonCat » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:58 pm

Adams_Umass_Boston wrote:
dbperry wrote:
R36 Combine Coach wrote:About two years ago, a similar runaway incident occurred with a CTA 2600 series set on the Blue Line, this time with an empty consist that crashed into another parked set. The commonality in both cases is the single handle controller (possibility of deadman or interlock failure as state above).


Interesting that the new article this AM doesn't mention the above incident. R36, do you have more details or a reference?


I believe the one R36 is referencing was the Blue Line In Chicago. I am guessing that's why the Globe did not reference it.


Does this help?

On October 01, 2013 In an article entitled "Half-mile journey of CTA 'ghost train' baffles investigators", Jon Hilkevitch of the Chicago Tribune staff wrote:
Half-mile journey of CTA 'ghost train' baffles investigators

Investigators face a daunting challenge to sort out the bizarre half-mile journey of an out-of-service, possibly driverless CTA "ghost train" that breached multiple safeguards before colliding with another Blue Line train Monday morning.

The accident that sent more than 30 people to hospitals was unlike any that veteran city rail workers say they have seen: A train maneuvers around the curves in the Forest Park rail yard, passes through at least two track switches — any one of which should have stopped the train — continues past the station platform, then climbs up and over a small hill near the Eisenhower Expressway before accelerating to about 20 mph and ramming the stopped train at the Harlem stop shortly before 8 a.m.




"The million-dollar question is, 'How did this happen?'" said Robert Kelly, president of the CTA rail workers union. "This is baffling everybody."

The head-on impact occurred with 40 people aboard the standing train. Most of those hurt reported only light injuries after the crash, during which the front ends of both head cars puckered to absorb the force of the crash and protect occupants, as they are designed to do. The seats in the impact area were still intact.

The unanswered questions are the subject of an investigation being led by the National Transportation Safety Board. As a precaution, the Federal Joint Terrorism Task Force is also involved in the investigation, a law enforcement official said.

The probe stems from the fact that numerous redundancies are designed to prevent any single break in the safety chain from leading to an accident.

If the train were properly parked in the yard, the friction brakes would be applied to prevent the rail cars from moving, regardless of whether electrical power was being delivered to the train, CTA officials and rail workers told the Tribune.

A universal key that opens the cab doors on all CTA trains would be needed to enter the cab compartment, and a separate key would be needed to turn on the master controller and release the brakes, according to CTA operators.

In addition, to prevent a runaway train, CTA rail cars are equipped with a "dead man control." The train operator must turn the handle of the master controller and keep his or her hand on the handle to release the brakes and deactivate the dead man switch. If the handle is released while the train is moving, the motor automatically shuts off and the brakes are applied, officials said.



Read more of the story at Chicago Tribune's web site
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby dbperry » Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:38 am

Thanks. Quick search on NTSB.gov found the report for the September 30, 2013 CTA incident:

Probable Cause
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the
accident was water in the control cables of two cars, which caused errant control signals to be
sent to the cars’ power systems. Contributing to the accident was the Chicago Transit Authority’s
practice of not securing unattended equipment.


http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/Acci ... AB1502.pdf

So it doesn't look like there were too many parallels to the recent MBTA Red Line incident, by what I can see.
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby Head-end View » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:40 pm

What do they mean by not securing unattended equipment? In what way should it have been secured?
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby chrisf » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:53 pm

Head-end View wrote:What do they mean by not securing unattended equipment? In what way should it have been secured?

The NTSB gave this suggestion in their report:
Immediately implement redundant means of preventing unintended rail car movements, such as wheel chocks or a derail device.
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby Disney Guy » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:54 am

Head-end View wrote:What do they mean by not securing unattended equipment? In what way should it have been secured?

Each railroad has its own procedures for securing unattended equipment for better or worse. For example, at Seashore Trolley Museum we use wheel chocks and we put the key (reverser) and some other parts such as the brake handle in a designated semi-obscure location typically under a seat. And the power is disconnected (trolley pole lowered). When parking at least one subway car set (Boston Blue Line) we are supposed to apply a hand brake not normally used during operation.

Many older Boston subway cars (some newer one too?) do not have locks on the outside cab doors. At the very least the interior cab doors require either a key or use of an emergency brake lever to open them from the passenger area.
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby sery2831 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:42 pm

More than likely a hand brake is what is considered secured. But a redundant safety feature like a derail or a switch lined away from a main line would also be required.
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Re: MBTA Red Line runaway train from Braintree Station

Postby Head-end View » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:34 pm

Not subway cars, but I know LIRR applies hand brakes in electric MU cars to secure them.
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