M8 Collision in Bridgeport

Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

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csor2010
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Re: M8 Collision in Bridgeport

Post by csor2010 » Sat May 18, 2013 11:38 am

I think we all need to take a step back and instead of wrangling over how much "better" the New Haven would have handled this, take a moment to appreciate the fact that we're trying to learn from our mistakes here. Everyone wants the rails to be safe. There will always be an element of "stuff happens" but when stuff does happen does it is our prerogative to make sure we didn't miss something that could have been prevented. There is a lot to be learned from an incident like this and bulldozing it for the sake of keeping the line open at all costs is far from the right approach. Not to mention the fact that I'm sure the state and those personally affected by this would like an explanation of how this happened.

And to address the subject of the M8's crashworthiness, I'm just going to say that if this happened with M2s or even older stock we would probably be looking at a much worse situation. There is a lot more engineering that goes into making a railcar safe than putting more steel on it.

runningwithscalpels
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Re: M8 Collision in Bridgeport

Post by runningwithscalpels » Sat May 18, 2013 11:45 am

csor2010 wrote:And to address the subject of the M8's crashworthiness, I'm just going to say that if this happened with M2s or even older stock we would probably be looking at a much worse situation. There is a lot more engineering that goes into making a railcar safe than putting more steel on it.
But those stringent FRA requirements are "absurd' - or so I have read elsewhere -_-
IMO you couldn't ask for a rail car to hold up much better than these M8's did. It's pretty effing miraculous that nobody died!
Change at Bridgeport for service to Derby-Shelton, Ansonia, Seymour, Beacon Falls, Naugatuck and Waterbury

NH2060
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Re: M8 Collision in Bridgeport

Post by NH2060 » Sat May 18, 2013 11:49 am

csor2010 wrote:And to address the subject of the M8's crashworthiness, I'm just going to say that if this happened with M2s or even older stock we would probably be looking at a much worse situation.
Having seen photos of one of the M-2s involved in the 1988 Mount Vernon rear end collision there's little reason to think that wouldn't have happened.

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Tommy Meehan
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Re: M8 Collision in Bridgeport

Post by Tommy Meehan » Sat May 18, 2013 11:52 am

WCBS stream during "traffic reports" segments is reporting "shuttle" type ops between Bridgeport- New Haven,Bus to
So No,all stops to GCT.


That was apparently just to get riders already ON trains to their destinations. Metro-North said on their Facebook page a while ago, there is NO BUS between South Norwalk and Bridgeport.

However, you could still use public transit. Take MNR to South Norwalk. Then a Norwalk Transit District Coastal Link motor coach to either Bridgeport (if MNR has shuttle service from there to New Haven) or Coastal Link to Milford and then a CT Transit 02 bus to New Haven.

The Coastal Link operates every 30 minutes on Saturday and the 02 every 20 minutes. The Coastal Link segment is a l-o-n-g ride, however.

pnaw10
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Re: M8 Collision in Bridgeport

Post by pnaw10 » Sat May 18, 2013 12:00 pm

CTRailfan wrote:They used to have the attitude of "we keep the railroad running come hell or high water" and that seems lacking these days.
Railroads also used to be profitable enough to operate without government subsidies... and they used to operate without the FRA regulating their operation. We also have a culture that's much more lawsuit-happy than 50 or 100 years ago. The lack of a "hell or high water" approach to rebuilding after a wreck certainly doesn't appear to be voluntary on the railroad's part. If MNR wants to maintain its own existence, it has to comply with whatever the Feds want.

On the positive side, by investigating to find the cause of the derailment, it might be possible to take measures to prevent a repeat of this incident. When the NTSB investigator said, "luckily we're not very good at train crashes," I think the investigator was making reference to the fact that they don't have accidents of this severity very often, and that's a good thing. I agree, that's not the best way to say it because a quote like that can very easily be misinterpreted... but these are scientific investigators, not public relations experts.

In any event, let's just be glad this wasn't any worse than it was. I imagine a head-on could have been much worse if the crash involved the older M-units... or a diesel locomotive, not just for the heavier weight, but for the fuel.
.

fl9m2004
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Re: M8 Collision in Bridgeport

Post by fl9m2004 » Sat May 18, 2013 12:17 pm

True about it being lucky there was no genesis
I'm sure 1546 was the last eastbound before 1548-1581 derailed

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Tommy Meehan
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Re: M8 Collision in Bridgeport

Post by Tommy Meehan » Sat May 18, 2013 12:23 pm

The NTSB has a great reputation. They've even been called in by other countries to lend their expertise. Many of the NTSB railroad accident investigators are people who have worked in the railroad industry before going to NTSB. In fact I would guess most of the investigators have previous railroad experience. It's not like they don't know what they're doing.

It's a huge inconvenience to have service disrupted. However there is public transit available (transit bus routes) one can use to complete their trip. True it's much slower but how often does something like this happen?

At the news conference a little while ago Governor Molloy of Connecticut said he could not yet give a estimate on when service will be restored through the area. He said there is extensive damage to the track and catenary.

He did say they will be putting "a system in place" to get people "from Bridgeport to the next closest station that can handle" large numbers of passengers. He didn't say when but I would be very surprised if they don't have it up-and-running by Monday AM.

Link to USA Today video showing the statements by Governor and an NTSB investigator.

25Hz
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Re: M8 Collision in Bridgeport

Post by 25Hz » Sat May 18, 2013 1:30 pm

CTRailfan wrote:
TacSupport1 wrote:What benefit would there be just cleaning up this wreck immediately, and restoring service? What would be learned from that? I think thoroughly documenting this incident to see what went wrong to make sure it doesn't happen again is a smart path to take. Also, I'm sure that numerous photos have to be taken, and many tests performed. I'm sure they will get it open as soon as possible, but safety first.

The NTSB team include experts on train collisions that have international training and experience investigating train incidents.
MN could have done that a lot quicker than these goons from Washington. It doesn't take long to document and snap photos.
Way to insult people who's job it is to keep you safe on the ground & in the air by finding the causes of incidents. Clearly you have no idea what is involved in crash investigations. They have to take hundreds of measurements, often photographing the process for later reference. It isn't about quicker it's about independent investigation.
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

Terminal Proceed
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Re: M8 Collision in Bridgeport

Post by Terminal Proceed » Sat May 18, 2013 1:33 pm

This is getting a bit ridiculous - I dont have time right now to go through this in detail. I suggest everybody take a pill and calm down for a bit. I am locking for now until i can read these tomorrow.

25Hz
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M8 collision aftermath overhead shot.

Post by 25Hz » Sat May 18, 2013 3:31 pm

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video ... .wabc.html

Mods can move this to the main thread i guess, i wanted to post it there but it's locked.

Clearly what seems to have happened based solely on the position of the cars is the train on the right had its rear end derail, which sent it into the head end of the train going the other direction. The rest of the train seems to be still on the rails, and only the front-most car of the other train seems to be askew. Not an expert on M8's but it seems to me the head end did its job of protecting the engineer from body deformation. Obviously something (or a series of somethings) wasn't right for this to happen.

I don't think there will be any service on the line till tuesday at the earliest, and even then they will likely be single tracking.

From what i can tell, and this is my own opinion, i think the engineer may have seen the derailed car and put on the brakes enough to keep it from being a much worse situation, so kudos to them if that is indeed the case.
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

NH2060
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Re: M8 collision aftermath overhead shot.

Post by NH2060 » Sat May 18, 2013 3:47 pm

The way the front car of the westbound train tore off the side of the car it hit before derailing.. just wow. It looks eerily similar in a way to that incident in Nevada 2 years ago when that truck slammed into the California Zephyr.

MACTRAXX
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Re: M8 collision aftermath overhead shot.

Post by MACTRAXX » Sat May 18, 2013 3:54 pm

25HZ and Everyone: News 12 Connecticut has posted at their Interactive section a Chopper 12 video
overview of the accident site and videos of news conferences yesterday and today about this accident...
If you have Optimum service from Cablevision this should be accessible...

I found out about this accident during the LIST-NRHS monthly meeting I attended (5/17) and it looks to me
that one train derailed and was sideswiped by the second train...The M8s look to have significant damage
but thankfully there was no fatalities and not too many serious injuries...

The NTSB is investigating this accident - see: http://www.ntsb.gov

MACTRAXX
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Re: M8 Collision in Bridgeport

Post by Jeff Smith » Sat May 18, 2013 4:46 pm

Terminal Proceed wrote:This is getting a bit ridiculous - I dont have time right now to go through this in detail. I suggest everybody take a pill and calm down for a bit. I am locking for now until i can read these tomorrow.
Kevin is right. Any attempts to bypass the lock and discuss elsewhere will merit a suspension.

I can't believe some of you, and believe me, I've taken note of who you are, arguing about who should run the investigation and turning this thread about a serious incident in which some of our members could have gotten hurt into a flame war. Shame on you. Warnings and suspensions will follow after Kevin determines who the idiots were.

I don't want to hear nary a peep of excusal. If you PM me (with one exception) about the thread, you will be suspended. There were only a few responsible posters on here who listened to Kevin and refrained. I wish there were a way to issue "praise" instead of just warning.
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Noel Weaver
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Re: M8 collision aftermath overhead shot.

Post by Noel Weaver » Sat May 18, 2013 9:00 pm

I hope I won't get "hell" for posting this but here is a link to an article in the New Haven Register web site regarding this unfortunate incident. I hope they find it was indeed a track or rail problem becuase if it becomes a problem with the equipment they could be without enough cars to run anything approaching a normal operation for some time. I haven't had time to read all of the stuff here concerning this and probably won't be able to either.

http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2013 ... 502871.txt

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Re: M8 collision aftermath overhead shot.

Post by DutchRailnut » Sat May 18, 2013 9:15 pm

If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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