Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

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SouthernRailway
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Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by SouthernRailway » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:20 pm

On a recent Amtrak trip, I saw the M-8s that were damaged in the Metro-North New Haven Line derailment a few months ago. They were parked in a yard or something along the New Haven Line. Surprisingly, the damaged areas were just covered in tarps or something, and they were in plain view of passing trains.

Why in the world would Metro-North park damaged cars from an accident alongside a busy track? That's like parking a plane that was in a crash along a runway, in full view of planes taking off and landing.

Am I missing something?

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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by DutchRailnut » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:14 pm

not many places on our system to hide the cars.
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Clean Cab
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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by Clean Cab » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:27 pm

They are parked in East Bridgeport Yard until it is decided what's to be done with them. East Bridgeport is the only yard with spare tracks ever since it was expanded a couple of years ago.
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NH2060
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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by NH2060 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:35 pm

To add to the above post the "litigation cars" will be held up for who knows how long so calling dibs on storage space sooner than later made East Bridgeport the logical choice.

Furthermore I'm not so sure MNR would want them stored in a location where anyone could easily strip the cars of any parts, etc. without being detected. As others here have stated the lawyers would have a field day if that ever happened.

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Tadman
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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by Tadman » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:57 am

As far as I'm aware, that's fairly normal practice. A few years back some Metra cars were damaged in a Metra-Amtrak accident and they sat in plain view of the CUS-south tracks for all Metra and Amtrak passengers to see, under a fast-disintegrating green tarp. Airlines do the same, although they quickly paint out the logos. One of the fire-touched Dreamliners sat sans-logo on the tarmac for quite a while with a hasty white patch job over the operator's name and logo.
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Noel Weaver
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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by Noel Weaver » Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:26 am

I remember in my working days between Selkirk and Buffalo train 49 went "crosslots" at Batavia and they left the entire equipment consist on a yard track in Batavia for several weeks, I don't know where they finally took them to but I think most of them were probably written off for scrap as new cars even then were in the works.
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SouthernRailway
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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by SouthernRailway » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:55 am

I can see storing the M-8s in a regular yard, as they are, but why not at least park them on a track far away from the main line so that other equipment would block any views of them from passing trains?

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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by RearOfSignal » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:31 am

Is seeing them such a bad thing? It's not quite the same as being on a cruise where the feature movie is The Poseidon Adventure or having a cemetery next door to a senior center, but just seeing wrecked cars doesn't mean that the train your will wreck. I guess to some people it's tasteless though.
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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by runningwithscalpels » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:13 am

FWIW when the yard is full (i.e. off hours, not after morning rush) you can't see them anyway.

I was riding the Waterbury branch fairly regularly on the weekend for a while after the derailment and the yard was full so you couldn't see them. One day I was riding around 10:30 or 11 in the morning during the week...yard was cleared out...that's when you could see them. It's not like they're deliberately parading the wrecked cars for public viewing.
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DutchRailnut
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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by DutchRailnut » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:32 am

SouthernRailway wrote:I can see storing the M-8s in a regular yard, as they are, but why not at least park them on a track far away from the main line so that other equipment would block any views of them from passing trains?
Simple, the best security system is storing things in plain view, if you hide them, their harder to protect, and can easily be tampered/vandalized etc.
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lirr42
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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by lirr42 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:12 pm

SouthernRailway wrote:I can see storing the M-8s in a regular yard, as they are, but why not at least park them on a track far away from the main line so that other equipment would block any views of them from passing trains?
The yard's not all that big, so completely hiding the things out of view would be difficult.
DutchRailnut wrote:Simple, the best security system is storing things in plain view, if you hide them, their harder to protect, and can easily be tampered/vandalized etc.
Yup, with a load of engineers passing by a bunch of times an hour you've got a lot of people "keeping lookout" for any mischievous vandals.

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Tadman
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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by Tadman » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:26 am

I think we're way over-thinking this. You only have so many tracks you can park a set of cars on. There's one in Bridgeport in plain view. They picked that one. Operational issues are the most important here. You've got a railroad to run.

It's a safe bet that most riders don't even notice crash damage if they're looking out the window - not everybody stares out the window looking for other trains.
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Trainer
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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by Trainer » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:59 am

The airport analogy was a good one. A commercial airline would never allow damaged (especially crash-damaged) equipment to be displayed in public view because it is bad public relations. It would be like hospitals leaving dead patients out in the hallways. The airline industry understands that people have choices when it comes to travel and they're concerned about sending creepy messages that would deflect people from not choosing them.

Apparently, commuter railroads either operate under the assumption that people do not have any choice but to travel on their system or they don't care if people choose to travel on them or not. MNCC has made several choices over the past few years (with a couple exceptions) that may be operationally sound but customer unfocused. Imnsho, it's because they believe that with a captive audience and a perpetual subsidy, short-term operational efficiencies are the only things that matter. It'll be interesting to see if that theory holds as the commuting public and their destinations evolve.

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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by pbass » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:52 am

Jaap said it:there aren't any places on Metro-North where these wreck damaged cars may be held without the public being able to catch sight of them while awaiting all the legal claims to be settled and then they will be sent away for scrapping.Does someone have room in their basement for them?

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Re: Damaged M-8s near Bridgeport

Post by NH2060 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:06 pm

Trainer wrote:The airport analogy was a good one. A commercial airline would never allow damaged (especially crash-damaged) equipment to be displayed in public view because it is bad public relations. It would be like hospitals leaving dead patients out in the hallways. The airline industry understands that people have choices when it comes to travel and they're concerned about sending creepy messages that would deflect people from not choosing them.
A damaged plane and a damaged train are two very different things. A damaged plane implies that either 1) the plane is unsafe to fly in 2) the airline has poor safety standards 3) if something happened in-flight the plane would probably crash and who knows how many people would die.

A set of railcars with only their ends "totaled"/"dinged"/"crumpled" simply implies that there was an accident of some sort, but wasn't all that severe (that's not saying the derailment wasn't a big deal, just not in comparison to the accident at Chase MD, Big Bayou, Silver Spring MD, Chatsworth, etc.)
Trainer wrote:Apparently, commuter railroads either operate under the assumption that people do not have any choice but to travel on their system or they don't care if people choose to travel on them or not. MNCC has made several choices over the past few years (with a couple exceptions) that may be operationally sound but customer unfocused. Imnsho, it's because they believe that with a captive audience and a perpetual subsidy, short-term operational efficiencies are the only things that matter. It'll be interesting to see if that theory holds as the commuting public and their destinations evolve.
Those who ride MNR may indeed have other options, but they're not necessarily better ones. One example is the New Haven Line. When your options are 1) taking a train that *for the most part* arrives on time or 2) fighting your way through traffic on I-95 or Rte. 15 the choice is nothing short of transparent. Yes one could say they have a "captive audience", but that's really by choice to not have to deal with all of that traffic (the cost of gas also being a major factor).

If MNR found a better place to store the damaged M-8s they would have definitely found a spot by now. Where they have them now is sufficient enough and will keep them from being salvaged for parts, etc.

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