Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

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NH2060
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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by NH2060 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:14 pm

Wow. When I thought nothing could get worse on MNR this happens. One news report says the third rail went right into the first car. Just awful :-(

MACTRAXX
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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by MACTRAXX » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:31 pm

Everyone:

I just found out about this tragic accident from this thread and after reading the posted links and viewing tonight's
news reports it was the result of a combination of factors - a bad accident nearby on the Taconic State Parkway
along with traffic backups and detours...ice on the roadway at the crossing may have contributed to this vehicle
supposedly slipping into the path of this train and another mention was that the fire that engulfed the lead M7 was
not only caused by the fuel in the vehicle it was the result of a live section of third rail piercing the car body...

Yes - I fully agree that there needs to be a full investigation of what the cause of this accident was and it is far
too early for anybody to point fingers and blame anyone until the exact cause is found...unfortunately the female
vehicle driver was among those killed in this tragedy...

I will add this link from News 12 Westchester:
http://westchester.news12.com/news/at-l ... -1.9901377" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Another report from ABC Channel 7 in NYC:
http://7online.com/news/7-dead-after-me ... la/503064/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I offer my condolences to all involved especially the MNCR train crew...
MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:38 am, edited 4 times in total.
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R36 Combine Coach
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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:38 pm

This might be rather early, but will this be a rallying cry by officials to ban road crossings on third rail trackage (forcing grade eliminations)? LIRR, MNCR's Upper Harlem Line and CTA are the only agencies with such features.
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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by 4400Washboard » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:52 pm

R36 Combine Coach wrote:This might be rather early, but will this be a rallying cry by officials to ban road crossings on third rail trackage (forcing grade eliminations)? LIRR, MNCR's Upper Harlem Line and CTA are the only agencies with such features.
Completely agree, but will they source the $ to work on grade eliminations in the near future (I'd give it a maybe-35% chance)? Unless the NTSB or other gov't agency cracks down on road crossings and/or the MNRR, I wouldn't expect there to be a mass-movement to eliminate all grade crossings (In third rail territory).

just my 2 cents,

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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by dbperry » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:14 am

I vaguely recall NTSB criticism of passenger occupied cab control cars in the past. Or am I remembering incorrectly? Wonder if this incident will restart that debate? Does anyone know if the NTSB issued recommendations on that as a result of a previous crash?

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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by Backshophoss » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:22 am

There are Exits on the Saw Mill River and Taconic State Parkways that are close to the tracks and unsafe,
some with 1car lenght or less of space between the tracks and the Parkways,if you close the crossing,CLOSE that exit
at the same time!
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by lirr42 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:25 am

Head-end View wrote:So of course the idiot news stations are comparing this incident to the December 2013 Spuyten Duyvil crash, as if there were any similarity between the two incidents. Ignorance and sensationalism at its best (or worst).
Chessie GM50 wrote:Prepare to hear nothing but ill-informed rhetoric from people who didn't know the Harlem line even existed until today.
pnaw10 wrote:Hopefully other media outlets take that into consideration before speculating against the engineer, the crossing signals, or "filling time" with a recap of MNR's history.
This is hardly the time to be thinking about optics. The facts will come out with time. Six fewer passengers walked away from that train than originally boarded it, it's hardly something to try and trivialize or downplay...

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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by FL9AC » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:23 am

Unoccupied "control cars" are ridiculous then the public cries there aren't enough seats and blah blah blah. If not for the motorist who decided to stop on live tracks the railroad would've continued with a "normal" day of business. Lets not place blame on railroad like everyone loves to do. *. My thoughts and prayers go to all involved especially crew and family of deceased but in the end if car wasn't on tracks this wouldn't have happened lights and gates are there to protect. Even if she was stuck between gates I'd rather crash through and destroy a gate than lose my life and jeopardize others.
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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justalurker66
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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by justalurker66 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:56 am

I do my best to make sure that when I enter a crossing I can leave it ... but I have been caught out a few times when the car in front of me stopped short. Fortunately (in by experience) traffic cleared before a train came. I've had less skilled drivers tailgate me and stop on the crossing. If I have no place to go they have no place to go. It raises my blood pressure every time ... until the situation clears.

When we have all the facts the NTSB and others will let us know if there were options and make recommendations.
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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georgewerr
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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by georgewerr » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:31 am

According to MSN.com the driver of the Jeep got out of her car to look at the damage to her car after the gate came down then got back in her car and tried to move it but was stuck, not sure if stuck meant no room to go anywhere or tire stuck on track this was not clear. She was one of the tragedy's.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/commut ... ar-AA8XhC8" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Authorities said the SUV's driver had gotten out of her vehicle momentarily after the crossing's safety gates came down around her. She then got back in and was trying to drive forward when she was hit, they said.
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Brief, fair-use quote added

Travelsonic
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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by Travelsonic » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:35 am

Interesting, in this article it say the fire spread from #4333* to the car behind it, and did so quickly. The other pictures + video I've seen shows the car behind looking relatively undamaged - or at least very slightly if it was damaged.. media inconsistencies?

* The article has a picture showing the car #, clear-as-day, of the leading M7a involved.
The third rail, which powers the railroad, breached the train’s interior Tuesday. An explosion blasted flames into the front two cars of the train along with the vehicle on the tracks, a black Jeep Cherokee that had stopped at a crossing on Commerce Street, officials said.
EDIT: Thanks, Jeff, was trying to force myself to go to sleep, so I neglected to add the context to which my question was asked. :-D
Last edited by Travelsonic on Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:22 am, edited 4 times in total.

georgewerr
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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by georgewerr » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:45 am

Id like to say thanks for the Rock climbing gym for opening up there establishment for everyone on the train. Very cold out there this week and if everyone had to wait in the cold would have made matters worse.

dnelson
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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by dnelson » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:32 am

Two immediate questions come to mind: if this train was led by a typical locomotive or some sort of passenger-less spacer instead of MU cars with passengers sitting beginning directly behind the cab, would any passengers have died? If this train wasn't powered via third rail which ignited the fire, would any passengers have died? I'm not actively criticizing third rail powered MUs, but this is a horrifying number of deaths for what appears to be an otherwise typical grade crossing accident.

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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:49 am

Of course, I will add to the wise chorus of no speculation at least until the NTSB releases a preliminary report which I would expect during the first week of April.

Now if this is where the incident occurred, it simply was an accident waiting to happen. Despite its name, the Taconic State Parkway is "uh, not exactly", a highway built to Interstate standards. Of course, try telling that to the drivers along it; even though with its wooded "rustic" medians present many a hiding place for cops. With its many accesses such as the instant at Commerce Street, it gives me the "spooks" whenever I have occasion to drive it (I am from the Northeast; Greenwich CT to be precise).

Now here is an X-ing at Michiana Shores, IN (Amtrak MP 224) that also gives me the "spooks" for the same reason. Mr. Dunville is also familiar with same and perhaps he will choose to comment regarding such.

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Re: Major grade-crossing accident in Valhalla 2/3/15

Post by EuroStar » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:19 am

dnelson wrote:Two immediate questions come to mind: if this train was led by a typical locomotive or some sort of passenger-less spacer instead of MU cars with passengers sitting beginning directly behind the cab, would any passengers have died? If this train wasn't powered via third rail which ignited the fire, would any passengers have died? I'm not actively criticizing third rail powered MUs, but this is a horrifying number of deaths for what appears to be an otherwise typical grade crossing accident.
There are multiple reasons why the leading cars have passengers: (1) you will need extra track length at Grand Central for that car (not necessarily platform, but track), (2) maintaining yet another type of car costs money (more than you think) and every timethey break and you do not have such a car as a spare you will need to cancel the train, (3) operating a non-revenue car (actually 2 of them on each end) costs money to move the dead weight back and forth (again a lot more than you think), (4) when people are crowding in the rest of the cars you will get political pressure to let them in these "spacer" cars to alleviate the crowding. The reality is that it is much cheaper and effective to grade-separate (but it is still tons of $$$ which nobody is willing to pay to get done) and then there is the NIMBY.

As for the third rail, we will need to wait for the results of the investigation. Catenary wire cannot pierce a car shell, but the standard 25kV can cause sparks and fires too if the right conditions occur. The reasons why catenary is practically exclusive in new construction are cost (most important) and height (it is out of reach of pedestrians).

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