• Empire Builder on the Ground in MT

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by MACTRAXX
 
Everyone: Found just ONE video showing a total of FOUR Superliner cars on their sides in this wreck.
Three of these cars uncoupled from the rest of the train and fell over together.
The wreck location at East Buelow Interlocking as posted by MD is correct.
From KRTV - Great Falls, MT - News:
https://youtube.com/watch?v=kk6sh68ptl0
There is not much video currently available on this wreck as of 1:20 AM EDT 9/26...MACTRAXX
  by MBTA3247
 
The train was heading west and passing over the switch at the east end of Buelow Siding when it derailed. As the front of the train didn't derail, my guess would be that one of the cars towards the middle split the switch. I'll leave it to the NTSB to determine why it split the switch.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
One notable fatal wreck involving a switch that moved when a train was on it was a IRT subway train at Times
Square in August 1928, done apparently by a switchman who thought the last car had cleared, but in reality
the last car or two was still on.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Did a morning check, and also pulled NBC News. NBC's reporting 3 dead, 15 injured at least. Local Red Cross is assisting passengers. NTSB and Amtrak personnel are on route if not there.

NPR has also picked up the story and is aggregating all other news sources.
  by Mike Doughney
 
MBTA3247 wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 12:29 am The train was heading west and passing over the switch at the east end of Buelow Siding when it derailed. As the front of the train didn't derail, my guess would be that one of the cars towards the middle split the switch. I'll leave it to the NTSB to determine why it split the switch.
The photo at 1:13 in the YouTube video MACTRAXX posted is looking west, it shows the three cars on their sides before having reached the switch, along the single track section. If the train split the switch then the derailing cars must have pulled the following three cars onto their sides, or the train derailed ahead of the switch. The signals of the interlocking are visible in the distance with the rest of the derailed train between them.
  by lordsigma12345
 
https://asm.transitdocs.com/train/2021/9/24/7

Transit docs for the incident train. The last report from the locomotive before being stopped at the accident site the train was traveling at speed around 78 mph. If this was an at-speed derailment those Superliner cars held up pretty well and this could have been even worse. But don’t want to jump to any conclusions either we’ll have to wait and see what the NTSB reports.
  by John_Perkowski
 
Well, Amtrak’s available fleet just decreased by 3 sleepers and a lounge until the investigation a d the lawsuits are over 😢🤬
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:44 am https://asm.transitdocs.com/train/2021/9/24/7

Transit docs for the incident train. The last report from the locomotive before being stopped at the accident site the train was traveling at speed around 78 mph. If this was an at-speed derailment those Superliner cars held up pretty well and this could have been even worse. But don’t want to jump to any conclusions either we’ll have to wait and see what the NTSB reports.
Would make sense given the Hi-Line is 79 through there for passenger/60 freight.
  by Fishrrman
 
photobug wrote:
"One person who claims to know the area is making an educated GUESS that the train was coming out of a siding at low speed (hence no telescoping style damage obvious) and that there was something 'wrong' with the switch, and that the train could not make it through"

This WAS NOT a "low speed" derailment.
Looks like something in the switch/track failed as the train was moving over it.
(j.albert)
  by STrRedWolf
 
Just looking at alternate service in the area. If they can get buses up to Chester (which I think folks have been evac'ed to, and local medical center is there), they can get them down to Great Falls. From there, it's airlines and Greyhound the rest of the way for major stations.
  by eolesen
 
Well, speed is sometimes in the eyes of the writer....

It wasn't below 10mph (what I'd consider low speed), but from the video I'd agree they were going no faster than 25-35 thru the turnout or standard crossover.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by 2nd trick op
 
If earlier reports are correct, the train hit a farm tractor, possibly with a weed sprayer or other machinery mounted drectly on the tractor, rather than towed; that sitation might have affected the operator's visibility (I grew up on a dariy farm, FWIW)

Tractors are also designed with as low a center of gravity as feasible, (since they sometimes are operated on sloping ground). Thus, hitting one is more likely to cause a derailment than impact with an auto, or even a semi-trailer, if empty or not too densely loaded.

Finally, we're not informed (as yet) of the age of the person operating the tractor. Farm kids often learn to operate one as early as age 12, since the thing is often viewed as just bigger version of a riding lawn mower, and this practice is legal on private farmland.

At one time a number of states, most of them with an agrarian culture, used to license people as young as age 14 to drive. I suspect that this was outlawed by tying Federal highway funding to compliance with Federal guidelines, same as with the uniform 21-year drinking age, but I can't confirm this.
Last edited by 2nd trick op on Sun Sep 26, 2021 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by MattW
 
Where are you seeing the source that the train hit a tractor? I see no indication of damage to the lead engines, and as they remained on the rail while trailing cars are the ones on their side, I find it very hard to believe that hitting anything would cause this. Now if a tractor impacted the side of the train, that's more believable, but again, no indication of that so far.
  by Mike Doughney
 
Nearest farm crossing is 3,600 feet east of the derailment, so that seems unlikely.
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