• Southwest Chief on the Ground in MO

  • 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

  by Gilbert B Norman
Interesting; the website shows a #3(30) operating today.

Possibly the equipment from 4(25) has now been removed from the scene; somehow, I wouldn't think Amtrak would be "too receptive" in showing that off to their passengers.
  by David Benton
MattW wrote: Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:58 am
bostontrainguy wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 8:24 am
John_Perkowski wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 1:15 am This crossing is protected only by a crossbuck and a stop sign. The Chairwoman of NTSB is not at all happy about that.
You know I have some very sophisticated cheap solar lights around my house. They charge up all day on sunshine and burn all night through. They have motion detectors and come on whenever my dog runs by. They work surprisingly well.

I wonder if a low-cost solar-powered flashing red strobe light, that can detect an approaching train (or maybe a radio activated one), can be placed on the top of every static crossbuck. Wouldn't cost much per crossing and would be better than nothing.
What you're talking about would just end up being no different than the still-numerous crossings that have lights but no gates. As someone above my post points out, railroad hardware has to be hardened and fail-safe. The only other idea I can think of would be some kind of yellow light above a sign that reads "if light is out, assume train is approaching, stop, look, and listen." This same light would go out at the approach of a train. There's a very old crossing in West Virginia that works like this: http://position-light.blogspot.com/2014 ... ve-on.html I could actually see something like this being used at any crossing as a hedge against a non-reported crossing failure. The light would have to be wired in such a way that if any component is non-functional, the light can't show. Ideally, if the light isn't on, a red reflective surface could show, but I can't think of a way it would work without being mechanical which usually isn't good for reliability.
I think referred to as fail to safe.
  by justalurker66
bostontrainguy wrote: Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:07 amYou know that's not true, Mr. Norman. What are you quoting?
Just speculation as to what the response will be to this incident.

Apparently speculation is now being allowed as to how the train derailed as well?
  by BR&P
It may come as no surprise to many, but there are .gov regulations about almost every facet of railroading, and grade crossing signals are no exception. The details are far too lengthy and complex to detail here, but to name just a few there are standards for how many flashes per minute, how much advance warning must be provided, how long it takes for gates to come down, how often various components must be inspected and tested, and just about anything else you can think of. There are regulations on how the equipment is designed, and how it actually functions.

These regs and standards are the result of years - decades - of testing and use, and the FRA has inspectors visiting railroads constantly to ensure compliance.

No railroad is going to arbitrarily start putting lights here or there outside the scope of the regs. To do so would invite incredible liability issues. If someone were hurt, the plaintiff's attorneys would have a field day with "it's not bright enough", "it's confusing", "you didn't do it to ALL the crossings", "it's distracting", and anything else you can possibly dream of. A railroad's best approach is to follow every regulation there is to the best of their ability and leave it at that.

And let's not forget that existing laws in every state impose the responsibility on the motorist to yield to an approaching train. While more and more crossings are receiving active protection (flashers, gates), the plain old crossbuck still is the same as a yield sign. I'm trying to stay general in nature but will say I believe one of the pics of this wreck showed a "STOP" sign on the crossbuck pole. It could be argued this was not much different that if the truck had entered a highway after a STOP sign when it was not safe to do so.

The railroad which owns and maintains the infrastructure does have an obligation to comply with rules and regulations. But that alone cannot ensure every motorist will do THEIR part as well. Sadly, tragically, it only takes one failure to produce fatal results.
  by John_Perkowski
Again, do not speculate on the cause, please.

We know, from Amtrak and BNSFs suit against the dump trucks owner, they believe they have a cause. We will need to see what the preliminary report says.
  by bostontrainguy
Does Amtrak have enough Superliners to completely replace this set which is beyond repair probably? I know the Auto Train had a lounge which was kind of wasted there. There are also reports that Amtrak is going ahead with the refreshing program so some cars might be held up in that process. Also some coaches are coming off of the west coast leases I believe. How much extra Superliner equipment is available?
  by F40
The Buckingham Branch Railroad (a short line in rural Virginia) has a square sign which says STOP Look Both Ways (with a double headed arrow) on all their passive crossings. Signage is white with black letters. I can't imagine an active ROW not having this sort of sign. Prayers to all affected by this tragedy.
Last edited by F40 on Sat Jul 02, 2022 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by BandA
It's weird how straight the train is. On the third page of this thread there is a picture that shows the rail on it's side and you can see the bottom of the rail, with alternating patterns of dark and light from the ties and the gravel.

20 minute emergency response is a long time. 6 minutes is considered "first class" by insurance underwriters. But this is a very rural area.

There is obviously a signal system that has electricity. Whether it has enough to power flashers & gate upgrades I wouldn't know. Solar power should be viable, but what happens when it is cloudy or snowy for an extended period?

I better get off before I start speculating
  by bostontrainguy
Backup batteries usually are sufficient to keep things working. There is a stop sign there so the odds are most drivers would stop anyway.
  by wally
bostontrainguy wrote: Sat Jul 02, 2022 6:53 pm There is a stop sign there so the odds are most drivers would stop anyway.
where are you from? most drivers i observe believe stopping at a stop sign is optional at best.
  by bostontrainguy
Makes me ask . . . wasn't the train horn blasting all the way through this? They blast through here where there are several crossings that have crossbucks with only stop and yield signs.
  by Bracdude181
I believe a recent update broadcasted by ABC mentioned the train was traveling 89 MPH before the accident and the engineer was indeed blowing the horn.
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