Service Disruption - Montauk Branch

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scopelliti
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Location: Big Flats, NY

Re: Service Disruption - Montauk Branch

Post by scopelliti » Tue May 28, 2019 4:22 pm

Not sure how the signaling system detects a train's or a car's exact location, but I can see the last car on the siding not being pulled far enough onto the siding so that it allows clearance on the main.
Pat

Publius Plunkett
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:40 am

Re: Service Disruption - Montauk Branch

Post by Publius Plunkett » Tue May 28, 2019 4:53 pm

It's a "controlled" interlocking, with signals. From what it appears, the "foul mark" in the Siding what would allow an eastbound signal be displayed on the Main, was too far east...the wheels passed the mark and "shunted the signal"... but the body of the Engine didn't. The "shunting" indicated that the train was in the clear, but it fact it wasn't. That's not the fault of the crews of either train. The Railroad will correct the issue and it most likely will never happen again.

Teutobergerwald
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Re: Service Disruption - Montauk Branch

Post by Teutobergerwald » Tue May 28, 2019 6:07 pm

Any projections as to when the locomotives and rolling stock involved will be returned to service? Have they been removed to Morris Park, or still on-site in Speonk? Thanks.
Searching for the eagles of the XVII,XVIII & XIX Legions in Germania.

452 Card
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:25 am

Re: Service Disruption - Montauk Branch

Post by 452 Card » Tue May 28, 2019 6:09 pm

So.... now the "Summer Kickoff" holiday weekend was saved for the LIRR by employees that responded when asked to do their jobs in a heartbeat to get the RR back off its a** yet again. Will the media once more flog them for "making too much money" on overtime? M of W and M of E were the heroes this time. They could have just responded that rerailing and track repair could wait until Tuesday, so it could be done on straight time to appease the Governor and his minions. I'm sure the east-end party happy public would have screamed if that happened, so now they should thank the crews that came out overnight to fix the mess. And remember- there are no hours of service laws for those two departments at ground level, so the repairs, albeit temporary, were costly.
Wheelslip! Back to the Barn.
MOTEL

Erie-Lackawanna
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Re: Service Disruption - Montauk Branch

Post by Erie-Lackawanna » Tue May 28, 2019 8:43 pm

Publius Plunkett wrote:It's a "controlled" interlocking, with signals. From what it appears, the "foul mark" in the Siding what would allow an eastbound signal be displayed on the Main, was too far east...the wheels passed the mark and "shunted the signal"... but the body of the Engine didn't. The "shunting" indicated that the train was in the clear, but it fact it wasn't. That's not the fault of the crews of either train. The Railroad will correct the issue and it most likely will never happen again.
It’s not the “foul mark” that was too far east, it’s the location of the eastbound interlocking signal on the north track and its associated insulated joint that demarcates the signal circuit limits that are too far east. If the signal were located correctly then no part of the train could have been fouling the main track and still allowing a clear signal on the main track. If the signal and the associated track circuit are indeed too far east and they permit a train to foul the main while still permitting a clear signal for a conflicting move, then that is a signal design failure. I’m not an expert in signal system design but that’s one piece of the design that is a no-brainer, and the no-brain designer...and all of the people who signed off on the no-brain design...should be held accountable for what could have been a fatal error. Multiple failures of process at multiple stages of the signalization project had to have occured for this to have been built and commissioned, if indeed it is determined that this was the cause of the collision. Were I in a position of responsibility in either the Signal Department or the Transportation Department, I would be immediately ordering a review of the entire Montauk Branch East End signal system design to ensure that no other design flaws exist.

This is a far worse error than the only other possible explanation (which is a 292 violation), because a 292 violation is clearly a crew error that can be addressed. This error sets up the potential for a collision (which has now happened) even if all humans involved are doing the right thing. It should be the worst nightmare of any responsible person in the signal design business.

Frankly, I’m shocked this could have happened.

Jim

freightguy
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Location: Medford, NY

Re: Service Disruption - Montauk Branch

Post by freightguy » Tue May 28, 2019 8:52 pm

A few people were quick to assume human crew era. I think that newer signal system went in around 2005/06 when they shifted to color lights from PD to SK. I’m pretty amazed something more you would’ve expected in the manual block days with a sideswipe like that. Glad to hear no injuries to passengers or crew. Especially the eastbound train 8700’s engineer!
Signed off

Publius Plunkett
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Re: Service Disruption - Montauk Branch

Post by Publius Plunkett » Tue May 28, 2019 11:24 pm

Erie-Lackawanna, thank you for the correction. That is what I meant..."insulated joint". I couldn't think of the term when I wrote the post. I'm a little dated in my thought process and revert back to my tribal ways sometimes, when I write. There have been other occurrences on the Railroad, where the "insulated joint" was in a location that conflicted with clearances and shunting. In Hicksville by the North Track years ago, they accused a CE of running a stop signal. The Engineer protested because he claimed that the locomotive was physically clear. A test was performed and it turned out, that the joint was placed in which an Engine would shunt it but not actually be past the signal.

Years can go by after a project and a problem can suddenly rear its head. It's possible that the placement of trains in the South Track in SK were never at that precise point in the siding with an eastbound coming by. One-half inch either way can make all the difference. And it could be something silly like an aging locomotive with a worn center casting or suspension, or the ROW settling where suddenly, tight clearances turn into fouling. Events like this are rare but it does happen on every railroad on the planet. Nobody got hurt and that is a good thing. The Railroad has been in business a long time. They'll absorb the cost of the derailment, correct any mistakes and move on.

On a lighter note, that rear locomotive half-on and half-off the rails throttling up, must have looked wild swaying all over the place back there and digging into the roadbed!

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