Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Serious train accident in my state.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
    Posts
    13,605

    Serious train accident in my state.

    An Amtrak Cascades train derailed this morning at DuPont, WA, killing at least six people. It fell onto the southbound lanes of Interstate 5. We've been watching the news all day. Excessive speed appears to be involved.

    This was the first train to use a new route which was expected to save about 20 minutes of travel time.

    The recovery process is going to be interesting.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    30,428
    It's a bit north of me, a bridge I travel under every time I go north of the county line. But we had no reason to go north today.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    10,125
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    An Amtrak Cascades train derailed this morning at DuPont, WA, killing at least six people. It fell onto the southbound lanes of Interstate 5. We've been watching the news all day. Excessive speed appears to be involved.

    This was the first train to use a new route which was expected to save about 20 minutes of travel time.

    The recovery process is going to be interesting.
    Interestingly, it affected Amtrak travel on the East Coast; if I understood, a coworker's daughter's visit home from McGill had to be rescheduled.

    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    1,051
    Amtrak may have put limitations on all the journeys by that type of train until they know what the cause is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Clear Lake City, TX
    Posts
    12,170
    They're now saying three dead, all on the train.

    Apparently the train was going 80 in a 30 and was not using PTC (which would have automatically braked it).

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...ington-n830751
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
    Doctor Who

    Moderation will be in purple.
    Rules for Posting to This Board

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    488
    One of the news pictures that I saw seemed to show a very sharp turn in the track just past the bridge. I might have misinterpreted what I saw, but hitting a curve like that at a high speed certainly would have caused problems.
    Selden

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
    Posts
    13,605
    Quote Originally Posted by selden View Post
    One of the news pictures that I saw seemed to show a very sharp turn in the track just past the bridge. I might have misinterpreted what I saw, but hitting a curve like that at a high speed certainly would have caused problems.
    Misleading picture, probably. The next turn (which they never reached) looks about the same as where they departed the rails. Google Maps.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    488
    Yup.Google's picture of the track looks quite different from what I remember.
    Selden

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    The Space Coast
    Posts
    4,287
    With all this talk about autonomous cars, trains would be among the first logical modes to automate, one would think. And I'm still not clear why PTC isn't already everywhere by law.

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


    lonelybirder.org

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Clear Lake City, TX
    Posts
    12,170
    Because it's expensive. Union Pacific estimates it will cost them just shy of 3 billion USD; the full industry-wide estimate is over 10 billion. Implementation is now targeted by law for end-2018.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
    Doctor Who

    Moderation will be in purple.
    Rules for Posting to This Board

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    6,018
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Misleading picture, probably. The next turn (which they never reached) looks about the same as where they departed the rails. Google Maps.
    That still seems like a sharp corner for a rail line (which is obviously why the speed limit was 30). I'm not a railroad engineer, but it seems they had more real estate that could have been used to lessen the curve.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Mytho-poetic dreams.
    Posts
    11,944
    Engineer distracted with texting?

    That's my guess.

    Because some folks can't go without their minutely LOL!
    Dip me in ink and toss me to the Poets.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
    Posts
    13,605
    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    That still seems like a sharp corner for a rail line (which is obviously why the speed limit was 30). I'm not a railroad engineer, but it seems they had more real estate that could have been used to lessen the curve.
    The problem is that the line has to cross the parallel freeway. The turns are necessary to get it so the bridge isn't excessively long. Or as you say, take up more real estate. I'm pretty sure the bridge was pre-existing, not part of the recent upgrade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Engineer distracted with texting?

    That's my guess.

    Because some folks can't go without their minutely LOL!
    He's in the hospital with a head injury. NTSB says one of the first things they do is check crew phone records.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Norfolk UK and some of me is in Northern France
    Posts
    7,870
    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Engineer distracted with texting?

    That's my guess.

    Because some folks can't go without their minutely LOL!
    I read that it was the first time that line and that bend were in use for passengers, previously freight only, and the rest of the line is high speed. Could it be the driver was not told in loud enough terms? We had a scandal (UK) a few years ago about trains crossing red lights and the difficulty of automating the brakes when that happens. It was called SPAD signal passed at Danger. I was very skeptical at the time about the huge costs quoted to fix that problem, the SPAD signal is in the cab, the brakes system switch is in the cab, it really cannot cost that much to link them. But the real issue might be the loss of schedule time if the trains keep automatically stopping.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Clear Lake City, TX
    Posts
    12,170
    This was the first "real" run, but there had been test runs before, including one with local dignitaries.

    There's speculation - and only speculation - that the engineer was distracted by having a conductor-trainee in the engine cab. (The trainee was getting familiar with the route. The engineer and conductor had made it before.)
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
    Doctor Who

    Moderation will be in purple.
    Rules for Posting to This Board

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    30,428
    It's a sharp enough turn so that the speed limit was 30 mph, but from what I've seen, he was already going well over the speed limit. And that bridge has been there longer than I've lived here; they've been in the process of installing rail lines between the north- and south-bound lanes of the freeway there for some time. Honestly, I was hoping it was light rail to make commute from here to Tacoma and Seattle faster and easier; that stretch of freeway is the only direct route between our area and parts north, meaning that everyone traveling between the two now has to go many miles out of their way. That's partly geography--the southern reaches of Puget Sound are to the west, so you can't put a road there--and partly military--Joint Base Lewis-McChord is to the east. But in practical terms, if you want to get through the Nisqually Valley, you have to take I-5.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    6,018
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    The problem is that the line has to cross the parallel freeway. The turns are necessary to get it so the bridge isn't excessively long. Or as you say, take up more real estate. I'm pretty sure the bridge was pre-existing, not part of the recent upgrade.
    If they used a pre-existing bridge, that would certainly make sense.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    12,999
    There was a derailment near Osaka maybe ten or fifteen years ago, where the train sped into a curve. In that the engineer was deliberately speeding to make up for lost time so that he wouldnít be disciplined (he had previously overshot a platform and been disciplined). Just speculation, but perhaps the engineer was showing off for the trainee.
    As above, so below

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •