1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Looks like a bomb went off

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by Brian in Oregon, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,238
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    If you frame by frame you'll see a passenger car derailing before what appears to be an explosion (probably a cloud of gravel and dust) before the locomotive derails.
     
  2. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    10,229
    Location:
    In the Cabana
    I wouldn't doubt if it was a terrorist attack that they would keep it mum

    But I also heard the train was going almost twice as fast as it was supposed to

    It was too bad though, a lot of people got killed or hurt pretty bad
     
  3. SKB-Eric

    SKB-Eric Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    On FOX, they ran it in super slow motion. Reminded me of when I was a kid and ran the old Lionel too fast into a curve. Looks to be a derailment, not an explosion. Experts reviewing the video estimate the train was running 120, twice the posted speed of 60 - not sure if it was KPH or MPH - news didn't elaborate on that.

    Eric
     
  4. Shooting Sailor

    Shooting Sailor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,081
    The engineer sent a message just prior to the derailment that he was going 190 (KMH)and was going to derail. The train was supposed to be operating on an automatic system which would sound an alarm if the train was going too fast for a specific piece of track, and it isn't known if it didn't sound, he ignored it, or what. A team from Bombardier is looking at the wreck, and have initially said that a mechanical fault isn't apparent.
     
  5. kgp912kgp

    kgp912kgp Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    800
    They should/want to put one of those here in CA.



    WOn't catch me on the damned thing...
     
  6. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,238
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    The problem in the US with high speed rail is that it pretty much requires a separate track installation to segregate it from freight operations.

    Back in the old days, some railroads routinely ran their passenger trains at high speeds, meaning up to 90 mph and even 100 mph in some cases, on long stretches of track, particularly in the midwest.

    These lines were shared with freight trains, but the freight trains were slower, and would either be passed by the passenger train on double or triple track, or would go into a siding and wait to be passed.

    Today, freight trains run at much higher speeds, and it costs money and time to have them go into sidings or even slow their schedules to accommodate passenger trains. So most Amtrak trains out west operate at freight speeds and often are paced between them.

    A high speed rail network can be built, but it's going to require additional tracks. That is a very expensive proposition.

    Back east, with the constant mergers of railroads resulting in redundant lines because of a high trackage network density, high speed passenger corridors could be created. Much of the midwest and especially the west lacks this redundancy. For example, there is talk of a Portland to Vancouver BC high speed rail line.

    Can it be done? Perhaps from Seattle to Vancouver on what was formerly the old Great Northern line, shifting freight to other lines.

    But the bottleneck is the Portland to Tacoma route. This is a corridor that is shared by two major railroads (UP and BNSF). The trackage is high quality, but even then there are often slides that cut the line. Derailments happen because of environmental issues, and there have been some spectacular head on collisions over the years. There are a lot of grade crossings on this route too. High speed rail is going to need a third track that avoids grade crossings, and this is going to be very expensive to build.

    How expensive? If done as a private venture, it will never pay for itself. Not enough passengers. If done by government, well, let the Portland light rail system be a guide. The installation cost here was, and I am not kidding, a thousand dollars per inch. It has been estimated that each passenger is subsidized $35 in tax money for each trip. I do not see an affordable high speed corridor being built here. At least not as long as people drive their own vehicles or can take an airplane. Eliminate or severely curtail those two competitive modes of transportation, and it becomes supportable.
     
  7. rpeerless

    rpeerless Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    3,688
    It looks like the cars rise up before they go off track and impact the wall. Now if a suicide bomber exploded, would that be enough to push the car upward then outward?
    Also the engineer complained that he was going too fast as if he had no control. Would an explosion cause an uncontrolled propelling?
     
  8. newbbs

    newbbs Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    124
    Even truck drivers slow down before they enter a curve and we all know how stupid they are.

    Newb
     
  9. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,523
    Location:
    Blackshear, Georgia
    Newb, I see you love truck drivers. LOL


    Brian, back in 1966 I took a train to New York headed for England. At one point our engineer told me that we were doing 97 MPH hurrying to a past a laybye/sidetrack where a freight was waiting. Oh and it was snowing. It was an Amtrack. Jackie B.
     
  10. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    10,229
    Location:
    In the Cabana
    He must have meant KM/hr, that would convert to right at 120.5 and I think that is what they are saying he was going, still pretty fast to auger it at
     
  11. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,238
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Shooting Jack, Amtrak did not exist in 1966. Amtrak started service in May 1971.

    Regardless, in 1966 there were still a few railroads with high speed passenger service on their crack passenger trains.

    Tests are being done in some states to implement 100 mph corridors for Amtrak. (See link.) There are a lot of logistical issues with this, because these passenger trains would have to mix with slower freight trains on lines that have seen a huge increase in traffic.
     
  12. ImpalaBob

    ImpalaBob Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Messages:
    385
    Monorails for passenger travel .... where are they? Amusement park "pipe" rides could easily be adapted for high speed passenger service.

    It should be interesting when the black box data is recovered and analyzed.
    I hope for the engineers sake that it was a mechanical malfunction that he had no control over!!!! Prayers for those affected!!!
     
  13. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,238
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    I'm not buying that the engineer had no control over the train unless he had previously been running downgrade and lost his brakes. And it would have to have been a pretty steep downgrade to build up that much speed.

    More plausible is that the authorized speed limit was higher a few miles back, and the brakes failed when he tried to slow the train when entering a speed restricted block.

    Note that news reports state there were two locomotives. It could not be an air compressor failure, because two locomotives means a redundant compressor. both would have to go out.

    With a Westinghouse air brake system, the kind used in North America and identical or similar systems in much of the world, there are two brakes systems. a service brake and an emergency brake. The service brake is for slowing and normally stopping the train. The emergency brake consists of an air tank and what is called a triple valve that is installed on every car. If the system sense sudden air loss in the service brake, each triple valve in the affected cars initiates its own independent emergency brake application. This system is designed as a failsafe. The engineer is also able to manually initiate an emergency brake application.

    Is this system infallible? No, there are certain conditions which can lead to total failure. This generally only happened on very long trains on very long, steep grades. but passenger trains generally are not long enough for this to be an issue. What happens is the backup brake system in the cars can only charge with air if the air pressure in the service brake line exceeds a certain pressure. If the brakes are used to the point where the line pressure drops, the emergency brakes will not charge back up in time or at all. This is because a very long train can take 10 minutes just to charge its air brakes. Thus a long, heavy train on a steep grade can exhaust its air pressure and no brakes work. This just doesn't happen on short trains, like passenger trains. In addition, the locomotive brakes alone can almost always handle a passenger train's braking needs in an emergency.

    Because of the, in North America most railroads operating on steep grades use regenerative braking to lesses use of the main brake system. Regenerative braking is using the electric motors on the wheelsets on the locomotive as generators and running their output to a resister grid. This is known as dynamic braking. Note that dynamic braking will not stop a train. It is an auxiliary brake system.

    In Europe, however, the electro-pneumatic (EP) brake system is popular for passenger trains. This is a wired system with up to seven different brake settings. This gives much more control over brakes than the Westinghouse system, which basically has two settings - off or applied. The EP system makes for less damage to freight and more comfort for passengers. But, this system does not have the fail-safe of the Westinghouse system. So there has to be a back up air system in place if any fail safe is desired.

    Can these systems be sabotaged or accidentally bypassed? Yes, and quite easily for the Westinghouse system. All you have to do is shut off the air line. There is a manual air cock on each flexible brake hose that is used to connect the cars. There were a couple of infamous runaway passenger trains in the US simply because someone accidentally shut off the air cock. And if something can be accidentally done, it can be deliberately done.

    But, on European trains, and some US passenger trains (especially those designed to be semi-permanently coupled) there are automatic couplers that make it more difficult to get at the working parts. But someone with a knowledge of servicing this parts could still do it. But access might not be easy. It depends on the design of the cars in use.

    So back to the scenario of the engineer coming out of an unrestricted speed block and entering a restricted speed block. Could he have lost brakes in the passenger cars and possibly on the locomotives themselves, thus creating a runaway train? Yes. However, the train is short enough that its own brakes should have been able to control it *if* there was time enough for the physical braking power of the locomotives to overcome the inertial power of the cars. Two main things defeat the ability of the locomotives to stop a train. Speed or mass, or both.

    In the 1950s a Pennsylvania RR passenger train had a loss of brakes on all cars and by the time the crew discovered it, the locomotives could not stop the train in time approaching the Wash DC station. The train entered to station at high speed, went off the end of the tracks, through the walls and into the concourse, then collapsed the floor under the weight of the locomotives. All this happened because an air cock was accidentally shut off on one of the passenger cars (in this case not by human hands but mechanical interference between the handle and the frame of the passenger car).
     
  14. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,523
    Location:
    Blackshear, Georgia
    Brian, I believe the train was called the Floridian Silver Bullet and was made up of L&N, and Seaboard Coast line which was in Waycross where I live and then became part of CSX. I actually left in January 1967 for England via passenger train from Waycross to New York. It was a new service at the time and that was 46 years ago so I could be wrong about the name of the service. Jackie B.
     
  15. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,238
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Silver Bullet or Silver Star?