Jump to content

Amtrak train derails in philly, 8 dead and more than 200 injured


cteno4

Recommended Posts

I recall reading that these locos are being prepared for cameras inside the cabs, but they're not installed or active yet.  I definitely haven't seen anything about 601 having interior cameras.

Link to post
HantuBlauLOL

Bullets? Those window cracks looks like done by a stone.. Very often here in my country, that's why our trains used front window meshes. Looks terribly ugly though

  • Like 1
Link to post

Train service has reopened this morning thru the wreck area. Atc is now active on the curve area and they are rapidly assessing othe dangerous curves for speed to accelerate atc installation. So at leas something positive is quickly coming about.

 

Ntsb is also talking a lot that thy have been pushing for the inside cameras, so maybe that will get implemented fast here.

 

Jeff

Link to post

Oh... Kato will produce the 601...  :wacko:

 

Not any more! As of the latest Kato USA newsletter, it is now #621 that they are making.

Link to post

Side photo of the locomotive:

800px-NTSB_2015_Philadelphia_train_derai

Whatever scratched the side of the locomotive was probably what struck the first car. All i can say is that this locomotive type has good crashworthiness, but the amcan cars are very poor.

Link to post

Actually the Amtrak cars usually are considered tanks. The fact that only 8 killed at that speed does say something even with the crushed cars.

 

Jeff

Link to post
Nick_Burman

Actually the Amtrak cars usually are considered tanks. The fact that only 8 killed at that speed does say something even with the crushed cars.

 

Jeff

 

Anything which passes the FRA traction, compression and crashworthiness requirements is a tank...

 

 

Cheers NB

Link to post

Thats the issue with the American passenger rail is that the emphasis has been on making tanks expecting the crash rather than do as japan does and put the emphasis on never crashing in the first place. Acela was a great example of over building and then size and weight caused tilting and breke ware, both other safety issues!

 

The tank comment was not that even a tank can be destroyed it was that kvp though them not built heavily, which is not the case.

 

Jeff

Link to post

Ugh Mark, thanks for the perspective there! Must be quite a pain to deal with. Public is never easy to deal with but I can see how it could be a total mess in this situation!

 

They seem to do pretty well here on Amtrak, but I think the use is very limited on the dc to Boston runs. I do believe the conductors do some inforement here, I'll ask my wife she use to always use them and I thin almost always had a positive experience. I something I will try to ask a conductor here when I next strike up a conversation.

 

Jeff

 

Because the only thing that denotes a quiet carriage is some stickers on the door which are not very noticeable. So you will get people who genuinely don't realise they in the quiet car. Or you get people who are just selfish, thoughtless and inconsiderate bastards who think the request to keep the noise down doesn't apply to them. Because the quite cars are "self-regulating" it falls to other passengers to ask the noisy ones to keep quiet.

That's when things get interesting. They either go to the guard and ask them to deal with the problem, which usually causes a delay as the guard points out that they have no authority to do anything, and the passenger winds up having an argument with the guard. Or they ask the person making the noise to stop in such a manner as to start a fight, and again the train is delayed while the guard deals with the passengers who are punching on.

Another problem is that quiet cars are only designated as such on intercity trains, but we also use the same trains on suburban running where there is no requirement for quiet cars. But some people are incapable of understanding that an all-stations train to Hurstville is not an intercity service, and they're often also the ones who start fights with other passengers.

I was standing on the platform at Hurstville one day waiting for departure time when a very angry man came up to me and bellowed that I had to do something about a person who was speaking on a mobile phone in the "quiet carriage". I tried to explain to him that there were no quite carriages on a suburban train, but he just got angrier and louder. Unfortunately he had noticed the stickers on the doors and he wasn't going to be convinced otherwise. Then he noticed my iPod and speaker dock in the cab, and he just about had kittens. By now he was screaming at me and I had to stand back a bit to avoid the spit flying out of his mouth. I'd had enough of his crap so I went back into my can and closed the door on him. But before I did I said that if he was so concerned about noise he ought to stop screaming, as he was the loudest thing in Hurstville by a comfortable margin. I won't repeat his reply.

So quiet carriages are like a lot of things in this world, a great idea in theory...

Cheers,

Mark.

Link to post

 

Anything which passes the FRA traction, compression and crashworthiness requirements is a tank...

The standards were updated after the 1987 Maryland crash that had the same crushed first car result with the same rolling stock. It's strange, but a heritage heavyweight in the consist survived intact. Anything built after that date has to be even more sturdy, including designated crumple zones and reinforced sides, so the force is taken up by the ends, where there are no seats. Amfleets are an earlier type and comparable in crashworthiness with the relatively soft Siemens Railjet cars that are pulled (and pushed) by the tauruses from the same sprinter family. Interestingly on the railjets the driving trailer is the 1st class, and next two cars are the 2nd and the 2nd/restaurant, while the rest is 3rd. While the Japanese (and European) crash prevention strategy is working, but when it isn't the results can be more devastating. I still think the amcans are softer than the more modern, updated cars, so their only positive point is that they are designed for higher speeds than most Amtrak cars.

Link to post

>  Whatever scratched the side of the locomotive was probably what struck the first car.

 

>  All i can say is that this locomotive type has good crashworthiness

 

 

I have to disagree with both of these statements.

 

The final resting positions of the engine and cars indicates that they took very different routes during and after the derailment.  I have also seen an animation video (NOT the NBC one - which is clearly inaccurate based on the final positions that it indicates) that shows this, but don't feel like searching for it.

 

Most probably due to its weight and other factors, the engine uncoupled quite early and continued straight to some extent.  Due to their lesser mass, the cars would have been subject to a whiplash effect from the speed and curve.  Given the extensive damage, it seems likely that the first coach wrapped itself around a catenary pole or something else of substantial construction.

 

Since the engine and the first car took very different routes, they would show varying patterns of damage.  The engine "has good crashworthiness" only because it didn't collide with any stationary object of substance.

 

 

NTSB tweet:  "Probable cause of #Amtrak 188 accident will be determined at conclusion of NTSB’s investigation -- expected to last up to 12 months."

 

Does anyone else find this a really inexcusably long time?

It would be nice to know the cause before all the court cases are heard.

Link to post
Given the extensive damage, it seems likely that the first coach wrapped itself around a catenary pole or something else of substantial construction. Since the engine and the first car took very different routes, they would show varying patterns of damage. The engine "has good crashworthiness" only because it didn't collide with any stationary object of substance.

 

Imho the rest of the train did take a different route, but the first car was probably coupled to or was closely following the locomotive when it got scratched by the catenary pole or whatever was in its way. It looks like, the business car that followed it got caught on it or if it was still coupled, then the weight of the locomotive could have added to the forces on the car. The aerial photo i linked shows these routes as the destroyed car is clearly in the path the locomotive took. The rest of the train simply derailed and except a deep cut in the roof of the 2nd car (with the pole still in it), it stayed in more or less once piece.

Link to post

>  Whatever scratched the side of the locomotive was probably what struck the first car.

 

>  All i can say is that this locomotive type has good crashworthiness

 

 

I have to disagree with both of these statements.

 

 

First off, there was a catenary pole right at the point of derailment. The scratches on the side of the locomotive are surely from that pole as there was nothing else in the area that would cause that kind of damage. Given that's the case, all it would take is a slight (fractions of an inch) deviation for the first car to collect the pole rather than slide by. That deviation could have been caused by any number of possiblities (pole bent by the locomotive, wider width to the car, overturning, timing...). The car then rotated counterclockwise pushing the rear of the train away from the locomotive and probably saving the lives of other passengers as the preceeding pole was avoided entirely. The NTSB will investigate in more detail to find out how and why that first car got wrapped up. It will take time for them to investigate and then release the report as it always does.

 

As for crashworthiness, it's a function of design. As kvp noted, the Sprinters and other US equipment are built to higher standards now compared to the 1960's era Amcan design. You're right in that the locomotive wasn't tested in this accident but that doesn't reduce its crashworthiness capabilities. And for those keeping score, here's a link to the APTA structural standard: http://www.apta.com/resources/standards/Documents/APTA-PR-CS-S-034-99.pdf. This contains the FRA Tier 1 structural requirements as well as AAR/APTA developed standards and recommended practices. You'll note that it has been revised a few times since it's initial release, the result of both wrecks and an extensive test program. The Acelas fall under FRA's Tier 2 category as they operate in mixed traffic in excess of 125 mph. The Tier 2 structural requirements are more stringent than Tier 1, requiring extensive CEM in the design (it's still only recommended for Tier 1). One last note here, FRA Tier 1 and the comparable UIC standards differ significantly in only one key area: buff loading (compression load along the length of the car). All other standards are very much the same which is why the FRA has been willing to grant waivers allowing UIC design cars to operate in the US without any more crazy temporal separation restrictions. We'll see if some of the recent accidents cause them to change course.

 

Finally, the problems the Acelas had with wheel wear and instability had much more to do with the truck design selected and the very delicate balance involved in getting a train to be both fast in the curves and on the straight. These are usually conflicting requirements.

Link to post
HantuBlauLOL

I think another solution is to add 2 passenger-less cars on both ends of the consist (loco not included). Those cars serves as an airbag for the passenger cars between them. This system has been implemented in my country's railway.

Link to post

I hate to reactivate this, but was just reading about the Amagasaki crash.

 

It sounds like a very similar situation - outside of the Amtrak engineer not having the same extreme schedule stress on him, so I have to wonder why the lauded Japanese ATS system didn't stop that train for going too fast?

Link to post

 

so I have to wonder why the lauded Japanese ATS system didn't stop that train for going too fast?

Because it was not installed for cost cutting reasons. The japanese ATS system is as good as the Integra Signum system from 1933 or the Siemens Indusi from 1934 or the first Siemens-Halske experimental prototype from 1896 (still installed on one subway line in Hungary). Both derailments were caused by lack of trackside equipment and overspeeding.

Link to post

After the Amtrak accident, I thought I was hearing that it could never happen in Japan because ATS was installed nationally.

 

Did the Amagasaki crash cause the government to make ATS mandatory everywhere, so it wasn't subject to cost-cutters on individual railway lines?

 

It may be a great system - actually, any of the ones you mention - but unless it's installed on all of a country's railway lines . . . . . .

Link to post

After the Amtrak accident, I thought I was hearing that it could never happen in Japan because ATS was installed nationally.

 

This depends on it per line. Private railways usually have their own safety system. JR East in the Tokyo Metropolitan area -from the top of my head- have at least three different signalling systems (ATS, ATC and ATO), and these come in different forms as well.

Link to post
bikkuri bahn

 I have to wonder why the lauded Japanese ATS system didn't stop that train for going too fast?

 

Simply put, the ATS system (ATS-S?) installed on the Fukuchiyama Line at the time, didn't have overspeed protection.  Most high traffic lines using lineside signals are fitted with ATS-P, which does have overspeed protection.  ATS-P is roughly equivalent functionally to ETCS level 1.

Edited by bikkuri bahn
Link to post

" With the National Transportation Safety Board's investigative phase into the May 12, 2015 crash now complete, investigators will analyze the evidence, prepare a report on the probable cause of the derailment and make safety recommendations. A draft report is expected to be delivered to board members in a meeting not yet scheduled, but that will likely happen around the May 12 anniversary of the crash."

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ntsb-releases-documents-amtrak-crash-investigation-article-1.2516080

 

http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-phila-amtrak-crash-20160131-story.html

 

 

Link to post

The NTSB today attributed the crash to human error, specifically distraction related to radio chatter.

 

They also mentioned excessive speed.   . . . . well duh

 

The civil suits will be devastating economically.

 

 

" While Amtrak hadn’t installed its positive train control system on the stretch of tracks where train No. 188 crashed, the railroad had a lower-tech crash-avoidance system in place there.

 

Investigators also shed light on why Amtrak didn’t have its more rudimentary signal system configured to automatically slow down a train before it went into the Frankford Junction curve. Such protections were in place for southbound trains ahead of the curve, but not for northbound trains.

“As an operating person, I totally understand the mind-set that you never anticipated an engineer to simply accelerate” going into the curve, NTSB investigator Ted Turpin said. “The failure to decelerate is often the focus.”

 

Railroad officials said in the aftermath of the crash that they had never expected that an engineer could accelerate to overturning speed in the relatively short stretch between the Frankford Junction curve and the shallower curve that precedes it."

 

I guess now they know better.

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/17/us/amtrak-train-crash-derailment-philadelphia.html?_r=0

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/ntsb-says-engineer-in-2015-philadelphia-amtrak-crash-lost-situational-awareness-1463497474

 

and many other places

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...