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View Full Version : New Jersey train crash


lomapaseo
29th Sep 2016, 17:20
Waiting for initial summary by NTSB

New Jersey train crash kills three, injures more than 100 - media, officials (http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/new-jersey-train-crash-kills-three-injures-more-than-100-media-officials/ar-BBwN69F?li=BBnb7Kz&OCID=msnHomepage)

I wonder what backup safety system didn't work this time

SpringHeeledJack
29th Sep 2016, 18:04
Must've been awful for the passengers, especially the last few moments when they realised that the train wasn't stopping. Was that the same line where a train went round a bend too fast along the Hudson last year ?

ian16th
29th Sep 2016, 20:28
Immediately gave me flashbacks to the Moorgate Tube crash, but this time the wreckage wasn't compressed into a tunnel. So the casualties were smaller and the rescue efforts simpler.

Thankful for small mercies.

Gertrude the Wombat
29th Sep 2016, 20:49
Must've been awful for the passengers, especially the last few moments when they realised that the train wasn't stopping.
Not quite a train crash, but I've been in a ferry that crashed into the dock (breaking both). I could see what was going to happen and had time to yell out "hold tight" but that was about it.

radeng
29th Sep 2016, 21:14
Worse than the 1953 Washington crash of the Federal express on the Pennsylvania Railroad in terms of injuries. That was caused by isolating cocks on the train pipe getting closed - the weak point of the automatic Westinghouse break system.

Be interested to see what the enquiry says. Sadly, the US are a long way behind Europe in terms of TPWS and the like.

lomapaseo
29th Sep 2016, 21:21
We're still waiting for the NTSB to release some facts however:

Our politicians have began to speak to their public through CNN. The New York gov. Cumo has clearly defined the probable outcome regardless of what the NTSB final report says

When asked about the issues he stated along the lines of we don't know yet, it might be as simple as human error or a medical episode of the conductor that we can't do anything about. All this stuff like computers and PTC (positive train control) is not present nor practical and its simply not in the future for us.

radeng
29th Sep 2016, 21:28
I think it was the French who during WW1 killed the most people in a train disaster. The driver said that the overloaded train had insufficient break power to go down the incline and was told by the French Army officer to take it or be shot. Some 500 or so were killed........I don't know if the officer was shot, but he should have been.

Pity that train control isn't in the future for the State of New York.....Perhaps "governor control" would be a useful introduction? There seem to have been an awful load of idiots as governors in the past - Rockefeller comes to mind.

Tankertrashnav
30th Sep 2016, 00:16
I have a friend who manages a waterside restaurant in Hoboken. I emailed her to tell her it was one of the main news items here, and she told me she can see the station from her restaurant. She said it looked like a bomb had hit it.

I was interested to see NY Governor Cuomo on TV speaking in what appeared to be an official capacity about the accident. As the accident occurred over the river in New Jersey, wasn't this a breach of protocol? Surely it should have been the NJ governor speaking to the media?

lomapaseo
30th Sep 2016, 00:54
I was interested to see NY Governor Cuomo on TV speaking in what appeared to be an official capacity about the accident. As the accident occurred over the river in New Jersey, wasn't this a breach of protocol? Surely it should have been the NJ governor speaking to the media?

Both state officials spoke at the same briefing in turns. It seems that many of the passengers originated on that side of the river father north over the NY state line and intended to cross over to NYC at that station point (see Google maps).

So the train was really an interstate dual operation. No doubt the issues will come down to the timing of any corrective actions in whose lifetime generation.

mickjoebill
30th Sep 2016, 03:38
[QUOTE I wonder what backup safety system didn't work this time[/QUOTE]

According to press reports, NTSB recommended auto braking 25 years ago and such a system was agreed three years ago, but not installed.

Mickjoebill

Tankertrashnav
30th Sep 2016, 10:28
Thanks lomopaseo, we only got to see Cuomo on our TV news. I didn't see Christie on the clip we were shown (could hardly have missed him!)

westhawk
30th Sep 2016, 11:44
To the best of my recollection, the PATH trains are operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Being a joint venture between the two states, each state's governor would have an interest in the matter, regardless of the crash location.

The rail system in the Northeast US is not one system, but a collection of many different systems operated by a good many different governmental and private entities. Each entity has their own rules and their own sources of political direction and funding. To say that there is allot of fingers in allot of pies would be an understatement of almost English proportions!

Positive Train Control and other safety systems have been talked about by the NTSB, governors, transit authority chiefs and the like following most every newsworthy rail accident from Washington D.C. to Philly, NY and Boston in the last couple decades. Progress is patchy at best if each new accident where such equipage might have prevented an accident is any indication. All these disparate taxpayer funded fiefdoms seem to claim poverty while paying their managers a mint and extending their hands out to the Feds for more.

And not to pick on the easterners, we've had our share of same right here in California. Now they want to build a bullet train running right along the San Andreas fault! They'll probably pay bonuses to managers for cutting corners too. Brown's multi-Billion dollar Boondoggle seems like an apt name. So goes the game...

netstruggler
30th Sep 2016, 13:02
According to press reports, NTSB recommended auto braking 25 years ago and such a system was agreed three years ago, but not installed. Auto braking will protect a junction easily enough. If the train passes a signal at danger you put the brakes on. Provided the signal is far enough back from the junction then the train will stop in time.

Protecting a terminal platform is slightly more challenging. To do it properly you really need full speed control of the train rather than just auto-braking. I haven't yet seen the details of the proposed protection system and what it would have provided in this case. Some systems limit the speed at which the train can enter the platform, but wouldn't stop it then accelerating towards the endwall - as reportedly was the case in the Moorgate incident referred to above.

radeng
30th Sep 2016, 15:12
I read that the person killed was hit by flying debris. That suggests the driver (sorry 'Engineer' in the US!) survived, so he may be able to shed some light on the matter. If they have such a thing as an OTDR (On Train Data Recorder), that would be useful.

Super VC-10
1st Oct 2016, 10:40
@Radeng - yes, OTDR was fitted.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Hoboken_train_crash

netstruggler
1st Oct 2016, 14:33
From the Federal Railroad Administration Website

https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0621

In 2008, Congress required Class I Railroad mainlines handling poisonous-inhalation-hazard materials and any railroad main lines with regularly scheduled intercity and commuter rail passenger service to fully implement Positive Train Control by December 31, 2015. PTC uses communication-based/processor-based train control technology that provides a system capable of reliably and functionally preventing train-to-train collisions, overspeed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and the movement of a train through a main line switch in the wrong position.


So they're being fairly specific, and they don't mention terminal station protection!

lomapaseo
1st Oct 2016, 16:57
So they're being fairly specific, and they don't mention terminal station protection!

probably because they feel that having signs warning to stand back from the yellow lines is good enough

netstruggler
1st Oct 2016, 18:01
This reference to PTC looks quite authoratative

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/236.1005

... and I still can't see anything there that would have helped prevent this accident.