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

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bikkuri bahn

comment in a major national newspaper website:

Probably a stupid question, but why aren't seat belts required on trains? That would seem to make more sense than requiring them on planes....

 

 

 
yeah, stupid.
Edited by bikkuri bahn

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bikkuri bahn

could have been overspeed- it's apparently a 40mph curve there, train may have been going twice that.

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Matteo_IT

 

 

could have been overspeed- it's apparently a 40mph curve there, train may have been going twice that.

 

So... possible in USA, lines and trains aren't equipped with control speed system? I don't think... :unsure:

In Italy any line and any train are equipped by a system that advice and then stop train if exceed the speed limit...

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kvp

 

So... possible in USA, lines and trains aren't equipped with control speed system? I don't think...

Since most lines used by Amtrak are freight routes that allow passenger service, there is not much of a speed control on them. Many lines don't even have ATS systems even at junctions. A previous accident in New York was also due to overspeeding in a curve and that was on a heavy commuter line (also used by Amtrak) without any form of speed control. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_2013_Spuyten_Duyvil_derailment)

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velotrain

Since most lines used by Amtrak are freight routes that allow passenger service

 

While that is generally true - certainly in the west, that isn't the case with the NE Corridor, and perhaps a few other areas.

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kvp

The problem is, that even dedicated commuter railroads postpone installing speed restriction equipment as in the example i posted And when they do install something, then it's incompatible with everything else and many times complety inadequate. If a major commuter line in inner New York that is also used by Amtrak lacks the required equipment, then what can we say about the more rural lines? The first ATS systems were installed in the 19th century (by Siemens-Halske Indusi) and the first speed limiter system, the Integra Signum was installed in 1933. Not to mention modern systems like the european standard ETCS, that is available as off the shelf components and is equipped on all european made Amtrak locomotives and other rolling stock. Lineside installation can be as little as placing a few speed and signal marker boxes onto the track and as complex as connecting everything up in a wired or wireless network to allow real time position and speed monitoring even for travellers.

 

ps: In short, it would be so cheap to install a basic protection system that would prevent most of the accidents, that i honestly don't understand why nobody is doing it.

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NuclearErick

loocking some pics in the net 2 things got my attention

 

* the locomotive was the New Siemmens ACS-64 nº601

* one car was almost desintegrate only 6 people die but some are in critical conditionTR4o2Imy.jpg

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Jace

Metro-North has a form of Automatic Train Control in that the system will enforce signal indications but the system does not enforce civil speed restrictions (i.e. speed restrictions through curves). After Spuyen Duyvil, the FRA issued an emergency order to get them to fix that at certain critical locations (http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L04879).

 

Amtrak has an ATC system in place on their Northeast Corridor trackage with civil speed enforcement called ACSES (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACSES). Amtrak runs on Metro-North rail in NY and Connecticut, but they have ACSES everywhere else between Washington and Boston. NJ Transit also uses ACSES on their lines, LIRR has something similar. A lot of the rumors swirling around this latest wreck is that the engineer took the curve way too fast. I would have thought that ACSES would have prevented that.

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spacecadet

Not a rumor anymore, apparently: https://twitter.com/NTSB/status/598566397241913346

 

I don't really understand how that can happen on Amtrak-owned tracks either. The obvious explanation is that congress' spending priorities are more than a little out of whack.

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zartan

The NYTimes is confirming that the curve where this occurred does NOT have any sort of automatic train control.  Shameful.

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velotrain

 The obvious explanation is that congress' spending priorities are more than a little out of whack.

 

Congress has never been an enthusiastic supporter of Amtrak from the get-go.

 

Passenger trains have to some extent been in decline in the U.S. ever since the advent of the automobile and the airplane, although peak passenger miles is likely somewhere between 1920-1945.  WW II temporarily stopped the decline, but even the beautiful streamlined trains of the 50's couldn't save long-distance passenger service.

 

Most of this can be easily explained by superimposing maps of Europe and Japan over a map of the U.S.

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Jace

Thanks for the link spacecadet. I was waiting to hear from the NTSB on this too.

 

I've heard something to the effect that the tracks going towards Philly are properly protected but not in the other direction. I don't know if this is the case or not but I can't imagine such a layout given the high approach speeds in both directions. Equipment failure or tampering are other options but this sure doesn't lend confidence to this safety system.

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zartan

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/14/us/amtrak-train-derails-crash-philadelphia.html

 

"Experts said the derailment might have been averted by a safety system called positive train control, that can, among other features, automatically reduce the speed of a train that is going too fast. To do that, the system must be installed on both the train and the route; the Amtrak train had it, but that stretch of track did not."

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Matteo_IT

 

 

the locomotive was the New Siemmens ACS-64 nº601

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

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Sacto1985

I think this accident may finally force every train that operate on the Northeast Corridor and the entire Northeast Corridor trackage to have Positive Train Control (PTC). With PTC, if a train exceeds the speed limit or runs a red signal the system will automatically slow down or stop the train, akin to the ATS systems found on JR lines and private railway lines in Japan. 

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velotrain

I don't know if the timing was related or not, but PBS reported this evening that the House today voted to cut the Amtrak appropriation by 15% next year.  The Senate, and the accident, may hopefully help defeat that.  In the past there has been Congressional push to only retain passenger rail in the densely populated regions / corridors (NE, Chicago-area, California, maybe Texas, etc.), and abandon the long-distance national routes.

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cteno4

NTSB reporting train was going 106mph at the time of the crash. Emergency brakes deployed 3 seconds before the crash. 50mph limit on the curve and 70mph on the straightaway before it.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/14/us/amtrak-train-derails-crash-philadelphia.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

 

http://nyti.ms/1EEOGdB

 

Jeff

Edited by cteno4

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bikkuri bahn

I think this accident may finally force every train that operate on the Northeast Corridor and the entire Northeast Corridor trackage to have Positive Train Control (PTC).

 

Amtrak's PTC system, ACSES, which has overspeed protections, is scheduled already to be installed along the whole length of the NEC by the end of this year.  Unfortunately, it was not installed yet on the stretch where the accident occured.  Sections where it is in operation are New Brunswick to Trenton, and Wilmington DE to Northern Maryland.

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velotrain

PBS also reported that the train's engineer "declined to discuss what happened".

 

They should just charge him with manslaughter.

 

The emergency braking indicates that he realized he screwed up too late.

 

Are there any rules about a second man needing to be in the cab?

 

 

I sure hope he wasn't texting at the time.

 

There was a non-fatal Subway crash in Boston a year or two ago due to that.

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westfalen

It's almost standard practice around the world by the media and railway and government officials to blame the engineer before any investigations take place.  A split second distraction at those speeds would be all it takes and having one man in the cab with no form of PTC or similar system at those speeds is where the fingers should be pointed.

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bikkuri bahn

WaPost article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/investigators-probe-amtrak-wreckage-after-philadephia-detrailment-6-dead/2015/05/13/cdf31d58-f957-11e4-9ef4-1bb7ce3b3fb7_story.html?hpid=z1

 

this tidbit:

 

Descriptions of people tossed about and injured raised questions about whether passenger trains should be equipped with seat belts.

“This has been an ongoing controversy for many years,” said railroad safety expert Larry Mann. “Amtrak has opposed it. Members of Congress don’t want to fund it, so it just doesn’t get any traction.”

 

Wow, Congress actually makes good decisions sometimes.

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westfalen

Like a lot of safety initiatives, someone has to die before anything gets done.

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