Industrial history train wrecks and some safety rules static electricity zap


The Janney (knuckle) coupler and air brakes are examples of equipment the railroads were required to convert to in the 19th century because they improved safety. Using roller bearings instead of friction bearings is an example of a rule that went into affect during the 20th Century to improve safety. (Roller bearings also reduced a lot of labor requirements. And, unlike coupler and air brake changes, not all cars had to change at the same time to be compatible. So the railroads converted most of their cars without a rule. But it is now a rule, and now museums have trouble getting cars they purchased transported to their museum because they are old and have friction bearings.) The replacement of hand signals with radios is a 1970s improvement.

Since at least 2014, the railroads have been replacing their relay-and-copper-wire-based signalling with computer-and-fiber-optics-based signalling to implement Positive Train Control (PTC). Unfortunately, newer is not always better. The crossing gates over Main Street in Downers Grove have had many false closings after the new equipment was cut over. (During the 40 years I lived in town with the old signalling equipment, I never saw a false closing.) They turned on PTC for BNSF commuter trains this year. gas after eating salad To do that, they had to change the schedules because it takes longer to change the direction of the locomotive after arrives at the end of the line. The increased turnaround is cause by needing to reboot the PTC equipment. The new schedule caused a lot of overcrowding of some trains. Recently, I saw a headline in the Chicago Tribune about the trains having a 45-min delay because of signalling problems. And today [11-3-2018], WGN had a report blaming PTC for ongoing train delays and further delays of much needed engine and car replacements. ( source)

Another safety rule that some railroads have written is that the trains must be completely stopped before someone can get on or off of it. That rule is currently controversial. When doing switching work it was quite common to get off and on a train that was moving at a walking speed. k electric share price forecast In fact, I’ve seen a 1940s NYC safety training video about the correct way to get on a slowly moving train. This rule is currently controversial because it does reduce the productivity of a crew.

I was surprised when I read the conductor’s testimony. Obviously, he told what should have happened, not what did happen. The report indicates he should have prevented this accident by not letting the engineer get on the train in the first place because he must have been obviously drunk. gas bloating pain I wonder if a conductor in the caboose can hear the horn blowing for crossings. Or does the horn facing forward, the train being long, and the caboose being noisy not allow the conductor to hear the horn? As the report indicates, he had at least a second chance of preventing the accident when he saw the train was not properly slowing down for the metro area because there is an air-brake valve in the caboose.

I’ve been reading the stories that a couple of engineers have been posting on Facebook. One thing I have learned is that drinking on the job was remarkably common back in the 1960s. In fact, it was a good thing they had a crew size of 5 people because some guys were known to go to sleep on the job because they drank too much. I know that Major League Baseball learned that just writing the rule "don’t use drugs" doesn’t do the job. They had to also do random testing for drug usage. The railroads don’t care about Performance Enhancing Drugs. But they must care about drugs that impair performance. I don’t know what the current practice is concerning random testing for alcohol, cocaine, opiates, etc.

" BHP [an iron-ore mining company in Australia] has attributed last week’s runaway train derailment in the Pilbara to a combination brake system failure and incorrect operating procedure." This train had two braking systems: air and electric. The air provides power to push the brake pads against the wheels. It seems their electric system doesn’t control air pressure but uses electricity to provide the power to push the pads. The air system is an emergency backup system. The driver got off to inspect a car. electricity outage in fort worth The first mistake is that the driver did not engage the emergency air brake before leaving the locomotive. This was a violation of the relevant operating procedure. Secondly, the electric braking system that initially stopped the train automatically released after an hour while the driver was still outside. [ TheWest] This is just a preliminary report. Why would someone program a brake system to autonomously release itself after an hour? If I surmise correctly that the electric system uses electrical power to apply the brakes, then maybe it would overheat after an hour of continuous application. In which case not setting the air brake is an even bigger no-no.

There were no injuries, but several [30] cars were dumped off or near an overpass. The number of cars derailed impacts the cleanup time, but not the impact on the people in the town other than traffic hassles. However, some [4] of those cars were carrying odorless propane. This caused most of the town to be evacuated and a long detour around the potential hazard. Who pays the motel and restaurant bills for the people that are forced to leave their homes? (A shared post indicated the evacuation was lifted the same day it was called, 11/18/2018. gasbuddy diesel A comment indicated that none of the tank cars leaked propane.) A report [ 13WMAZ ( source)] said it derailed near Main Street. But looking at satellite images, it derailed on the main road through town, not Main Street. It was fortunate that no one driving on the highway got hurt, or worse. The derailment was mid-train, so the train crew was safe.

When I looked at this photo, I thought the propane tanks were near the end of the cut that left the tracks. That means they would have been slowed down because of emergency braking caused by the broken airline and the shock absorbing action of the boxcars and hoppers in front of them. electricity multiple choice questions grade 9 So they "gently" rolled off to the left side of the photo. I’m seeing conflicting reports concerning the damage to the bridge. They range from its OK to it needs to be replaced.

One fine day I brought the coal train into Joliet from West Chicago and left it on the run-through track so I could run around it with the engines and take it to Romeoville. Everything was fine as I started out but when I got up near the bridges over the small river and the BNSF my engine physically dropped quite a bit going over a certain spot on the left side. I could also hear a sound like a wheel going over a bad rail joint. gas 85 I was only going 10 mph and uphill so I made so I made an easy stop before the second 3 axle truck on the engine ran over that spot. I went outside and started looking and there it was, the rail was broken all the way through and there was no cross tie under it. The rail is pretty forgiving but I wasn’t willing to take the entire 110 plus 100-ton hoppers over it. Might not derail but it sure could. I called the dispatcher and reported my find and told him I thought we could gently run back over that spot with the engine and shove the train back into the yard. We had a utility man helping us so he protected the move from the rear end. My conductor was out on the ground at that spot and watched closely as we tippy-toed back over it. In years past that kind of responsibility was rewarded by the J with a Chevron and a savings bond for saving them thousands of dollars and tieing up the railroad over Bridge 198 but they had already quit doing that years before to save money I guess. static electricity human body That broken rail was under my engineer’s seat when I brought the train in and I didn’t feel it then so it must have happened after my engine passed over that spot which is entirely possible. Sometimes things just don’t feel right. Just another day on the J.

Yes drinking was common from the beginning of railroads and was common everywhere…and in many industries ‘back in the day.’ From driving truck to railroads to almost anywhere…not anymore. Federal rules mandate random testing of railroaders for all known impairing drugs. I have been ‘tested’ a few times in my career and KNOWING that testing is possible and what my career paid…smoking pot or drinking before work was a strong deterrent….kinda puts a kink in the money flow. Easy enough to stop. Oh and the railroads DO CARE about performance enhancing drugs…whatever those are.

On the IC wreck, in a lot of terminals the rear end crew never sees they head end crew as they may actually go on duty in two different places. And no, you didn’t often hear the horns of your train when you are a mile behind the engines. Various rules, such as communicating signal indications, upcoming slow orders etc between the head end and rear end crew helped negate …shall we say…failure to communicate problems.