Author Topic: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.  (Read 1200 times)

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Kisatchie

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2015, 04:49:17 PM »
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"Mr. Astorino said that the crash appeared to be the S.U.V. driver’s fault, not the conductor’s."

Gee, really? (insert sarcasm symbol here)


Hmm... Kiz is taking
this personally...


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lock4244

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2015, 04:59:26 PM »
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Seven dead (six on train), wow. That is one bad collision, and with that death toll on a train that did not derail, one wonders if there will be a serious look into the crash worthiness of the cabcar in use? Certainly a locomotive would have seen only the SUV driver killed.
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Jesse6669

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2015, 05:13:36 PM »
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The article says " the gates at the crossing came down on top of the S.U.V., which had stopped on the tracks...The driver got out of the vehicle to look at the rear of the car, then got back in and drove forward." 

"I wonder" if the arm came down on his vehicle after the warning lights had started flashing but before the gates had descended (while trying to beat the train.. hmm).  Then the driver got mad because his car was hit and wanted to check the damage, not realizing the danger he had created for himself/train crew/passengers..   

I wonder how long it will be until there's a small camera w. flash memory on every crossing equipped with flashers/gates so we'd know.

Really sad for the families.

bbussey

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2015, 05:55:14 PM »
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Apparently the nearby Taconic River Parkway was backed up and drivers were clogging the local streets looking for alternative routes home.  The traffic was at a standstill and (foolishly) cars were sitting on the tracks when the lights started flashing, and the gate dropped behind the SUV.  It was dark, the driver apparently was confused, got out of the car to try to flag down the train, then got back into the car, moved forward instead of in reverse, and was dead center of the track when she got hit.  The SUV, carrying a full tank of gas, exploded upon impact, killing her instantly and igniting the first car.  The engineer was lucky to have avoided serious injury, and assisted in getting a number of passengers out of the first car.

The Operation Lifesaver videos should be standard viewing for all drivers every few years.  It should be common sense to everyone that you simply don't stop vehicles on railroad tracks, ever.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 05:56:47 PM by bbussey »
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Scottl

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2015, 06:59:41 PM »
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A terrible tragedy, but as long as trains have grade crossings, I think it is incumbent on the railways (or the regulators) to provide sufficient protection for operators.  As pointed out earlier, a locomotive would have provided a lot more protection.  Obviously, this mostly applies to commuter lines like this one, but as long as people put cars on the tracks (and they will for many reasons) this is a occupational hazard that can be significantly addressed. 

nkalanaga

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2015, 01:47:07 AM »
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WCBS was reporting tonight that the explosion was worsened by the third rail puncturing the gas tank on the SUV, igniting the fire, then penetrating the first two passenger cars.  For those not familiar with railroad (including me), and who haven't looked on Google Maps, the third rails sit higher than the running rails, and have gaps at grade crossing.  The ends aren't ramped or otherwise protected, so anything pushed ahead of the train, and wide enough to hit the rail, will be impaled on it.

Question:  Since there is a gap in the third rail, which looks about as long as the average passenger car, and no overhead wire/rail, does the train just coast across, or are there jumper wires between cars/locomotives, so they can share power at gaps?  I can see that if it's MU cars, but if it's a single locomotive pulling unpowered cars, how does it work?
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bbussey

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2015, 08:13:35 AM »
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The SUV was dead-centered on the tracks, so it wouldn't have mattered how the ends of the third-rail at the crossing gap were configured.  It would have been dislodged regardless.

Crossing the gap — while this was a 60-mph zone, a non-M.U. consist (or single electric) easily would coast over the gap at just about any speed.
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jagged ben

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2015, 09:37:26 AM »
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The Operation Lifesaver videos should be standard viewing for all drivers every few years.  It should be common sense to everyone that you simply don't stop vehicles on railroad tracks, ever.

What saddens me most is that the driver got back in the car.    If you are stuck in any way for even a second and can't move the car off the tracks, get the f out of the car and run as far away from the scene ASAP.

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2015, 11:02:51 AM »
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Just read of another commuter train hiting a tractor trailer on the Purple Line in Boston.  Only one minor injury on this one.  Doesn't say but I'm thinking is had a locomotive on the lead.

C855B

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2015, 11:34:14 AM »
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This accident recalls the Glendale, CA collision a decade ago. SUV was parked on the tracks (and not at a crossing) in an aborted suicide attempt.

...Purple Line in Boston. Only one minor injury on this one.  Doesn't say but I'm thinking it had a locomotive on the lead.

This was discussed extensively after the Glendale crash. Metrolink subsequently prohibited passengers in the lead car on a pushed train, eventually reducing that to cordoning off the first few rows. I agree with the school of thought that cab cars are inherently prone to high casualty counts in collisions. They're designed to be lightweight first, and also, like the Metro North crash, any ensuing conflagration is going to envelop passenger areas.

Pushing trains at commuter speeds on non-grade-separated ROW is all-around bad policy motivated by saving a few pennies. The Metro North train was 3rd-rail, so no separate locomotive, but this type of operation with the nearly-uncontrollable variable of public grade crossings has similar issues.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 11:36:56 AM by C855B »
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Lenny53

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2015, 01:02:31 PM »
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 The Metro North train was 3rd-rail, so no separate locomotive
[/quote]

Mike;
 Doesn't Metro North use P32DM locomotives in 3rd rail areas?

C855B

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2015, 01:26:16 PM »
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Didn't know that... thanks! I was under the (obviously mistaken) impression that practically everything there was m.u. cars.
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Denver Road Doug

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2015, 03:51:14 PM »
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What a tragedy.   :(

I know nobody wants to hear this, but we have to start making people more responsible/accountable for "accidents" like this.   To me, this is about as much of an accident as smoking a cigarette while filling up your gas tank.

And I know you don't always have a choice, but stay away from the ends of the trains when possible.  I try to put at least two full cars between my seats and the end, on both sides.   In Dallas that's not always possible since sometimes there is only 3 or 4 cars (sometimes even just two) but I err slightly toward the rear of the train in that case.  (still can get rear-ended by another commuter or freight, but it seems head-end accidents are more common.)   The bombardier's tend to telescope, too so that's a consideration...maybe the lower level is better in that case...dunno.
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davefoxx

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Re: Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V.
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2015, 06:22:10 PM »
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The bombardier's tend to telescope, too so that's a consideration...

What?!  How in this day and age is this still possible?  That's unacceptable!

...maybe the lower level is better in that case...dunno.

If the car goes over on its side, you'll feel less impact in the lower level than you would in the upper level.  Perhaps that's one consideration.

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