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 Post subject: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collision
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 676
Location: Warren, PA
Just posted today on the NTSB website. I won't editorialize. Just update.

http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2013/mi ... landTX.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Wow, they nailed the city to the barn door on that one.
It won't stop the lawsuits against UP, though.

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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:09 pm 
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Location: San Diego, Ca
And rightly so!

There's more to this story though, including one of the Veterans posing as a Purple Heart recipient, who was not and his wife being severely injured in the accident. (Amputation of leg)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/12/vi ... ple-heart/

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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:11 pm 
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Jeff Lisowski wrote:
And rightly so!
Seriously? What in Earth did UP do wrong? Nobody informed them of the parade so they could issue a slow order.
Jeff Lisowski wrote:
There's more to this story though, including one of the Veterans posing as a Purple Heart recipient, who was not and his wife being severely injured in the accident.
I'm witholding an opinion until all the facts are known, because I know for sure that some military deocrations and training get left off your DD-214 when you leave the service. For example, mine lacks a specific Unit Citation I know for certain I was awarded as I was in the unit at that time. I had a soldier on active duty in my unit who'd been awarded a bronze star in Desert Storm and it took him forever to get it to show up on his records.
A pal of mine in Florida had been a Navy SEAL and he was accused of lying about his service in the 90s just because the NAVY couldn't initially find records of his training and awarding of the SEAL 'trident' insignia when someone got a burr under their bonnet from seeing him wear a SEAL shirt once. He lawyered up and destroyed the accuser in place.
So, after knowing these things, I never assume someone is lying, especially when they're adamant that they're not, until all the info comes out.

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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:34 pm 
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p51 wrote:
Seriously? What in Earth did UP do wrong? Nobody informed them of the parade so they could issue a slow order.


My comment was directed at the City being nailed to the barn door.

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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:07 pm 
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Jeff Lisowski wrote:
My comment was directed at the City being nailed to the barn door.
Sorry, thought you meant the UP comment...

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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:00 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
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Location: Warren, PA
Local news coverage on the NTSB report:
http://www.newswest9.com/story/23882681 ... -collision


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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:33 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 966
Location: Back in NE Ohio
...And if the train had been carrying loaded flammable hazmat tanks instead of double-stacks and derailed in the middle of the parade, which could happen when an engineer has to very quickly put a train in emergency, we could very well have had a U. S. version of the Lac Magantic wreck, but totally the fault of non-railroad actors.

Those of us here who have worked in the industry as train crew have most likely had messages in our orders at one time or another about special events near the railroad requiring reduced speed, or calling a train master assigned to the event for permission past the event, sounding horn and bell through the limits. These community events are not an uncommon occurrence. Railroads know how to deal with them, if you tell them they are happening. Community officials really fell down on this one.


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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:07 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
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Location: Warren, PA
And that process - the community responsibility to inform the railroad - cuts across all outfits from Class 1's to museum lines. The NTSB is going to 'try' to broadcast this message, preservation outfits can certainly pass this around at their own grassroots level as well.

I saw almost a repeat of that accident in my own town's 4th of July parade this year. Parade staging area, local trucker backed a tractor-trailer flatbed full of elderly Elks over a live track with a train on it (crossbucks only), headlight coming, completely blind to what he was doing on a 3-point turn. Only difference was a) the train was moving only 10mph b) the train crew is local and had seen the parade staging area on their way out to the customer, was well aware of the hazard. They just stopped the train, didn't even blow the horn, as to not cause a panic on the float. Engineer saw me screaming at the truck driver to move off the crossing, made one friend there with the train crew anyway. No harm, this time.


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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:40 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
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From this article:

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas ... 958560.php

“At the time, the driver missed many of the early warnings of the oncoming train because of several factors, one being that the float in front of him had been blowing a train whistle throughout the parade.”

That strike me as an amazing irony.


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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:30 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
I truly doubt that it was a multi-chime air horn as you'd find on any diesel...

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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 307
Location: Ventura County, CA
Pre 1976 I was in a youth band that was marching in a parade in Lompoc, CA. Back then the color guard and I think the majorettes were ahead of the band with the drill team behind. The parade route crossed a SP track through town. Not sure if it was the Coast mainline or a branch, but I recall that this year as we approached the crossing the signals activated. The band halted with the color guard and majorettes on the far side of the crossing and the band before the crossing. It was humorous at the time and I particulary enjoyed standing there watching the train go by. Once the train passed, the signals stopped and we stepped off again like nothing happened. I don't remember any concern on the band staff, nor remember seeing any railroad flagmen, etc.

Back then it was no big thing. Even when in a marching band, we practiced stop, look and listen. :-)

Greg

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Last edited by atsfm177 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:53 pm 
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p51 wrote:
I truly doubt that it was a multi-chime air horn as you'd find on any diesel...


You'd be surprised at what some Owner Operators and even small fleet owners have in terms of "Train Horns."

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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
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Location: NJ
My youngest son and I played a Halloween parade a week and a half ago. The 'float' behind us was a roll-back wrecker with Santa, (and don't get me started about too early...). We kept hearing what sounded like a locomotive air horn, and sure enough, the guy had a three chime horn under his wrecker. It was chrome plated, possibly a Beull, not a Nathan or Leslie, but it sounded pretty authentic.

The point about too many flashing lights is a good one. When a wrecker is going to an accident, and while hooking up, I can see the need for flashing lights. But once the car is on the hook, or especially on the back of a roll-back, doesn't the wrecker become just another vehicle? Or are the flashers wired into the ignition? And school busses around here seem to have sprouted white strobe lights; aren't the traditional yellow and red school bus flashers enough?

I think people are eventually going to visually 'tune out' warning lights, there are so many. Or as my oldest son told me about driving in Boston, red lights are merely a suggestion.


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 Post subject: Re: OT but not: NTSB issues findings in Midland, TX collisi
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:07 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
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I don’t know exactly what kind of horn it was, but they did call it a train horn, and a train horn would normally have played a role in the crash except for the fact that this crossing is in a quiet zone, so no horn is sounded as routine. The horn was ultimately sounded by the engineer when he saw the crash was imminent.

But the crossing did have bells, so the celebration horn may have drowned out the bells. In other articles, it did say that several police cars were continuously sounding their sirens in celebration, so between that and the celebration air horn, it seems likely that the crossing bells would have been drowned out. But in any case, the driver did enter the crossing against the red flashing lights, so missing the audio warning is moot.

What I find most interesting is that a lot of popular opinion on other forums had the driver “nailed to the barn door.” They insisted that there was no question about it because the driver failed to comply with the crossing signals.

Yet I wondered what role the police escort might have had in suspending traffic control rules in order to expedite the parade. From the NTSB report, it sounds like that is exactly what happened. It was not a matter of the driver not seeing the flashing lights. It was a matter of the driver being habituated to ignore such warnings as advised by the police escort.

So, while the excess celebration noise may have drowned out the crossing warning bells, that would have been beside the point if the driver was simply deferring to the judgment of the police escort to pass through red lights and other warnings under the assumption that the police were holding back conflicting traffic in order to give the right of way to the parade.


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