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 Post subject: Re: The wreck of the Broker - Woodbridge NJ 1951
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2024 6:40 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
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Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
Did the Broker change engine crews at South Amboy even if the locomotive ran through?


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 Post subject: Re: The wreck of the Broker - Woodbridge NJ 1951
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2024 7:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 711
Thanks for posting this link. A very interesting video. The subject matter expert in the video stated that tenders of this era had wooden baffles in the cistern to limit water volume shifting. The loco was just shy of 34 years old at the time of the incident. On the PRR, would this have been the original tender? The conductor on an earlier move had reported that the wooden deck under the cistern had rotted away and so the angle irons holding the back of the tender down were basically bolted into air. If the deck was this badly rotted away, would wooden baffles in the tender be compromised to a similar extent? Did the PRR use any water treatment that could have accelerated this deterioration? Were there any regulations at the time that required inspection of the cistern baffles or the structural integrity of the tender frame/deck/cistern? I appreciate any additional insight.


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 Post subject: Re: The wreck of the Broker - Woodbridge NJ 1951
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2024 10:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 1431
Location: Philadelphia, PA
NY&LB did not provide operating crews. PRR trains had PRR crews; CNJ trains had CNJ crews. CNJ did not change engine or train crews at South Amboy. PRR did not change train crews at South Amboy. PRR Exchange Place trains did not change engines so they did not change engine crews. On PRR trains that did change engines (Rahway or South Amboy) the engine crews stayed with their respective engines.

As to the tender baffles. I'd check with the people in Altoona. 1361 worked the NY&LB in the 1950's.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: The wreck of the Broker - Woodbridge NJ 1951
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2024 11:33 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
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Would the engineer be assigned to that same section of track, or is it possible that he had not been through there for a while? If he was frequently/only running that section he would certainly have known the NJ turnpike was being built through there, and he would have seen that shoofly being constructed, and must have known that soon his trains would be detouring through the shoofly. In addition, it is likely that when he picked up his train that there was discussion about the new shoofly being open that day. All that is of course possible and yet it cold have slipped his mind once he started running, and for that reason some sort of physical speed restriction sign or signal would have been helpful to jog his memory. But it wasn't as though the first time he had been made aware of the speed restriction was the bulletin order that day.


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 Post subject: Re: The wreck of the Broker - Woodbridge NJ 1951
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2024 11:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 1811
Location: New Franklin, OH
EJ Berry wrote:
NY&LB did not provide operating crews. PRR trains had PRR crews; CNJ trains had CNJ crews. CNJ did not change engine or train crews at South Amboy. PRR did not change train crews at South Amboy. PRR Exchange Place trains did not change engines so they did not change engine crews. On PRR trains that did change engines (Rahway or South Amboy) the engine crews stayed with their respective engines.

As to the tender baffles. I'd check with the people in Altoona. 1361 worked the NY&LB in the 1950's.

Phil Mulligan

Thanks Phil. I went back and rewatched that part. The engineer was a PRR guy but spent most of his time on the NY&LB where the yellow signals were used.

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 Post subject: Re: The wreck of the Broker - Woodbridge NJ 1951
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2024 11:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1769
Location: Back in NE Ohio
I can tell you from firsthand experience that not all tender baffles were wood. I became intimately familiar with the inside of Jerry Jacobson's first steam locomotive - Jackson Iron & Steel Co. #3/BLW #26 when he was refurbishing it in the Jackson, Ohio steel mill, scraping and needle scaling it when I was young and skinny as well as short, and could climb through the baffles. They were indeed steel in that Baldwin slant-back tender.


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 Post subject: Re: The wreck of the Broker - Woodbridge NJ 1951
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2024 10:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 1431
Location: Philadelphia, PA
The ICC report states, "Some of the baffle boards in the cistern of the tender were broken." This would imply the baffles were indeed wooden. The engine was built in 1917 but the record did not state if the tender was original to the engine or when it was built.

Phil Mulligan

Download URL is: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/4613 ... 38_DS1.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: The wreck of the Broker - Woodbridge NJ 1951
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:02 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2334
The ICC report also notes very shortly after the baffle-board discussion that no defect on the engine, tender, or cars contributed materially to the accident.

Note the mention of 1028-A, providing that a yellow flag or light would be located to the right of the track, located sufficiently ahead of an 'obstruction' to permit speed to be reduced "from maximum authorized speed to the speed required" -- these speeds being 65mph and 25mph respectively. Note that this is not 'restricted speed' in the sense of stopping within half the distance to a recognized obstruction. The ICC report later notes that PRR operating rules (which applied all the way west to WC) did not require any kind of light or sign to indicate presence of a slow-order restriction, and the signal system at the time was operated as a strict ABS system with no override for 'caution' restrictions.

Where this becomes so important is in the (difficult-to-read) part of the report that deals with engineer qualification. It would appear that the engineer said he was not familiar with the fact that the section from Union through Woodbridge to WC was operated with Pennsylvania and not NY&LB rules... which told me he was expecting that 'yellow light' to remind him where the slow order was.

The yellow light in question would not have been a 'signal' aspect. The ICC report is very clear that the last signal governing movement was A-229 (only 271' ahead of the east trestle abutment), that it was a position light, and that it was displaying 'proceed', which I interpret at being a three-vertical-light aspect.

Something not explicitly mentioned in the report, perhaps by intention, is that the Long Island Railroad accidents in the immediately previous years were the likely reason why PRR was considering a better automatic-control system. Someone more familiar with this part of PRR history should comment.

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 Post subject: Re: The wreck of the Broker - Woodbridge NJ 1951
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 9:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 1431
Location: Philadelphia, PA
There were two LIRR rear end collisions with telescoping of crowded MP54's plus a collision where No. 31 (Spirit of St. Louis) rear ended a troop train in Coshocton Ohio, with multiple fatalities of PA Army Nat'l Guard troops who had been activted for Korea. They were all in cab signal territory but PRR (and thus LIRR) had not installed the speed control function.

The ICC mandated that PRR install speed control in all its passenger locomotives. As I recall all the passenger diesels and electrics got it as fast as US&S could produce it, plus some MP54 MU cars and some K4's were equipped.

Phil Mulligan


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