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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:37 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3674
Location: Maine
And my first concern after determining nobody was killed is, whose packages are those, and what was in them?

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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 966
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Richard Glueck wrote:
And my first concern after determining nobody was killed is, whose packages are those, and what was in them?


Y'know, when I was determining when to send my last batch of Kodachrome to Dwayne's in KS for processing about seven years ago, this sort of disaster was on my mind, although that year it was tornadoes that I feared tearing up the truck, since the previous Spring had been a record breaking tornado season. I made sure that my slide film got there well ahead of the predicted start of the storm season.

As for the law in Utah on "stop-look-and-listen", juries don't always strictly decide cases on absolutes, and the fact that the gates were not functioning at the moment of impact would surely give more than a few of them the willies about their own safety under similar circumstances, possibly influencing any verdict. There is one particularly dangerous grade crossing I regularly deal with on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic RR (Smith Rd., at the motorcycle club with the pond) that is at the bottom of a 15% grade, followed almost immediately by a roundabout at Riverview Rd. While a train only passes there about six times a day at peak season, and not usually at all two days a week, my nightmare involves someone coming down the hill behind me, not paying attention, pushing me into the "kill zone" as the train gets to the crossing. I've watched enough people cross here for enough years to know that most drivers really don't consider the possibility that they might be there at train time, or that a slow tourist train would not be a potentially fatal threat. Motorists regularly occupy the crossing waiting for their turn at the roundabout, perhaps believing that they would have plenty of time to get off the tracks if a train did come, even though the crossing is in a curve, and I know from experience that the gates/lights are timed to the FRA minimum for coming on, before a train occupies the crossing.


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:32 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:32 pm
Posts: 104
Location: Toronto, Ontario
I agree with all the comments that regardless of how the law assigns blame, had the truck driver simply did the "stop, look, and listen" there wouldn't have been an incident. He was betting his life on the technology and was within a fraction of a second of losing that bet.

On a slightly different note, was the engineer in the cab car injured? Did the windshield break? I wonder how the engineer would fare in the new style cab cars in such a collision given they are all glass?

Jason


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2068
Location: Northern Illinois
How good is access to the carbody from the cab? If I had been the engineer, I would have been halfway to the other end of the car... whether there was a door or not.

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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:23 am
Posts: 436
Location: Strasburg, PA
MD Ramsey wrote:
As someone who has had to investigate these type of accidents, I always like to wait until the investigation is complete. There may or may not be various contributing factors and I hate to speculate until all the facts are available.

I appreciate that posture, Mike.

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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:48 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 678
Location: Warren, PA
Agreed. To me the only thing I wanted to point out was that there was something going on here other than a complete failure of a grade crossing system to activate. Beyond that is still speculation.
Unfortunately the way the video makes it look is that the systems just don't work at all, making the entire industry even more suspect to the public, historic operations or not. Most of us know it's a lot harder to get the ^%%$ things to shut off or not trip accidentally, and that's a completely different issue, but at least one we all know well.
My own concern is that you'll see this graphic video surface on every grade crossing litigation issue in the future as 'visible proof' that crossing gates don't work, or train was speeding, etc., etc. and overlook what really happened here - however related to the activity in the signal cabinet. I think as representatives of railroading, that's about all we can do that doesn't involve lack of clear evidence ... yet. And, even when the facts do come out, they'll never, ever, ever get the kind of national coverage this clip has.


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:29 am
Posts: 210
I seem to recall someone being upset about any mention of Iowa Pacific in this forum because "its not a museum." I really don't really understand how this even in the least bit a preservation related topic. The operation in question doesn't even have ANY heritage equipment to my knowledge. This thread seems to be more about "lets show off our railroad knowledge and make guesses about something." Can someone plese enlighten me as to how this is preservation related?


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:26 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4982
eze240 wrote:
Can someone plese enlighten me as to how this is preservation related?


eze240 -

Agreed! I can't see any rail preservation tie-in either.


Les


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2435
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Les Beckman wrote:
eze240 wrote:
Can someone plese enlighten me as to how this is preservation related?


eze240 -

Agreed! I can't see any rail preservation tie-in either.


Les


Les,

Because often what happens on the "real" railroad impacts preservation and preservation operations.

Does HVRM have any signaled grade crossings?

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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2050
The article mentions the cab car was going to be used for parts for the rest of the fleet, how much damage was not indicated but enough to not restore it.

Having no flagman will point fingers at the railroad but will still not stop driver responsibility at the railroad.

Plenty of museums have railroad crossings. Years ago I was on the Little River train and we saw a car on the tracks, we slowed to the crossing ran to the driver and the driver said... "Where do we get on the train?"

"uh, down there at the station" and he drove off..

-thud-


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2423
Les Beckman wrote:
eze240 wrote:
Can someone plese enlighten me as to how this is preservation related?


eze240 -

Agreed! I can't see any rail preservation tie-in either.


Les


Got any signalized grade crossings? I have purchased signal components from most of the big manufacturers. Never once did they say "Is this a tourist railroad or a 'real' railroad?" Apparently the signals don't know the difference.


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4982
wilkinsd wrote:
Les Beckman wrote:
eze240 wrote:
Can someone plese enlighten me as to how this is preservation related?


eze240 -

Agreed! I can't see any rail preservation tie-in either.


Les


Les,

Because often what happens on the "real" railroad impacts preservation and preservation operations.

Does HVRM have any signaled grade crossings?


David -

Yes, although normal operations are across roads/streets with crossing buck protection only.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:53 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 58
Quote:
Because often what happens on the "real" railroad impacts preservation and preservation operations.


At the end of the day the it's either a FRA regulated railroad or it isn't "real" has nothing to do with it. If 49CFR part 234 applies to the railroad then abide by it. If it applies to you read the reg. and talk to your S&TC inspector. Speculation and uninformed discussion is meaningless and irrelevant in this forum. As one individual has already pointed out, there is no sense in jumping to conclusions before the investigation is finished.

Quote:
My own concern is that you'll see this graphic video surface on every grade crossing litigation issue in the future as 'visible proof' that crossing gates don't work, or train was speeding, etc., etc. and overlook what really happened here - however related to the activity in the signal cabinet. I think as representatives of railroading, that's about all we can do that doesn't involve lack of clear evidence ... yet. And, even when the facts do come out, they'll never, ever, ever get the kind of national coverage this clip has.


The above quote is an example of the mindset that gets many a railfan into trouble. It expresses the need to be a "representative of railroading." While each of us may, in certain circles (family, friends, etc.) be the most knowledgeable on the subject of trains and railroads, so many want to be THE source for all things train. Anyone who has dealt with railroads in any professional manner understands that there is too much information for one person to fully comprehend all railroad subjects. A true authority on a subject isn't afraid to consult reference materials or, in this case, wait for the facts to come in before discussing an accident.

Well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) railfans speaking on subjects of which they know just enough to be dangerous, have, in the past, caused great and unnecessary headaches for railroads and preservation efforts alike, right here on the site in fact. If you want to discuss what happened and make guesses among friends there is nothing wrong with that, but to do so in a public forum or as a self-appointed representative of railroading to the public, can be very detrimental to our cause. When you as a volunteer at the museum or as the local "train guy" speak about something "railroad" to the uninformed public, they take your word as fact. Misinformation is far worse than ignorance.

As this case has been brought to national attention and is likely to turn into a legal nightmare for all involved and since it appears to have little if any value to the preservation community, I would ask the moderators to consider locking this thread.


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:35 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2435
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
hotbox wrote:
Misinformation is far worse than ignorance.

As this case has been brought to national attention and is likely to turn into a legal nightmare for all involved and since it appears to have little if any value to the preservation community, I would ask the moderators to consider locking this thread.


This exhibits why this forum is of constantly diminishing value. We cannot discuss "difficult" subjects because those with a monopoly on knowledge decide to stifle discussion by running to the moderators, demanding that threads be locked. How dare we have a discussion, share information, about issues that are even slightly connected to preservation!

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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:38 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 58
Mr. Wilkins,

1) I did not demand anything. I stated the facts of the matter and politely asked for consideration of the moderators to lock the thread.

2) I do not claim to have a monopoly on knowledge. In fact it has become apparent that no one involved in the discussion has the monopoly on knowledge relating to the topic at hand. The only facts that are provided are what may be drawn from the video.

3) You reference the sharing of information. I haven't seen any sharing of information in this thread, simply opinions based on a video.

4) I noticed that you quoted my statement that misinformation is far worse than ignorance. Do you disagree?

Quote:
How dare we have a discussion, share information, about issues that are even slightly connected to preservation!


"Slightly" is right. "Because often what happens on the "real" railroad impacts preservation and preservation operations." Is a weak argument at best. If that is the only link needed, then what you're saying is anything relating to any railroad, anytime, anywhere is a suitable topic because it could happen to a preservation operation.

While I appreciate your desire to understand the events surrounding the incident since you appear to be from the area. I just don't feel like soliciting opinions with out proper facts or information is an effective way learn about this incident, especially since it may cause problems for someone who doesn't deserve them.

Most people who are responsible for complying with FRA regulations already know what they are, where to find them, and a good source to help them understand them. If your point of curiosity does in fact lie with the regulations themselves and how a heritage operation might protect themselves against such and occurrence as the one mentioned here, then that would be the topic to post. There are a number FRA inspectors who read the forum regularly some of which have actually weighed in on this thread and are reserving judgement until the facts are in.


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