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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:24 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1255
Location: Henderson Nevada
Hi everyone,

As a moderator, I have a couple of thoughts…

First, please stop self moderating. If a topic or some portion of the discussion seems problematic, you have a couple of options, 1) report it… there is a button on the bottom right of each post, in the form of a red exclamation point in a small box. If you hit that it will allow you to explain your concern. This is a red flag for the moderators. 2) Email one or more of the moderators (we are listed at the top of the page). We will then review the topic… If you do email us, please provide the name of the topic… sometimes your concern is well buried in the discussion, and a comment like “not preservation” might not lead us to the second page of a discussion of a grade crossing accident in Utah without a search.

Second, in this case, there is information for railroad preservation. Many, but not all of our operating preserved railroad have grade crossings, some with automatic protection, some without. If you have a public grade crossing, you probably have interacted with the FRA as well as with your local PUC. At my site we have one grade crossing with automatic protection, lights and gates, as well as two for bike paths/trails, with simple cross bucks and other warning signs. A near term extension of our track will bring as many as three more grade crossings, and a further extension will bring many. In the last month I have had an FRA crossing inspection/record audit… separately our state DOT has made demands. My volunteers joke about my education in grade crossing issues. The FRA interactions, while positive were very serious in nature… Since Clark County Nevada is in part the territory of the FRA signal inspector from Utah, it is likely that I may be seeing more FRA interest. By the way, did you know that your (internal) signal inspector is covered under your hours of service filings? I didn’t, and was written up for it. In my case it was a minor issue, since while he is also one of our licensed engineers, he is mostly inactive, and I did have a record of his hours (in our signal inspection records) so no violation of the hours of service were found, just a record keeping error.

Back to self moderation… if this thread continues to discuss the accident without contributing to the knowledge of preservation, particularly if someone complained or reported the thread, I would likely move it to our “Railfaning” forum. Some have complained that moving a discussion there is a death sentence, but it is one of the tools the moderators have, and would be appropriate here… its not punitive, just a redirection.

Randy

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Randy Hees
Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City, Nevada
http://museums.nevadaculture.org/nsrmbc
http://www.nevadasouthern.com/
https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfNevadaSouthernRailway


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2050
I will mostly be watching this thread for new info. Museums usually do not operate at the speeds that the Frontrunner ran. Most often stop and proceed at most crossings. You are already warned "Partial OT", so tread the thread waters as you will...8-D
Some kind of lawsuit will likely come out of this and the full investigation details will come out.
But it all takes time and I wont want to see this thread deadlocked. Last thing I want to see is a museum in an accident like this. And many excursion trains are led by road railer truck or car checking the track ahead.

cheers.


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:59 pm
Posts: 520
Randy Hees wrote:
Some have complained that moving a discussion there is a death sentence, but it is one of the tools the moderators have, and would be appropriate here… its not punitive, just a redirection.

Moving a post to a different forum is only a "death sentence" in the eyes of readers who are not registered users. The "View new posts" feature shows new posts in all the forums.


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:35 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:07 pm
Posts: 637
Beg pardon but I don't see a red exclamation mark in a box at each post.

I do see a blue up arrow in a box. Could this be the "push button?"


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:07 pm
Posts: 637
Oops, cancel that last post. I see the red excl. mark now.

Was it there all the time? If so, I need new glasses.


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 560
Hi All

I wrote a post last night only to have it lost in the system.

The reason this grade crossing protection system failed to operate should be an interest to everyone. The reasons that the system failed is a learning experience just like the fireman on the best Friend of Charleston when they closed the safety valve for making too much noise or the SP boiler explosion in San Antonio. Railroad history is filled with technical failures and improvements from those lessons. What is important is we carry lessons forward from one generation to the next.

The crossing accident reminds me that we can become too dependent upon technology. The break down here will be interesting to find out what the details are. While lawyers, politicians and others will have feed day on the accident we can learn from it. It is a good time for those who have public grade crossings to review your rules for comprehensiveness and ability to address safety issues we may encounter. It is also a good time to review procedures with everyone interacting with grade crossings. The event will also be notable in the history of the Frontrunner and if there are things that need to be preserved to accurately tell the story it is important we identify them now so we can preserve them before time clouds our understanding of the events.

Finally, I was a part of a crew involved with a Test and observation within a yard limit where the grade crossing protection was disabled to see if we would respond accordingly. Well the last test involved a student engineer who did not stop in time. Fortunately, we did not hit a vehicle but the potential was there. Grade crossings are a place of public exposure which have both benefits and risks and how we manage each says a lot.

Robby Peartree


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 307
Location: Ventura County, CA
David H. Hamley wrote:
Oops, cancel that last post. I see the red excl. mark now.

Was it there all the time? If so, I need new glasses.


I bet you did the same thing I just did because I couldn't find it, then realized I probably had to be logged in. That's when it appeared. guess I need to go back and read the FAQs again. :-)

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US Navy Trackage SME
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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 58
While I agree that the is value in learning from the mistakes of others, my point is that all we have now is a video of a train wreck. If you want to learn something from a mistake the you have to know how it happened and more specifically what the mistake is. To invite speculation helps no one. No one on this thread has produced a report which lays out the events leading up to this accident so we must take it a face value. Here is what we know. A train hit a truck. The gates were not down at the crossing. The signal cabinet appears to be open.

Can we just wait for the official report to come out before we throw somebody under the bus or in this case the train?

Quote:
Finally, I was a part of a crew involved with a Test and observation within a yard limit where the grade crossing protection was disabled to see if we would respond accordingly. Well the last test involved a student engineer who did not stop in time. Fortunately, we did not hit a vehicle but the potential was there. Grade crossings are a place of public exposure which have both benefits and risks and how we manage each says a lot.


What you have described above sounds like it was a bad test on many levels. Tests like that are frowned upon as extremely unsafe and depending on the circumstances could be an FRA violation in and of themselves. It may have created a situation where the whole crew should have been de-certifed. Worse still, if the train had struck a motor vehicle at a crossing that was intentionally disabled by the railroad, the railroad would be 100% liable.


Last edited by hotbox on Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:08 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Pittsburgh
I’m also willing to wait for the NTSB to do their investigation and issue their report.

However there’s something else we all can do in the meantime – stop calling the equipment under discussion here a “crossing protection system”.

Both FRA and the American Railway Engineering & Maintenance of Way Association are very specific that these are “crossing warning systems”. Short of closing the crossing to traffic altogether, there is nothing the railroad can do to *protect* a motorist or pedestrian who chooses to disregard a warning that a train may be approaching. This applies to both “active” warning systems (flashing lights, gates, wayside horns, etc.) and “passive” warning systems (crossbucks, stop signs, yield signs, pavement markings, etc.) If you have an incident at the crossing, and call the equipment a protection system, some plaintiff’s attorney may try and crucify your operation because the equipment you installed, even though it met all the standards and operated as intended, failed to *protect* his client from harm. Eliminate the word “protection” from your vocabulary.

/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:43 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 560
The FRA also spells gauge as gage so should we change the world to match the FRA spelling?

Robby Peartree


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:58 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2050
The best protection would be to move a sheetwall in position between the rail and highway, but you know any car could get stuck on that, or stuck between the tracks unable to escape.


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:26 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1209
I understand that the law requires a driver to look for trains and yield at signalized grade crossings, even if the signals are un-activated. So, why has the UTA fired the signal maintainer, and stated that he caused this collision? They say nothing about it being the fault of the truck driver.


http://www.sltrib.com/news/4881154-155/ ... edex-truck


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:20 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:16 am
Posts: 39
Location: Racine, Wi
comment on "self moderation"

Just an fyi. The red exclamation point appears only when a user is logged in.

. If a topic or some portion of the discussion seems problematic, you have a couple of options, 1) report it… there is a button on the bottom right of each post, in the form of a red exclamation point in a small box. If you hit that it will allow you to explain your concern.


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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5228
Location: southeastern USA
Ron Travis wrote:
I understand that the law requires a driver to look for trains and yield at signalized grade crossings, even if the signals are un-activated. So, why has the UTA fired the signal maintainer, and stated that he caused this collision?


Read the article. That was the finding of the investigation. It would be irresponsible for the journalist to have reported what wasn't found in the investigation in an article about the findings of the investigation.

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 Post subject: Re: partial OT: Utah frontrunner incident
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:17 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1209
Dave wrote:
Ron Travis wrote:
I understand that the law requires a driver to look for trains and yield at signalized grade crossings, even if the signals are un-activated. So, why has the UTA fired the signal maintainer, and stated that he caused this collision?


Read the article. That was the finding of the investigation. It would be irresponsible for the journalist to have reported what wasn't found in the investigation in an article about the findings of the investigation.


My point is about the investigation. I have no question or complaint about how the article covered it. I posted the article only because it explains the investigation. My point is to ask why the investigation found the signal maintainer at fault.

According to the law which was posted earlier in this thread, the truck driver was required to look for trains and yield even if the signals were un-activated. Obviously the truck driver failed to do that, so why was the signal maintainer found at fault?


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