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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:08 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8887
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
JimBoylan wrote:
The only penalty the ConRail crew received for disregarding signals less permissive than clear was a warning whistle.

Which had been taped over because it was annoying................


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:51 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 555
I don't know if this testimony would be in a 'court of law' BUT---you CAN be compelled to testify, but not against yourself. He can only apply the 5th to not incriminate himself. In other words, if his testimony is isolated from criminal charges against him -say he was given immunity- he can be held in contempt of court. See Susan McDougal-
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_McDougal
The problem comes in if his testimony-to go overboard, is "Oh yeah, I knew about the curve, I wanted to see how many people I could kill in the wreck"....well now in theory you can't force him to testify against himself.....but that might be the only evidence you have...


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:48 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
-civil speed restriction- ..sigh.. never heard of this one. You make an advance speed restriction signal and you fit it into the normal block signal system. If your interested in safety you put a legitimate signal in. It'll be cheaper than the lawsuits.
That signal goes red when passed. If your concerned about a short block consider the CTA with plenty of short blocks for signals. If you use signs or unblocked signals you open the door for accidents like this.

Aside from this it looks like there was a signal just short of the bridge, if it was set for speed restriction or simple block occupancy says something more about this accident arrangement.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:20 pm
Posts: 176
Quote:
civil speed restriction- ..sigh.. never heard of this one

In rail operations, the maximum speed authorized for each section of track, as determined primarily by the alignment, profile, and structure.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Philadelphia, PA
"Civil speed restriction" is the modern term for speed limits below normal track speed for curves, bridges, etc. and for maintenance "slow orders."

In answer to a couple posts above, PRR initially installed CSS (then called ACS) alone without the Speed Control function (then called ATC). All engines had only whistle and acknowledger. After two fatal passenger rear-end collisions in cab signal territory in the early 1950's, the ICC required PRR to install Speed Control in passenger cabs. Freight engines continued to have whistle and acknowledger only until the 1987 Amtrak collision at GUNPOW (Chase MD).

To refresh memories, in the GUNPOW collision, 3 light CR GE's were proceeding North on #1 track , passed a Stop-Signal, trailed through a turnout and intruded and stopped on #2 Main Track in front of AMTK 94 which was proceeding North in the block at around 125 mph. The Amtrak cab signals worked, and 95's engineer set the brakes in Emergency but the collision occurred anyway at 108 mph. There were 16 fatalities. The NTSB report shows the CR cab signal whistle had duct tape around it and the bulb for the "Approach" aspect of the cab signal display was missing.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:07 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1359
I may not have understood correctly, but the last news I heard about the NTSB interview made it sound like it was not a certainty that the interview would take place. The NTSB was said to have asked for an interview and it was said that putting in that request was all they could do. So from that, I get the impression that they cannot force the interview to happen. Generally, an interview of this type would be considered urgent because people can forget the details as time passes.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:49 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1480
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
EJ Berry wrote:
In answer to a couple posts above, PRR initially installed CSS (then called ACS) alone without the Speed Control function (then called ATC). All engines had only whistle and acknowledger. After two fatal passenger rear-end collisions in cab signal territory in the early 1950's, the ICC required PRR to install Speed Control in passenger cabs. Freight engines continued to have whistle and acknowledger only until the 1987 Amtrak collision at GUNPOW (Chase MD).
Phil Mulligan
According to the accident report for Chase, Md., Pennsylvania RR electric locomotives, freight and passenger, had Automatic Speed Control. The replacement ConRail Diesels did not.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:40 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2525
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Ron Travis wrote:
I may not have understood correctly, but the last news I heard about the NTSB interview made it sound like it was not a certainty that the interview would take place. The NTSB was said to have asked for an interview and it was said that putting in that request was all they could do. So from that, I get the impression that they cannot force the interview to happen. Generally, an interview of this type would be considered urgent because people can forget the details as time passes.


NTSB is formed around aviation, where the safety culture is: safety first, you just don't hide information like that. But there is also a culture of protecting pilots who are honest about mistakes, e.g. NASA's ACRS.

They are certainly hurting themselves in any future lawsuit or criminal action, as "why wouldn't you talk to the NTSB" will be highly damning.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1107
Location: Back in NE Ohio
There are literally dozens of videos on YouTube and articles on the internet warning people, especially innocent people, to never, ever talk to the police without an attorney present. Remember, they are allowed to lie to you about something, but you are NEVER allowed to lie to them about the slightest thing. So, as Saul Goodman's license plate in Breaking Bad said, "LWYR UP".


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:34 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 12:20 pm
Posts: 139
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
JimBoylan wrote:
The only penalty the ConRail crew received for disregarding signals less permissive than clear was a warning whistle.

Which had been taped over because it was annoying................

I’m not sure where this information comes from.....but it is wrong. I am a retired Conrail engineer and I can tell you absolutely that the Conrail diesels were equipped with not only cab signals but automatic train stop (ATS). You had a few seconds to acknowledge a change to a less favorable indication. Failure to acknowledge would initiate a penalty application. Conrail diesels that ran on the NEC HAD to have cab signals and speed control and automatic train stop with a current certificate that the systems had been tested by the shop forces. No train was allowed on the NEC without being equipped with cab signals and ATS and they had to be cut in and operating.

Keith


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2525
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Read the NTSB report for the Chase incident. I read it at the time, and my recall matches Sandy's.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:11 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 12:20 pm
Posts: 139
I now know that at the time of the Chase incident ATS was not in effect on CR freight diesels.
That said, when I was running trains on the NEC they were so equipped.
And the G motors were so equipped.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:14 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1480
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
Here's the report:
https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/RAR8801.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
LVRR2095 wrote:
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
JimBoylan wrote:
The only penalty the ConRail crew received for disregarding signals less permissive than clear was a warning whistle.

Which had been taped over because it was annoying................

I’m not sure where this information comes from.....but it is wrong. I am a retired Conrail engineer and I can tell you absolutely that the Conrail diesels were equipped with not only cab signals but automatic train stop (ATS). You had a few seconds to acknowledge a change to a less favorable indication. Failure to acknowledge would initiate a penalty application. Conrail diesels that ran on the NEC HAD to have cab signals and speed control and automatic train stop with a current certificate that the systems had been tested by the shop forces. No train was allowed on the NEC without being equipped with cab signals and ATS and they had to be cut in and operating.

Keith


I don't know why any major mainline engine would not have ATS by now, aside from cab signals, some areas may or may not have cab signals but the ATS, yep. In this scenario its the ATS, and being taped off is wrong, if in effect for Conrail or not thats wrong.

For this accident I hope they do interview the engineer, they will have to take what he says and bounce it around the other data.
It sounds like the issue is wider than just on the engineer. I want to see the forward camera but they may not release that as the media likes to swipe things up like this and garble it up.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1107
Location: Back in NE Ohio
My understanding of pre-Chase practices on CR and other railroads was that crews regularly disabled or nullified what are now federally-mandated safety devices (warning whistles/bells/sirens, etc., stuck flag sticks or spare air hoses in the dead-man pedal), regularly had one or more crew members intoxicated/high while on duty (in the days of five man crews), and generally did not take safe operation very seriously. This is from talking to more senior T&E employees in the 1990's and early 2000's, mostly in the NEC. The newest member of the crew was expected to be the one who bought the booze for the crew that day, a sort of initiation right. So, Chase was the disaster that was waiting to happen, the fatality pyramid come to life. Just about every major accident investigation report I've seen in the past 30 years (air or rail) reinforces the point that it's never one unsafe act or condition that leads to the event, it's usually three or more.

BTW, Don Phillips is trying to contact Ricky Gates for an article on the Chase wreck he is working on, probably for Trains, if anyone knows how to find him.


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