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Acela 2150 decouples at 125mph (2/6/18)


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#21 Triley

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:58 PM

Though technically the vestibule is everything from the door into the cabin area to the next car, same spot, being in the vestibule per se is not as risky as being in the gangway connection - where the plates are actually moving under you.

I say that only because peering out the windows is not near as dangerous as being in the gangway in the event of a derailment. Even at a 125 MPH, I don't think you'll get sucked out the opening.


I would have to argue there's a difference here. You want to tell people the bathrooms are in the vestibule?

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#22 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:14 PM

 

Though technically the vestibule is everything from the door into the cabin area to the next car, same spot, being in the vestibule per se is not as risky as being in the gangway connection - where the plates are actually moving under you.

I say that only because peering out the windows is not near as dangerous as being in the gangway in the event of a derailment. Even at a 125 MPH, I don't think you'll get sucked out the opening.


I would have to argue there's a difference here. You want to tell people the bathrooms are in the vestibule?

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Put your glasses on.  He said peeRing, not peeing.  ;)



#23 Triley

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:20 PM

 

Though technically the vestibule is everything from the door into the cabin area to the next car, same spot, being in the vestibule per se is not as risky as being in the gangway connection - where the plates are actually moving under you.

I say that only because peering out the windows is not near as dangerous as being in the gangway in the event of a derailment. Even at a 125 MPH, I don't think you'll get sucked out the opening.

I would have to argue there's a difference here. You want to tell people the bathrooms are in the vestibule?

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Put your glasses on.  He said peeRing, not peeing.  ;)
Peeing out a window that doesn't open would be dangerous too! What a nice slipping hazard that'd be.

But in all seriousness, for those who aren't familiar with the Acelas, let me clarify my post. You need to walk from the passenger cabin through the door in to the "vestibule" to get to the ADA bathroom.

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Edited by Triley, 07 February 2018 - 06:20 PM.

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#24 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:24 PM

 

 

 

Though technically the vestibule is everything from the door into the cabin area to the next car, same spot, being in the vestibule per se is not as risky as being in the gangway connection - where the plates are actually moving under you.

I say that only because peering out the windows is not near as dangerous as being in the gangway in the event of a derailment. Even at a 125 MPH, I don't think you'll get sucked out the opening.

I would have to argue there's a difference here. You want to tell people the bathrooms are in the vestibule?

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Put your glasses on.  He said peeRing, not peeing.  ;)
Peeing out a window that doesn't open would be dangerous too! What a nice slipping hazard that'd be.

But in all seriousness, for those who aren't familiar with the Acelas, let me clarify my post. You need to walk from the passenger cabin through the door in to the "vestibule" to get to the ADA bathroom.

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Ah.  I've only ridden the Acela 3 times.  Though the most recent time was just a few months ago, I don't remember where the bathroom was (and I'm sure I must have used it).



#25 Acela150

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:19 PM

In a message with another AU member I said that in my 26 years on this earth I actually am wondering what is going on at Amtrak. 5 IMO major incidents in the past 3 years. 188 in May 2015, 2 incidents in the Northwest 1 of which was fatal, The Silver Star last weekend, and 2150's separation yesterday. 

 

My main concern is the separation of a Semi-Permanent trainset. That should never happen period. Whether this falls on Bombardier or not is no excuse. 

 

The Silver Star incident seems to be falling on CSX and that crew for falsely reporting a switch lined and locked normal. But Amtrak was sadly involved in that case. 

 

But the one thing that's for sure is that someone and specifically Richard Anderson will have to answer to someone about what in the world is going on. Personally I wish that Wick Moorman stayed on longer as President and CEO. He was and is the man to address such serious issues. Look at how he handled New York Penn last summer. He did the right thing then and he would do the right thing now. 

 

I do have some concern on this matter. But it's not enough for me to say that I won't ride the train. 

 

It seems that this is an absolutely dark and trying time for Passenger Rail. Not just Amtrak, but all commuter railroads as well. It seems that NJT is in absolute shambles. Metro North is slowly recovering from their incidents a few years ago. MBTA is struggling with their commuter contractor Keolis.

 

I have faith that this will turn around and trains will become safer then ever before. I just have to ask how long it will take. I think that Richard Anderson is on a good path of turning around Amtrak's Safety record as he was under the watchful eye of Wick Moorman who was huge on safety at NS.   


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#26 Ryan

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:26 PM

5 IMO major incidents in the past 3 years. 188 in May 2015, 2 incidents in the Northwest 1 of which was fatal, The Silver Star last weekend, and 2150's separation yesterday.


Be cautious to not read too much into recent events. Truly random occurrences have clusters like this.

https://mathwithbadd...-the-stonework/

This fable echoes that of The Wise Monkey. Random processes (like flipping a coin) inevitably produce streaks and clusters that our minds interpret as meaningful patterns.

We struggle with randomness from both sides. As discussed earlier, we read significance into patterns that lack any interesting cause. Moreover, when we try to fake randomness, we hesitate to include coincidences and long streaks, so we create things that are too conspicuously even and balanced. So, paradoxically, in randomness we see patterns, and in patterns we see randomness.


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#27 Acela150

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:34 PM

Ryan I don’t disagree that stuff happens in clusters. But there comes a point where you really have to evaluate your safety standards, your maintenance of equipment, and you’re training standards. And I honestly think that the time is now. Especially when it’s in the public eye like this. Of course the media makes it much worse then it is. But that doesn’t discard the fact that at least 3 of the 5 incidents may have been prevented by different training methods. And I use the term may have been because we don’t know. Personally i think 188 could have been prevented by PTC. Training I don’t know. The first derailment in the Northwest I don’t know much about and don’t remember much either. Except that I believe it was a stop signal violation. 501 May have been prevented by not only PTC but more qualifying trips. And it seems like from the things you hear in the media that Amtrak is messing up getting their T&E crews qualified. If it’s true. I don’t know. And I won’t speculate further.


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#28 SarahZ

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:34 PM

I don't hang out in vestibules, even when the train crew allowed it.

 

Nobody has to be "hanging out" to be in a position of danger. As the quote from the article indicated, someone simply walking between cars could have fallen out. Walking between cars is fairly common, particularly during a busy cafe period. I'm glad nobody was hurt.


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#29 Acela150

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:56 PM

 

I don't hang out in vestibules, even when the train crew allowed it.

 

Nobody has to be "hanging out" to be in a position of danger. As the quote from the article indicated, someone simply walking between cars could have fallen out. Walking between cars is fairly common, particularly during a busy cafe period. I'm glad nobody was hurt.

 

 

Agreed. Luckily the only time someone walks between the First Class car and the Quiet Car is usually when the conductor comes to the First Class car to scan tickets. At least while the train is in motion. During stops in New York, DC, and Beantown, the Commissary will deliver food to the First Class car through that vestibule. I'm sure that Triley can attest to that. 


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#30 Triley

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 12:21 AM

 

I don't hang out in vestibules, even when the train crew allowed it.

 
Nobody has to be "hanging out" to be in a position of danger. As the quote from the article indicated, someone simply walking between cars could have fallen out. Walking between cars is fairly common, particularly during a busy cafe period. I'm glad nobody was hurt.
 
 
Agreed. Luckily the only time someone walks between the First Class car and the Quiet Car is usually when the conductor comes to the First Class car to scan tickets. At least while the train is in motion. During stops in New York, DC, and Beantown, the Commissary will deliver food to the First Class car through that vestibule. I'm sure that Triley can attest to that. 
That's all true, but we also typically use the ADA bathroom in the quiet car, since that's closest to the galley. On occasion we may need to the cafe to take a couple of items like ketchup or mayo, or the cafe attendant may come grab soda or juice for mixers if they run out. But that all may be like a once per week thing on each crew. Just like passengers walking back to the cafe for things we don't have.

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#31 Acela150

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 05:58 PM

Oh so you do use the bathroom. I thought they made you hold it all day.


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#32 George K

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 06:03 PM

Oh so you do use the bathroom. I thought they made you hold it all day.

The Acela goes so fast that it's not an issue.

 

Unless, of course, you're as old as I am.


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#33 FormerOBS

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 07:25 PM

Hello all.

 

First, there was no coupler, so use of the word "couple" is a bit questionable. The Acela cars are connected by permanent drawbars that are secured with pins. Those pins are supposed to be installed or removed in a shop. Normally, Acela cars cannot be separated on the road. One of those pins dislodged, allowing the drawbar to come loose. I have no idea how this could have happened, and I am sure some very serious questions are being asked'

 

Second, I feel like screaming every time I hear the term "decouple" applied to railroad activities. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard. Decoupling applies to separating ideas, activities, political movements, business interests, etc. In all my years working on the railroad and observing railroad activities, I never heard a veteran railroader use the term. The correct term to describe the act of disengaging one knuckle coupler from another is uncouple. UNCOUPLE.  Never decouple. 

 

OK. Rant is over. Resume what you were doing. 

 

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#34 Seaboard92

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 08:37 PM

And all I say is just pull the pin. I find it interesting our most advanced trains and our first trains were link and pin style. Or close to it.
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#35 Dutchrailnut

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 10:20 AM

ts drawgear end that came out, nothing link and pin , entire coupler pulled out of spring pack.

 

 

Acela pull-apart preliminary findings: FRA

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Acela pull-apart preliminary findings: FRA 
The Federal Railroad Administration has issued preliminary findings on the Feb. 6 incident in which an Acela Express trainset experienced a separation between two cars at a speed of approximately 125 mph.

“On Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at approximately 05:58 am EST, Amtrak Acela Train No. 2150 with power car 2031 in the lead was traveling North on Main Track No. 2 when it separated between the 1st and 2nd cars (3215 and 3554) approaching Grace Interlocking at MP 61.8. The separation caused an undesired emergency brake application. The train was traveling 123 MPH when the emergency brake application was initiated. Timetable speed on Main Track No.2 is 125 MPH.

“There were 52 passengers onboard the train at the time. No injuries to passengers or crew have been reported. The 52 passengers were transferred to northbound Regional Train No. 180 at approximately 07:01 am EST, while the OBS crew was picked up by northbound Acela train 2100. The Conductor, Engineer, and Assistant Conductor all remained with the train.

“The [separation] between the 1st and 2nd cars (3215 and 3554) was approximately 4 to 5 feet in length. The Amtrak Track Supervisor walked on Main Track No. 2 from Grace interlocking to Aberdeen, MD (Approximately 4 miles). Some rail holding clips were knocked off between MP 61.4 and 61.5 from dragging equipment.

“Rescue locomotives arrived from Odenton, MD and Wilmington, DE at 10:10am EST to couple to each end of the train to assist the mechanical department in manually connecting the cars. Acela cars are semi-permanently coupled (non-conventional couplers) and require trained mechanical persons to recouple the cars.

“The train departed Haver de Grace at 13:11 pm EST for the Bear, DE shops. It will be pulled to Newark, DE with an ACS-64 (electric locomotive) and then a diesel locomotive will be put on in Newark and the train will then be brought to Bear, DE. The restricted speed for this move will be 25 mph.

“Initial cause of separation is that the drawbar pin on coach 3554 had fallen downward and put pressure onto the retaining disk, and the bolt holding the retaining disk broke. The pin is approximately 3 inches in diameter and is pressed into the drawbar. A retaining disk is bolted under the pin. A bolt and washer are the secondary part this connection system. The bolt was found to be sheared off. The pin was found on top of a truck frame, along with the retaining disk. A new pin was pressed into the drawbar with a “porta power” and was welded in place.

“Further inspections will be conducted at Amtrak’s Bear, DE shops. FRA will be present, and Region 2 FRA MP&E inspector requested the [most recent] year of [documentation on maintenance inspections for Amtrak coach cars . 
  pixel.gif


Edited by Dutchrailnut, 09 February 2018 - 10:21 AM.


#36 Dutchrailnut

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 10:24 AM

here is what coupler looks like, car is 10003 Acela Geometry car.

 

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#37 Paul CHI

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 11:24 AM

Bolts from the low bidder?



#38 Bob Dylan

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 11:57 AM

Chinese Pot Metal Bolts???
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#39 niemi24s

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 12:36 PM

It may be good to remember that even the best made bolt can be over stressed if over torqued during installation and fail later on when in service.



#40 VentureForth

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 12:55 PM

When they say the pin "dropped", it implies that it is installed from the bottom, up, then a retaining disc prevents the pin from falling down. Why wouldn't the pin be installed from the top, down? They didn't say why the pin slipped to begin with. And, obviously, the retaining disc under the pin was not designed robust enough to prevent exactly what happened from happening.

Interested to continue watching this...

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