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

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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://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2013/11/11/the-patterns-in-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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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.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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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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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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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.

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Amtrak Forum mobile app

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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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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.

 

Tom

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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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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 .
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Edited by Dutchrailnut

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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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Oh I thought they gave you the first paragraph, which is the relevant part.

A Federal Railroad Administration spokeswoman says information in a Railway Age article on the separation of an Amtrak Acela Express train on Feb. 5 is inaccurate, based a preliminary report that was not intended for public release.

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From the Trains website - fair use quote:

 

 


WASHINGTON — A Federal Railroad Administration spokeswoman says information in a Railway Age article on the separation of an Amtrak Acela Express train on Feb. 5 is inaccurate, based a preliminary report that was not intended for public release.

The report, which Railway Age published Feb. 8, indicates that a drawbar pin on an Acela coach dropped out of place, which led to the separation of Acela Express No. 2150 near Havre de Grace, Md., in the early hours of Feb. 5.

 

Here is how Railway Age has walked itself back from their original claim of authenticity etc.:

 

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/passenger/high-performance/acela-pull-apart-preliminary-findings-fra.html?channel=54

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The Wayback Machine grabbed the original version of the Railway Age article, which said that "The Federal Railroad Administration has issued preliminary findings..." instead of "Railway Age has obtained an internal Federal Railroad Administration narrative..." Certainly changes how credibly one takes their article.

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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.

Or if you're working on the equipment for 17 hours

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Amtrak Forum mobile app

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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'

 

The separation of a permanent drawbar should never EVER happen. The investigation is going to head for the maintenance shops or the materials order.

 

If it turns out to be Bombardier's fault, I'm not even sure they have any money left to pay damages.

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