Amtrak Train 91-CSX collision in SC (2/4/18)/Liability issues

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Bierboy, Feb 4, 2018.

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  1. Feb 5, 2018 #151

    greatcats

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    Mike from Crete - Your explanation makes some sense, but I believe there still should have been a second engineer.

    Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum
     
  2. Feb 5, 2018 #152

    jis

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    There were just two Engineers and no Conductor in the cab, is what the railroad folks from the area familiar with the district tell me. Originally I thought similar to Mike, but I stand corrected by folks in the know.
     
  3. Feb 5, 2018 #153

    MikefromCrete

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    Well, I also stand corrected, but I thought Amtrak identified one of the deceased as a conductor.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2018 #154

    jis

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    Yeah, I don't know what their official designations are, but the length of the district requires two people in the cab is the main point I guess. It did not have anyting to do with yesterday's special operating circumstances.
     
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  5. Feb 5, 2018 #155

    John Bobinyec

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    I'm confused about the detour of 91(4).

    How could this train stop at Raleigh when it was supposed to go down the A-Line? And if it did go to Raleigh, how did it skip Cary?

    jb

    * Train 91 of 02/04/2018. Map Details Formatted Data
    * THIS TRAIN EXPERIENCED A SERVICE DISRUPTION.
    * Silver Star
    * +---------------- Station Code
    * | +----------- Schedule Arrival Day
    * | | +-------- Schedule Arrival Time
    * | | | +----- Schedule Departure Day
    * | | | | +-- Schedule Departure Time
    * | | | | | +------------- Actual Arrival Time
    * | | | | | | +------- Actual Departure Time
    * | | | | | | | +- Comments
    * V V V V V V V V
    * NYP * * 1 1102A * 1102A Departed: On time.
    * NWK 1 1118A 1 1122A 1116A 1123A Arrived: 2 minutes early. | Departed: 1 minute late.
    * TRE 1 1157A 1 1200P 1156A 1200P Arrived: 1 minute early. | Departed: On time.
    * PHL 1 1230P 1 1235P 1226P 1237P Arrived: 4 minutes early. | Departed: 2 minutes late.
    * WIL 1 1258P 1 102P 100P 104P Arrived: 2 minutes late. | Departed: 2 minutes late.
    * BAL 1 150P 1 155P 152P 155P Arrived: 2 minutes late. | Departed: On time.
    * WAS 1 235P 1 305P 249P 311P Arrived: 14 minutes late. | Departed: 6 minutes late.
    * ALX * * 1 323P * 328P Departed: 5 minutes late.
    * RVR 1 507P 1 517P 508P 520P Arrived: 1 minute late. | Departed: 3 minutes late.
    * PTB * * 1 551P * 554P Departed: 3 minutes late.
    * RMT * * 1 721P * 735P Departed: 14 minutes late.
    * RGH 1 848P 1 901P 837P 901P Arrived: 11 minutes early. | Departed: On time.
    CYN 1 923P 1 923P
    SOP * * 1 1036P
    HAM 1 1118P 1 1118P
    CAM * * 2 1247A
    CLB * * 2 138A
    DNK * * 2 235A
    SAV 2 413A 2 418A
    * JAX 2 639A 2 659A 629A 659A Arrived: 10 minutes early. | Departed: On time.
    * PAK * * 2 802A * 828A Departed: 26 minutes late.
    * DLD * * 2 856A * 914A Departed: 18 minutes late.
    * WPK * * 2 943A * 957A Departed: 14 minutes late.
    * ORL 2 1006A 2 1020A 1009A 1021A Arrived: 3 minutes late. | Departed: 1 minute late.
    * KIS * * 2 1044A * 1049A Departed: 5 minutes late.
    * LAK * * 2 1129A * 1159A Departed: 30 minutes late.
    TPA 2 1223P 2 1237P 111P Arrived: 48 minutes late.
    LKL * * 2 113P
    WTH * * 2 135P
    SBG * * 2 216P
    OKE * * 2 252P
    WPB * * 2 417P
    DLB * * 2 441P
    DFB * * 2 453P
    FTL * * 2 517P
    HOL * * 2 533P
    MIA 2 558P * *
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2018
  6. Feb 5, 2018 #156

    Railroad Bill

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    Freight trains operate with one person designated as the engineer and one as "conductor". This may be the explanation in terminology as to the two people in the cab. Although my brother was an freight engineer, his compadre in the cab was the conductor (acted as a brakeman at times as well) but was in technical control of the train. Not sure how that works for Amtrak as I have always heard them called "assistant engineer". ?
     
  7. Feb 5, 2018 #157

    Mystic River Dragon

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    I am late with my condolences because this is the first time I've been near a computer since this happened, but they are heartfelt and sincere. I am so dreadfully sorry about these two men passing away and leaving their families and friends. [​IMG]
     
  8. Feb 5, 2018 #158

    William W.

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    So the second victim wasn't the conductor? I haven't seen any photos yet, but I've ridden that corridor enough that I might recognize him if he was.
     
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  9. Feb 5, 2018 #159

    The Chief

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    Amtrak Cafe Car 28002_VSpLit.jpg Photo from jis NTSB B-roll, screen cap

    V-bent car may be Cafe Car 28002 Amfleet-II Diner Lite conversion July 2009.

    Link to Model 854 Electric Switch Lock which may be similar to locked and lined switch in question.

    https://www.wabtec.com/products/4962/model-854-electric-switch-lock

    Amtrak 91 Silver Star CSX collision 4 Feb 2018
     
  10. Feb 5, 2018 #160

    KmH

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    Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
    Using the distance measurement feature on Google Maps indicates the lead CSX locomotive was about 700 feet from the switch.

    One could also add up the cumulative length of the train car by car.

    I too wondered how the Amtrak train was able to negotiate the switch at 59 mph or more without derailing.

    Which raises the question - What is the passenger train speed limit on that section of the mainline - 60 mph?

    At the least I would expect the engineer to have activated an emergency stop upon seeing the CSX lead dead ahead reducing the train's speed somewhat before the collision.

    Would the engineer be surprised by the change of track?

    Is it possible the change of track was violent enough to put the engineer(s) out of position to manipulate any of the controls?
     
  11. Feb 5, 2018 #161

    brianpmcdonnell17

    brianpmcdonnell17

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    Amtrak has recently started doing engineer changes at Savannah, with the engineer from northbound 92 becoming the engineer for southbound 91. Is it possible that this was done so two people are no longer needed in the cab? This would mean that the second person was actually the conductor.

    As to the route of 91, could it have run the normal route to Raleigh before running the same route back to Selma to continue south on the A-Line? The only other explanation I can think of is that the train did stop at Cary, Southern Pines, and Hamlet, but it was not recorded for some reason.
     
  12. Feb 5, 2018 #162

    PaulM

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    Reasonable people can disagree about public funding for public transportation; but I strenuously disagree with including CSX. Isn't it a private business known for its heads I win, tales you lose business model?

    It's axiomatic that the greater the risk, the greater the profits, at least in the short term, which is the only thing Wall Street cares about. And it gets even better if you can lay off the risk on innocent bystanders, as you seem to want.
     
  13. Feb 5, 2018 #163

    MattW

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    As to the question about "what if PTC was there, but down for maintenance?" I can already guess that the NTSB would just "recommend" to not run the trains at all, or to run restricted speed.
     
  14. Feb 5, 2018 #164

    Thirdrail7

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    Yes...if only your crew assignment map was correct...which it isn't. Perhaps you can throw it away or use it to start a bonfire before you pass more incorrect information?

    The length of the district for engineers as mentioned by Greatcats in inaccurate. Therefore, the the second person in the cab was correctly identified as the conductor, who was on the head end so the train could comply with copying rules during a signal suspension. It had everything to do with operating circumstances sicee the engineer would have normally been alone.

    Those are the bus times. The train operated down the A-line from RMT-SAV, bypassing the intermediate stops. It actually arrived SAV almost 2 hours early.
     
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  15. Feb 5, 2018 #165

    greatcats

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    Third Rail- I indicated that my information may not be up to date. I have encountered other examples of this. Do you know where an up to date crew assignment map can be found?

    Also, I thought 2 engineers are to be in the cab when the train is operating in the middle of the night.

    Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum
     
  16. Feb 5, 2018 #166

    jis

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    Using track warrants is a method that is accepted by the NTSB and I don't see that changing.

    Just watched the NTSB News Conference. They simultaneously released a brief on the events found on the event recorder which has been recovered:

    Mr. Sumwalt of NTSB confirmed that the second person in the cab was a Conductor, and presumably my (and Matt's) original theory was correct, as can also be surmised from what Thirdrail mentioned above.

    Some additional info:

    - The distance from the switch to the collision point was 659'

    - The freight train was pushed back 15' by the collision, from its original position.

    - The CSX train crew, Dispatcher and Train Master have been interviewed today. Surviving Amtrak crew will be interviewed tomorrow.

    - The Amtrak locomotive has been moved from the site to the adjacent auto loading facility yard.

    - NTSB expects to be present on the ground through the coming weekend.

    - The freight had two crew members, an Engineer and a Conductor.

    - Amtrak had 139 pax and 8 crew members consisting of 1 Engineer, 1 Conductor, 1 Assistant Conductor and the rest OBS crew.

    - The speed limit in the area for operations using track warrant under signal suspension is 59mph. Amtrak was compliant with that.

    - The correct procedure before releasing the track warrant by the freight train would be to align the switch to the main line, lock it in that position, then install a derail on the siding, and then release the warrant.

    - The track warrant was released by the freight train crew but the switch was found locked in the position towards the siding.

    - Amtrak did have the necessary track warrant to operate as they were.

    That's all I can find in my notes from the presser.
     
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  17. Feb 5, 2018 #167

    Cho Cho Charlie

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    Thank you for saying, what I was feeling.

    I understand Seaboard's grief. I am deeply saddened with reading about the loss of two fine and dedicated Amtrak employees. I have road the Silvers many times, and it is quite possible that these men could have provided some great and professional service to me. If I was never so blessed, then that's my loss.

    However, I am also deeply saddened with the loss of what I believe is critical Amtrak equipment, and I resent that anyone says its wrong for me to feel this way. While, technically, equipment can always be replaced. I have to challenge anyone to show me how this particular Amtrak engines and rolling stock will be quickly replaced. Where's the money and where's the signed contract? That's all because, I would not want to see any of the Silver service be hobbled or killed off.
     
  18. Feb 5, 2018 #168

    City of Miami

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    Pt#1

    Precisely. I included CSX due to their unwillingness to fund their own operation sufficiently for safety. They do in fact get considerable public funding for track improvements in exchange for allowing passenger trains.

    Pt#2

    ***???
     
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  19. Feb 6, 2018 #169

    Dakota 400

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    As much as I respect Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News, this evening NBC's reporting on this tragedy seemed to me to point the finger of responsibility at Amtrak. I would classify this "reporting" as "incomplete news". Like others, I want to see the NTSB report to determine what happened and where responsibility lies. For me, at this time, CSX seems to be the responsible culprit.
     
  20. Feb 6, 2018 #170

    Bierboy

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    And as much as I totally disagree about your opinion of Holt, I will say this -- all he does is read the crap that is put before him. Don't entirely blame him; point the finger where it belongs...
     
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  21. Feb 6, 2018 #171

    Bob Dylan

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    CNN is doing the same thing putting out "canned" reports talking about the horrible accidents on Amtrak in the past few months!
     
  22. Feb 6, 2018 #172

    KmH

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    Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
    I've alluded to it before here in the forums.

    Most of the major media here in the US is well less than competent.
     
  23. Feb 6, 2018 #173

    railiner

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    It's the same old story....

    While investigative reporting does sometimes yield good results, the temptation to sensationalize stories, to gain more audience, (and sales), is very strong....

    The press will milk Amtrak "danger" as long as possible, until the next big story drives it away....

    Unfortunately, it goes counter to their interest to report these incidents fairly.
     
  24. Feb 6, 2018 #174

    Devil's Advocate

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    Investigative reporting generally takes weeks if not months of effort to complete. This is not investigative reporting. This is sensationalistic tabloid journalism. Journalists have always struggled with the moral and ethical weight of their positions, but back in the 1980's the news staff of major media companies were moved under their entertainment divisions. Instead of being judged on their accuracy and relevance reporters were now judged on how many eyeballs they could command through whatever means were available. Ever since then then the goal and obligation of informing a diverse audience in an objective fashion has slowly been abandoned and replaced with targeted emotion based reporting.
     
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  25. Feb 6, 2018 #175

    railiner

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    That's pretty much what I meant to say, but you said it much better..... [​IMG]
     

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