Amtrak Train Separates Outside of Albany, NY (11/21)

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Acela150, Nov 22, 2018.

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  1. Nov 22, 2018 #1

    Acela150

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  2. Nov 22, 2018 #2

    Seaboard92

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    I just read about that myself. Just a reminder just because things are rare doesn't mean they don't happen.
     
  3. Nov 22, 2018 #3

    Steve4031

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    Could be a tragedy if a person was walking between cars when this happened.  What would cause a knuckle to break like this?
     
  4. Nov 22, 2018 #4

    Dutchrailnut

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    not broken knuckle was mentioned by Amtrak, sometimes couplers uncouple if ice is involved or coupler lever has insufficient clearance.
     
  5. Nov 22, 2018 #5

    prewarlionelrailfan

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    Glad everyone is ok and with their loved ones for Thanksgiving.   Question:  Everything worked out here, but let's say you were in the two cars that were dropped, the remainder of the train continues on without you into the night and you are sitting there powerless on the main line.  The fact that the rest of the train left you indicates the engineer and the system does not know you are there.  Do you stay in the cars or bail out as another train may collide with the stranded cars.  Staying inside worked out this time, but was that merely luck?
     
  6. Nov 22, 2018 #6

    OlympianHiawatha

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    I am assuming the powered section of the train went into emergency and stopped within a few moments of the separation....  I just watched a great classic 1930s movie a few nights ago, Murder In The Private Car where this happens and the uncoupled car rolls several miles off of Donner Pass before derailing while the rest of the train goes on.
     
  7. Nov 22, 2018 #7

    PRR 60

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    When the train separates, the air hose between the cars also separates, air pressure for the brakes of the entire train is lost and all brakes are applied automatically.  Both separated sections of the train come to a stop. Even if the sections of the train stop somewhat apart, both will still complete the track electrical circuit, so the signal system will know the cars are there and will prevent any other trains from entering that section of track..
     
  8. Nov 22, 2018 #8

    cpotisch

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  9. Nov 22, 2018 #9

    west point

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    On freight trains whenever a train goes into emergency does;nt the engineer usually apply power to keep separated section from running into front section.  Would that be procedure on an Amtrak train as well ?  Usually the Amtrak train would be in power mode anyway ?
     
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  10. Nov 22, 2018 #10

    cpotisch

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    Any connection between Murder In The Private Car and Murder on the Orient Express? Because both were released in 1934...?
     
  11. Nov 22, 2018 #11

    Just-Thinking-51

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    No, not really. Acela are semi-permanent connected cars.  Pin and bar arrangement. The cars that disconnect were coupled together.  Multi thing could of happened to cause them to spearate.  The end result is the same, train air line is broken, brakes are applied by the lost of air pressure, train stops.  Depending where the railcars are the two sections may bang together before stopping.

    The Acela lost a pin and the bar pulled out. We don’t seem to know what failed on this train set.
     
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  12. Nov 22, 2018 #12

    Acela150

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    No. It's not possible. Once a train goes into Emergency the train has to stop, the brakes line needs to be reset and then they can continue. 
     
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  13. Nov 22, 2018 #13

    Cho Cho Charlie

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    Locally, we just had a tank car roll 11 miles, until someone (a RR employee) was able to jump aboard and apply the hand brakes.   I know this happens in the movies all the time, but how were the brakes not automatically engaged due to the lack of air pressure in its lines?

     
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  14. Nov 22, 2018 #14

    nshvlcat

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    Great little movie for train lovers. Starred Charlie Ruggles, Una Merkle and Mary Carlisle who just died at 104 on Aug 1st. MurderInThePrivateCar1934_FF_188x141_022120081223.jpeg images.jpeg
     
  15. Nov 22, 2018 #15

    Acela150

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    And it had clear signals!!
     
  16. Nov 23, 2018 #16

    Seaboard92

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    A freight car or any car for that matter can run away when set out. As eventually the air in the reservoir that applies the brakes will run out without recharging from a locomotive. Thusly releasing the brakes. Which is why it is important to do handbrakes on setout cars in order to prevent that.

    Most notably this became an issue a few years ago in Quebec when an entire city was leveled by a runaway crude oil train. The engine had a fire the night before and the local fire department hit the fuel cutoff switch.

    By doing that it prevented the airline from being recharged and the air slowly escaped till the train on a downgrade broke free and went down grade into town.

    To the young members here who might go on to work a train one day. Always remember to do your handbrakes. But only if it's your job.

    I know of an over enthusiastic car host on an excursion over a steep mountain grade who tied them on his car on the mid day layover. We ended up going 60 miles downgrade before realizing that the brakes on one car were tied down. Made for an unpleasant night.
     
  17. Nov 23, 2018 #17

    cpotisch

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    Lol that's actually really funny to watch. Don't know why, but it totally is. ^_^  
     
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  18. Nov 23, 2018 #18

    Thirdrail7

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    Very true...unless the air is bottled.

    Additionally,  the Pneumatic Control Switch on the locomotive  will open. This knocks out propulsion power on the locomotive, making you unable to draw power. As such, engineers are advised to actuate (bail off) the locomotive brakes in the case of of an undesired emergency application of the brakes to prevent run in.

    Indeed, if there isn't enough control air, the PCS will open, cutting propulsion to the locomotive. This is to make sure you have enough air to apply your brakes once you start moving. If you've ever been on a train with a scanner and you've heard them say they are stuck in PCS or there is a PCS fault and it won't reset, now you have an idea of what is happening.

    I think it is pathetic. Here, we have one lite tank car activating grade crossing protection, yet you need a 24 to 32 axles for it on the CN. Pathetic!
     
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  19. Nov 23, 2018 #19

    me_little_me

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    Amazing what Anderson will do to "cut" long distance service.

    If the front end arrives on time and the back end is 3 hours late, does that mean it averaged 1 1/2 hours late or don't they count the back half?

    Would a separation mean a divorce would soon follow? Who gets the cafe car if it ends up in a divorce?

    Speaking of which, do the customers sue Amtrak in divorce court?

    Did anyone in the back end call Amtrak Police and report the theft of the engine?

    It was Thanksgiving time. Engineer couldn't wait to get home.

    Why did that button say "Break" instead of "Brake"?
     
  20. Nov 23, 2018 #20

    Carolyn Jane

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  21. Nov 23, 2018 #21

    the_traveler

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    I heard that on the local news - and did not believe it then either.

    How could it be “picking up speed” when the cars were stopping (because of dumping the air) AND the rest of the train was stopped just ahead?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  22. Nov 23, 2018 #22

    Just-Thinking-51

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    Air brake lag?

    Air brakes not hook up correctly?

    Passengers not knowing what going on?

    Incorrect story?

    Self promotion?

    Not worth the time and effort for the reporter to fill in the details.  It’s ESPN there not know for its non-sport stories.  I would not stress out about it.  Short story was there was a young basketball player who use the train in today’s world.  That’s the real story.

    Passengers had a unexpected experience and therefore unable to use the correct terminology to describe it. The incident happened fast, it’s a rare occurrence, not likely Amtrak gave a detailed explanation to the passengers.
     
  23. Nov 23, 2018 #23

    AmtrakBlue

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    I heard a reporter say it looked like the door fell off (probably because it was open). Guess he doesn’t know how the doors work on these cars.
     
  24. Nov 23, 2018 #24

    VentureForth

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    This story is pathetically short on details. You have to read from several different sources to even get a clue what was going on. One article made it sound like the front of the train kept going not knowing the rear was left behind. Obviously not likely. No mention of of there was a crew member on the rear portion while they were waiting or not. No power? Freezing cold? 12 hour delays because of a three hour problem?

    What weird reporting on this one.
     
  25. Nov 23, 2018 #25

    the_traveler

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    When I heard the story, it was not from ESPN but on the local Albany TV news about how a local RPI student stopped the train by pulling the emergency brake! :eek:hboy:
     
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