Fire at Cajon Pass

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Trainmans daughter, Jul 18, 2015.

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  1. Jul 18, 2015 #1

    Trainmans daughter

    Trainmans daughter

    Trainmans daughter

    OBS Chief

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    Anybody know if the track going through the Cajon Pass is involved? Wondering if SWC will be impacted. The fire is on both sides of I-15 and has burned several cars and trucks which were trapped on the freeway. How far is the fire from the tracks?
     
  2. Jul 18, 2015 #2

    FrensicPic

    FrensicPic

    FrensicPic

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    The distance between I-15 and the tracks vary. Haven't heard mention, on LA news, of the fire affecting rail traffic

    Amtrak Status Maps shows #4 leaving LA on time at 6:15 this evening.

    Things can change!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2015
  3. Jul 18, 2015 #3

    Palmetto

    Palmetto

    Palmetto

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    The discussion on Trainorders indicates the flames are moving away from the railroad. Good news.
     
  4. Jun 14, 2019 #4

    Barb Stout

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    Barb Stout

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    Because I heard on the news that the 2019 California fire season is expected to be worse than 2018 which took Paradise (among other places) to hell, I'm bringing this thread back up to anyone's attention who could answer the following question. If a fire behaves unexpectedly and a train is heading for it, are there engines on both ends of the train so that the train can quickly reverse directions on the same track that it is on?
     
  5. Jun 14, 2019 #5

    NSC1109

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    NSC1109

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    No.

    Amtrak, like most railroads, run with both engines on the head end of the train. The only time you will see Amtrak running with two engines on either end is with some of the corridor services.
     
  6. Jun 14, 2019 #6

    Skyline

    Skyline

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    Do you mean a push-pull scenario with motive power travelling with the train at front and rear? Hardly ever for LD trains.

    Or do you mean engines that are stationary, waiting for emergency situations. Not in that many places because Amtrak doesn't have a significant surplus of rolling stock including engines, tho freight railroads can sometime come to the rescue if engines are strategically located near enough to an emergency.
     
  7. Jun 14, 2019 #7

    Blackwolf

    Blackwolf

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    While it may seem prudent to be concerned about a fire potentially threatening a train...

    ...Reality is it just isn't going to happen. And both the Camp Fire and Carr Fire of 2018 are primary examples of why. A trackside fire will not be an issue for Amtrak; unless it just started (and thus is very small) the moment the 911 system is activated for a response, a call is made to the respective railroad dispatch and that section of track is immediately closed. All signals drop to red and all trains, no matter their priority, grind to a halt. Fire engines arrive at the scene and 99.9% of the time have the fire controlled in minutes. Unless the track infrastructure is damaged, another call is made to the railroad dispatcher and trains are allowed to proceed (at a reduced speed) through the area until all firefighting personnel are out of the area. If damage did occur, then track inspectors are sent out and repairs are made.

    If the fire turns into a major incident, trains will reverse direction (just because there isn't a locomotive on the rear does not mean it cannot back up; a crew member will just be placed on the rear and guide the engineer by radio at a reduced speed in the opposite direction) and proceed clear of the danger area. Both the Carr and Camp fires affected major rail lines (UP and BNSF respectively). By the time the fire got close to the lines themselves, nothing equipment-wise was anywhere near the flames.

    The only threat to passengers is a cancelled trip.
     
  8. Jun 16, 2019 #8

    anumberone

    anumberone

    anumberone

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    The Blue Cut fire held up train traffic about 24 hours. The tracks are real close to the 15 HWY on the Cajon Pass where the cars were stranded and burned. BNSF runs about 90 trains a day through the area. I could see a long freight getting caught up in a fast moving fire.
     

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