Gate crossing problems in Illinois

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by PaTrainFan, May 15, 2019.

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  1. May 15, 2019 #1

    PaTrainFan

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    PaTrainFan

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    Monitoring Amtrak Alerts on Twitter, I've noticed multiple times lately that trains along the Illini/Saluki route have been delayed by "gate crossing problems." I've never noticed that excuse on any other route. Anybody know what's up with that? Realizing all it takes a gust of wind for CN to have any issues at all.
     
  2. May 15, 2019 #2

    pennyk

    pennyk

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    There were gate crossing problems in Central Florida the weekend before last. There was a major storm and wind in the area on 5/5 and a power line ended up on the tracks. There was a major power outage to the signals. The Northbound Silver Meteor (train 98 on 5/5) ended up being held and was ultimately delated about 8 hours. I was on the southbound Silver Meteor (train 97) leaving NYP on 5/5. Many of the gate crossings were not working by the time train 97 reached Central Florida early afternoon on Monday 5/6. Workers were still trying to repair the signals and were manually stopping vehicular traffic for our train and commuter rail. When we were moving, we were traveling at approximately 17mph and stopping before every crossing.
     
  3. May 15, 2019 #3

    andytiedye

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    Would a power line falling on the track blow out the signaling systems for that block?
    Seems like the power could fry both the crossing signals and the block signals.
    If so, how would it fail?
     
  4. May 15, 2019 #4

    tim49424

    tim49424

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    When I was on the California Zephyr headed west to Sacramento in March, we got hit with a bomb cyclone (technically a blizzard with very little snow falling - wind gusts in Colorado Springs peaked at 97 mph). The high winds wreaked havoc on the guard arms on the signals, rendering them useless. The order from dispatch came to stop at every crossing to make sure auto traffic could cross the tracks safely. We went from one hour down to twelve and a half hours behind schedule. This was the one of the last CZs to continue west of Omaha before the Missouri River jumped it's banks.
     
  5. May 16, 2019 #5

    John Santos

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    On Aug 18, 2017 I took the 321 CHI-STL. (This was the Friday before the eclipse.) Something (a truck at a grade crossing, I think) took down a power line onto the tracks and we stopped for about an hour at Alton. The crew said the power line was about 10 miles south, that they could have proceeded to about a mile before it and waited there, but they chose to wait at the Alton station so we could get out and walk around. When we left, they said they would proceed at normal speed until we got close to the site, then go very slowly past the repair crews, and eventually speed up to normal speed so we might be another half hour late arriving in St Louis. What actually happened is we went quickly for the first 5 miles or so, then very slowly until we were within sight of St Louis, before we finally sped up again. We got there about 2 1/2 to 3 hours late and I missed dinner with my eclipse tour group. :(

    I don't think there was a signalling problem, didn't notice any issues at grade crossings, we didn't stop, just went very very slowly (about 10 mph tops) for about 15-20 miles. Maybe there was freight or commuter congestion due to the track being out of service. (I don't remember if it was a single or double track, but if it was double, I think both tracks would have been out while they removed the wire.

    Just noticed, looking at the schedule, it's only 27 miles from Alton to St Louis, but they allow an hour and one minute. Then there's another 34 minutes (is this where they drop the 321 coach?) before leaving. No wonder people get annoyed at the TE!
     
  6. May 16, 2019 #6

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

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    The Tracks in East St Louis and in the St Louis yards are in poor shape and crossing the Mississippi River on either bridge is a Slow process.

    Also remember the Eagle isn't included in the deal to allow the Missouri Trains to run faster between St Louis and Chicago!
     
  7. May 16, 2019 #7

    Acela150

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    Crossing gates will occasionally malfunction. In this case the train must stop and the conductor must "flag" the crossing. Unless the route is Cab Signaled, trains must proceed delayed in block and proceed at Restricted Speed until the head end reaches the next signal with a more favorable indication. Which will delay the train.
     
  8. May 16, 2019 #8

    PaTrainFan

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    PaTrainFan

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    I know these things happen occasionally but was surprised how much it has happened recently along that route. I've only recently begun monitoring Amtrak Alerts, and another issue that drew my attention is the number of "trespasser incidents" there are across the system. Seems like there are several every day.
     
  9. May 16, 2019 #9

    RebelRider

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    There were pictures on Facebook showing damage done from the power line that fell on the tracks in Longwood, FL. The rail had a really good groove melted into it and a bunch of important looking stuff was blown out and charred inside the signal hut. Took a couple days to fix.
     
  10. May 16, 2019 #10

    pennyk

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    I saw the groove outside my window when we passed the portion of rail that was damaged (about 24 hours after the power line fell). Workers were busy attempting to fix it.
     
  11. May 17, 2019 #11

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    A person or car is hit by a train every 3 hours. It's not really a surprise to me.
     
  12. May 19, 2019 #12

    Metra Electric Rider

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    That'd have to have been high voltage to damage the rail! I wouldn't be surprised if a power line falling on the tracks shorted power, but it might not either. Hmm, this post is kind of pointless, isn't it?
     
  13. May 19, 2019 #13

    Trogdor

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    That’s only true in ABS/track warrant territory.
     
  14. May 19, 2019 #14

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    Not according to GCOR..... Rule 9.9 subsection A.
     
  15. May 19, 2019 #15

    tim49424

    tim49424

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    This is exactly what happened in the situation I mentioned above.
     
  16. May 19, 2019 #16

    Trogdor

    Trogdor

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    9.9 A explicitly applies to ABS territory, which is what I just said.
     

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