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Tacoma Amtrak derailment - December 18, 2017


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#21 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:13 AM

20171218_100721.jpg

 

 



#22 Mike K.

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:14 AM

There are two bridges, one over the southbound lanes and one over the northbound lanes. The one over the northbound lanes is curved. How many cars made it across the southbound bridge?

 

In the photo above I see one dangling, one upside down, and another on the opposite side of the bridge.

 

rail.jpg


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#23 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:15 AM

The train was 5 or 6 units long. I’d assume one engine plus 4 or 5 passenger cars, that would be sufficient for that load on that grade.

Edited by VicHockeyFan, 18 December 2017 - 10:17 AM.

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#24 shoeflack

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:15 AM

If the train was headed for Portland, then it would have just passed this pretty sharp curve.

 

curve.jpg



#25 shoeflack

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:16 AM

Mike, you have the wrong bridge. There is another set of tracks immediately East of the one you screenshot.



#26 shoeflack

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:18 AM

Accident location:

 

location.jpg


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#27 Mike K.

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:19 AM

Oh crap, I see that now!


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#28 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:21 AM

YUP OK, in my professional estimation that curve could have played a role.

Of note is that this new train was also on some type of rerouting too.
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#29 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:25 AM

Fox writers having fun with it...

Amtrak crash: Travelers promised 'shorter trip times and more reliable schedules' on new, doomed route

http://www.foxnews.c...omed-route.html
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#30 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:26 AM

YUP OK, in my professional estimation that curve could have played a role.

Of note is that this new train was also on some type of rerouting too.

 

I agree. If there is anything you want to know about trains talk to VHF for a professional opinion, and myself, who has never driven a train.



#31 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:36 AM

The train had just passed Dupont which is to the right of this image.

Speed limit is 80 mph for trains in the US. I think you will find speed is a factor in the crash.

 

20171218_100721.jpg

 

 



#32 57WestHills

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 11:08 AM

The train was 5 or 6 units long. I’d assume one engine plus 4 or 5 passenger cars, that would be sufficient for that load on that grade.

It'll be longer than that. 12-ish from memory; sometimes 2 engines or sometimes one and a cab car. The cars are only like thirty or forty feet though. These train sets are semi-permanently arranged. This looks like one of the older (but not old) sets. They received two new train sets last year.

This was day one of a new faster route which is part of the phased high speed connection between Seattle and Portland. Will be interesting to see the cause as this will obviously delay that project for the time being. A couple new stations opened for this today, too.

Edited by 57WestHills, 18 December 2017 - 11:09 AM.


#33 Jackerbie

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 11:12 AM

The train had just passed Dupont which is to the right of this image.

Speed limit is 80 mph for trains in the US. I think you will find speed is a factor in the crash.

 

The train was reportedly travelling at 130 km/h (80 mph) at the time of the derailment: http://www.cbc.ca/ne...state-1.4454266

 

I've never conducted a train, but I would think that you shouldn't be travelling at the speed limit for a straight-away when taking a curve.



#34 57WestHills

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 11:19 AM

The train was reportedly travelling at 130 km/h (80 mph) at the time of the derailment: http://www.cbc.ca/ne...state-1.4454266

I've never conducted a train, but I would think that you shouldn't be travelling at the speed limit for a straight-away when taking a curve.


And you would be incorrect... I realize we are all tempted to become internet experts for this stuff but the Cascades have been running at that speed for almost two decades. Every few years, like happened today, a new stretch of track opens at a higher speed than it previously was - today is slightly different in that the route was actually new - but alas the equipment and people involved have been doing this for a long time without issue. The train itself is actually designed explicitly for the purpose of taking cures at speed, a good forward leaning decision made in the early-1990s foreseeing all the improvements which have now been mostly completed.

Who knows what caused this derailment but they'd be running trains on the track at that speed for months, just not this specific train.

#35 Jackerbie

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 12:44 PM

^ I thought this was the very first Amtrak train to use this new track section? At least that's the impression I have from the reporting.



#36 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 12:50 PM

 I thought this was the very first Amtrak train to use this new track section? At least that's the impression I have from the reporting.

 

The section of track where an Amtrak train derailed had just been upgraded as part of a $181 million project for a new faster route.

Sound Transit, the public transit system for the Seattle area, owns the track and oversaw construction of the upgrades.

Agency spokeswoman Kimberly Reason says extensive testing was done before the opening of the system Monday but didn't immediately have further details.

http://abcnews.go.co...ilment-51861844



#37 57WestHills

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 01:14 PM

^ I thought this was the very first Amtrak train to use this new track section? At least that's the impression I have from the reporting.


Fist revenue train. It's been used by Sounder (like West Coast Express) for months and Amtrak's been using it to break in new locomotives since at least August.

I suspect this will be something "random" like equipment failure or debris, but who knows.
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#38 Jackerbie

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 01:55 PM

^ Gotcha, thanks



#39 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 02:16 PM

The new route improvement also included new locomotives and a positive train control system, which aims to help prevent crashes, according to a Washington DOT press release. Officials have not said if the positive train control system was in place.According to the press release, “This ‘next generation’ rail equipment features safety upgrades, including on-board positive train control system, which will automatically stop the train when there are dangerous situations on the rails, once the system is activated corridor-wide in 2018.”But Amtrak President Richard Anderson told reporters that positive train control was not activated at the time of the derailment.

http://heavy.com/new...t-cost-details/


Edited by Bingo, 18 December 2017 - 02:17 PM.


#40 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 02:26 PM

A short audio clip from the train was released by Broadcastify, capturing the dramatic first moments after the derailment.

“Amtrak 501, emergency, emergency, emergency. We are on the ground,” the conductor said.

“We are on the bridge (inaudible) on the freeway. We need EMS ASAP. It looks like they’re already starting to show up.”

A voice then asks what happened.

“We were coming around the corner to take the bridge over I-5 there ... and we went on the ground,” the conductor said.

http://www.thenewstr...190312794.html\



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