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Tacoma Amtrak derailment - December 18, 2017


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#61 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:04 PM

Makes you wonder if there is foul play involved here.

 

More likely excess speed considering it was the inaugural run that was likely making sure to stay on schedule.


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#62 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:07 PM

New tracks, ballast, and retaining walls ... but definitely an old bridge.

 

Pack rust comes to mind.

However, it looks like the engine left the tracks at the end of the straightaway before it got to the bridge.



#63 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:08 PM

It was also dark at the time judging by the some of the early photos.



#64 shoeflack

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:13 PM

Isn’t a conductor in the passenger compartments?

 

Right. Conductor is responsible for all non-operational functions, engineer "drives" the train.

 

With 7 crew on board, I would imagine it was a engineer, brakeman, conductor, and cabin staff...but VHF probably could enlighten more there.



#65 Cassidy

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:13 PM

Leaving the unofficial news sources for a moment, there are an increasing number of folks - some apparently passengers - who are saying that the train hit a truck parked on the tracks.

Now ... I realize social media isn't particularly accurate news, but they often contain nuggets of fact that the mainstream press for whatever reason is late to the party on.

 

https://www.reddit.c...hbound_i5_info/



#66 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:15 PM

More likely excess speed considering it was the inaugural run that was likely making sure to stay on schedule.

 

I would not consider excessive speed as a likely factor.  Trains have GPS and their crew will be disciplined if they speed.  Also, each crew member is fully empowered to shut the train down if its being driven against rules.  Now, they might have accidentally been speeding (and did not know they were to go slower at this part of the track) but I doubt they intentionally exceeded the safe operating speed.


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#67 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:16 PM

Right. Conductor is responsible for all non-operational functions, engineer "drives" the train.

 

With 7 crew on board, I would imagine it was a engineer, brakeman, conductor, and cabin staff...but VHF probably could enlighten more there.

 

The Conductor is the boss of the train, and is the top man/woman.  I'm not sure that a train of this makeup would have a brakeman.  It's a 3+ hour trip, I imagine it has some onboard amenities that would require cabin crew.


Edited by VicHockeyFan, 18 December 2017 - 04:19 PM.

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<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#68 57WestHills

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:16 PM

Right. Conductor is responsible for all non-operational functions, engineer "drives" the train.

With 7 crew on board, I would imagine it was a engineer, brakeman, conductor, and cabin staff...but VHF probably could enlighten more there.


Seven is a lot of staff for this train. I'm betting two of them were there for training / route orientation. Amtrak contracts out the actual running of the train (so the engineers) to the freight railways, and then on board staff are Amtrak. Essentially identical to Via here.
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#69 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:18 PM

Leaving the unofficial news sources for a moment, there are an increasing number of folks - some apparently passengers - who are saying that the train hit a truck parked on the tracks.

 

 

It was dark and passengers would not see something parked on the tracks unless they were going around a long curve at the time.   It's balderdash.



#70 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:20 PM

Seven is a lot of staff for this train. I'm betting two of them were there for training / route orientation. 

 

That sounds reasonable.  Esp. if this was over some brand new routing.  Know your train, know your route.


Edited by VicHockeyFan, 18 December 2017 - 04:21 PM.

<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#71 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:21 PM

The black box should tell the tale.



#72 shoeflack

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:21 PM

Leaving the unofficial news sources for a moment, there are an increasing number of folks - some apparently passengers - who are saying that the train hit a truck parked on the tracks.

Now ... I realize social media isn't particularly accurate news, but they often contain nuggets of fact that the mainstream press for whatever reason is late to the party on.

 

https://www.reddit.c...hbound_i5_info/

 

Those posts look to be referencing the fact that the train hit vehicles on the I-5, which photos from the scene confirm. Not seeing any mention of a truck on the tracks themselves.



#73 57WestHills

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:21 PM

The lead locomotive is also like thirty days old so absolutely everything will be recorded.
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#74 Cassidy

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:27 PM

Those posts look to be referencing the fact that the train hit vehicles on the I-5, which photos from the scene confirm. Not seeing any mention of a truck on the tracks themselves.

There are definitely mentions of a truck on the tracks, although it's heavily mixed in with the folks who note that those references are to hitting a truck on I-5.



#75 Cassidy

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:30 PM

It was dark and passengers would not see something parked on the tracks unless they were going around a long curve at the time.   It's balderdash.

One would presume, that if there is any truth whatsoever to this kind of chatter, it would be passengers discussing it after the fact, after departing the wreck, and comparing notes as to what they saw, or more likely - what they heard from either the Amtrak employees, police, or other passengers.

 

But it was only a link to an interesting aside, I'm not intending to defend it ... be it balderdash or seed of truth.



#76 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:35 PM

New tracks, ballast, and retaining walls ... but definitely an old bridge.

 

Google Street View shows a whole lot of heavy machinery right up where the crash occurred putting all that new ballast and retaining wall (and presumably tracks) in.

 

New high-speed tracks on an old bridge?

 

Trying to save money by using an old bridge rather than building a new bridge with less of a curve leading up to it, eh!

If the train really was doing 81 mph at that curve, that is rather fast.



#77 57WestHills

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:41 PM

On the strictly administrative side; Looks like service will resume tomorrow on the old route & schedule for the Cascades. Amtrak will also benefit from having an extra train set right now so at least Christmas travel should be minimally effected more than it already has been. Curious to see how this plays out for the I5 opening.
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#78 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:57 PM

Trying to save money by using an old bridge rather than building a new bridge with less of a curve leading up to it, eh!

If the train really was doing 81 mph at that curve, that is rather fast.

 

The speed limit on the track segment where the derailment occurred is 40 miles per hour (64 km/h). The preceding track segment north of Mounts Road has a limit of 79 mph (127 km/h).[17]

https://en.wikipedia...rain_derailment



#79 Bingo

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 05:39 PM

Siemens Charger locomotive.

https://en.wikipedia...Siemens_Charger

https://www.wsdot.wa...ves/default.htm

tn_us-wsdot-siemens-charger-loco.jpg


Edited by Bingo, 18 December 2017 - 05:43 PM.


#80 Mike K.

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 08:51 PM

ABC News reported that there was a mass casualty training exercise taking place near the site of the train derailment. What the heck?

 

Recall that in the radio segment where the conductor calls for help, he also says there are EMS vehicles already on-scene.


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