Railroad Thread

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3WE
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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby 3WE » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:55 pm

Ban all passenger trains...and I'm saying that in a defeatist tone of voice as opposed to smart alek.

If we were to apply the airline's standards of "insane safety" to the fact that we have pretty darn significant, regular, predictable rate of car/truck vs. train crashes, and throw in this effort to have faster Amtrak trains....60 MPH, 80 MPH, 100 MPH, 120 MPH (draw the line wherever)...

...if we were to apply those standards, passenger tracks need to be elevated, fenced off, have no road crossings at all whatsoever anywhere (yeah, sure the occasional one with a significant speed restriction for the train and a few other common sense exceptions).

Yeah, sure, it's just money and I'm sure that Bernie or Hillary or Donald will drop a few billion to fix it all.

In the meantime, it's great legroom, much nicer windows than on a CRJ, probably safer than driving, but one SLOW way to cross Los Estados Unidos...

...pretty much a first-world problem that it will smack the occasional car or truck (or someone will snag the tracks on a not-so-official grade crossing in the boonies).
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J
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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby J » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:19 pm

New tunnel christened by bizarre 'demonic' ceremony
I'm disappointed in the Swiss!
Excerpt:

The world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel was unveiled with a bizarre ceremony featuring a goat-man who dies and is resurrected, women simulating sex with each other and drone-like human workers marching to a rhythmic drum beat.

The Gotthard Base Tunnel was christened in Switzerland with male and female workers wearing orange jumpsuits and marching robotically like soldiers obeying their commands.

Young men and women appear dressed in white underwear, while two of the women engage in simulated lesbian sex. These individuals represent the masses who will ride the trains through the tunnel.


http://www.wnd.com/2016/06/new-tunnel-christened-by-bizarre-demonic-ceremony/

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3WE
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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby 3WE » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:22 am

Strange.

Can't blame Sickbag...goats involved, not_donkeys.
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3WE
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Total Train Disaster Rate

Postby 3WE » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:36 pm

First class drivel / parlour talk here.

I've been halfway familiar with a 5-mile stretch of railroad track for about 50 years.

Today, the fifth derailment occurred since I've been 'following' it...thinking in terms of stats, it sure seems like a lot of derailments.

It's a fairly busy track...technically it's single track but the passing sidings are dense and long (~5 miles between them and some of them are 5 miles long)...25 to 30 trains a day.

I recall the first (in the late 60's) as being quite spectacular...lots of accordioned freight cars with some box cars piled up on top.

Two were at a grade crossing- within a year (probably shared some mechanism).

One was on a bridge over a small river. That was quite spectacular as it took out the bridge, and the railroad undertook about a 15 year slow upgrade to the bridge in question.

Todays was non-remarkable, but there's quite the clean up effort.

Bottom line: seems like a pretty high accident rate...and the proverbial question if "we" need to change some things.

If anyone really cares, this is the approximate mid point of the area I'm describing 36.927675° -89.844089°
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ocelot
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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby ocelot » Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:26 am

Unrelatedly, any thoughts on the wreck in Italy a couple weeks back? I admit my first thought was "do they still really not know how to work block signals after nearly 150 years?"

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Thunder Down Under
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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby Thunder Down Under » Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:17 am

ocelot wrote:Unrelatedly, any thoughts on the wreck in Italy a couple weeks back? I admit my first thought was "do they still really not know how to work block signals after nearly 150 years?"


I have given this some thought. Along with the crash in Germany. Surely with today's technologies, interlocking, derailers etc. there should be no two trains in a section at any given time. Sometimes the old technology is best, why try and invent the wheel?

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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby J » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:15 pm

The following article written by a retired railroad operating officer discusses the shortcomings of various train control systems. Here is the heart of the matter for many existing European secondary lines not yet equipped with advanced train control systems:

".... human operators communicating the condition of the block to each other; both systems convey authority to enter the block to the trains without conveying any information regarding what is actually happening in the block itself, in the field, to the trains, rather than communicating the perception of what is happening by the office. "

If I recall correctly in the recent German collision, the control operator [the guy who gives permission for a train to proceed] was found to have been playing a video game at the time.

http://ten90solutions.com/it_cant_happen_there

In the US all major routes (including those with passenger service and heavier freight traffic) we have at least automatic block signals if not centralized traffic control. After a 2008 head on collision in Southern California (where the engineer or driver was texting and did not obey a stop signal) congress mandated Positive Train Control - as discussed in the above article. It will cost about $10 Billion USD when it is all done - nearly all of it funded by individual railroads.

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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby J » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:19 pm

For the benefit of Thunder Down Under, here is a video about Australian Truck Trains and an interesting transporter.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/0iFkKRh5kcM?rel=0&

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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby Thunder Down Under » Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:09 am

Some big loads there.

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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby ocelot » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:33 am

J wrote:".... human operators communicating the condition of the block to each other; both systems convey authority to enter the block to the trains without conveying any information regarding what is actually happening in the block itself, in the field, to the trains, rather than communicating the perception of what is happening by the office. "


I... don't quite follow that sentence. Is it trying to say that the system depends on the controller maintaining SA and has no way of preventing garbage-in-garbage-out if this slips?

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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby reubee » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:31 am

J wrote:For the benefit of Thunder Down Under, here is a video about Australian Truck Trains and an interesting transporter.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/0iFkKRh5kcM?rel=0&


and here is the "interesting transporter" being used in a recent development
https://www.instagram.com/p/BIrzM5pAQOR/
Image

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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby J » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:52 pm

Well, at least the carryon luggage was removed first.

Regarding the train control system question, the more modern "vital" systems do look to see if the route is clear and the control operators do not "give" a train a clear signal; rather the control operator "asks" the system in the field if the route is clear, the switches are lined and only then the signal is cleared. The places where we've seen these head on collisions are generally older systems where humans in towers communicate with each other to see if one train has passed and another can be allowed to proceed. I recall reading that in the German collision the control operator was fooling with a personal electronic device and forgot about an opposing train when manually giving the signal to proceed.

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3WE
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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby 3WE » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:44 pm

ocelot wrote:
J wrote:".... human operators communicating the condition of the block to each other; both systems convey authority to enter the block to the trains without conveying any information regarding what is actually happening in the block itself, in the field, to the trains, rather than communicating the perception of what is happening by the office. "


I... don't quite follow that sentence. Is it trying to say that the system depends on the controller maintaining SA and has no way of preventing garbage-in-garbage-out if this slips?


You can do so many cool things with a VHF scanner. Listen to ATC or railroad communication.

After hearing some 'orders', I get it. It's full of all sorts of detailed intricate STUFF, and of course near-verbatim read-backs, but you sometimes don't hear any plain language explanations along with it.

I am a bit serious when I razz Evan for his huge love of acronyms and big words to the exclusion of plain language.

UP-2387 is cleared from MP 121.23 to MP 153.29 Track one to track one, Limit 35 MPH, dispatcher name Tom Foolery, Date and time August 6, 2016, 14:53...

Could that not be- Cleared from MP 121 to 153, there are no other trains in the vicinity....Or Cleared from MP 121 to 153, anticipate stopping for a Northbound train afterwards?....

I should clarify that sometimes additional information is included in these clearances, but conversely, a WHOLE LOT of effort is spent on legal, blame-game box checking...and what's wrong with a little bit of plain language clarity?
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ocelot
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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby ocelot » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:12 am

J wrote:Regarding the train control system question, the more modern "vital" systems do look to see if the route is clear and the control operators do not "give" a train a clear signal; rather the control operator "asks" the system in the field if the route is clear, the switches are lined and only then the signal is cleared. The places where we've seen these head on collisions are generally older systems where humans in towers communicate with each other to see if one train has passed and another can be allowed to proceed. I recall reading that in the German collision the control operator was fooling with a personal electronic device and forgot about an opposing train when manually giving the signal to proceed.


ok, I think I see... but still, don't the operators have any kind of situation board? Even something with wooden pegs to move around would prevent these problems...

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Thunder Down Under
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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby Thunder Down Under » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:26 am

Then there was the old 'Ticket & Staff/Tablet System'.

Issue a 'Proceed' ticket and view the 'Staff/Tablet. No Ticket/Staff. No Go.

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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby reubee » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:36 am

Hopefully not geo-blocked, check out the damage to the train tracks from some recent earthquakes and resultant slips in this part of the world http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/kaikour ... 2016111413
Image

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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby flyboy2548m » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:58 am

THAT's going to be paperwork...
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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby Ancient Mariner » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:51 pm

I have travelled by train. Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu. Peru Rail. Very slow, very interesting. One of them Vista things with windows in the roof. Good view of the mountains. Even had a fashion show on return.
Per

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Re: Railroad Thread

Postby Not_Karl » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:59 am

Ancient Mariner wrote:One of them Vista things

I personally prefer 7, but it is still better than 8, 8.1 and 10 nonetheless.
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