Condolences to all our Canadian friends...

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-09-13, 02:39 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 17,607
Condolences to all our Canadian friends...

What a tragic mistake someone made... I hope they find out who can be held accountable.

Fire-dept? Dispatcher? Trains safety features???

How devastating.... I was saddened by this news...

Read here...

INSIGHT-How a train ran away and devastated a Canadian town | Reuters


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGU-IyJqemI
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 07-09-13 at 02:57 PM.
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-09-13, 02:46 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 588
I agree.

I haven't been watching the news today so I haven't heard any updates but from what I understood yesterday, the train cars were under no power, meaning they had no engine hooked to them.
The report that I got was, the train cars somehow became unhooked from each other & mysteriously all started to roll away.

If I am wrong, I hope someone will correct me. Mo matter what happened, you guys are in our thoughts down here.

TC
 
  #3  
Old 07-09-13, 03:12 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 17,607
  #4  
Old 07-09-13, 03:27 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,801
Hi Mike and Dixie,
boarder towns like that are as much a part of Maine as Canada so condolences for sure.

As for how it happened it was a sequence of events I don't think anyone really considered. The cars weren't unhooked, in fact there were 5 engines attached to that train. But a fire shortly after they parked it for the night with one engine left running to maintain the air, well it was shut down and thus no more air breaks. There were evidently other breaks, but apparently they didn't stop the events that unfolded.

As for identifying who is responsible, it is really a question of identifying what went wrong as I don't believe any one person is really to blame, although I'm sure there are some that will think "only if", for a very long time.

Another link: How a train ran away and devastated a Canadian town — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Bud
 
  #5  
Old 07-09-13, 03:31 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 588
Ahhh, so there was an engine but it wasn't running. But, I didn't see in this article where the cars became disconnected. Possibly the early story I heard yesterday was incorrect / misleading or I misunderstood / misinterpreted the report.
 
  #6  
Old 07-09-13, 04:01 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
You mean air brakes on a train are different than a tractor trailer? Oooh, that's bad. Until you hook air to a trailer, it isn't going anywhere. Brakes are normally closed against the drum, and only sufficient air will move them away. That is a sad story, for sure!
 
  #7  
Old 07-09-13, 04:22 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 17,607
You mean air brakes on a train are different than a tractor trailer?
Sounds like they are not Larry... But they have that dead man pedal...( Train must be running to work)

The policy was to apply the handbrakes to so many cars from what I read to insure the train would not move if the air brakes failed...

Here is what I got out of my readings.

I am just assuming but I would think the engineer did not do this above and apply the hand brakes to the right # of cars... It was almost a mile long........

The firefighters followed their protocol and turned off the engine after the fire. They most likely did not know about the brakes or think about it.

Firefighters called train dispatch to tell them what they did. Dispatch should have halfhearted the engineer to start another engine. ( There were 5) He would have known that it was critical to do so if he did not apply the hand brakes properly.

The dead man pedal only works with a train engine is running

Last there were no train sensors to alert dispatch that there is a runaway train on the tracks....

Those transport car tanks are old. They have better standards and if they were updated possibly they would not of leaked oil at all in that crash....


If true, and I don't know, I would say...

Fault...

Engineer?
Dispatch?
Safety bureau for the outdated standards?
(Possibly firefighters)
 
  #8  
Old 07-09-13, 04:59 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2,446
I heard about this too but didn't look too closely into the situation at the time. As I understand it it was in Quebec and there was a giant fire ball you could see for miles. I don't know if anyone was injured or not and certainly hope no one was. Seems like both the United States and Canada need some better standards as far as trains are concerned. Not long ago a man tried to out run a train with his truck and the train went off of its track and a fire resulted because of it. No guard rail there and there should have been and certainly in that case the truck driver was at fault but better signals and other standards need to be incorporated.
 
  #9  
Old 07-09-13, 05:12 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Or, too late for the NYC guy, a sign posted in conspicuous places in the subway that reads : DON'T PEE ON THE THIRD RAIL
 
  #10  
Old 07-09-13, 05:54 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,526
From a biography I read about Westinghouse who invented the air brakes to replace steam brakes commonly in use at the time airbrakes on trains fail positively just as they do on tractor trailers as pointed out by Larry.

Under the Westinghouse system, therefore, brakes are applied by reducing train line pressure and released by increasing train line pressure. The Westinghouse system is thus fail safe—any failure in the train line, including a separation ("break-in-two") of the train, will cause a loss of train line pressure, causing the brakes to be applied and bringing the train to a stop, thus preventing a runaway train.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_air_brake However it doesn't use springs as I understand tractor trailers do. It uses air pressure in reserve tanks on each car. Losing that pressure somehow would release the brakes. Of course it seems odd that enough reserve tanks would fail without human intervention. Not tto mention the secondary brakes.
 
  #11  
Old 07-09-13, 06:03 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,349
What I am going to describe is a very basic air brake system used in railroading. This is probably a century old and there have been many improvements over the years.

Brakes on railroad cars are applied with air pressure and released by the release of air pressure. BUT it is not so simple as it first seems. Each car has an air reservoir and a brake valve. It is the air in this reservoir that applies the brakes on each individual car. The reservoir is "recharged" from the compressor(s) located in the locomotive. There is only one air line that travels the entire length of the train.

The compressed air from the locomotive first goes to a complex valve called a brakestand and when the engineer places the handle in the "release" position air travels from the locomotive through the train line and through the brake valve to charge up the the reservoirs on each car. The pressure is somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 psi. When the proper pressure has been attained the brake cylinders (that move the shoes against the wheels) are released. This is the normal operation when the train is rolling.

When the engineer wants to apply the brakes slightly he will move the brakestand lever to the the "service" position and that action closes the connection between the air compressor(s) and the train line AND opens a port to release some air from the train line. When sufficient air has been released, as noted on a pressure gauge visible to the engineer, he will move the handle to a position called "lap" where the train line is then sealed. This drop in train line pressure causes the brake valves on each car to move to a position that lets reservoir air into the brake cylinders and move the shoes against the wheels. The brake valve is also connected to the cylinders ion a manner such that any specific reduction in train line pressure is controlled to a specific braking pressure. The more the train line pressure is lowered the harder the brakes are applied.

For faster braking (more braking pressure) the brakestand lever is moved to a position called "quick service" which is merely a larger vent for the train line pressure causing the pressure to drop more rapidly. There is another position called "emergency" that vents the train line as fast as possible.

(As I stated in the beginning there are many more refinements that I can't go into.)

From this you can see that air leaks, which are inevitable with so many connections, can play havoc with the brake operation. For this reason the compressors have a high CFM output and always have back up compressors. Back in the days of steam locomotives the standard air brake compressor put out 150 CFM and there were always at least two compressors.

Leaks in the train line would have the effect of causing the brake valve to shunt air from the individual reservoirs to the brake cylinders but leaks in the reservoirs would tend to release the brakes. Don't ask me how, it has been a long time since I studied this, but holding the train line at a somewhat lower pressure (but far higher than zero) causes the brake valve to both keep the car brakes applied AND allow the reservoir to recharge so that the leaks are compensated. BUT, if the air compressor(s) stop completely there is no air to keep the reservoirs charged and no air to keep the brakes applied.
 
  #12  
Old 07-09-13, 06:05 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,940
Seems they have opened a criminal investigation into the matter. They didn't say what they found to prompt this.

hedge, lots of people were killed in this accident.
 
  #13  
Old 07-09-13, 08:40 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2,446
I heard the same thing just recently drooplug a real shame. Furd thanks for the lesson concerning the train brakes. My grandfather way before I was born was a train mechanic but I never learned anything about how they worked. Quite a lot of things to keep track of for the safe operation of trains.
 
  #14  
Old 07-10-13, 03:00 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1,452
Not Enough Hand Brakes

Couple of points:

• Handbrakes on locomotives are almost useless, usually only to one truck and sometimes only one axle. Hardly enough to hold itself.

• Deadman doesn't come into play unless the independent is in the release position which it shouldn't have been.

• I wouldn't call a 1.4% grade slight.

• cars have a two part air reservoir, service and emergency. It takes around 60# of air when you 'shoot 'em' for the emergency air to go to the triple valve. Won't happen if the air slowly bleeds off.


The firemen were there for only maybe 45 minutes. If they turned off the locomotive when they first arrived that could be plenty of time for the brakes on the locomotives to bleed off but the cars shouldn't release in that short time....

<unless>

they closed the angle co ck on the locomotive which would close the brake line. If only one car had a faulty triple valve it could leak into the train line and release all the brakes and away you go. Old timer told me you could blow in the train line and release the brakes. I think that is a bit of an exaggeration but not by much.

Where I worked a loaded train (85 tons of pellets per car) 3 hand brakes per 12 cars were required on a 1.5% grade. On the 2% grade 5 hand brakes per 12.

Anyway, very odd it could get away in that short a time.
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:44 PM.