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BrianS
November 5th, 2000, 12:58 AM
The NBC Nightly News reported that there was a fatal Amtrak wreck just south of Los Angeles. The photos they showed were of a Pacific Surfliner trainset. They said that it occured at a private grade crossing. I'm assuming the fatality wasn't on the train. Most of the train remained upright, but one car that was near (but not connected to) the engine was on it's side in a nearby field. I'm assuming that the train was operating in push mode. I'll post more when I know the details.

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Brian Schmidt
railohio@hotmail.com
ICQ #21630753
AIM - railohio

CPRailfan
November 5th, 2000, 01:20 AM
It seems to common now. Just four days after the BNSF wreck in Arizona. Now this. News now says one is dead, one in critical condition, and 24 injured after the SUrfliner hit a truck.
My prayers go out to the families and everybody invovled.

Here's the story at MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.com/news/485604.asp?0cm=c10

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Drew

WISCONSIN CENTRAL LTD.
http://wcleastdiv.railfan.net/safety1.jpg




[This message has been edited by CPRailfan (edited 04 November 2000).]

BrianS
November 5th, 2000, 02:42 AM
Photo from MSNBC article:
http://a799.ms.akamai.net/7/799/388/a07f125be87b0b/www.msnbc.com/news/780553.jpg

Although MSNBC doesn't report it, someone told me that a second person in the truck had died. Don't have anything official on that yet, but I'll keep digging.

CPRailfan
November 5th, 2000, 02:12 PM
News is, now 30 people are injured. The seocnd person in the truck was hospitalized in critical condition with severe head injuries. Word has it, the private crossing where the crash took place, has been the site of a fatal accident every year for the past three years. You can read the rest at the following link: http://www.msnbc.com/news/485604.asp?0cm=c10

Get some more info at http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/amtrak001105.html

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Drew

WISCONSIN CENTRAL LTD.
http://wcleastdiv.railfan.net/safety1.jpg

[This message has been edited by CPRailfan (edited 05 November 2000).]

ten87
November 5th, 2000, 07:20 PM
So was it in push mode?

Ed Harrison

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Ed's Mental Cab Ride (http://harrison.railsusa.com)

Kevin Stevens
November 5th, 2000, 08:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ten87:
So was it in push mode?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, the train was in push mode, bound for its terminal point at Goleta. The cab car is the one on its side in the field to the right. The crossing and remains of the truck are out of view to the bottom of the photo. To add information about the crossing: It was a paved private road crossing, fitted with stop signs for vehicle traffic. I'm sure that some reports out there are or will be calling this an unprotected crossing, which will be an inaccurate description. The crossing is the equivalent to an intersection with a two-way stopsign where the cross traffic does not stop. My sympathy goes out to the crew of the train, the injured passengers and the families of the deceased. This is a greuling reminder that: The Tie Goes to the Train...

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Kevin Stevens
www.trainweb.org/KernJunction (http://www.trainweb.org/KernJunction)

CPRailfan
November 5th, 2000, 08:19 PM
here's a new photo from the derailment site:

http://abcnews.go.com/media/us/images/ap_TRAIN_DERAILED001105_h.jpg




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Drew

WISCONSIN CENTRAL LTD.
http://wcleastdiv.railfan.net/safety1.jpg

throttlejock
November 6th, 2000, 02:34 AM
As you may think this accident was very upsetting to us Amtrak employees. I used to work with the conductor of this train until he decided to move to Calif. Yes the train was in push mode. Rumor has it that the engineer plugged the train and then ran out of the cab down the aisle. I'm not sure but I would guess the car on it's side is the cab car.

BCAmtrak
November 7th, 2000, 05:43 AM
Actually, the accident site is north of LA and not south as previously mentioned

BCAmtrak
November 7th, 2000, 05:46 AM
Throttlejock,
You might be able to answer my question,I am going on an Amtrak train to Fresno this weekend and I was curious how I can get the same track warrants and paperwork for my trip.
Please let me know
Brad
BCAmtrak1@AOL.com

BCAmtrak
November 7th, 2000, 05:47 AM
Throttlejock,
You might be able to answer my question,I am going on an Amtrak train to Fresno this weekend and I was curious how I can get the same track warrants and paperwork for my trip.
also see Track warrants and other paperwork for Amtrak Trains in California
Please let me know
Brad
BCAmtrak1@AOL.com

throttlejock
November 7th, 2000, 06:32 PM
Brad,
That is a tuff question to answer. Lots of variables. First off is finding a crew member agreeable. Second If your travel is between points where orders are still in effect I doubt it could happen. (Say you get on at point b and crew has orders from A to F and you get off at E they are still needed) You really have to know who you ask for the orders this is one of the biggest turn offs to Rails maybe I shouldn't say turn offs but guys laugh the most at. Some places now require crews to keep all orders till the completion of their trip so guys keep them until the next trip in case something comes up. So myself not knowing where California operations I can't help you much really. But I would say your best bet would be the asst. conducktor for orders he probably would be the most willing unless he does all the work for a lazy conducktor.

CPRailfan
November 8th, 2000, 04:03 AM
I found this today at the Rial News forum. This is part of the latest article on the Amtrak derailment.
"The law is such that it's really up to the private property owner to decide what level of protection to have at a crossing," said spokesman Mike Furtney of Union Pacific, which owns the section of track where the crash occurred. "There is no minimum or maximum requirement. It's whatever they feel is appropriate. It's not a public street."
I disagree with this. If railroad tracks cut through someone's private property, who do they belong to? The railroad. A crossing should be the same way. A crossing includes the tracks, and should be 100% railroad property. I hope the Safety Board takes a look at this issue. I think it would have saved at least three lives at that particular crossing in the last three years.

What does everybody else think about this?

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Drew

WISCONSIN CENTRAL LTD.
http://wcleastdiv.railfan.net/safety1.jpg

BrianS
November 8th, 2000, 05:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CPRailfan:
I disagree with this. If railroad tracks cut through someone's private property, who do they belong to? The railroad. A crossing should be the same way. A crossing includes the tracks, and should be 100% railroad property.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're saying that the railroads should pay for warning devices? You're right, it's railroad property, but they are crossing private railroad property, so the road's owner should have to pay. The railroad may cut across private land, but whatever the tracks rest on, the railroad owns. Therefore, the road is crossing the tracks on railroad property. Get it?

Kevin Stevens
November 8th, 2000, 07:02 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CPRailfan:
I think it would have saved at least three lives at that particular crossing in the last three years.

What does everybody else think about this?

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Here's my two cents...What would have saved lives at this crossing would have been responsible motor vehicle operation, not more crossing protection. As I stated in my earlier post, this crossing IS NOT unmarked as stated erroneously in several reports (I predicted these mis-statements in my first post). It is posted as a private road crossing with stop signs for vehicle traffic (the stop sign is visible in the second photograph you posted). When you come to a stop sign, you stop and determine if it is safe to cross the intersection (in this case, the cross traffic is a railroad). If there is no approaching traffic, you proceed across the intersection. If oncoming traffic is approaching, you wait until it has passed before proceeding. This is a case of common sense, and it isn't Union Pacific's or Amtrak's job to hold automobile drivers by the hand. As for the private property issue: In about 99% of situations (yes, there are exceptions), the Railroad company owned the property and maintained their right-of-way long before property owners moved in to adjacent parcels. It is very rare that railroads built their tracks through private property. When a road (public or private) is built over an existing rail line, it should be the responsibility of the road builder/owner to provide adequate safety measures. Likewise, when the railroad builds a new line or spur over an existing road, they must supply appropriate safety devices. It is a simple matter of who came first, and in almost all cases (including this one) the Railroad Tracks existed before the road.

I am in no way trying to attack you, I just wanted to offer a rational opposing viewpoint.

Remember the OLS slogan that says, "Trains can't stop--You can!".



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Kevin Stevens
www.trainweb.org/KernJunction (http://www.trainweb.org/KernJunction)

Colonel
November 8th, 2000, 08:16 AM
As a signalling Engineer I feel that it would be of benefit to UP to install a Level crossing. The down time in rail operations for one incident would justify spending the 50k-100k cost to install the crossing. Not too mention the cost of a persons life which I believe you cannot put a price on.

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Regards

Paul Cassar-Moderator & Member number 50
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http://users.bigpond.net.au/railroad2000

CPRailfan
November 8th, 2000, 10:29 PM
Brian,Kevin,and Paul,

Thanks for the follow-ups. It's nice to see the viewpoints of others, and to learn form others. I've learned a lot about the rail crossing issue, thanks to you guys. I know the best way to prevent these incidents is "driver smarts", but I do hope the property owners, or UP take action, not only to upgrade the crossing, but make drivers aware of what can happen if they don't pay attention. Possibly, if not already invovled, OLS can give their support. Once again, thanks for the arguments and discussion.

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Drew

WISCONSIN CENTRAL LTD.
http://wcleastdiv.railfan.net/safety1.jpg