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BnO_Hendo
January 6th, 2005, 09:52 PM
It was way back in 2001 when CSX's Howard Street Tunnel (formerly B&O) caught fire. Here's the latest as reported in today's Sun:

Federal transportation officials said yesterday that the most likely scenario behind the 2001 train derailment and fire in Baltimore's Howard Street Tunnel "involved an obstruction between a car wheel and the rail, in combination with changes in track geometry."

In letters to Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley and CSX President Michael J. Ward, National Transportation Safety Board officials acknowledged that they could find no "convincing evidence to provide a probable cause for the accident," forcing them to settle on a "most likely scenario" as they seek the cause of the multiday underground fire and flood that resulted in at least $10 million in damage.

The findings, however preliminary, are sure to be seized upon as lawyers fight later this year over the multimillion-dollar question of fault in the derailment.

The letters from the NTSB rebuked railroad officials for failing to keep adequate maintenance records and criticized city officials for incomplete emergency planning. The board blamed both entities for poor communications and issued a series of safety recommendations that board Chairwoman Ellen Engleman Conners said should prevent future accidents.

Here's a shot of the Tunnel portal at Mt. Royal Station:

http://www.railimages.com/albums/davehenderson/aaz.jpg

BoxcabE50
January 6th, 2005, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by BnO_Hendo:
Federal transportation officials said yesterday that the most likely scenario behind the 2001 train derailment and fire in Baltimore's Howard Street Tunnel "involved an obstruction between a car wheel and the rail, in combination with changes in track geometry." graemlins/wow.gif Am glad to not be a juror in this case! Talk about an incredibly vague conclusion. There's no way from this to place any blame. Am surprised that after that fire, they can find any real evidence.

I doubt there will ever be a factual conclusion. But the lawyers will be busy forever. Perhaps lifetime employment?

:rolleyes:

Boxcab E50

BnO_Hendo
January 6th, 2005, 11:59 PM
Definitely. Already city lawyers are saying this shows that CSX was at fault, and CSX lawyers say this shows the city was at fault. It's a "chicken or the egg" kind of conumdrum- did the loco derail, starting a fire that caused the city's water system overhead to crack and leak, or was the system already leaking, which ruined the track roadbed, causing the accident? The legal eagles will review the final report with a fine tooth comb, looking for leadway.