Talgo Falls Off Tacoma Bridge Onto I-5

acptulsa Dec 18, 2017

  1. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

    I have seen and read just about everything that has been posted on forums everywhere about this, plus have seen all the TV coverage here in the northwest. I have just two comments: No reflection on the original post, but boy, it didn't just "fall" off onto the highway, it was more like "flew" off. No track damage to be found. Second comment is the reaction of the railroad to cease operations on this new segment until PTC is installed. Why? Why not run passenger trains over it to provide familiarization for the crews? After this accident I doubt any other engineer would allow this to happen again. I guess common sense did actually die.
    SecretWeapon likes this.
  2. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Not an expert by any measure, but the shut down pending PTC sounds like the kind of knee-jerk reaction which is all too common. Yes, PTC is a very good idea and should be universal (or nearly so). Yes, it also looks bad when you appear to over-react in the aftermath of a tragedy.
  3. CarlH

    CarlH TrainBoard Member

    When I look at the old route (Point Defiance) that the new bypass is replacing, it looks like the old route might have some pretty sharp curves in the Point Defiance area - and possibly some speed restrictions. If the old route has the same speed restrictions as the new bypass, is the old route safer?
  4. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

    The real bottleneck was the tunnel at Point Defiance, especially on a busy line with BNSF and UP sharing the line. That's why they wanted Amtrak to start using the bypass. Guess it will still be a while before they use the Lakewood route until the PTC is up and running.......
  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    There were two tunnels on the old routing. Ruston Tunnel, and just south of that is Nelson Bennett Tunnel.
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  6. mmi16

    mmi16 TrainBoard Member

    My understanding is that the short line freight user of the line performed the 'Engineer Training' before the line had been allowed to operate at the upgraded passenger train speed - at the time, as a short line operated branch line I suspect max speed was 30 MPH. Supposedly this 'training' took place in February 2017 with up to 6 people in the cab on 'qualifying runs' without operating the kinds of equipment that would be used in regular service starting in December 2017. Engineers learn their territory by operating equipment on the territory at the authorized speeds, not by 'riding along' at speeds well below those they will be expected to operate at.

    The cause of this incident is inadequate and improper training.
  7. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    I have a tendency to agree, partially because of the engineers comment that they were over speed. Also, he stated he wasn't aware of the speed restriction. Obviously, somebody didn't let him know.

    There is absolutely NO excuse for this "accident".

  8. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

    His comment about the overspeed was the fact that he was going 81 in a 79. That is what the alert in the cab was for, not about the 30.
  9. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter


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