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  1. #1
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    TX - Rescue efforts underway for 3 railroad employees after trains collide near Panha

    Rescue efforts underway for 3 railroad employees after trains collide near Panhandle, TX

    A fiery crash erupted when two trains met head-on Tuesday morning.

    Carson County law enforcement and rescue officials have not reported any injuries, but hospitals in Amarillo - about 30 minutes away - are operating on high alert as a precaution. Roads are still open near the crash, but drivers are advised to avoid the area 5 miles east of Panhandle just off Highway 60.
    It appears 2 BNSF Intermodal trains were involved in a head-on collision at Panhandle, TX. A portion of the town is being evacuated

    Video and photos at link above, along with a link to live coverage.

    One person has been taken to the hospital, but it's estimated 3 other train crew members are not yet accounted for.

    Authorities are not sure how both trains ended up on the same track. Head on collisions by rail are pretty rare. Many of the articles are referring to boxcars being piled around, but these are mostly steamship containers, stacked on special flatcars for rail shipping. Many of them appear to be empty, making them lightweight and easily tumbled. Since hazardous materials aren't usually shipped by intermodal (COFC/TOFC), the flames are likely caused by fuel from the engines.

    Hope everyone is ok.

    More links

    3 Missing, 1 Injured in Head-on Train Collision in Texas

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/t...uries-40187697

    ETA: It appears one man jumped from one of the train engines before the collision. He's the one who has been hospitalized.

    The two BNSF Railway freight trains were on the same track when they collided near the town of Panhandle, about 25 miles northeast of Amarillo. Each train carried two crew members; one man jumped before the collision, according to BNSF spokesman Joe Faust. The man was being treated at a hospital and the extent of his injuries was unknown.

    It's not clear how fast the trains were traveling when they collided, but the speed limit in that area is 70 mph, Faust said. It also wasn't clear why the trains were on the same track.
    Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/st...#storylink=cpy

    Update: The Latest: Unclear whether crash-prevention technology used

    PTC relies on GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor train positions and automatically slow or stop trains that are in danger of colliding, derailing due to excessive speed or about to enter track where crews are working or that is otherwise off limits.


    Railroads must meet a 2018 deadline to install Positive Train Control on heavily use routes. Not sure if it was installed on this line, but it should be a priority. This section of track is on a route that moves 60-70 trains per day, according to this 2004 map

    http://www.oocities.org/trainmaps/bnsf-traffic-map.gif

    It's part of the line that moves trains from the Los Angeles area to Chicago - a major corridor for freight and passenger traffic. Originally used for hauling passengers and produce (which needs fast transit times), it's now also a major intermodal corridor for import traffic. Good grief, they're having to re-route trains like crazy today, up through Denver & Alliance, NE, down through Ft. Worth/Dallas and back up through Topeka (just my guess)

    Disclaimer: I worked for one of the predecessor railroads of BNSF for 13 yrs. but am not an expert on their operations today.
    Last edited by Betty P; 06-28-2016 at 03:03 PM.
    All statements are my opinion only.

  2. #2
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    Thank you, Betty P. for opening thread.

    This link from ^ was updated at 7:28 ET.
    The one RR employee, who jumped off train, is still in hosp w non-life threatening injuries, is now stable.
    Other three RR employees have not yet been located. Sad, sad, sad.

    Thoughts for all involved & their family & friends.


    Same link: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/t...uries-40187697




  3. #3
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    Remains of 2 Train Workers Found at Texas Crash Site; 1 Missing



    One train had earlier stopped in Amarillo to refuel for its trip to Chicago, and that diesel fuel contributed to a fire that burned into the night, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Dan Buesing said.

    "You have two engines on each train with fuel and the eastbound train had stopped in the Amarillo yard and may have had extra fuel added for the trip out east," he said. The westbound train was headed to Los Angeles.
    BBM

    Source: Remains of 2 Train Workers Found at Texas Crash Site; 1 Missing | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Thr...#ixzz4D0zFMPZW
    Follow us: @nbcdfw on Twitter | NBCDFW on Facebook

    RIP and sympathies to their families. It's assumed the other missing trainman is still in the wreckage. It's a very hazardous job, you have to be on your toes, especially running the intermodal trains in this high traffic corridor. I feel badly for their families and co-workers.

    The survivor, still in the hospital, will need some counseling and support. The railroads had gotten better about offering counseling to survivors of accidents, hope they still do. It's very traumatic for these workers when accidents occur - crashes into vehicles at crossings, pedestrian deaths, etc. The engineer and conductor usually survive with severe PTSD. Every time I read about accidents at road crossings, people getting killed walking on tracks, etc. my heart always goes out to the workers on the train who had to witness it, helpless to stop it. I've heard some horrible stories from train crews who couldn't work, still had nightmares years later.

    There was one great story from the 80's I'll share. Recalling from sketchy memory, but a train rounded a curve and crew saw a toddler sitting on the tracks ahead. They weren't going too fast, managed to slow down by "throwing it into emergency". The switchman got out of the cab, climbed out on the walkway on the side/front of the locomotive, climbed down on a step, hanging onto the railing with one hand and managed to reach out and grab the child at the last minute. Needless to say, he got an award and a big story in the news.

    I worked in marketing, but part of my training involved going out on the trains with crews, getting to know their work. I always like to put on my jeans and boots and go out with them when I could, spend time in the yards, watching them switch cars, etc. They're good people doing a very, very dangerous job. RIP guys.

    DCTC-Railroad-Conductor-Technology.jpg

    ucmc1019393.jpg

    BNSF5263a.jpeg
    Last edited by Betty P; 06-29-2016 at 08:19 PM.
    All statements are my opinion only.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty P View Post
    BNSF has pledged to meet a 2018 federal deadline to adopt technology, called positive train control or PTC, that relies on GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor train positions and automatically slow or stop trains that are in danger of colliding, derailing due to excessive speed or about to enter track where crews are working or that is otherwise off limits. At least three freight railroads have said they'll need an extension to 2020.

    Remains of 2 Train Workers Found at Texas Crash Site; 1 Missing

    I hope they dont give them that extension. Too many people are already dead because of these extensions. Its time for the railroads to stop dragging their feet and get this done. If the majority of the railroads can meet the deadline, then the rest can too. They have already been given too many extensions. They need to be put on notice to comply or shut down, until they do.

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    NTSB Takes Over BNSF Texas Derailment Investigation

    http://www.rtands.com/index.php/frei...stigation.html

    Hipskind said NTSB will examine several criteria during the investigation including mechanical, track, signals, operations, human performance, data records, maintenance records and witness reports.

    He said the trains involved did have digital recorders on board, but noted the fire may have damaged those recorders and NTSB is still working to recorder any preserved information.
    That sounds like a good idea. NTSB likely has better resources to retrieve and analyze the digital recorders. No doubt, they're heavily damaged by the fire.
    It is unusual, though. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) usually handles rail accident investigations. Perhaps this investigation is going to be large and expensive and NTSB has a bigger budget to handle it.

    In looking at the video posted above, I'd like to figure out which side of the tracks it was filmed from. One of the trains is moving, the other appears stationary. There are double main line tracks through that area at least from Amarillo, thru Panhandle and on across the Oklahoma border. Obviously one train was on the wrong track.

    ETA: This article states one of the tracks is now open.

    http://www.myhighplains.com/news/bns...track-now-open
    All statements are my opinion only.

  7. #7
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    Information about one of the victims, Cody Owens, from interview with his brother in law. Claude Owens, of Claude, TX, was a father of three kids. Video at link

    http://www.newschannel10.com/story/3...le-on-his-face
    All statements are my opinion only.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty P View Post
    NTSB Takes Over BNSF Texas Derailment Investigation

    http://www.rtands.com/index.php/frei...stigation.html



    That sounds like a good idea. NTSB likely has better resources to retrieve and analyze the digital recorders. No doubt, they're heavily damaged by the fire.
    It is unusual, though. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) usually handles rail accident investigations. Perhaps this investigation is going to be large and expensive and NTSB has a bigger budget to handle it.

    In looking at the video posted above, I'd like to figure out which side of the tracks it was filmed from. One of the trains is moving, the other appears stationary. There are double main line tracks through that area at least from Amarillo, thru Panhandle and on across the Oklahoma border. Obviously one train was on the wrong track.

    ETA: This article states one of the tracks is now open.

    http://www.myhighplains.com/news/bns...track-now-open
    I believe that video was taken from the north side. The two locomotives in the front, not involved, were parked on the track farthest north. The trains that collided were on the center track . Then there was a side track on the south leading to the grain silos, which appears to have been mostly empty.

  9. #9
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    May 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
    My goodness. I think you can hear gas escaping from one of the cars or something. After the wreck there is a hissing sound and it sounds like gas escaping to me.

  10. #10
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    A train failed to heed a stop signal before it barreled head-on into another freight train last month in the Texas Panhandle, killing three, according to a preliminary federal report released Thursday.

    An eastbound BNSF Railway train failed to slow at a yellow warning signal on June 28 and then continued past a red stop signal before striking an oncoming BNSF train, inspectors for the National Transportation Safety Board said in the report.

    The eastbound train, bound for Chicago, was supposed to stop and allow the Los Angeles-bound train to pass. It was traveling just over 60 mph when it passed the yellow signal, though trains are not supposed to travel any faster than 40 mph at a yellow signal so that they can stop in time at a red signal. The train was traveling about 65 mph when it passed the stop signal.

    We're still in the gathering phase of this investigation," he said, adding that a final NTSB report will be released at some point next year. He declined to comment further.
    More:
    http://m.amarillo.com/news/latest-ne...reck#gsc.tab=0




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