New Jersey: Train crashes into station

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by antharro, 29 Sep 2016.

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  1. antharro

    antharro Member

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  3. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    What is it with trains in America leaving the tracks and running up in to station buildings? Is it the low platforms?
     
  4. N228PF

    N228PF Member

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    It looks like more damage was done to the station than the train. Hopefully no major injuries.

    It does strike me as odd that in all of the photos and videos posted to Twitter people are just milling around. If the roof is partially collapsed, I'd expect everyone to be evacuated from the station as soon as possible!
     
  5. talltim

    talltim Established Member

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    Hoboken is a terminus, it doesn't seem to say that anywhere in the BBC article
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I suspect those were taking very shortly after the incident while people were still detraining.
     
  7. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    One dead reported now, many injured. Definitely a bufferstop collision at this terminal station, and reported to have crossed the concourse demolishing a wall and roof supports.
     
  8. DasLunatic

    DasLunatic Member

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    I haven't seen the death on the BBC yet... what source are you using?

    The images appear to show the crash as cab-car first - would it have been any worse with the locomotive at the front...?
     
  9. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    As I suspected, low platforms and rather antiquated buffers insufficent for the weight of US commuter trains.

    [​IMG]

    Significant corrosion and cracks evident.
     
    Last edited: 29 Sep 2016
  10. Saint66

    Saint66 Member

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  11. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    What is creating an interest on social media is the number of media outlets trying to get hold of free footage from passengers involved.
     
  12. Saint66

    Saint66 Member

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    That's been common since the the social media age began really. Almost any level of incident will see media outlets ask to use footage and pictures... Last year I tweeted a picture of an evacuated Kings Cross (Fire alarm), and I had at least five outlets asking for permission to use an image I posted.
     
  13. shakey1961

    shakey1961 Member

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    Obviously this is in no-way confirmed, but I have a friend in the US, and he's hearing that the brakes failed.

    Also the BBC have just said the drivers cab was at the rear? I can't see that being correct.
     
    Last edited: 29 Sep 2016
  14. Kentish Paul

    Kentish Paul Member

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    Don't know the line but maybe the locomotive was at the rear with a driving cab in front.
     
    Last edited: 29 Sep 2016
  15. w0033944

    w0033944 Member

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    In addition to the poor state of the stops, it appears that the stock used cannot have buffers and buffer heads (or at least cannot have the standard layout), as the 'stop' is aligned with the centre of the four foot. Presumably, it must act upon the centre of the bufferbeam?

    RIP to the deceased, and thoughts for those who have been injured.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    From what I've seen online, many US commuter formations are as you describe, but it doesn't answer the question of why the driver was reported to be in the rear cab (loco rather than DVT?) at the time of the crash. Irrespective of the train formation, he's still reportedly at the wrong end of it!
     
    Last edited: 29 Sep 2016
  16. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    Also no friction slides, nor hydraulic cylinders to absorb any energy, just a big immovable stop. A quick google image search suggests that may be common at US terminals.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Perhaps he knew there was a problem so put the brake into emergency and moved back? Once you've done what you can do there's no point getting killed...
     
  18. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    At first I wondered if it could it have been an empty stock train being propelled backwards into the station from the sidings nearby by the driver who was to take it out again in service, but that doesn't make sense as it later became clear it was a loaded inbound train. I think it's just clueless journalists being confused by the locomotive being at the back. Here's a fairly detailed article:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap...hits-New-Jersey-station-no-word-injuries.html
    (sorry it's from the DM)
     
  19. generalvegitable

    generalvegitable Member

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    In North America (I.E US, Canada, Mexico etc) they use a coupling similar to a buckeye. It handles all the buffering forces itself so additional buffers are not required. This is standard over there and used on all rolling stock (from small narrow gauge stuff, right up to the acela express). It's actually much safer than the hodgepodge of several systems we have in europe.
     
  20. w0033944

    w0033944 Member

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    Possibly. Surely a total brake failure must be considered to be one of the worst "wrong side" failures possible?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Thanks. I was aware that the US uses knuckle couplers on a universal basis, but I didn't know that they dispense with buffers. Safer it may be, but when such inadequate stop blocks are used, I'd argue the increased safety is utterly outweighed by the vulnerability of termini (and presumably bay platforms) to this kind of crash.
     
  21. generalvegitable

    generalvegitable Member

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    I agree, one would have thought that they would have learned from past incidents where this sort of thing has happened and done something to mitigate the effects. I suspect a lot of the issues the US are facing are down to "not invented here syndrome".

    My condolences and sympathies to all involved though.
     
  22. N228PF

    N228PF Member

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    Keep in mind that a very large number of overall commuter rail lines in the U.S., including a brand new one in Florida opening soon, still use loco-hauled stock and are very brazen trains.

    the reports have dropped from 4 back down to one deceased. Thoughts are with that family
     
  23. w0033944

    w0033944 Member

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    May I ask how a train can be brazen?
     
  24. amcluesent

    amcluesent Member

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    Reports suggest fatality was a female waiting on concourse.
     
  25. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    Do they not have TPWS equivalent to slow the train down if it's overspeeding ?
     
  26. b0b

    b0b Established Member

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    The Federal Government has mandated PTC -but the railroads have been very slow to implement it and the PTC deadline has been pushed back multiple times

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_train_control
     
    Last edited: 29 Sep 2016
  27. AndyPJG

    AndyPJG Member

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    From the current BBC News item:-

     
  28. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    The safety culture of the US railways and their lack of TPWS/AWS etc esque systems is rather shocking when compared to European railways.
     
  29. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    A lot of the US East Coast commuter railways do have safety systems in the form of pulse coded track circuits:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse_code_cab_signaling
    These date back in principle to the 1920s and were pioneered by the Pennsylvania RR. They transmit speed codes based on signal aspects, including a '0' code, i.e no signal which means 'restricting' a speed limit of 20 MPH, so not a trainstop as such. Some but not all RRs also use the same system to encode and protect fixed speed restrictions as well. It was the lack of the latter that contributed to a series of 'speeding on curve' incidents in the last few years and Amtrack and Metro North were forced to retrofit a number sites with this old tech just when the're also gearing up for the big PTC changeover as well. To be fair signal engineers were able to do this within days so it begs the question why authorities were so adamantly opposed to doing the same at high risk sites before. Perhaps it was the 'planning blight' of an all new all singing and dancing system 'just around the corner'?

    Anyway I know nothing concrete about buffer stop protection here, only that even a fairly low speed collision with typically heavy US rolling stock will have to dissipate an awful lot of energy. I believe there are coded tracks in the area as NJ transit services are mostly over former PRR trackage that I know was widely fitted from the early days and the WIki page linked above states the entire NJ system is fitted. I suspect there will be no code in the platform, corresponding to a 'restricted' 20 MPH limit, but there will be no further check as the train approaches the bumper, unlike our '5 MPH' buffer stop TPWS loops. If the brake system itself failed in some unexplained wrong side manner however, then even higher approach speeds may have been possible, but even at up to 20MPH the energy involved would have been significant. We shall have to wait and see what investigators reveal.
     
  30. w0033944

    w0033944 Member

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    I do wonder if a brake failure may have been responsible, as a fairly articulate commuter whose eyewitness account was included on the BBC live news page earlier said (when asked how quickly he thought the train was travelling at the moment of impact) that it seemed to be moving at a speed of at least 80 mph. He did acknowledge that this was probably a substantial overestimation due to the relatively enclosed surroundings and the shock of what happened, but I doubt that someone would perceive 20 mph as 80, even in such circumstances.
     
  31. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    BBC News at 21.00 reported that none of the injuries were life-threatening, as surprising perhaps as it is welcoming. I did see an earlier American news report that the 'engineer' had collapsed prior to the accident, but no idea whether that's correct.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    If that was so, bearing in mind my comments above, it could be a Moorgate type accident i.e. no braking took place beforehand.
     
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