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Baltimore Freight Derailment, Fire

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ALC Rail Writer

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Heard in CNN some AnchorBrunnette talking about a "cargo trail derailment" and "black smoke and fire in some industrial part of town" in Baltimore.

The airhead not withstanding any real "news" about this? Looks nasty.

Note... another instance of the media calling them "cargo" trains..., what gives?
 

CHamilton

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Will this affect amtrak at all?
Apparently not. MARC (which is on the Amtrak NEC at that point) says:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 2:59pm

CSX freight train derailment (about 2:15 pm) near Rosedale, MD and Baltimore City/County Line does not involve or affect MARC or Amtrak trains at this time. (MARC Trains operate south of this point.) The incident appears to involve a CSX freight train. Camden Line may be affected with delays later today as CSX shuffles previously scheduled freight trains to accommodate MARC commuter trains.
 

Ryan

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Just remember, you can't spell Crash, Smash, eXplode, without CSX!!!
 

FriskyFL

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Conspiracy theorists on CNN story discussion board already linking this incident to the Metro North derailment and the collision in Missouri.
 

Ryan

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Evening news led with this - they're saying that it started when the train struck a garbage truck at a grade crossing. The driver of the garbage truck was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.

No other injuries noted.

Firefighting has not yet began, as they can't figure out what is in the cars on fire.

15 cars on the ground, 2 cars burning.
 

Ryan

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Yeah, that's what the local news here keep calling it.

Can't have everything...
 

Devil's Advocate

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fairviewroad

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No need to beat around the bush. Devils Advocate is saying that the truck driver is "garbage."

So, let's get that out there: John Alban Jr, a retired Baltimore County firefighter who owns a waste collection company near the scene of the crash,

is "garbage."

Thanks for bringing moral clarity to this discussion, Mr. Advocate.

[EDITED to remove hyperlink.]
 
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Ryan

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Here's the link you were probably trying to post:

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-05-28/news/bal-train-derails-in-white-marsh-20130528_1_crash-site-hazardous-material-train-derails

Authorities identified the driver of the truck as John Alban Jr., a retired Baltimore County firefighter who owns a waste collection company near the scene of the crash. The Essex man was listed in serious condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center Tuesday night, a hospital spokeswoman said. No other serious injuries were reported.
I'll wait to pass judgement on Mr. Alban, but there are precious few reasons to be on the tracks in front of a train and there's no shortage of unqualified truck drivers that can't seem to keep from putting their trucks in front of them (or into the side of them).
 

Devil's Advocate

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No need to beat around the bush. Devils Advocate is saying that the truck driver is "garbage."
So, let's get that out there: John Alban Jr, a retired Baltimore County firefighter who owns a waste collection company near the scene of the crash,

is "garbage."

Thanks for bringing moral clarity to this discussion, Mr. Advocate.

[EDITED to remove hyperlink.]
We give pedestrians who trespass hell.

We give pedestrians who commit suicide hell.

We give cars and light trucks that try to beat the train hell.

Yet the crew and the occupants of the train are unlikely to be seriously harmed by any of that.

The one group that routinely risks serious harm and even death for the crew and passengers are commercial vehicle drivers.

Barring truly rare and exceptional circumstances there is really no reason for a commercial vehicle to be on the tracks at the same time as a train. None.

Time and again we read about commercial vehicles fouling crossings and risking everyone's lives over and over and over again.

Why on earth should the worst offenders be let off the hook? Because one of them was a former fire fighter? Please.

People who voluntarily risk the lives and livelihood of others due to their own negligence deserve to be looked down upon.

They deserve to be mocked and criticized and hopefully punished for their ignorance.

It's time to stop pretending all threats are equal or that being a fire fighter makes you a better truck driver.
 

Ryan

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It's time to stop pretending all threats are equal or that being a fire fighter makes you a better truck driver.
OK, I'm going to play devil's advocate here and throw a little water on this one (both terrible puns fully intended)...

Presumably, part of learning to be a firefighter should include learning how to operate a fire truck safely. In theory, that should make you a better truck driver.

On the whole, I agree with you though - I'm just waiting until it's confirmed that something beyond Mr. Alban's control (brake failure, truck stalling at exactly the wrong time, etc) didn't cause the accident before throwing the blame on him.
 

fairviewroad

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Who said that being a fire fighter makes you a better truck driver? I was simply stating a couple of facts

[as reported by the media] about the individual behind the wheel of the truck.

[And don't lump me in with the "we" crowd. I don't do any of those things, at least not on this message board.]

Yes, the truck driver made a mistake. Possibly a criminal one, though that hasn't been determined yet. Certainly a mistake that

will open him to civil damages. I will and am criticizing him for his stupid action [pending, as Ryan notes, a factual determination

that he was at fault].

But we don't know a single thing that man did in his life prior to yesterday afternoon other than what can be surmised based on

the brief info about him in the media. Obviously you and I have different opinions about whether an individual can be described

as "garbage" based on a single mistake they made.
 

crescent2

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Some commercial drivers do put train crew and passengers at risk, no argument there.

But some of us can't help but wince when a garbage truck driver (or anyone else) is called "garbage." It's just the way we are, just differences in people.
 

Devil's Advocate

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On the whole, I agree with you though - I'm just waiting until it's confirmed that something beyond Mr. Alban's control (brake failure, truck stalling at exactly the wrong time, etc) didn't cause the accident before throwing the blame on him.
It's possible that there was a one-in-a-million worst case break failure or engine stall that left the garbage truck on the tracks right as a train was approaching. Even though that's exceedingly unlikely let's go ahead say breaks did fail or the engine did stall. Perhaps this garbage truck was in tiptop shape with proper maintenance and records, but if it wasn't then isn't a breakdown still on the hands of the owners and operators anyway? The way I see it, you'd need a crossing with no lights, no signage, and no horn to exonerate the truck driver. Negligent truck drivers continue to benefit from our misplaced concern and compassion as we feign shock and surprise every time we hear about yet another truck driver failing in his duty to properly pilot and maintain his truck. I'm done pretending I'm shocked.
 
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Ryan

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I agree, I just want to make sure that this wasn't a one-in-a-million happenstance.

That said, the local news (WUSA-9) just reported that the NTSB announced that the truck made its way onto the track just 3 seconds before impact - so we're looking at either driver error or a brake failure that prevented him from stopping.
 
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