Empire Builder accident (9/25/21)

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Just-Thinking-51

Very bored and cranky pundit
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Surprised BNSF has not built a temporary bypass track past the derailment site. NTSB say one week. The back log for container out of the ports was 9 days already. This just makes it worse.
 

WWW

No real RR Job
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This tracking website is down - server problem:

Amtrak Status Maps - West (dixielandsoftware.net)

This tracking website shows the #7 arriving MSP 2256 53 minutes late (2203):

Track Your Train Map | Amtrak

I watched it leave the STP depot going somewhere to wye back to make up #8 in the morning

Consist was 1 locomotive - Transdorm - SSL and 4 possibly 5 cars diner sleepers coaches couldn't catch it all.
NO baggage car
The Transdorm has that square window at the front of the car -
The SSL is BIG WINDOWED
Angle views of the other cars not certain
 
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WWW

No real RR Job
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Anyone know if the BNSF trains are being rerouted on other trackage i.e. the Northern Pacific northcoast limited or Milwaukee road
Although they may not be up to a lot of heavy traffic and not all connections possible ?

A lot of heavy hydraulic equipment in the photos and videos being used to raise the cars and replace the displaced wheels (trucks)
remove the damaged cars - after all that is done BNSF track crew can come in straighten the rail mess -
as noted there is a siding some 3K feet the accident site. At the least they have a staging area to work with and a lot of room to
work with replacing rails and the track bed.
 

NW cannonball

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Amazing interview, honestly reminded me a lot of some members on here. Glad he was available and up for comment.
The passenger in that interview with his totally matter-of-fact telling of being in a train wreck -- his telling just soothes my fears.
In the totally unlikely chance that I, or my loved ones, are ever in such a fearsome situation, I hope that I, and the other passengers, will be as calm and helpful to others.
 

zephyr17

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Anyone know if the BNSF trains are being rerouted on other trackage i.e. the Northern Pacific northcoast limited or Milwaukee road
Well, clearly not the Milwaukee. The rails have been gone from the old Milwaukee ROW through Montana for decades and the ROW itself largely reverted to private ownership.

They are detouring some traffic over the MRL (ex-NP).
 

stx

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Using an open floorplan lounge for training seems kind of dumb. ... wouldn't it make more sense to use a sleeper since that is where people could get trapped in an accident? If these firefighters aren't familiar with the layout of that more complicated segmented car then they should be exposed to that environment rather than an open floorplan car.
Emergency crews can view floor plans from diagrams and photos and are used to dealing with a jumbled mess in many types of disasters and working their way through to every nook and cranny; layouts aren’t a huge consideration. Once they’re in a compartment they’ll either be right beside a patient, or not, and if they see another door they’ll open it. Hands-on training is generally more valuable for becoming familiar with mechanical systems, chocking to prevent rolling, support points for jacks and hydraulic airbags, how to open windows and doors, moving simulated victims through doorways, where to make cuts to tip sections away from each other, how to access egress routes when the train car is upright, on its side, on its roof, down an embankment, etc. Any fire/rescue agency with train tracks in its vicinity will likely have a partnership with that rail operator and dispatchers can coordinate any necessary information exchange.
 

stx

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What an awful tragedy. It’s really nice to see several members mention that if you’re ever involved in something like this, you hope to be helpful. I’ve learned a lot from the rest of you over the years, so here’s my two cents on specific ways to lessen the chances of fatalities in any type of crash:

In an impending crash, the best way to help yourself is probably to get into a confined space (not between cars) or beneath a table, to avoid being thrown far (the same principle used by putting school bus seats very close together) or into a table, and protect your head with your arms. Expect that it will be impossible to hold on, even at moderate speeds. For planning ahead, know how many rows the emergency exits are ahead and behind you, on both sides of the aisle, and expect it to be dark (from smoke or nighttime) when you need to find them. Visualize the steps for opening the emergency exit windows (directions are written on them). If there’s a fire and the exit handles are too hot to touch, wrap a shirt around your hand first. An inexpensive centerpunch is a great tool to keep in your vehicle or backpack for breaking out a window; you just press hard in an upper corner, and the spring-loaded tip does the rest (these are probably banned on planes and security guards probably won’t be happy to find them in a bag search, though). If you’re interested in being even more proactive, you can take a “Stop the Bleed” class anywhere in the country, often at fire stations; sometimes they give away door prizes of tourniquets and bandages. The one-hour course is usually free and teaches a few simple steps to literally prevent someone from bleeding to death in many cases, which is useful in a crash like this one. Some train stations have “Bleeding Control” kits near their AEDs now and this course teaches how to use them.
 

Steve Manfred

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They said they have forward-facing cameras on the cars not only on this train, but also on the last freight train that went through this same area 80 minutes earlier. Between all that footage, the black box, and the positions of the cars and tracks immediately afterwards, they should have a very good idea of what happened very soon.

Of course, "very soon" in government-agency-report terms probably means several weeks yet before we in the public hear.
 

AmtrakBlue

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They said they have forward-facing cameras on the cars not only on this train, but also on the last freight train that went through this same area 80 minutes earlier. Between all that footage, the black box, and the positions of the cars and tracks immediately afterwards, they should have a very good idea of what happened very soon.

Of course, "very soon" in government-agency-report terms probably means several weeks yet before we in the public hear.
He said they should have the preliminary report within 30 days. That should answer the “what happened”. It will take longer to analyze everything before they know the “why it happened”.
 

NSC1109

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Surprised BNSF has not built a temporary bypass track past the derailment site. NTSB say one week. The back log for container out of the ports was 9 days already. This just makes it worse.
Trains are probably being rerouted south into other terminals.
 

Maglev

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I am saddened by the deaths, injuries, and trauma that this has caused; and worry about the long-term impacts on Amtrak. In the short term, I am concerned about what I can do to be safer while riding a train. It sounds as if the doors to sleeping compartments jammed easily. I am thinking that I might add a pry bar to my train travel tool kit--it wouldn't take up much space.
 

daybeers

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I am saddened by the deaths, injuries, and trauma that this has caused; and worry about the long-term impacts on Amtrak. In the short term, I am concerned about what I can do to be safer while riding a train. It sounds as if the doors to sleeping compartments jammed easily. I am thinking that I might add a pry bar to my train travel tool kit--it wouldn't take up much space.
I'm not faulting you by any means, but this is just wild. Passengers feeling like they need to bring tools that would be considered weapons on other transportation modes in order to feel they can successfully escape in an emergency situation because Amtrak and the government is too incompetent to order the right equipment, maintain them well, and use cars less than 40-50 years old is wild.

I have a glimmer of hope that the issue of safety will push Amtrak to order Superliner replacements earlier.
 

plane2train

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One of the things that might be useful in the future would be handles attached in various places so people have a chance to grab onto something in the event the car rolls over. On many trains across the world, handles are attached to the sides of aisle seats in coach, though presumably for passengers who do not have seats. In the interview that the guy gave above, he mentions that he was able to grab onto one of the tables in the sightseer lounge to prevent himself from being injured. Not everyone is that strong or lucky, of course, and that particularly includes the disabled. You can prepare all you can for these eventualities, but ultimately you have to be in the right place at the time the train tips over.
 

crescent-zephyr

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I'm not faulting you by any means, but this is just wild. Passengers feeling like they need to bring tools that would be considered weapons on other transportation modes in order to feel they can successfully escape in an emergency situation because Amtrak and the government is too incompetent to order the right equipment, maintain them well, and use cars less than 40-50 years old is wild.

I have a glimmer of hope that the issue of safety will push Amtrak to order Superliner replacements earlier.
Or perhaps one of the reccomendations will be to not have doors on sleeper accommodations. Careful what you wish for!
 

me_little_me

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I am saddened by the deaths, injuries, and trauma that this has caused; and worry about the long-term impacts on Amtrak. In the short term, I am concerned about what I can do to be safer while riding a train. It sounds as if the doors to sleeping compartments jammed easily. I am thinking that I might add a pry bar to my train travel tool kit--it wouldn't take up much space.
I bring a Jaws of Life setup with me. A little heavy but it's great if you are running late and can't get your bags out through the window, F.D. Jaws of life
 

basketmaker

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I'm going with NO. If you go back and look at photos taken the day of the incident, the last three cars are on their right side with trucks facing the tracks. I think they were rolled on Sunday... with the roofs facing the tracks.
You can see how badly the roofs are buckled and dented. As well as the debris scattered around from when they rolled and the stuff came out of the windows and end door.
1632846262326.png
 

neroden

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One of the things that might be useful in the future would be handles attached in various places so people have a chance to grab onto something in the event the car rolls over. On many trains across the world, handles are attached to the sides of aisle seats in coach, though presumably for passengers who do not have seats.
It's also for the benefit of the mobility-impaired -- it's a common request among those who can walk, but not well. As an ADA accomodation I would expect it in all new coaches.
 

neroden

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Surprised BNSF has not built a temporary bypass track past the derailment site. NTSB say one week. The back log for container out of the ports was 9 days already. This just makes it worse.
BNSF doesn't own enough ROW to build a bypass around the NTSB investigation site, which is very wide. They're detouring through whatever other routes they can use. Pity they scrapped so many of the "redundant" routes, isn't it?
 

stx

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One of the things that might be useful in the future would be handles attached in various places so people have a chance to grab onto something
Great idea. Even better if the handles are recessed, so we’re not flung into them. As a first responder, I eye other passengers’ overhead luggage warily if it sticks out past the metal retaining bars and I don’t sit near the loose pile of luggage near handicapped seats, because I’ve seen what a difference a simple retaining “lip’ can make to reduce the impact of flying objects. It’s hard to balance safety with practicality.
 
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