On the ground; Eastbound Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited last car derailed 4/21

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Steve4031

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I’m rather concerned that this derailment even occurred. If I understand correctly the train should not have proceeded backwards if there was something on the tracks that could impede the trains progress. I understand that an error might be made in snowy conditions. But sand is a different substance. And apparently not an unusual occurrence at this location.

I don’t know what the alternative is other than to stop on the main line. Also not a great solution with people crossing a track to board the train
 

Just-Thinking-51

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The bad part of the sand dune, is both the engineer and conductor allow it to happen. Since the train when past the sliding before attempting to back into the sliding. The engineer on the front of the train could of seen the issue, and the conductor at the back of the train could see the track conditions before backing in. Nobody on the T/E crew said “stop this a bad idea”.
 
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Steve4031

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What would the consequences have been for attempting to load the passengers while the train was on the main line?
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Trip and fall of a passenger.
Derailment of equipment.

How many passenger does this stop serve? What worse equipment damage or the potential for a trip and fall. You can escort people with crew. Or you could call your boss and report equipment on the ground.

Pick the safer option.
 

TrackWalker

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At Palm Springs main track is 40 feet away from the station track. Nothing but sand and a sand fence in between the two.

As a reference looking at google earth we went on the ground about one or two car lengths west of the overpass.

We stopped at Indio (just down the track and not a station stop) to meet an Amtrak vehicle with a passenger in a wheelchair to be loaded onto the train. No doubt a pick up from Palm Springs as we never made it to the platform.
 
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Steve4031

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They need a sand fence for the station siding too. That would probably be the cheapest solution.
 

TrackWalker

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According google earth there are two parallel sand fences to protect the siding where we went off. 66 feet and 87 feet from center of track respectively.
 

Seaboard92

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Someone should have been protecting the point of the shove move. That being said at night it can be pretty hard to see especially without rear back up lights, markers aren't super great for rearward visibility.

I've been on a car once that someone wasn't protecting the point of a shove on and shoved over a derail. Of course they tried to blame us for it too.
 
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Some updates on the situation out there.

Car was rerailed by Saturday morning. Saw it and got a picture while on my way to Tehachapi.

IMG_20210424_063725953_HDR.jpg

Car has remained there the past few days. Early this morning, train 2 bypassed Palm Springs Station

View attachment VID_20210429_013055282.mp4


















I checked the car out today after work and there are wheel chocks on all four axles.

sunset lonely 1.jpg



sunset chock 1.jpg

sunset chock 2.jpg


Just some updates on the situation out there. Curious if the car will ever be picked up, and if it will be Amtrak or UP hauling it to Los Angeles.
 

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Cal

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I would think UP would probably make Amtrak do it.

What car is it? (What number)
 

crescent-zephyr

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Poor guy looks lonely all by himself!

Amtrak will probably want to pick it up... you don’t want a freight crew handling passenger equipment if you can help it!
 

west point

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Posted else where was west switch out of service due to the sand. Waiting for UP to fix then #1 can pick p and return to LAX ?
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Well normally the wheels that came off the track would be replaced first. Also it is normal the car that derails and the car next to it would be dropped from the train, which didn’t happen. At least a inspection will be need before picking up the equipment.

Might be anything from failure to order the crew to do the pickup, not having the Hours of Service (extra crew or current crew) or even a skilled crew to do the work. (Basic trained 20 years ago, but no recent experience.)

Amtrak rubber tire trucks are not well like at Repair Shops/Dealership, slow pay, slow response. Worse than a school district is what I have been told by service writers.
 
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Thanks for the update and pictures penguingeneral and welcome to Amtrak Unlimited!
Yes! This forum is how I found out what happened by googling.... my friends and I noticed that the car was missing from the train when it got to Tucson, and then I saw the car all by itself on my way to Tehachapi. So sad to see the station get bypassed. There was a guy sleeping on the platform. Not sure if he was waiting for the Sunset Limited or not.
 

Cal

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Yes! This forum is how I found out what happened by googling.... my friends and I noticed that the car was missing from the train when it got to Tucson, and then I saw the car all by itself on my way to Tehachapi. So sad to see the station get bypassed. There was a guy sleeping on the platform. Not sure if he was waiting for the Sunset Limited or not.
I'm glad you found us! I've only been here a short while, but love it. 😃
 

Just-Thinking-51

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It’s not really that complicated. It would take an extra few minutes to charge up the air and do a new terminal test and then away you go.
I agree but it seems like a lot of crews struggle with the task. I can’t explain it, so I am writing it off as a skill not commonly used.
 
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