Southwest Chief derailment

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Ryan

Court Jester
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
17,888
Location
Off looking for his sense of humor
Generally, the windows don't need to be broken. The rubber gasket holding the glass in place is removable from the inside or outside to allow removal of the entire plate of glass. The glass itself would be very difficult to break/shatter.
Generally, you are correct. In this specific case several windows had to be broken out

First, the Scouts secured passengers who seemed like they might have spinal cord injuries, his father told The Post. Then, they started popping out the train car’s emergency windows. When some became stuck, the Scouts used their shirts for protection and broke the glass. They evacuated everyone they could.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
514
Location
Frisco, TX
2 of the deaths were ladies that were “waiting to use the restroom” according to one report. (The 2 sisters - they had gone downstairs to use the restroom.).

Was the other fatality in the SSL?
As I said in my post, I’m not sure and I still haven’t heard. My supposition was from the final rescue efforts being made in the SSL. Usually the last efforts are more recovery based than rescue, but this could have been just a very difficult rescue. Either way, the NTSB lead has talked a lot about rotating seats and the SSL is the easiest target there, even though they‘re not supposed to actually rotate anymore.
 

amtrakp42

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
27
Last several
2 of the deaths were ladies that were “waiting to use the restroom” according to one report. (The 2 sisters - they had gone downstairs to use the restroom.).

Was the other fatality in the SSL?
Last several years I've rode western superliners, the lounge bathroom downstairs has not been used?
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
4,182
Last several

Last several years I've rode western superliners, the lounge bathroom downstairs has not been used?
I’m guessing they were in, or were thrown into the vestibule section, one of the survivors of the Empire Builder crash said he had to hang on to a restroom door not to fall out and be crushed.

I’m thinking the vestibule doors could easily open / get caught and torn open on impacts like that.
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
4,182
Last several

Last several years I've rode western superliners, the lounge bathroom downstairs has not been used?
Ohhhh I thought the poster was referring to the old “Ladies Lounge” on the lower level of superliner coaches.

I believe the ladies were downstairs of the coach they were riding in.
 

west point

Engineer
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
3,583
Location
SW ATL airport
#3 wascancelled yesterday. Speculation was lack of equipment. Address that first. The axel count cars are often etioned for some coach replacements. However we know they are roadworthy but are they passenger ready? Here are just a few mechanical problems keeping the out of revenue service.
a, HVAC
b. Rransformeers to convert 480 ro either 240 and 130 volts.
c Potable water sstem
d. Wiring for various passenger amenities.
e. Doors, Windows not working or in working condition
f. Lavs not working
g. Pass thru of HEP inop

Reported accident train14 crew. So probably 12 OBS? Extra board might not have that many OBS available given the shortages reported ?
 

Cal

Engineer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
3,968
Location
Socal
I’m thinking the vestibule doors could easily open / get caught and torn open on impacts like that.
I don't see how, they seem pretty sturdy. If locked properly (which I've always seen happen) there's a metal handle blocking the window and door from opening.
 

Michigan Mom

Conductor
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,066
Location
MI
If I were a farmer with fields adjacent to that brush obstructing line-of-sight, I would be mightily tempted to take my own brush-cutting equipment and trim it back, regardless of whose responsibility it should be.
I would too.. knew someone kinda like this, years ago. He took it upon himself to clear weeds from the water on the sandy shore of a freshwater lake, so that everyone in the area could enjoy the small beach. After he was gone, though, no one else did it... the weeds eventually reclaimed the shore and no one went there anymore.
For safety infrastructure we can't leave it up to one responsible individual.
 

Michigan Mom

Conductor
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,066
Location
MI
There may not prove to be any legal liability at all. An unfortunate feature of our civil legal system is that plaintiffs can pay legal fees based on a percentage of money recovered, but defendants cannot. Especially for large corporations (like BNSF), it is often both cheaper and better in terms of public relations to simply come to some settlement with a plaintiff, even if there is no legal liability. Plaintiffs’ lawyers are well aware of this, so will often take cases on contingency even if they know there is no real case.

I am not saying that this is true in this particular case, but the fact that lawsuits are filed is not necessarily indicative that there is legal liability.
This is not an accurate representation of liability and what injured plaintiffs can be expected to recover. The fact is that our system very efficiently weeds out cases where there is no legal liability, and all too often, cases where there IS legal liability, but the injured plaintiffs don't have a snowballs chance in hell of succeeding when they are up against:
1) Powerful legal departments with unlimited money cannons
2) Poor protections available for plaintiffs in states where recoveries are capped
3) The cost for a plaintiff even being able to get their day in court when they go up against the big guys.
 

cirdan

Engineer
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
3,023
In my experience, the Sightseer Lounge restroom is almost never open.
Is that official Amtrak policy though, or is it a staff decision to have one fewer bathroom to worry about keeping clean and presentable?

I think most passengers don't even realize there is a bathroom down there, so if there is one bathroom that can be taken out of service without causing hurt, this is an obvious candidate.
 

cirdan

Engineer
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
3,023
I would too.. knew someone kinda like this, years ago. He took it upon himself to clear weeds from the water on the sandy shore of a freshwater lake, so that everyone in the area could enjoy the small beach. After he was gone, though, no one else did it... the weeds eventually reclaimed the shore and no one went there anymore.
For safety infrastructure we can't leave it up to one responsible individual.
Cleaning up a lakeside is one thing. But going onto an active railroad ROW is not a step to be taken lightly.

Under the noise of a heavy duty trimmer he may not hear a train approaching.

In my view this type of work is clearly the railroad's and nobody else's.
 

cirdan

Engineer
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
3,023
Now there is a video posted on TO showing one Superliner being transported on a flatbed truck. The Superliner is placed on the flatbed on its side.

One thing this time around is that they seem to be taking much greater care not to destroy the cars, unlike what they did with the EB cars. Maybe there was a bit of an exchange of thoughts on the matter between Amtrak and BNSF.
or maybe the trucks or other geometry are deformed in some way, or there may be risk of wheel or axle fractures, or maybe the brake assemblies and pipes are damaged or disaligned in a way that cannot reasonably be repaired or bridged on site.

Plowing through ballast at 90mph is not your average derailment.
 

Cal

Engineer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
3,968
Location
Socal
Cleaning up a lakeside is one thing. But going onto an active railroad ROW is not a step to be taken lightly.

Under the noise of a heavy duty trimmer he may not hear a train approaching.

In my view this type of work is clearly the railroad's and nobody else's.
I am pretty sure the brush was well off the RR ROW and on a farmers property, or at least far enough to be away from the tracks
 

billosborn

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 6, 2022
Messages
56
I am pretty sure the brush was well off the RR ROW and on a farmers property, or at least far enough to be away from the tracks
I think the NTSB will have a clear idea of what role the brush may or may not have played in the accident. They were going to procure an identical vehicle and re-enact the approach to the crossing. They have the forward video cameras from the train, as well as electronic recorded info from both the train and the dump truck. I assume they will have it carrying the approximate weight of stones and at the same time of day (adjusting for the sun being at a slightly different angle a few days later).
 

SteveSFL

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 5, 2014
Messages
334
Is that official Amtrak policy though, or is it a staff decision to have one fewer bathroom to worry about keeping clean and presentable?

I think most passengers don't even realize there is a bathroom down there, so if there is one bathroom that can be taken out of service without causing hurt, this is an obvious candidate.
I once used the SSL restroom on the Portland section of the Empire Builder. When I came out the large female conductor angrily shouted at me, “That restroom is closed!”

I said, “How was I supposed to know that?”

She said, “Because this trash can is blocking it!”
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
AU Supporting Member
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
33,157
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
or maybe the trucks or other geometry are deformed in some way, or there may be risk of wheel or axle fractures, or maybe the brake assemblies and pipes are damaged or disaligned in a way that cannot reasonably be repaired or bridged on site.

Plowing through ballast at 90mph is not your average derailment.
My point was that they did not roll 'em over like they did with the EB derailed Superliners. I don't think that has anything to do with whether trucks were deformed or not in either case.
 
Last edited:

cirdan

Engineer
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
3,023
I once used the SSL restroom on the Portland section of the Empire Builder. When I came out the large female conductor angrily shouted at me, “That restroom is closed!”

I said, “How was I supposed to know that?”

She said, “Because this trash can is blocking it!”
happened to me too once.

I don't understand why they don't just lock the door.
 

WWW

No real RR Job
AU Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
509
Location
MSP
“Because this trash can is blocking it!”
Poorest flimsiest excuse !
Lock the door with the escape key or put a ribbon of Caution Tape - sign Out of Service !
A trash can in front of a door - a temporary fix while servicing is being done to that facility or something in the vicinity ?
 

SteveSFL

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 5, 2014
Messages
334
And while we are talking about restrooms, the regular “small” restrooms in the sleepers would probably be the best place to be during a crash. It’s so small you’re not going to accelerate much before striking the wall and you’re unlikely to be pummeled by any loose object unless the SCA has been kind enough to leave a can of air freshener or toilet cleaner on the counter.
 

SarahZ

Quality Control
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
8,420
Location
KAL
And while we are talking about restrooms, the regular “small” restrooms in the sleepers would probably be the best place to be during a crash. It’s so small you’re not going to accelerate much before striking the wall and you’re unlikely to be pummeled by any loose object unless the SCA has been kind enough to leave a can of air freshener or toilet cleaner on the counter.
While this is true, the fear of being trapped in there after a crash is too much for me. At least with the roomettes, you generally have a window to escape from (either your own or the one across the hall, depending on how the car ends up).
 
Top