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Western Railroad Discussion > BNSF Etter, TX Accident


Date: 11/03/06 10:31
BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: Michael_SD40-2

The lead locomotive had a camera and I happened to see the video of the wreck. Let me say that it is the most horrible thing I've ever seen. The train is just going down the track at I assume 45mph because it is a loaded coal train(TOB restriction). Everything is normal as they ring the bell and blow the whistle for the crossings then suddenly, you can see a pots signal with a solid red aspect. You can hear the engineer plug it and seeing the train lined for the siding/auxiliary track with cement loads will stay with me forever. The train goes into the track and slams into the cars and the camera keeps recording as you can see the windshield cracking and pieces flying everywhere and whats worse is that you can still hear all the crashing. This after having just gone off duty. Apparently, a previous crew did not restore the main track switch for main track movement nor did the dispatcher verify that the switch had been lined for the main and that the position of switch form had been complied with by both conductor and engineer. I know there isn't anything anyone can do once plugging it but what must go through one's mind as they sit and wait with tens of thousands of trailing tons about to slam into a cut of loads? We must all be professional and watch out for each other and ourselves. We are all brothers out here like an extended family. Be careful out there and be safe.



Date: 11/03/06 10:53
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: OaklandSub

I had seen this same video the other day before leaving on a train. Watching it sent chills through me just thinking of what the crew was going through right as they were about to hit the rear end.

Stay safe out there!

Garrett



Date: 11/03/06 11:17
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: frnocom

I saw it also and it gave me chills. It wasn't a pot signal though. It was just a red target on a switch in TWC dark territory.
Did you also get to see the video from Kismet, CA? Just as frightening.



Date: 11/03/06 11:20
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: stretch

Was anybody hurt? I guess that the video is only availible to BNSF employees? I've heard a train sideswiper a yard job at about 7 mph and it sounded bad to me, I can only imagine what that one sounds like.



Date: 11/03/06 11:37
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: J_deBroux

got a link to the video?



Date: 11/03/06 11:42
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: bnsfjordan

Just saw the video a couple of days ago. Both crewmembers survived, but are not back to work yet. Speed was between 35-40 mph at the time of impact. Thanks to a detector that stopped the train less than two miles before the switch, they were not going track speed (49 mph) when they came upon the switch. I was told the cut of cars they hit were empties, so this may have been another contributing factor to the crew's survival.



Date: 11/03/06 13:37
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: Michael_SD40-2

It looked like a signal to me but then again, I was wondering why they would bother with the EO-24 form if it was signaled territory as I thought it was. EO-24 is only used in dark TWC territory. In retrospect, I can see how the "red aspect" could be the target on the switch stand. One thing's for sure. What a nightmare. I wish I hadn't even seen it.



Date: 11/03/06 14:44
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: frnocom

It was the Boise City Sub, which is mostly TWC Dark.



Date: 11/03/06 19:49
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: David.Curlee

The other day I was thinking, how hard would it be to install switch detectors that broadcast radio messages similar to HBD/DED's? Either automatic transmissions, or tone it up (like a recall code) to get what position the switch is lined for.



Date: 11/03/06 20:23
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: frnocom

Supposedly the BNSF has installed some sort of GPS POS detectors on their next ETMS test subdivision in OK.



Date: 11/03/06 20:31
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: barrydraper

David.Curlee Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The other day I was thinking, how hard would it be
> to install switch detectors that broadcast radio
> messages similar to HBD/DED's? Either automatic
> transmissions, or tone it up (like a recall code)
> to get what position the switch is lined for.

Possible, but they would tie up the road channel, and require receivers in every unit if on a dedicated channel. It would be much easier to add approach signals a mile each side of every main line switch, they could be activated by audio frequency on the rails transmitted from the switch(s) when locked normal, easier to do than a grade crossing predictor. Its really a question of how much the railroad is willing to spend to save your life.

Barry Draper



Date: 11/04/06 23:47
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: SD45X

I figured the Kismet one was scarier. Watching the signal go green, then red and the other crew jumping in front of you.



Date: 11/05/06 15:26
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: DRGW

SD45X Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I figured the Kismet one was scarier. Watching the
> signal go green, then red and the other crew
> jumping in front of you.

That sounds scary. Can you clarify a little bit the context of the details you described?
Thanks,
-Wes



Date: 11/06/06 22:02
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: Pinlifter

DRGW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> That sounds scary. Can you clarify a little bit
> the context of the details you described?
> Thanks,
> -Wes

The Kismet derailment was worse IMHO. A crew is cruising along at 50mph and they pass a yellow over yellow aspect(basically prepare to take the next siding). They approach a long curve. You can hear the crew slowing the train to 40mph (the speed through the turnout). You can see a train on the mainline in the distance. You start to see the signal aspect come into view. It goes from red over yellow, to red over green (the train cleared the block at the other end) then suddenly it goes RED OVER RED. You then realize the train on the main is coming RIGHT AT YOU!!! At that moment you see a crew member jump from the cab and fall belly first on the ballest. about 2 seconds later the train on the main slams into the train with the camera. They hit just a little off center and the picture cuts out. The train on the main was moving at 20 mph!!!

To try to explain the feeling most of us have after viewing the incident. If you have seen the Volkswagen commercials with "safe happens" where people are just talking, then are involved in an accident. Think of how you feel that split second after impact. You think gee, I go to work in a car or truck. An accident like this could happen to me anytime, anywhere. That's how we feel.

Brothers... Stay safe out there. None of us want to be in these kinds of movies.



Date: 11/06/06 22:27
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: DRGW

Pinlifter Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
<snip>
> The Kismet derailment was worse IMHO. A crew is
> cruising along at 50mph and they pass a yellow
> over yellow aspect(basically prepare to take the
> next siding). They approach a long curve. You
> can hear the crew slowing the train to 40mph (the
> speed through the turnout). You can see a train
> on the mainline in the distance. You start to see
> the signal aspect come into view. It goes from
> red over yellow, to red over green (the train
> cleared the block at the other end) then suddenly
> it goes RED OVER RED. You then realize the train
> on the main is coming RIGHT AT YOU!!! At that
> moment you see a crew member jump from the cab and
> fall belly first on the ballest. about 2 seconds
> later the train on the main slams into the train
> with the camera. They hit just a little off
> center and the picture cuts out. The train on the
> main was moving at 20 mph!!!
<snip>

Thanks, Pinlifter, for sharing the story. That is definitely a scary one to imagine, much less watch.
How are you guys ending up seeing these? Is management making you watch them to try to reinforce what can happen when someone's not paying attention (or falls asleep), or are they just making them available for those who choose to view them? Or is the union providing them?
Thanks,
-Wes



Date: 11/07/06 07:56
Re: BNSF Etter, TX Accident
Author: Pinlifter

> How are you guys ending up seeing these?

Management is showing them to reinforce safety.



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