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Passenger Trains > Talgo derailment in Portland


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Date: 02/12/06 11:15
Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: F40PHR231

As noted in an earlier thread, here's the #508 on the ground. The entire trainset was being used to switch a few bad-ordered cars on Track 1, and when that was done it was on its way back to its normal spot on Track 2.

While moving onto Track 2, the automatic switch somehow lined up to Track 3 just before the Empire Builder's scheduled departure. From there, a cut of cars started rolling onto Track 3 until the tracks went far apart enough to drag those cars back across the ballast to Track 2.

That's when the trainset brought down the historic speaker tower, damaged the canopies, and the old yellow "close clearance" signs. Chris M. whom is contracted to work on the Amtrak trains out of Portland took the yellow signs to safety and will restore them with replica glass.

Last night, crews tried to rerail the train but only made matters worse when more axles went on the ground. Today, a crane will be brought in to help rerail the train, but until then all tracks except for #5 are inaccessible from the north, it'll be an interesting day seeing the Empire Builder, Starlight, and Cascades use Track 5 to gain access to the station.





Date: 02/12/06 11:16
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: F40PHR231

Bird's eye view.




Date: 02/12/06 11:17
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: F40PHR231

The 469 was on the south end, so they ran it around the trainset to couple to the north end for the rerailing attempt.




Date: 02/12/06 11:18
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: F40PHR231

One of the axles.




Date: 02/12/06 11:19
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: F40PHR231

When I first saw this, my reaction of "aw man that sucks" wasn't about the train, but the tower that got knocked down. :(




Date: 02/12/06 11:20
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: F40PHR231

On the ground.




Date: 02/12/06 11:21
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: F40PHR231

And finally, the rerailer that may be of use later on today.

A thought, the City of Portland charges a fee for every piece of equipment stored on the inner 3 tracks of Union Station, since 4 and 5 is the basic mainline. This could be why Amtrak doesn't want to waste money keeping a Dash-8 500 series 'switcher' on hand, but this derailment could've been avoided if a "500" was on hand to move the cars on track 1 since they only needed to be spotted on the north end instead of the south end.

The switcher 565 series switchers reportedly sold, the 565's currently at Peninsula Terminal in north Portland.





Date: 02/12/06 11:40
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: jdb

Were the crossing bells still ringing? After a couple hours the folks living nearby weren't too happy.

jb



Date: 02/12/06 11:45
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: F40PHR231

The bells were not ringing. Today also happened to be a bike marathon day, so here we had hundreds of bike yuppies carrying their bike on the ROW around the 469 -- This happens right when a UP freight train's approaching Track 5, the radio went kinda ballistic with "STOP THOSE BIKES!" and personnel arriving with orange flags flagging the cyclists to the next crossing.



Date: 02/12/06 12:36
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: Amtkrd4man

Should have the hook there by now... Bad part about trying to rerail a talgo is you can just make a cut and rerail what is down. To make it even worse is that the train is now really sitting it two different tracks.



Date: 02/12/06 12:47
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: tjohnson00

Wow! Rough day in Portland. Keep us posted on the rerailing activities.

Terry
Berkeley,Ca.



Date: 02/12/06 15:03
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: fjc

Chris you've been hanging out along the rails, and amongst the real 'rails' to know that one shouldn't Monday morning quarterback things, and that it probably would have happened w/o a switcher on hand. Lets say that, a derailment of some kind of human, and or mechanical reasoning could occurr, anywhere, anytime and to anyone.

Aside from my comments, thank you for sharing the photos.


F40PHR231 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> This could be why Amtrak doesn't
> want to waste money keeping a Dash-8 500 series
> 'switcher' on hand, but this derailment could've
> been avoided if a "500" was on hand to move the
> cars on track 1 since they only needed to be
> spotted on the north end instead of the south
> end.
>



Date: 02/12/06 19:56
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: jcaestecker

Dumbells should've never used an ENTIRE TRAINSET as a switcher! Who was the supervisor who decided to proceed this way? Hope he's at the Employment Development Dept. today. Honest to Goodness....



Date: 02/12/06 21:01
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: bwb6df

I hate to stick my foot in there when I REALLY don't know anything about Talgo equipment, but I will say that on the shortline freight railroad I worked on, we switched with entire trains all the time, day in and day out. Of course, freight is different than passenger and regular passenger is different than Talgo, but I would have to say it's not that unreasonable to switch a cut of cars with an entire train. It's not like it's a dangeraous move if you have more than the locomotive rolling with the cut.

Like I said, though, my only experience (so far) is with freight.

On another note, the tower that was knocked down and the historic signs seem interesting. Can anyone give insight to those of us (maybe only me?) that don't know what's going on with that? A speaker tower? For station announcements? Glass signs? I'm confused. :-)

Good photos, Chris! Unfortunate that it happened...



Date: 02/12/06 21:51
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: jdb

bwb6df Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Of course, freight is
> different than passenger and regular passenger is
> different than Talgo, but I would have to say it's
> not that unreasonable to switch a cut of cars with
> an entire train. It's not like it's a dangeraous
> move if you have more than the locomotive rolling
> with the cut.

I think you are correct. In the overhead shot above you can count the five tracks at Portland. Next to the fence is track one. The power (469) has been removed from the train and has run around to the other end. On track two you are looking at the Talgo baggage car. Track two is on this side of the first canopy. Track three is on the other side of the first canopy and is the track that the train shouldn't be on. Track four is this side of the second canopy and five is the far side. Freight "usually" uses track five but sometimes if four is open it is used. The Coast Starlight "usually" uses track five. I rode this trainset, train #504, from Salem to Portland in the morning. We came into track two. The trainset lays over about six and a half hours on track two and goes out as train #508. Track one is used for storage, frequently bad ordered cars. In the morning there were a couple cars on track one south that needed to be moved to the north end. This trainset went north through the track two/track three switch, through the track one/track two swithc, then back through the track one/track two switch to move the cars north. It had done that and was moving back into position as a regular train, NOTHING to do with switching, when it derailed on the track two/track three switch. Farther north the cab car was on the track three/track four switch that the Empire Builder needed to go through to depart Portland.

No switching was going on when the derailment happened. And that switch is used all the time with moves just like the Talgo was doing.

The Talgos run with the power on the south end so it is a push mode from Eugene to Seattle. In this case the engineer was operating the train from the cab car on the north so he was backing up. However the power (469) was on the south pulling the train through the switch. Confused?

jb








Date: 02/12/06 22:23
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: F40PHR231

Here's the crews lifting one car at a time over to the proper track, so the rerailing process can take place without having to worry about dragging the consist on separate tracks. Per FJC's point about speculation, I've retracted my sentence containing speculation because it shouldn't even be said until the facts are determined.

Here's how it went this afternoon, I didn't stick around long enough to see each axle brought onto the rail because I left to chase the Starlight which I ended up not being able to catch up to despite a 35-minute drive to Salem. It was still fun, saw the #14 and a couple freights.




Date: 02/12/06 22:25
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: F40PHR231

And the birds-eye view. Lifting one car at a time made some real loud cracking noises between the cars, it seems that Talgo and Ceeco are going to have long nights taking these cars apart and repairing the mechanisms between each car...




Date: 02/13/06 06:18
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: Amtkrd4man

Guess the state might start the rebuild program earlier than they wanted....



Date: 02/13/06 09:06
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: SantaFeCF7

jcaestecker Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dumbells should've never used an ENTIRE TRAINSET
> as a switcher! Who was the supervisor who decided
> to proceed this way? Hope he's at the Employment
> Development Dept. today. Honest to Goodness....


Before you jump, should look at all facts:

Talgo train power is kept dedicated to it's trainset unless it's removed for repairs, or in an emergency, pulling a few B/O passenger cars down a track about 10-15 carlengths would not justify cutting off the one powered unit.

Derailment was caused by a remotely-controlled power switch, the switch crew had no control over it being thrown. The tower operator would be at fault for activiating it without verifying with the switch crew that there was no conflicting traffic/equipment on the tracks at the north end of the depot.

To disconnect the power from the trainset means getting between end car and the F59PHI, due to the close coupling of them, this can be a dangerous task when trying to disconnect the HEP cable(s) and turning the angle cock before cutting away, not to mention re-connecting them afterwards.



Date: 02/13/06 09:16
Re: Talgo derailment in Portland
Author: SantaFeCF7

F40PHR231 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And the birds-eye view. Lifting one car at a time
> made some real loud cracking noises between the
> cars, it seems that Talgo and Ceeco are going to
> have long nights taking these cars apart and
> repairing the mechanisms between each car...

Chris,
I was onboard the S/B #507 coming back down from Mt. Vernon, and we heard about the derailment as we were coming over the bridge into Willbridge. Talgo technician on board stated that the damaged train would have to limp up north at restricted speed after being inspected, and the wheels/axles have to be changed at derailment scene; they are not allowed to roll on the damaged wheel/axle sets for safety reasons. Also, the wheels are imported from Spain, not standard US-made wheels, so there will be alot of work probably done at the TalgoUSA Seattle shops before they roll the trainset down to Ceeco, I hope the Seattle TalgoUSA shops have enough spare wheel sets on hand! Either way, this will make for some very EXPENSIVE repairs!! The train I was on, #507, was turned there at Portland to become #508, and almost all of the passengers were bussed to their destinations. (I stuck around and rode the #509 to Eugene)




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