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Western Railroad Discussion > Evidence from a main line "meltdown"


Date: 06/08/09 05:09
Evidence from a main line "meltdown"
Author: JoCoLB

On display at the entrance to the Whistle Stop Cafe in Osawatomie, KS, are a pair of unique pieces of damaged rail. The two "souvenir" pieces of rail reportedly came from an incident on the Union Pacific Railroad's "Independence Hill" just east of Kansas City in recent years.

A Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad coal train became stalled on the steep hill but one of the remote-controlled pusher engines at the rear of the train failed to shut down. As the train remained stationary, the one remaining engaged four-axle engine continued to spin its wheels., causing the rails to eventually melt beneath the wheels.

The problem with the engine spinning its wheels was discovered when crewmen on a second train spotted sparks and smoke under the engine on the stalled train. Emergency action was quickly taken to shut down the out of control unit. Maintenance of way personnel were immediately called to the site.

A total of eight nearly-identical pieces of the melted rail were reportedly salvaged from sections of the rail that had to be replaced. The cafe operator with the two souvenirs in this post said it is unknown where the other six pieces of rail wound up. They may have even gone to the scrap heap. The two pieces of rail in Osawatomie certainly make good conversation pieces.






Date: 06/08/09 05:36
Re: Evidence from a main line "meltdown"
Author: AzNerd

Damn happy they caught it would have been quite a bumpy ride for the next train that came that way. It would upset some trainman if they hit that while they were texting would ruin their whole day.



Date: 06/08/09 09:38
Re: Evidence from a main line "meltdown"
Author: swsf

thtinc41ed Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad coal train
> became stalled on the steep hill but one of the
> remote-controlled pusher engines at the rear of
> the train failed to shut down. As the train
> remained stationary, the one remaining engaged
> four-axle engine continued to spin its wheels.,
> causing the rails to eventually melt beneath the
> wheels.

Interesting. I didn't know anyone was using four axle units in DPU mode on coal trains. I thought everybody used six axle power.



Date: 06/08/09 10:08
Re: Evidence from a main line "meltdown"
Author: TCnR

Listening to them troubleshooting an engine computer problem on a stalled train one night the Help Desk asked the Engineer to go outside and check if the engine's wheels were spinning. I guess with everything else with the brakes applied that would be the weak link in the traction formula.



Date: 06/08/09 10:27
Re: Evidence from a main line "meltdown"
Author: wabash2800

I don't know the full details but a Wabash railroader friend told me about that happening way back when at Crocker, Indiana with a steam loco. The throttle became disconnnected and the drivers kept spinning melting the rail like you show. And the engine crew was called on the carpet for that. I'm not sure why. LOL

A few years back on trainorders it was reported with photos that such a thing happened on CSX.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/09 05:44 by wabash2800.



Date: 06/08/09 11:20
Re: Evidence from a main line "meltdown"
Author: ddg

I saw that door stop at the restaurant a few months ago, but didn't have a camera. As far as 4 axle helpers go, I ran around a grain train east of Emporia this morning that had a single 6600 DP unit on the rear end, six axles actually I guess, but only four traction motors.



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