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Steam & Excursion > The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.


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Date: 09/19/20 16:52
The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: PlyWoody

The Texas State RR had a derailment yesterday 9/18 of a excursion train of several coaches.  The news indicates that no one was hurt on the returning trip and the head end of the train managed to return all the patrons to their automobiles. 

The next steps are investigation of the cause of the derailment, and then review of the damage and establish the method of re-railing with railroad staff or obtaining a wrecking contractor and review the access for the contractor.  Their costs begin the moment they pick up the phone.  No real urgent hurry for the tourist railroad when no one is hurt or injured and word has already gone out to close operation for two weeks.

Often a review for the cause might be very evident with a slipped sub-grade or a bridge or culvert washout.  Other time there is little cause evident so then you inspect the entire track behind the train for at least a mile looking for any marks or scuff on the rail head, any nicked bolts or spikes, and marks made by anything dragging or whatever is not normal rust or dirt. Wherever a wheel falls off a rail, a scar mark will be on that edge of the rail and you can often find where more than one wheel fell.  If a flange ran on a rail head that will be very evident as the flange will make a pressure scuff mark.  If the track has low joints and cars might have been rocking, cross level track notes must be made on extended long length of track taking cross lever every 31 feet and at every joint, either side.  And those notes must be taken under load that will require a locomotive be used to push down the rails and cross level taken as close as possible to the heavy weight.  If it was very hot, the track must be inspected for every spike, rail brace, tie plates, or anything showing movement.  The end of the ties must be inspected to see if there is any gap between tie and ballast or dirt, showing the tie had moved.

When there are unusual weather conditions, such as hurricanes and flooding rain, the rules of the companies require special track inspection beyond the general schedule inspections of track and looking over the right of way for any hazards.  Inspection in front of every train may not be beyond reason as the safest course.

Don’t read into the above that I have made any speculation about this derailment cause. I’m just listing what are the steps to do next.  
 



Date: 09/19/20 18:32
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: displacedneb

FRA will probably involve themselves as a passenger train was involved.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 09/19/20 18:57
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: dan

That big dome in the back is a heavy car.



Date: 09/19/20 19:02
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: Txhighballer

dan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That big dome in the back is a heavy car.

That car is heavy, but TSRR has pretty good track ( Class Two) so we'll see what the issues are once the investigation is complete.



Date: 09/19/20 20:01
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: callum_out

It's obvious what happened, they ran over an armadillo.

Out 



Date: 09/20/20 07:02
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: wcamp1472

from the FRA web page... there is no report 
of a passenger fatality in this incident..

"Accident Data, Reporting, and InvestigationsAccident/Incident DataRegulations on reporting railroad accidents and incidents can be found in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 225, Railroad Accidents/Incidents, Reports Classification, and Investigations. The purpose of the regulations is to provide FRA with accurate information concerning the hazards and risks that exist on the Nation’s railroads. FRA needs this information to effectively carry out its regulatory and enforcement responsibilities under the Federal railroad safety statutes. FRA also uses this information to determine comparative trends of railroad safety and to develop hazard elimination and risk reduction programs that focus on preventing railroad injuries and accidents.FRA collects and analyzes the data from the Nation’s railroads and converts this information into meaningful statistical tables, charts, and reports that you can find on the FRA Safety Data site. Accident/Incident Reporting Responsibility of Railroads to FRAThe primary groups of accidents and incidents to be reported monthly by railroads are:
  • Highway-rail grade crossing accidents/incidents.
  • Rail equipment accidents/incidents.
  • Casualties to persons (i.e., death and non-fatal injuries to all types of persons, and occupational illnesses involving railroad employees).
In addition to monthly railroad-reported accidents and incidents, railroads are required to provide FRA with immediate notification of various types of accidents. This notification is routed through the National Response Center, which notifies FRA of such accidents on a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week basis. See definitions and requirements for reporting and/or recordkeeping in 49 CFR Part 225 and FRA's Guide for Preparing Accident Incident Reports.FRA Accident Investigations (general criteria)FRA investigates accidents and incidents as determined by the Accident Analysis Branch or regional management. Generally, FRA investigates accidents and incidents meeting the following criteria:
  • Any collision (main or yard track), derailment, or passenger train incident resulting in at least one fatality or serious injury to railroad passengers or crewmembers.
  • Any railroad-related accident resulting in death to an on-duty railroad employee, including an employee of a contractor to a railroad, regardless of craft.
  • Any highway-rail grade crossing accident resulting in any of the following:
    • Death to one or more persons being transported in a commercial vehicle or school bus.
    • Serious injury to several persons being transported in a commercial vehicle or school bus.
    • Death to three or more persons in a private highway vehicle.
    • Accidents involving grade crossing signal failure or allegations of grade crossing signal failure.
  • Any non-casualty train accident resulting in derailment of a locomotive, 15 cars or more, and extensive property damage.
  • Any train accident/incident resulting in a fire, explosion, evacuation, or release of regulated hazardous materials, especially if it exposed a community to these hazards or the threat of such exposure.
  • Any accident/incident involving a train transporting nuclear materials.
  • Any train incident involving runaway or rollaway equipment, with or without locomotives.
  • Any collision involving maintenance-of-way or hi-rail equipment.
  • Any accident caused by failure of a locomotive or any part of a locomotive, or a person coming in contact with an electrically energized part that resulted in serious injury or death of one or more persons. 
  • Accidents resulting from signal failure including Positive Train Control-related failures and malfunctions.
  • Any other train accident/incident likely to generate considerable public interest.
  • Most Amtrak accidents/incidents.
 For additional information on FRA accident investigations, click here.Additional Information 
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Date: 09/20/20 07:50
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: atsfm177

And of course, you listed fell into the normal assumptions that it was a track issue. It could also be a wheel, brake or other car problem, and depending on the layout, operating practices could have an input.

As a track inspector, we're always the first one they ask "what happened".  :-)

Greg

Greg Ramsey
Las Vegas, NV



Date: 09/20/20 10:08
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: jbwest

Trainmaster measures gauge and says it was track. Roadmaster takes out his flange gauge and says it was thin flange. Master Mechanic checks operating rules and says it was crew error.  It obviously was the armadillo.

JBWX



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/20 10:09 by jbwest.



Date: 09/20/20 10:14
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: tomstp

Don't leave out the PR dept.



Date: 09/20/20 11:03
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: PlyWoody

Texas State RR may have already given us their cause of the derailment if you study the words they use in their cancellation statement:

"unforeseen track issue"

One way they are saying they did not see their problem very likely because they did not look for the problem, or the one who does track inspection does not know what he is suppose to look for.  Much depends on the experience of track patrol and inspections. 

Looks like they blame it on the track and the "unfore" is meaning they did not look and "seen" means they did not see the problem that was there. 

I doubt there will be any officially issued cause for this derailment as it does not come under FRA unless the dollar figure of rerailing or damage reaches the required limit of reporting.



Date: 09/20/20 11:23
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: Earlk

......or a stick of that 102-year-old 80 lb rail developed an internal flaw and broke under the train. 



Date: 09/20/20 12:26
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: PlyWoody

I had been expecting Earl to enter this thread as he had worked that railroad. 
I would guess that many reader here do not know that steel can get brittle and the 80# rail is a real example.  Everyone has taken a paper clip and bent it over and over and broke it in two pieces.  That is called work hardening of the metal and winter and summer temperature change also work harden metal,  The movement of wheels over the light rail really work hardened that rail to reach the value of high price factory harden rails sold for sharp curves.  

But when it gets over 100 years of temperature changes and years of heaver cars passing over that rail, it gets beyond harden rail and becomes brittle rails.  Brittle rail can break any time just like that paper clip.   Earl suggest this may be involved and if true, that 80# rail needs to be replaced.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/20 12:30 by PlyWoody.



Date: 09/20/20 14:10
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: Earlk

While under State Parks control, about half the original 80 lb rail was replaced with 110 lb + rail.  They also bought enough switch kits to replace all the mainline switches with 115 lb., although a only a few got changed out.  On my watch we managed to change out the two switches at the mid-point siding of Mewshaw.  Maydelle would have been next, followed by Jarvis.  We had a permanent 10 mph slow order over those 80lb switches.

But, there were no switches involved in this incident.



Date: 09/20/20 16:18
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: callum_out

The railroad is built on fill in so many places that settling and movement wouldn't be a surprise. Last time I rode it the ride was
pretty smooth, few rough spots, but even the sway wasn't too bad and I was in the hi-level car.

Out 



Date: 09/20/20 18:10
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: WrongWayMurphy

I live near TSR.  It rained a LOT in the 24 hours before those cars derailed.
I don't know if that had anything to do with the derailment or not.



Date: 09/20/20 18:49
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: dan

spongey road bed boat anchor in back brittle rail snap , drags the cars in front of it off?  theory number 12



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/20 19:04 by dan.



Date: 09/20/20 19:00
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: Txhighballer

Earlk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> While under State Parks control, about half the
> original 80 lb rail was replaced with 110 lb +
> rail.  They also bought enough switch kits to
> replace all the mainline switches with 115 lb.,
> although a only a few got changed out.  On my
> watch we managed to change out the two switches at
> the mid-point siding of Mewshaw.  Maydelle would
> have been next, followed by Jarvis.  We had a
> permanent 10 mph slow order over those 80lb
> switches.
>
> But, there were no switches involved in this
> incident.

Those two slow orders have been in place it seems like forever. In fact, when 500 was running she never took the siding at Mewshaw because of those switches and her weight.



Date: 09/21/20 04:34
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: PlyWoody

WrongWayMurphy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I live near TSR.  It rained a LOT in the 24 hours
> before those cars derailed.
> I don't know if that had anything to do with the
> derailment or not.


I'm not saying that this is the cause in this deraiment but it is always good to remember these words removed from a FRA publication.   Dispatcher offices continue to miss the rule $213.239 SPECIAL INSPECTION,: In the event of fire, flood, severe storm, or other occurrence which might have damaged track structure, a special inspection must be made of the track involved as soon as possible after the occurrence. 

Maybe someone local can drop around the railroad and informally talk to someone and see what they plan to do to return to operation and not have a reaccurance,  And what we learn from this derailment might be helpful to other tourist railroads who happen to read TrainOrder.com to know what is going on.  All the above posts are for the benefit of learning to help others.

Professor



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/20 15:03 by PlyWoody.



Date: 09/21/20 07:29
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: EMDSW-1

Thanks Professor!

EMDSW-1



Date: 09/21/20 09:37
Re: The Texas State RR tourist train derailed several coaches.
Author: callum_out

Touche'. 

Out 



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