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Canadian Railroads > Leaving a Parked train in Emergency


Date: 02/07/19 10:48
Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: funnelfan

I've read were a few people have claimed that there is a Canadian rule or CP policy to a leave a parked train in Emergency?!?! This seems like a obviously bad idea to me, so I have a hard time believing it to be true. Can anyone verify this one way or the other?

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Date: 02/07/19 11:52
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: eminence_grise

A couple of air brake rules here

When switching, the standing portion of the train is to be left in emergency with the angle cock open. This came into effect after several “bottling the air” incidents when the standing portion ran away. If the standing portion is to be left uncoupled for over a specific length of time handbrakes must be applied.

Leaving a train unattended, air brakes released after sufficient handbrakes applied to prevent movement. Pull test to assure no movement, then uncouple the power and leave the train in emergency.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/07/19 12:01
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: funnelfan

I'm talking about a full train,  not just a string of cars. 


eminence_grise Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A couple of air brake rules here
>
> When switching, the standing portion of the train
> is to be left in emergency with the angle cock
> open. This came into effect after several
> “bottling the air” incidents when the standing
> portion ran away. If the standing portion is to be
> left uncoupled for over a specific length of time
> handbrakes must be applied.
>
> Leaving a train unattended, air brakes released
> after sufficient handbrakes applied to prevent
> movement. Pull test to assure no movement, then
> uncouple the power and leave the train in
> emergency.
>
> Posted from iPhone

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/19 12:01 by funnelfan.



Date: 02/07/19 13:18
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: eminence_grise

I’ve been retired for over a decade, but I have been keeping appraised of the changes.

So, the procedure with the Pull Test is to ensure the train will not move with the air brakes released and handbrakes applied. Post Lac Megantic, the locomotives are supposed to be separated from the train when leaving the train unattended. If there are sufficient hand brakes to prevent the train from moving under any circumstance, whether the air brakes are left in emergency or released shouldn’t matter. The no bottling the air rule comes into play again. Some time in the past few years, a loaded coal train was set out on a steeply graded siding. The crew fully complied with the regulations. The train remained there for two weeks, the locomotives ran out of fuel, and when they were ready to move the train in very cold weather, the air brakes had entirely released, however the handbrakes ensured the train did not move.

Posted from iPhone



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/19 13:20 by eminence_grise.



Date: 02/07/19 13:33
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: Lackawanna484

Conrail Shared Assets uses that procedure (train brakes set, locomotives removed from the train) for oil trains waiting to be spotted at various NJ energy facilities.



Date: 02/07/19 15:57
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: joemvcnj

What is the formula to how many hand brakes need be set ? 



Date: 02/07/19 16:13
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: eminence_grise

It used to be at the discretion of the conductor, now there are instructions specific to locations issued by the railway

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/07/19 16:16
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: HotWater

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What is the formula to how many hand brakes need
> be set ? 

I've never really seen a "formula" spelled out but, the basic rule of thumb is, set a bunch of hand brakes ( the grade and previous experience and published guidelines help determine how many), then release the air, including the independent brakes, and wait and see if the train moves. If it does, reset the air, apply more hand brakes, and retest by releasing the air. Repeat until the train does NOT MOVE at all, with all the air brakes released.



Date: 02/07/19 18:28
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: joemvcnj

OK, but any rule-of-thumb of how many to set before all this trial-and-error ?



Date: 02/07/19 19:40
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: ExSPCondr

From having had to tie down several 90-100 car coal and grain trains on the West side of Donner due to undesired emergencies, and having to hold the train while recharging, 25 handbrakes tightly applied while the brakes were in emergency, which applies more force, held every time.
Think what happens if you don't set enough the first time?  You release the air and the train starts to move, the reservoir pressure is depleted from the brakes having just been applied, and you better hope you only set a couple less than what you needed, so the engines can stop and hold the train while you set more!



Once again, Lac Megantic has no similarity to the Field runaway, beause as written in the transcripts of both the Transport Canada Investigation, and the court trial, the automatic brakes were NOT left applied with even a minimum application.  The only handbrakes applied were on the engines, and there WASN'T an application test made on them!   When the one running engine was shut off, the air leaked  down and the train  rolled away.

Thanks to Marcus whose computer skills are far better than mine, the date on the UP's cold weather Nacco Wyoming runaway was   Jan. 31, 1996.
G


 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/19 19:48 by ExSPCondr.



Date: 02/07/19 21:10
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: zchcsse

What is the purpose of detaching the locomotives from a train after tying it down to leave it unattended?   I've seen photos of trains in Norfolk Southern's yard at Altoona, PA left this way as well.   I'm a conductor for a major railroad and this practice is completely foriegn to me and completely anti-thetical to efficient train operations.   After 4 hours of the train being in emergency, a complete air test would have to take place once you want to get the train going again.  If the locomotives remained attached, pumping air into the train, then it's basically knock the handbrakes off and go.

-Tom



Date: 02/07/19 22:48
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: up833

In the main thread on the derailment, page 4 I think, someone has copied the rules as apply to that specific portion of the railroad. Set all handbrakes for example..
RB



Date: 02/08/19 02:52
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: glendale

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> OK, but any rule-of-thumb of how many to set
> before all this trial-and-error ?

There is no generic rule for the amount of hand brakes - because it would be impossible to generate a rule that would encompass the entire system. A loaded coal train parked on a hill needs more handbrakes than a couple empty gons sitting on a level siding.

NS' rule is: 1 car, 1 handbrake. 2 cars, 2 handbrakes. 2+ cars 2 + a sufficent amount of handbrakes. Before you leave any car(s) unattended, you do a handbrake test. 
 



Date: 02/08/19 08:13
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: mp208

Does anyone really think the relief crew put the air to the train.....or did the emergency application leak off enough cars in two hours to set it in motion??



Date: 02/08/19 08:50
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: trainjunkie

mp208 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Does anyone really think the relief crew put the
> air to the train.....or did the emergency
> application leak off enough cars in two hours to
> set it in motion??

Probably plenty of ice on the wheel treads and brakes too. Wouldn't take much leakage for a train of 140+ ton cars to start rolling under these conditions. I've had loaded cars in full emergency and with a tight hand brake move under gravity on a 1% grade just because of ice on the wheels and brake shoes. When I worked in Alaska we spent a lot of time in the winter warming up the brakes before trying to stop a train or tie down a cut of cars. In the yard we'd run up and down the lead with a set under them until there was steam coming off the wheels, then we'd tie them down. I'm willing to bet that the weather conditions played a major role in this CP accident. All things being equal except the weather, the outcome would have probably been completely different.



Date: 02/08/19 09:50
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: portlander

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> OK, but any rule-of-thumb of how many to set
> before all this trial-and-error ?

For GCOR railroads, and I realize that this doesn't apply here, there is a "Seconday Securement" chart in the Air Brake and Train Handling Rules. It provides a base for the amount of brakes to tie based on train weight and grade. 



Date: 02/08/19 17:06
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: ICE6A4001

zchcsse Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What is the purpose of detaching the locomotives
> from a train after tying it down to leave it
> unattended?   I've seen photos of trains in
> Norfolk Southern's yard at Altoona, PA left this
> way as well.   I'm a conductor for a major
> railroad and this practice is completely foriegn
> to me and completely anti-thetical to efficient
> train operations.   After 4 hours of the train
> being in emergency, a complete air test would have
> to take place once you want to get the train going
> again.  If the locomotives remained attached,
> pumping air into the train, then it's basically
> knock the handbrakes off and go.
>
> -Tom

My understanding from some CN rails I know, in Canada an air test is good for the life of the train unless the cars are rearranged. You can leave cars off air for days and the air test is still good as long as the cars stay in the same order.

Posted from Android



Date: 02/08/19 21:01
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: zchcsse

Thanks!   I still find the practice bizarre, but less so if an air test isn't required after 4 hours of being off air.


ICE6A4001 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> zchcsse Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > What is the purpose of detaching the
> locomotives
> > from a train after tying it down to leave it
> > unattended?   I've seen photos of trains in
> > Norfolk Southern's yard at Altoona, PA left
> this
> > way as well.   I'm a conductor for a major
> > railroad and this practice is completely
> foriegn
> > to me and completely anti-thetical to efficient
> > train operations.   After 4 hours of the
> train
> > being in emergency, a complete air test would
> have
> > to take place once you want to get the train
> going
> > again.  If the locomotives remained attached,
> > pumping air into the train, then it's basically
> > knock the handbrakes off and go.
> >
> > -Tom
>
> My understanding from some CN rails I know, in
> Canada an air test is good for the life of the
> train unless the cars are rearranged. You can
> leave cars off air for days and the air test is
> still good as long as the cars stay in the same
> order.
>
> Posted from Android



Date: 02/09/19 09:51
Re: Leaving a Parked train in Emergency
Author: PHall

zchcsse Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks!   I still find the practice bizarre, but
> less so if an air test isn't required after 4
> hours of being off air.
>
>

Who knows, after this accident things may change.



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