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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Trains VS Trucks


Date: 03/17/23 19:00
Trains VS Trucks
Author: scoobydoobydoo

As in the recent derailment in KY, Ive seen lots of videos of trains hitting semi-trucks and in most cases they do not derail,would train crews be better off just slowing down before impact and not dumping there air an derailing a train in Emergncy ....your thoughts   SCOOBYDOO



Date: 03/17/23 19:26
Re: Trains VS Trucks
Author: wa4umr

You're probably right, Scooby, but when you encounter the situation, sometimes you just do the best you can in that instant.  A split second later you're thinking, "Oh doo doo, what have I done?"  I know that when I was working, there were a few times I did something and a minute later I was thinking, "Why did I do that?"  At least I wasn't running a 10,000-ton train at 60 MPH.

John



Date: 03/17/23 19:37
Re: Trains VS Trucks
Author: Trainhand

Doo, with the toonage of a train at 50 mph, if whatever is on the tracks doesn't get off it gets hit. Newton's laws of motion take over. The time to begin to slow down is a half to 3/4 mile before impact. With the idiots on the roads, 25 mph would be too fast if you had to slowdown every time you saw an object there.

Sam



Date: 03/17/23 20:01
Re: Trains VS Trucks
Author: biff

Of course if the incident ever goes to a trial some lawyer will ask the train crew if they did everything possible to avoid hitting the truck. And if they said they only tried to slow down, not stop, the lawyer would then try and throw all the blame for the accident on the train.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 03/18/23 00:21
Re: Trains VS Trucks
Author: wcamp1472

It looked to me that the trailer’s
‘Dolly wheels’ ( under the front, aft
of the hitch) were jammed onto the road surface.

It looked like the driver had been struggling to raise those support wheels with the retracting crank.

Obviously, the wheels were solidly jammed in their guide-tubes

It’s common for drivers, after they’ve
picked up a trailer to only give the crank a few turns to lift the wheels
clear of the road surface…

Everything is alright until they hit
a RR crossing that is humped higher
than than the approaches of the roadway,

A more typical situation is low-boy
trailers hauling construction equipment that get stuck on tracks
in a “ high-centered” condition where
the highway is lower either side of the tracks it’s crossing.

If the trailer support wheels under this trailer had been raised all the way up, this box trailer would not
have been caught. But truck drivers
usually only manually crank those wheels a couple of turns, once they’ve got the trailer on the fifth-wheel.

I also suspect that this driver was on unfamiliar roads, sort of lost.
It looked like had tried mightily to raise those prop-wheels, but they were jammed too tightly to be manually cranked up …

IMHO..

W.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 03/18/23 06:00
Re: Trains VS Trucks
Author: Lackawanna484

When a similar question was asked a few years ago, a veteran freight engineer mentioned that if the truck on the tracks was a fuel tanker, etc he would not brake the train.  Better to hit it at 60 mph, and let the fire and explosion happen a few hundred feet behind you. And not around you...



Date: 03/18/23 06:30
Re: Trains VS Trucks
Author: emd_mrs1

Railroads seem to like to raise the track level every time the do track maintenance. One local crossing has at least 5 layers of "ramp" leading to the tracks, thus a crossing might become a hump without new signage, or the hump may be worse after maintenance.

Down in NC, NS did maintenance to a crossing creating a new hump which snagged a lowboy trailer. The driver had previously crossed that track several times a day for years. Result was a fatal accident with a NCDOT passenger train. (info from news reports at the time)

By the way landing gear have not had wheels since the 60s, now it is flat shoes. Many fleet trailers require great strength to raise the minimally maintained legs to full height.

I would prefer to see a regulation preventing changes is elevation of tracks for any reason to protect highway users. If a railroad does raise the tracks they should be responsible for rebuilding the crossing to have minimal approach angles.

Also train speeds should be lowered in areas where this may happen to help prevent a collision allowing a shorter stopping distance. Localities should have full control over moves through their towns. If a private company sets their own seed limits, they should be fully responsible for resulting accidents and damages.

Michael



Date: 03/18/23 20:03
Re: Trains VS Trucks
Author: dt8089

Drivers not raising the dolly's all the way up are just lazy.  IIRC The D.O.T.  requires at least a foot clearence from the bottom of dolly to pavement when in transit.  Ours is more like 18 inches off the pavement when cranked all the way up.  Dan the tanker man.



Date: 03/18/23 20:30
Re: Trains VS Trucks
Author: BAB

Must be a local the EMD as have not seen that anywhere most of the problems come in when the roadway is built seems they have no thought in getting it over the track. It usually happens where the rail grade is on a fill higher than surrounding land and when the road is put in no thought to long wheel base vehicles and trailer crossing them. 



Date: 03/19/23 05:12
Re: Trains VS Trucks
Author: justalurker66

emd_mrs1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Many fleet trailers require great strength to raise the minimally maintained legs to full height.

Sounds like a trucking industry problem. The trucking industry should fix that.

> I would prefer to see a regulation preventing changes is elevation of tracks for any reason to
> protect highway users. If a railroad does raise the tracks they should be responsible for rebuilding
> the crossing to have minimal approach angles.

Regulations would need to be federal. One would need to set a standard (not vague like your statement). The standard would need to be "if the elevation is changed more than X". The more stringent the standard the more expensive it would be for the railroad industry to either stay under the limit or file the paperwork proving their nominal increase is not unsafe. Where would you set the standard? Zero inches?

Before writing a new regulation I would want to see two things. 1) what is the current regulation for crossing repaving? and 2) how many low clearance incidents are cause by crossing repaving? It seems most of the incidents I hear about are obvious high centered crossings, signed and not the fault of the railroad.

> Also train speeds should be lowered in areas where this may happen to help prevent a collision
> allowing a shorter stopping distance.

So "don't run trains" is the solution? Do you realize what speed the train would need to run to be prepared to stop at every potential high center crossing?

> Localities should have full control over moves through their towns.

No, thank you. Do you hate trains?



Date: 03/19/23 06:25
Re: Trains VS Trucks
Author: Mouse

Something I didn't see mention, The train had autoracks. When I was in freight service, many times you tried not to use the air with long cars such as racks or piggy backs because of "kickers, dynamiters" or any other name for an undesired emergency brake application. The engineer may have applied the brakes in full service and the train went into emergency on it's own.



Date: 03/19/23 14:19
Re: Trains VS Trucks
Author: SALGUY

As a former locomotive engineer I faced this very thing.  I dumped the air from the rear in an attempt to keep the train stretched out. 



Date: 03/20/23 14:11
Re: Trains VS Trucks
Author: longliveSP

emd_mrs1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Railroads seem to like to raise the track level
> every time the do track maintenance.

There is a very busy crossing here in Southern California that has 4 tracks, 2 sidings and 2 main tracks. The 4 tracks are the normal distance appart from one another. Track 2 (south to north) is 3 inches lower than track 1. Track 3 is 3 inches higher than track 1 and 6 inches higher than track 2. Track 4 is 2 inches lower than track 3.

The railroads themselves are contributing to the problems.

> I would prefer to see a regulation preventing
> changes is elevation of tracks for any reason to
> protect highway users. If a railroad does raise
> the tracks they should be responsible for
> rebuilding the crossing to have minimal approach
> angles.

Yes absolutly. There should be federal standards laid out for any crossing the minium angles of approach from the road. If that can not be met, the crossing is either closed or clearly indicated that low vehicles INCLUDING SOME OF TODAYS CARS can not use that crossing.



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