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Passenger Trains > Coal train derailment causes RTD derailment near Denver


Date: 12/11/07 07:33
Coal train derailment causes RTD derailment near Denver
Author: lowwater

A coal train derailment spilled coal onto the RTD main line south at Santa Fe and Mineral in Littleton, CO, just outside of Denver, earlier today. A light-rail train approaching the derailing coal train hit the spilled coal and derailed as well. C and D route operation running buses to the Oxford station, trains into/out of downtown. Cleanup not expected to be completed by this afternoon's rush.

More at:

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,1553836

lowwater



Date: 12/11/07 08:29
Re: Coal train derailment causes RTD derailment near De
Author: DavidP

Glad nobody was hurt. Hope this doesn't make it that much harder to build future transit corridors along side freight rights of way.

Dave



Date: 12/11/07 08:32
Re: Coal train derailment causes RTD derailment near De
Author: lowwater

Wow, what a mess! CNN just showed an aerial shot -- many many hoppers involved,an accordioned crumpled mess, and the light-rail train did hit the end of one that had jackknifed on its side, along with the car it's still coupled to (at least it looked like they're still coupled).

A passenger credits the fact that coal had spilled onto the track in front of the derailed car that his train hit, slowing it considerably before it hit anything hard. The coal train derailment happened literally as the RTD train was passing it, with witnesses describing watching the cars tipping over, clouds of coal dust, etc.

lowwater



Date: 12/11/07 08:48
Re: Coal train derailment causes RTD derailment near De
Author: benthere

I've seen plenty of places in Europe where light rail runs parallel to heavy rail, and I've yet to hear of any fatalities involving the two.

Given the much lighter weight of an LRV compared to a Superliner or other heavy rail vehicle, combined with lower running speeds, the impact of an LRV hitting derailed freight equipment is much less, given it's much lower momentum. It can also be a much rougher ride for the passengers however, especially if there are standees, as is common with LRV's.



Date: 12/11/07 11:27
Re: Coal train derailment causes RTD derailment near De
Author: lowwater

From pics now posted on the Western Board (above link) it looks like the LR train may have just squeezed by the derailed hoppers and got bogged down in too-deep coal. The aerial shot looked like they at least touched. Guess we'll have to wait to see pics of the scratches -- or not!

lowwater



Date: 12/11/07 11:48
Re: Coal train derailment causes RTD derailment near De
Author: Diddle_E._Squat

DavidP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Glad nobody was hurt. Hope this doesn't make it
> that much harder to build future transit corridors
> along side freight rights of way.
>
> Dave


You can forget about any new light-rail lines being built in active freight railroad ROW. UP and BNSF had already adopted that policy before this derailment, which is why Denver's upcoming lines to the airport, north, and Golden will all be commuter rail instead of light-rail. Any future transit that is non-FRA compatible will have probably to be elevated or have a crash walls if built in freight RR ROW. If the FRA/FTA doesn't require it, the railroad lawyers will. And with all the idiot jurors and John Edwards mentalities, I can't blame them a bit. While the odds of it are low, this could have easily been a fatal accident. I wonder if RTD will now look at adding some type of crash barrier to this line? (Though Fast Tracks, their transit expansion plan, is over budget.)



Date: 12/11/07 12:26
Re: Coal train derailment causes RTD derailment near De
Author: MEKoch

In D.C. the Metro Red Line is built parallel to the CSX main from QN tower north for about three miles. There are also several other lines which have CSX tracks parallel to Metro, such as in Montgomery County, MD and Fairfax County, VA.

If I remember correctly, CSX dumped a train in the late 80s/early 90s on the Red Line, near Catholic University. Subsequently they erected fences between the right-of-ways which now detect any incursion from the freight railroad and immediately alert the Metro train operators.



Date: 12/12/07 10:45
Re: Coal train derailment causes RTD derailment near De
Author: rresor

WMATA has fences with "intrusion detectors" (basically tilt switches) as their standard on any lines paralleling railroad ROW. When I did a survey of "shared use" operations for FRA about five years ago, WMATA told me they'd had two intrusions, once on the Red Line as you mentioned, and the other (IIRC) on the Blue Line near Van Dorn. CTA also has fences and intrusion detectors as standard.

BNSF, UP, and also NS will not tolerate light rail less than 25 feet from freight tracks on their "core routes" (basically mainlines). Don't know about CSX policy.

The line in Denver was built only about 15 feet from the freight tracks (which were in fact relocated during light rail construction). There appears to have been sufficient ROW to open up the track centers more than that. Don't know why they didn't do it.

The recently opened (2004?) south line in Sacramento is much the same, unfenced and only 20 feet from the former WP mainline (which is a busy UP main these days). I guess (hope?) we won't be seeing too much more of this.



Date: 12/12/07 12:42
Re: Coal train derailment causes RTD derailment near De
Author: GP25

Does the MTA Blue Line here in L A. have the tilt devices too?



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