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Train crash in Ohio
19

Train crash in Ohio

Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ohio-train-derailment...

Note the mention of extremely low temperatures.

I suspect that is the cause*.

And I suspect the train crew should have been told to operate at restricted speed, because of that possibility.

And/or the trackage should have been installed taking into account these temperatures.



spsalso


*I'm talking about the effects of rail contraction at cold temperatures. A rail joint could have failed. Or rail could have been pulled up on a curve. I suppose a rail could even have snapped.

Besides restricted speed, there's also the running of an inspection car ahead of the train.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

It will be interesting to see what the cause is, if it can be determined. I've never seen a derailment, but I suspect the trackage is seriously damaged.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Oh, yes. SERIOUSLY damaged. I'm sure the damaged section will be replaced. The big railroads have track panels they can "drop" in place soon after the mess is removed from the roadway.

I would guess the route could be back up in two or three days.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

This derailment includes a bunch of tank cars. It will take several days to clear the scrap before rebuilding of the railway is can start, this location has relatively good access, so recovery equipment does not need to travel only by rail.

Approximate location https://www.google.com/maps/place/East+Palestine,+...

EAST PALESTINE TRAIN DERAILMENT; East Palestine officials give update on train derailment fire; by: Anna Marsick, Megan Lee, Stan Boney, Hanna Erdmann, Abigail Cloutier, Noelle Haynes; Posted: Feb 3, 2023 / 10:16 PM EST; Updated: Feb 4, 2023 / 02:16 PM EST

==========Added 4PM EST


Ohio village remains under state of emergency after train derailment, fire Derailment happened a little before 9 p.m. on Friday; WTAEUpdated: 3:14 PM EST Feb 4, 2023


Quote (Norfolk Southern - see linked webpage)


Norfolk Southern said the train was carrying more than 100 cars, 20 of which were classified as carrying hazardous materials, defined as cargo that could pose any kind of danger "including flammables, combustibles, or environmental risks.” Vinyl chloride, a product in one of the rail cars, is still burning, officials said. The rail car has a safety feature that is functioning.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Here's a source for a daylight aerial:

https://www.goshennews.com/news/national_news/trai...

I also see that there's a track switch right "under" the wreck (feeding the industrial building below the tracks). That might be the location of the problem.

They move the scrap off of the roadway, and then start track repair/replacement. The (former) freight cars usually sit to the side for awhile, as there's then no rush.

I expect crews and equipment are starting to show up already, waiting for the fire to be extinguished. I believe the track will be operational within a week.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I wonder if it was crude oil being shipped? That poses additional hazard.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
According to one news source:

"A mechanical issue with a rail car axle caused the fiery derailment..."

"Michael Graham, a board member of the [NTSB], said at a news conference that the three-member train crew received an alert about the mechanical defect 'shortly before the derailment'..."

I am astounded that the NTSB would make a statement like this so soon after the event. Astounded in a good way, I think.

The details are sure to be interesting. Well, to SOME people, anyway.

I'm also astounded that the fire apparently hasn't burned out, yet. My, my.



spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

There are fires that should be extinguished as soon as practicable and the others that are better left to burn themselves out. What would a bunch of water do at that point.

I’ll see your silver lining and raise you two black clouds. - Protection Operations

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Disperse the toxic crude oil?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

New info...

"Residents near the site of a train derailment that sparked a massive fire in East Palestine, Ohio, were urged to evacuate immediately Sunday night due to the risk of an explosion, authorities said.

“Within the last two hours, a drastic temperature change has taken place in a rail car, and there is now the potential of a catastrophic tanker failure which could cause an explosion with the potential of deadly shrapnel traveling up to a mile,” Gov. Mike DeWine warned in a statement Sunday."

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Quote (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/ohio-gov-dewine-...)

Five of the ten derailed cars were carrying vinyl chloride, the NTSB said in a statement Saturday. The agency said it has “not confirmed vinyl chloride has been released other than from the pressure release devices.”

The cars involved were also carrying combustible liquids, butyl acrylate, and residue of benzene from previous shipments, as well as nonhazardous materials such as wheat, plastic pellets, malt liquors, and lube oil, according to the NTSB.

VINYL CHLORIDE is not a chemical to be trifled with.

Quote (https://www.chemicalbook.com/msds/VINYL-CHLORIDE.h...)


Extinguishing media

If material on fire or involved in fire: Do not extinguish fire unless flow can be stopped. Use water in flooding quantities as fog. Cool all affected containers with flooding quantities of water. Apply water from as far a distance as possible.
Specific Hazards Arising from the Chemical
Special Hazards of Combustion Products: Forms highly toxic combustion products such as hydrogen chloride, phosgenic, and carbon monoxide. Behavior in Fire: Container may explode in fire. Gas is heavier than air and may travel considerable distance to a source of ignition and flash back. (USCG, 1999)

Advice for firefighters

Shut off supply; if not possible and no risk to surroundings, let the fire burn itself out. In other cases extinguish with powder, carbon dioxide, water spray. See Notes. In case of fire: keep cylinder cool by spraying with water. Combat fire from a sheltered position.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

"malt liquors", What a shame.

I suspect they have a hot box detector in the area, and that is how they know it was an axal problem. But in the area of switches there is usually a slow order for the speed limits on the switches. But that would depend on what kind of switch there is.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Can they drop 'foam' for fire suppression? like the stuff used for aircraft fires?

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

A temperature rise in the vinyl chloride tanks (or butyl acrylate) is suggestive of potential self accelerating polymerization. Very bad for a closed container, and probably why they're threatening to arrest anyone remaining inside the evacuation zone.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

50 cars derailed. They are expecting explosions.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Single digits Fahrenheit isnt particularly cold in the grand scale of automotive/rail testing. Lab testing typically runs to -20F or -30F with additional site-testing done in the Yukon or Alaska at lower temps. I'd have my doubts that eastern Ohio reached single-digit temps but even if they did it shouldn't cause critical failures.

I suspect the fires are intentionally being allowed to burn under the guise of safety but also as a means of limiting the necessary cleanup. Not only is surface spread an issue with liquids but also ground soak, so while extinguishing and recapture of contaminants seems ideal a big raging fire to cook it all into the atmosphere is sometimes preferrable.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
I agree that single-digit temps should not cause critical failures.

But:

https://archive.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/with-2...

I brought the cold up because of a recollection of a derailment in maybe West Virginia, that I recall being a "rail snap". I don't have anything beyond that recollection, but it did stick in my mind. While there is rail testing done, with additional testing done in the Yukon and Alaska, that does not mean that the track designers, installers, or maintenance people made their track conform to those findings.



Quote from Michael Graham, NTSB

"We have obtained two videos which show preliminary indications of mechanical issues on one of the railcar axles."

They also found a place where the derailment happened, aways uptrack outside the "restricted area". The point of derailment can be quite a bit earlier than the actual crash of a train. There have even been derailments that re-railed themselves.

I am surprised that there is video, if it came from a hotbox or dragging equipment detector. In the olden days, there was a simple automated radio transmission to the engineer (and likely elsewhere). Video sounds like a great idea, if you can pull it off.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

The temperature rise might just be because a lot of the liquid that had been cooling one of the tanks from inside as it boiled off through the vent valve has now boiled away.

With the reduced cooling from inside, there's a risk that the fire outside will heat the tank walls to the point where they fail, leading to a sudden release of pressurised, boiling, flammable fluid.

Heat Induced Tears aren't nice.

A.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Track design determines a Rail Neutral Temperature. There is a tool called a railpuller that is used to make the adjustment in rail tension so it will have the correct RNT. RNT is a balance between too much tension could exceed the rails tensile capacity resulting in a broken track on a maximum cold day. Too little, and the track could buckle from compression loading on the hottest day.
Broken rails do occur but are rare.

Quote (Continuous Welded Rail Generic Plan, fra.dot.gov, 2018)


https://railroads.dot.gov/sites/fra.dot.gov/files/...
Chapter 1 CWR Installation Procedures
Rail lengths welded together that exceed 400 feet are considered CWR. Rail installed as
CWR remains CWR, regardless of whether a joint or plug is installed into the rail at a later
time. Temperature variations affect rail length. Rail expands (lengthens) when heated
and contracts (shortens) when cooled.
1.1 Desired Rail Neutral Temperature
Rail neutral temperature (RNT) is the temperature at which rail is neither in tension nor
compression. Designated rail laying temperatures have been established based on
geographic and average yearly ambient temperature to provide a specific Desired Rail
Neutral Temperature (DRNT) to prevent track buckling. Rail installation temperatures
may be slightly higher or lower than the DRNT, but are to be within the designated rail
installation range. The XXX Railroad’s DRNT is XXX degrees F. The designated rail
neutral temperature safe range is from XX to XX degrees F (+/-20°F from DRNT).
1.2 Temperature Differential
The difference between the designated rail laying temperature and the actual rail
temperature taken at the time of installation is called the temperature differential. CWR rail
laying and adjusting procedures have been established in Chapters 1 and 3 of this CWR
Plan to compensate for this temperature differential.
1.3 Installing CWR
Most commonly thought of as laying rail out-of-face; however, distances as short as a few
hundred feet might be installed.


The rail should be in a non-stress free state when laid in the bed.
If fastened down at this time, the Rail Neutral Temperature (RNT) is established, and
equal to the Rail Temperature (RT).
• If the RT is lower than the desired RNT, the temperature differential is calculated and
the required expansion is determined based on the temperature differential and rail
length.
• The rail is then uniformly expanded. The actual length and expansion are then used to
determine the new RNT.

Reference 49 CFR §213.119 Continuous Welded Rail (CWR); Plan Content

RE: Train crash in Ohio

are rails tensioned?

Quote (aways uptrack outside the "restricted area")


What is the restricted area?



-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
"What is the restricted area?"

Approximately, the area of the smashed up and burning cars, plus what ever safe distance the fire department (or whoever is making the decision) designated. I believe they even arrested someone for entering.

The NTSB guy said his people couldn't enter the crash site, and had to use drones instead. They also must have trekked up the track and found a boo-boo. That will frequently be suddenly appearing scrape marks on the railroad ties.



Also of interest is that the vinyl chloride is going to be emptied from the tank cars:

"The process we’re going to do today, we’re going to place a small shaped charge, it’s going to create a hole about 2 to 3 inches into the tank car. This will allow the material to come out of the tank car, it’ll go into a pit and trench that we have dug and set up for this operation. Inside that trench will be flares … That will then light off the material..."


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Quote (They also found a place where the derailment happened, aways uptrack outside the "restricted area")


sorry... I didn't realise it was the area of the crash site. Uptrack being the area 'behind' the crash?

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Shaped charge? Seems like it would be safer just simply shoot a few holes in it.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Maybe the wrong choice of word. I was after a term that described trackage that had been traversed by the train before the crash site.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Thanks... didn't know. Not a rail guy, but like to understand...

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Its easier and far safer to use a copper plasma shape charge drill.

Its on a tripod aimed perpendicular to the surface a produces a lovely little predictable hole exactly where you want.

I suspect tug given a day with a Sapper you would absolutely love what you can do with bang. The big spectacular explosions are to be honest boring anyone can do that. Bit of a fart and two bits of metal fall apart after 5 mins work by someone that knows what they are doing with no ego and just want a job done is just magic in action. I was never in that league but its frustrating sometimes not being able to use it for certain jobs and having to take a higher risk because its not available.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
I know less than nothing about Twitter and how it works, but I just saw a doorbell video of one of the trucks of one of the cars flaming exuberantly:

https://twitter.com/TammyTsai365/status/1622029307...

Like I said, the above may or may not work.

I would guess a failed bearing, rather than an axle. There was a hot box detector 20 miles before the crash site that apparently alerted to a possible problem. Very near the crash site, there was another that said there very definitely was a problem. And then the train crashed.

It's not clear to me where the doorbell camera was, other than being between the two detectors.



spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

spsalso's video shows the heat resulting on the axle running on the bearing housing (or perhaps the bogie frame). Eventually either the axle will cut it's way through the bogie or the end of the axle will be removed. Either-way once one axle looses it's connection to the bogie, The game is over.

There are no modern cars having plane journal bearings, so we may have a rare roller bearing failure.
title-49 section-215.115 Roller Bearing Periodic inspection Requirements
Timken's service limits for some of it's rail car axle bearings attached.





RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
One of the two main tracks was put back into service yesterday evening.

Norfolk Southern statement:


"On the morning of February 7, Norfolk Southern and its contractors were allowed to begin clearing the site where a derailment occurred on February 3 in East Palestine, Ohio. As of today, all cars have been cleared from the site. Service has been restored to mainline 2.

While this allows for a route through the site, customers should expect availability delays of at least 24 hours on shipments moving between Cleveland and the Northeast via Pittsburgh, PA due to residual congestion and continued efforts to restore service to mainline 1."



spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Quote:

I suspect tug given a day with a Sapper you would absolutely love what you can do with bang. The big spectacular explosions are to be honest boring anyone can do that. Bit of a fart and two bits of metal fall apart after 5 mins work by someone that knows what they are doing with no ego and just want a job done is just magic in action.

Yup. My grandfather was a master with dynamite thanks to frequent practice on the farm. He dug ditches and ponds, removed stumps and "widow-maker" trees, split logs both for firewood and to fit his sawmill, made pavers and tons of smaller fill rock for building road, etc. Unfortunately he didnt trust others enough to pass along his knowledge or grandfathered ag blasting license.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

When I was in officer training for the Army Corp of Engineers, one of our sergeants once explained how we were lucky to be in the Corp since we'd always have cold beer, because we had portable generators, and that we'd never have to dig foxholes, because we had C4.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train crash in Ohio

No, sounds like the beginning.

Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Re: NTSB unusually early statement, quoted above by spsalso: “the three-member train crew”
. . . As it turns out, Norfolk was one of three major lines to announce trials of one-man crews for large trains such as this. Currently they can operate a two-member crew, per the December ‘22 contract just passed by Congress, and this particular train may have been technically two-member crew, with an additional trainee making three. One catch22 from the new railroad contract is provision to allow non-union shops to maintenance the cars, so some feathers are seriously getting ruffled here that an apparent bearing failure could cause this.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Not "manifesto", but "manifest" (a description of the contents of a shipment).

NS has provided this document to EPA.



I don't see how the size of the crew would have made a difference in this crash. A one-person "crew" would not have made it any worse than it was.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Spsalso, the question of crews is a discussion point of the Unions, as the railroad is ready to go one-man, with automated systems. This means less jobs for unions. The Railroads are strongly backing the safety of automated systems, but the unions are arguing the three-member crew safety-card with equal force, comparing the responsibility threshold to commercial aircraft. These are perhaps simply talking points, but talking points the government has taken sides on, by legislating one-member crews.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

You would have to wonder about stories from a European 'news' site reporting on an event in Ohio. I don't think any of the responsible local or national news agencies in the US have published such sensational 'news', including contamination of the Ohio River. The catastrophe is bad enough without irresponsible reporting.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
I understand that crew size and duties is a matter of discussion for unions and railroads.

I just don't see how it would apply to this crash. There WAS a full crew on board.

What I do think is that if they still ran cabooses, and if there was the typical olden days crew count in that car (conductor and rear brakeman), and if one or both of them were in the cupola watching the train, THEN there's a strong possibility that they would have seen the failing truck and stopped the train in time. Since the train was so long, the chance to have been in a viewing situation might have been minimal to none.

That said, cabooses have been essentially gone for 35 years, and there has not been an incredible rise of train wrecks in that time.

But that's kinda old news, now.

My personal view is that I don't want a train weighing 15,000 tons and traveling at 60 mph to be in the control of only one person. Perhaps some of that Real Science Research would prove my fears unfounded. Or not.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Apparently the method for dealing with the vinyl chloride involved draining the tank and burning the drained material. A quick search shows that “trace” amounts of phosgene (and tons of HCl) are formed. Does anyone have an idea of what constitutes “trace”?

Erpg-3 of vinyl chloride is 20,000 ppm. Erpg-3 of phosgene is 1.5 ppm. That, combined with all the HCl released (ERPG-3 of 150 ppm) makes me wonder if a larger hazard was created via the burn.

Would not a safer alternative have been to deliver initiator (drone drop?) to the pool of drained VC and let it polymerize, locking in a majority of the chemical as non-haz PVC?

People who work with VC, thoughts? Would autopolymerization temp have thermally degraded most of the VC and resulted in a worse outcome than burning?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Quote (You would have to wonder about stories from a European 'news' site reporting on an event in Ohio.)


As my dad used to say, "Don't pet sweaty things..." or something like that. I have no issue with American news printing weather issues about Australia or New Zealand, or for that matter printing stuff about earthquakes in Turkiye (aka Turkey)... I'm not too sure when the new spelling arrived. pipe

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Combine the two into an "earthquake weather" story and now we have a problem.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

You notice we didn't, Tug... no problem with that... pipe

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

You kind of did.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I'm OK with Euronews' report.
Not like American news is known for its responsible, unbiased, nonpolitical reporting.
MTG has the most irresponsible report I've seen so far. Lol.
Euronews is probably the least biased source, unfortunately which relatively few Americans will ever see.
10 days into it and the potential scope is still apparently unknown.
Fox headlines "Nuclear Winter"
https://www.foxnews.com/media/ohio-train-derailmen...
Don't look up. Dont look at the river. Back to school.

Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

The caboose had a much bigger roll when the railcar axle bearings were oil lubricated babbtt. The oil was wicked onto the axle by rags or a wick stuffed into the journal box.
Sometimes the journal would run dry, Resulting in a Hot Box. Hot boxes almost always will trail a smoke cloud, easily seen from the rear of the train. The failed roller bearing which is glowing incandescent in the video posted above, may not have smoked much, and is harder to see from the rear of the train.
The trackside monitors were reported to have observed that the bearing was first failed, and then much worse. The response criteria likely will come into question.
Is it better to stop, and replace the car axle in the field (blocking the line), or pull the car to a siding? It is likely that if the train stopped the axle would have welded to the truck frame making it impossible to move without skidding the wheels on that axle.

Oil Lubricated journal (obsolete)


Roller Bearing Failure Modes in railway applications are a well understood problem.

Attached ROLLER BEARING FAILURE MECHANISMS TEST AND WHEEL ANOMALY TEST REPORT; Federal Railroad Administration Office of Research and Development, June 1992

Attachment would not attach here, I will try further down in the list.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

In addition to repairing the track, there is concern that there will be chemical hazards over a wide area. The vinyl chloride vapor is related to causing breast cancer in both men and women, and burning the vinyl chloride leads to the formation of dioxin and other hazards.Exactly how to reduce the exposure of these to safe levels is not clear to me, and distributing the possibly dioxin-coated foodstuffs that are produced in that wide area would distribute the risk to the entire nation.A similar risk decision was faced in the early 1960's, when individual dairy farms had suffered contamination from nuclear fallout from atmospheric testing. The decision at that time was to prohibit the sale of raw milk to local communities and require the milk to be diluted at central processing facilities, which basically spread the risk to the entire nation.

"...when logic, and proportion, have fallen, sloppy dead..." Grace Slick

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Not attached... can you include it? thanks, dik

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Burning creates a rising fire plume that carries the toxic components upward for safer dispersion in the atmosphere. The 1979 Mississauga rail disaster reportedly would have been much more serious if the burning propane cars hadn't helped disperse the chlorine, which otherwise could have spread along the ground in a toxic heavier than air cloud over a wide area.
Example of worst case modelling of a chlorine tank car release, for the insurance industry:

RE: Train crash in Ohio

ProSafPlant,

I know well the effect of a Cl2 railcar. I was in Columbia SC when a derailed Cl2 railcar killed 9 people.

My question above was related to the relative toxicity of vinyl chloride as compared to HCl. It seemed like they created a greater immediate hazard by burning. Perhaps the long-term carcinogenic risk was much greater than the short term acid vapor?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Thanks for the doc...

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

@TiCL4,

I think its a case of "damned if you do and damned if you dont" But you idea to polymerized the vinyl chloride seems novel and something that might have value in future emergency preparedness? This would require gear and chemicals to be ready (or readily obtainable) at various location but i thin it sound interesting.

--- Best regards, Morten Andersen

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Polymerized the vinyl chloride under the conditions that existed, likely would have resulted in a mixture of burning PVC, vinyl chloride, and who knows what else. I think it is an approach that should be bench tested so if viable it is available, and not just a mystery, and the go kit would be on hand.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

The boiling point of vinyl chloride is just under 8F. A flammable vapor cloud is far more dangerous than a burning pool of liquid. Vinyl chloride was used as a propellant in cans of hair spray back in the 60's. It was fun to make flame throwers with them, although the fumes were very pungent.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

For what it's worth:

‘32 Nasty:’ Rail Workers Say They Knew the Train That Derailed in East Palestine Was Dangerous

A freight train carrying toxic chemicals derailed 50 miles outside Pittsburgh, forced thousands to evacuate, and created a toxic cloud. Workers knew the train had safety issues.


https://deal.town/vice/32-nasty-rail-workers-say-t...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
The train didn't go on the ground because it was "dangerous". And it didn't go on the ground because it had "safety issues". It went on the ground because a truck failed catastrophically.



spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Back to the Pub with that kind of story.

An obvious direction here would be to apply condition monitoring to trains that carry hazardous cargo. Maybe even sensitive cargo (people). A simple bearing temperature sensor PLUS a policy that requires investigation or temperature anomalies would have prevented this derailment.

Fusible link type sensing would make the system easy to implement but would probably cause a lot of false alarms. Ethernet based sensors make multiplexing a cinch, real time reading of every sensor is possible. Temp sensors are so inexpensive redundancy doesn't have any significant obstacles.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

It may be a matter of poor maintenance which ultimately was responsible for the failed truck... may indicate general neglect which may be present in other rolling stock? ponder

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Honestly, there is a severe shortage of greases right now. Polyurea based greases are unobtainable. I am struggling to find many proper industrial greases. The only ones available are the ones that describe themselves as #2 grease which doesn't really mean anything. If I find out they were using *a common #2 grease*, I'm going to lose my top. In my current experience, all of the USA *leading bearing manufacturer* reps keep specifying that grease for a 150mm shaft bearing that runs at 1800 rpm because it's "good stuff" or it's what we always use. All of the *regional line shaft bearings* operators are experiencing bearing failures because of it. They're chasing the problem with shortened service intervals. The right grease doesn't even cost more. 🤬 *Leading bearing manufacturer's* own grease worksheet on their website says the grease used by their reps is unacceptable.

Edited to remove *names* of involved parties. I don't want to be slanderous.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

If its true, its not slander.

--Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

The condition monitoring equipment was available when the report I attached above was published.
To identify this heat, Hot Axle Box & Hot Wheel (HABD/HWD) detection units are mounted at the track side.

Quote (https://www.freightwaves.com/news/norfolk-southern...)

Wayside hot-box detectors are typically placed every 25 miles along a railroad, according to a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) report. Their use has contributed to a 59% decrease in train accidents caused by axle- and bearing-related factors since 1990, according to a 2017 Association of American Railroads study.

Declining head counts have led to these mechanisms receiving less preventative maintenance, according to an official from the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen union.

The FRA has no regulations requiring the use or maintenance of hot-box detectors.

Both on board and wayside condition monitoring have maintenance requirements. The spacing for trackside units needs to consider the risk related to the typical length of an outage. This could be a point examined by the NTSB.
I doubt either is an inherently better, they could be complimentary.

An addvert for an on board condition monitoring module. https://rail-vision.com/rolling-stock/on-board-con...
SKF's version https://www.skf.com/group/industries/railways/solu...
WABTEC's version https://www.wabteccorp.com/digital-electronics/sig...

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Polyrex EM is still available, I use to use that on container crane gensets. I wouldn't think railcars would be using a polyurea based grease. The lead time on eletrical gear has gotten even worse in the last 6 months, I was being told 56weeks, now it's up to 78weeks!

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Timken’s Premium Rail Grease
This lubricant meets Association of American Railroads specification M-942-98 "Journal Roller Bearing Grease". The specification seems to mostly be met with a calcium grease. Normally re-lubing these bearings is a depot level repair performed only when the axle is remove from a truck.
Mobil Arapen RB 320

Timkin "Rail Journal Roller Bearing Grease Weepage Inspection Guide" attached.

I was not able to find a recommended grease service life. I suspect that the grease service interval is longer than the axle service interval (things like crack inspection, wheel truing, ect).

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Dave with the Cumberland Mine Railroad posts some information about hot box detectors. Dave is of the opinion that the failure could have been either a failed axle bearing or hung up brake rigging. Either can result in axle locking up and wheel skidding, to the point of derailment.
A Failed Defect Detector and the Train Derailment at East Palestin
It is perhaps important to note that the Cumberland Mine Railroad while being a class 1 railroad does not have track connections to any other railroad. It is a coal only railroad.

This clip was posted after a derailment (Cumberland Mine Railroad) that resulted from a defective bearing that did not lock up the axle. The bearing end of the axle was cut completely through.
Coal Car Derailed - Axle was Cut in Half!
This is a typical result of an undetected bearing failure that does not lock up the axle. ( Cumberland Mine Railroad)

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Did rail transport learn new lessons? Don't have all the nasty stuff all loaded in one consecutive line, space them 10 to 20 cars apart, costs doing that?, cheaper than a huge law suit and clean up. Lesson 2, is 3 part, when shipping dangerous stuff, first have an inspector check the line, next thoroughly check the systems on the rail cars on that train, last slow way down when traveling near citys and homes. The fire was set, to burn off the chemicals, just look for the real news.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Nope, rail mgmt has no interest in learning new lessons that might cost them $. The only effective approach will be to make the rail co execs personally financially responsible for this mess.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Not sure whether this has been mentioned before, but...

Yes, a train safety rule was repealed in 2018

The Department of Transportation repealed a mandate in 2018 that required safer brakes on trains that carried hazardous materials.


https://www.verifythis.com/article/news/verify/gov...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train crash in Ohio

This is an engineering forum. Let's discuss what would have made these brakes safer, how they were supposed to prevent THIS accident, and why the rule was repealed.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Keeping that legislation may have made the breaking system safer and prevented the accident. It's an interesting dilemma when you can pass something dangerous off, as good engineering. Manitoba Hydro's flooding of South Indian Lake, 50 years back, is the reason I don't wear an engineer's ring.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
"Safer brakes" would not have prevented this crash.

The crash happened because a truck failed, and cars derailed.

The cars with vinyl chloride were the third through sixth car behind the first derailed car (which was carrying polyethylene). "Safer brakes" would have had no significant effect on these cars.

SOME of the following cars could have avoided derailment if the cars had better braking, but they would have been among the last cars to go off the rails.

The only way this nasty mess could have been prevented is if you can stop 120 tons moving at perhaps 50 mph in about 5 feet. Repeatedly.

It might be instructive to do some fancy computer simulation to find out how the crash would have developed if "safer brakes" were used. Also of interest would be the results based on the extent of the usage of such brakes in the train.

"Safer brakes" might have helped IF the crew had used them to slow the train to a stop or near stop. The same holds true with regular brakes. It appears they did not, but that will be revealed from the data recorders.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

This was an identifiable failure, there are so many ways to identify a failed bearing. This one is bad enough simply looking at it could have provided indication. We have all seen the videos of the wheel on fire. There were many more moments to prevent derailment before brakes were necessary. Was the bearing failure undetected? I don't think we know this yet. Was there pressure to keep the train moving despite condition? This is a big question. We recently lost a ship in the marine industry, El Faro, to pressure from above and an accommodating captain.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

From an engineering standpoint regarding railroad truck failures, since most modern automobiles now have tire pressure sensors reporting tire pressure to the main car computer and position sensors to monitor driveshaft revolutions, what about placing appropriate sensors (heat sensors for bearing failure detection, position sensors for axle failure, etc.) and have them report to a main computer on each railroad car? Then each railroad car reports to a computer in the engine (and possibly also to the dispatch office) to keep the crew apprised of potential or actual failures immediately?

This type of monitoring infrastructure is also required for transport aircraft. I am sure the railroad bean counters cost/benefit analysis would argue against it, but perhaps it could be regulatory like seats belts were mandated decades ago. Aircraft bean counters and automobile bean counters also fought it, but had to succumb to the need for public safety.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Of some interest is that, of the 39 cars that derailed, none were owned by railroads.

So the cost to modify those cars would not be carried by railroads, but by the owning entities.

63% of the 1.3 million freight cars in the United States are privately owned (as opposed to railroad owned).



spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I believe many containers do have sensors for refrigeration, entry and other things, so that is possible on rail cars. But in the case of containers, I believe they use some type of cellular or satellite reporting back to the owner.
In the case of the company I work for, all the cars are leased from a leasing company, and we do our own replacements of axils. But I do know that some cars have been set off because of mechanical problems at really strange locations (at least to me). But then, we don't transport such hazardous materials, only flammable materials.

I believe on tank cars, there are special couplers to prevent a disconnected car coupler from puncturing another car.
But that only works on the coupler, as other things can break.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Anyone know how US rail HAZMAT safety performance stacks up against other jurisdictions? There may be some best practices worthy of consideration unless a) US is already best-in-class so can only now focus on continuous improvement, or b) US system is so unique that outside learnings cannot be read across.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Refrigerated containers, and many refrigerated trailers, have status reporting transmitters. They also commonly have electrical power available. In the olden days, many refrigerated trailers had status lights on the front left corner of the trailer--the driver could easily check by looking in his rear view mirror. Which was, and is, a common occurrence. The looking.

A problem with railcars is they rarely come equipped with electrical power. THAT is certainly not insurmountable; simply an added consideration.

Of more import might be that the sensors and likely the related electronics will be under the car, where "things" get kicked up. Or stolen.


Whatever the solution, it's better to base it on the assumption that things will go wrong, things will fail, and things won't get done. But it still works.



spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Isn't the emphesis on track located detectors, rather than onboard sensors?

--Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I am not a railroader, 1503-44, so I cannot speak with any authority but to the best of my knowledge you are correct. I have often heard the automated voice of these detectors over my 2 meter ham radio. The down side is they are not very close together, and do not send a signal (I think) until the End of Train has passed. Also, the crew has to be listening to the correct frequency to hear if a defect is detected.

The critical down side (in my non-qualified opinion) is the defect detection is not necessarily real time. For example, given a long train that at current speed would take 10 minutes for all cars to pass the detector (not unusual near populated areas). assume immediately after the third car passes the detector, a flaw develops in one truck of the third car. If the detector picks it up, it will not (I believe) transmit until the End of Train has passed nearly 10 minutes later. If the detector just missed it, you have whatever time lapse is necessary to get to the next detector (often 15-20 miles down the line) plus the 10 minutes after the next detector identifies the flaw on the third railcar before the End of Train and the transmission of the flaw.

I was thinking benefits of on-board sensors would be;

Continuous monitoring;
Real time identification of a parameter that exceeds a limit;
Real time notification to the crew in the cab;
A visual and even an alarm display/sound in the cab regardless of whether or not the crew is monitoring a specific frequency.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

But suppisedly they can at least be placed at critical points ahead of entering cities, sensitive areas etc, with enough density to give advance time warning not to enter if a bearing is on fire or at dangerous temperature levels, with signals sent to dispatch, whom could supposedly contact the driver via radio, and or even by the old fashion track signalling techniques. From what I've read, that is entirely feasible, just the RR have not done it, preferring to do stock buybacks of nearly 200 billion dollars during the last 10 yrs rather than put out for public safety features.

I mean it seems like for all the bad press pipelines get, their safety systems and records are way better than the elephant in this room and nobody has apparently been paying much attention to this except for removing RR safety regulations. Could that be correct?

--Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Guess they'll have to take that study up again.

Is the rest true?

--Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Quote:

Anyone know how US rail HAZMAT safety performance stacks up against other jurisdictions?

Most safety stats that I've seen show the US system as very comparable to the EU and developed portions of Asia. The issue with making such comparisons tho is that the US system is massive compared to the rest of the world, its like comparing commercial vs non-commercial vehicle drivers.

I dont doubt that modern thermal imagery and AI could detect bearing issues in passing trucks, but I'd be curious to see the technology function as well as the cost analysis. Low-speed bearings aren't giving off a large amount of heat, esp contained in large steel heatsinks hot from braking events.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Some nice hypothetical discussions up above but worth noting for this case the train would not have been subject to any regulation mandating ECP brakes for flammable trains. From the VERIFY article posted above:

Quote:

In an email, an NTSB spokesperson told VERIFY the train involved in the Ohio derailment was not equipped with ECP brakes. On Feb. 16, NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy addressed misinformation spreading about the derailment on Twitter.

Homendy directly acknowledged that the ECP brake rule would not have prevented the crash if implemented because the train that derailed in East Palestine was a mixed freight train that contained only three placarded Class 3 flammable liquids cars. Homendy said the ECP braking rule would have applied only to high-hazard flammable trains.

“This means even if the rule had gone into effect, this train wouldn't have had ECP brakes,” Homendy said.

Could also be an interesting discussion to try determine where the line for ECP breaks should be drawn, though

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Why yes, I do in fact have no idea what I'm talking about

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
What effect do you think having the train be fully ECP equipped would have had on the crash?

ECP braking is not a new thing for railroads. It was used on some high speed passenger trains in the United States starting in the 1930's. Almost 100 years ago. New York Air Brake Company had the DCE brake system, while Westinghouse had the HSC and AHSC systems. Various of the Union Pacific M-10000 trains were equipped with the systems.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

It is a well known fact that trucks and trains have a tendency to jackknife when hard breaking is applied to the front of the vehicle, but not the rear.
It takes some time for a breaking signal to propagate through a 100+ car train. One of the things ECP breaks were supposed to provide was a breaking signal that could propagate from the rear of the train, which would put the string of cars in tension, minimizing the tendency to jackknife.

If this train was equipped with distributed power, a sort of poor man's ECP will exist as the distributed engines are radio controlled, and can initiate a breaking signal (or dynamic breaking) from wherever in the string the remote engine(s) is located.

I am not aware of any reports that indicated this train used (or did not use) distributed power.

More news soon
https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/Pages/RRD23MR0...
NTSB to Issue Preliminary Report on East Palestine Derailment - The National Transportation Safety Board will issue its preliminary report Thursday Feb 23 after 10 a.m.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

A braking signal would do far more to prevent thing’s going off the rails than a breaking signal would.

I’ll see your silver lining and raise you two black clouds. - Protection Operations

RE: Train crash in Ohio

That's not true. This train went off the rails due to breaking, not due to a lack of braking.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Just like all school zones have signs to slow car and truck drivers down in those zones. That is what needs to be in populated areas for trains, it would also help in the rail road crossing crash accidents.
If the speed was low enough the damage would not have been so great. And if all dangerous cargo rail cars have to have a pre trip inspection, then this sort of thing would be unlikely.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
OK.

So let's limit trains with hazardous materials to 10 MPH through populated areas. I assume "populated" includes any place someone plops their old Airstream. If not, how is "populated" defined?

And let's also limit speeds to 10 MPH for trucks and shipping, for the same materials.

As someone who appreciates observing the March of Commerce, I applaud this opportunity to view it in "slow motion".

I'm in. Totally in!

I really should mention, however, that should a "pile o' nastiness" spill out over Protected Lands, that that 10 MPH speed limit will likely end up applying for the entire trip of the load.


Interesting!


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Gas pipelines have area classifications for which different safety factors are applied to determine maximum operating pressure, or v/v with a constant operating pressure, what pipe wall is required for each area class. Each house or occupied structure within 1/4 mile to each side of the route is counted within every contiguous linear mile of route. Design factors range from 0.4 for most densely populated segments to 0.72 in open space.

Fortunately we can keep a constant velocity. Not that should make much difference to surface traffic, as I have noticed that not all speed limits are 70mph and hazardous cargos are already prohibited from entering many city centers, or time limited and often being diverted to belt roads circumferencing larger cities. Even aircraft have velocity limits in high traffic zones. I don't think its speed limits that are causing the bulk of delays in delivery of most stuff, but I give you that ocean traffic is relatively pretty slow.

--Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

What is your definition of hazardous cargos? Gasoline, crude oil, Lithium batteries, alcohol, sulfur, other flammable materials?
This is the likely sticking point of such slow orders.
Then the question is if it is safer to ship these by rail or by truck.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Would it be federal of state level the DGR transport rules?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Quote (FacEngrPE)

It is a well known fact that trucks and trains have a tendency to jackknife when hard breaking is applied to the front of the vehicle, but not the rear.

Fun fact, my very first day of university started with Physics 1a and demonstrated this exact principle with a model car on a slope. I would hope that the rail industry never neglects that problem

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Why yes, I do in fact have no idea what I'm talking about

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Preliminary Report: February 23, 2023 is attached.
as we have chewed on the hot box issue with little actual data, here are some facts.

Quote (NTSB Preliminary Report https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/Pages/RRD23MR0...)

​On the Fort Wayne Line of the Keystone Division, NS has equipped their rail network with HBD systems to assess the temperature conditions of wheel bearings while en route. The function of the HBD is to detect overheated bearings and provide audible real-time warnings to train crews. Train 32N passed three HBD systems on its trip before the derailment. At MP 79.9, the suspect bearing from the 23rd car had a recorded temperature of 38°F above ambient temperature. When train 32N passed the next HBD, at MP 69.01, the bearing’s recorded temperature was 103°F above ambient. The third HBD, at MP 49.81, recorded the suspect bearing’s temperature at 253°F above ambient. NS has established the following HBD alarm thresholds (above ambient temperature) and criteria for bearings:

​Between 170°F and 200°F, warm bearing (non-critical); stop and inspect
A difference between bearings on the same axle greater than or equal to 115°F (non-critical); stop and inspect
Greater than 200°F (critical); set out railcar

I make an interpretation here that this bearing failed faster than anticipated by the railroads engineering department. The hot box detectors on this track section are between 10 and 20 miles apart, with the spacing immediately before the failure being 20 miles. Perhaps HBD spacing needs to be 10 miles?

The engineer attempted to slow by dynamic breaking, but after a short while the train automatically applied it's brakes. This likely indicates that the train separated, and the brake pipe became uncoupled. At this point one of the cars had left the track and as a result was de-accelerating faster than the remaining cars in the string. and every thing crumples.

Feb 23 media briefing

RE: Train crash in Ohio

... or maybe their criteria could be modified to include a temperature increase of more than 25% from the previous reading. Stop and check...

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

NTSB is saying car number 23, video of sparking truck, started the fire; Polypropylene pellets, that then spread to the other cars in the pileup. No specifics of the derailment itself, but suggesting emergency brakes?
One point is the HBD temp. of 253*F above ambient. The doorbell video that circulated showing light flashes from the wheels suggests the sensitivity is limited somewhat.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Just to make an out of the box thought, there have been big changes in the engine of trains without big changes in the train itself. When diesel locomotives really started to catch in the EMD 16-567 engine and Alco 251 were the big power engines but both were only around 2000hp. Caterpillar shoved a 3616 engine in a few trains that made 10,000hp but they didn't catch on for a few reasons. Regardless, EMD and GE have engine options that exceed 6000hp but every mechanical component of the train is still legacy from the 2000hp days.

In the tugboat industry we have recently been spoiled with inexpensive high-speed engines that make huge horsepower numbers and they're coupled with 360 degree thrusters that can generate 100% thrust in all directions. Early constructions were fine due to conservative factoring but newer constructions are falling back on generalized rules and the hulls are failing.

There may need to be an evaluation of the power of each train relative to construction or configuration.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I don't think that 253F is even close, judging from the glow...

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

https://www.npr.org/2023/02/23/1158972561/east-pal...

The 254 F temperature is simply what the last hotbox detector read, and since that was above 170, the train's operator attempted to stop the train, but a nearly 2-mile long train takes a lot of time and distance to stop, and by the time the train came close to stopping, the truck was already on fire.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Train crash in Ohio

I realise that... but the increase in temperature would have run up a flag. The 103F would have prompted a concerned 'check'. That's why there should be a requirement for any significant 'change in temperature' readings. The criteria is faulty.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
"Regardless, EMD and GE have engine options that exceed 6000hp but every mechanical component of the train is still legacy from the 2000hp days."

Railroads run multiple locomotives. They can easily put 15,000HP on the front of a train. The Union Pacific has been doing so for upwards of 50 years.

EMD produced, in 1969, a 6600 HP locomotive, of which 47 were bought by Union Pacific. It was common to run two of these together, with another "regular" locomotive to achieve the nominal 15,000.

Union Pacific purchased 31 gas turbine locomotives that produced 8500 HP in 1958-61.

And just a wee bit earlier (1944), that railroad operated 25 steam locomotives producing 6200 HP. But rarely in multiple.




spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Speaking of "turbine locomotives", in Ogden, UT, at the old Union Station, which is now a museum, they have on display one of the two remaining examples of a GE Super Turbine Locomotive:


September 2008 (Canon IXUS V)


September 2008 (Canon IXUS V)


September 2008 (Canon IXUS V)


September 2008 (Canon IXUS V)

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train crash in Ohio

https://www.up.com/aboutup/special_trains/gas-turb...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_GTELs
Turbine powered locomotives cost less to operate than the UP steam engines they replaced, but are not economical when compared to the diesel locomotives that were put to work in the i960's.

All of the EMD (now progress rail / caterpillar)current offerings for North America are listed at 4300 or 4400 HP.
GE Rail (now WABTEC) most popular locomotives are also this size, but there is an offering at 6600HP

Relevant to our discussion, too much tractive effort at the head end can pull the car string apart. Hence locomotives are distributed along the length of the train to limit coupler tensile and compressive loads on the very long trains of today. I wounder how the NTSB will view distributed power? Did it help or hurt?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

How many cars had the hazmat vinyl chloride in them? 2? How many in total derailed? 50? It doesn't seem like reducing the number of cars derailed would provide much benefit in the overall picture. Maybe some thought needs to go into getting the derailed car clear of the tracks faster so the rest of the cars don't wad up into it.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
There were 5 cars with vinyl chloride, out of 38. Other loads that wrecked that could be a problem:

2 combustable liquid
1 isobutylene
1 butyl acrylate
2 benzene
2 polyethylene
4 polyvinyl
5 petroleum lube oil
1 paraffin wax


On the other hand, shortly behind the mess, there was 9 cars of malt liquor that remained non-derailed. FWIW.


You really can't get "the derailed car clear of the tracks faster so the rest of the cars don't wad up into it". It's pretty much like a crash on the freeway when everyones following WAY too close.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

That's why any train longer than X cars should be required to have EP brakes. Much of the derailment mess is because the front end of the train stops quicker than the rear end of the train.

I’ll see your silver lining and raise you two black clouds. - Protection Operations

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
"That's why any train longer than X cars should be required to have EP brakes. Much of the derailment mess is because the front end of the train stops quicker than the rear end of the train."

There would have been a big mess anyway. The question is in what way would it be better.

What did happen is the first 22 cars stayed on the track, the next 39 went on the ground, and the remaining 79 cars stayed on the track.

How would EP brakes improve things? How many fewer cars would have crashed?


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

That is why the rail industry pushed to end the EP regulation. They estimated it would reduce derailments by 1.6 cars and cause many additional breakdowns.

In my personal experience, EP systems tend to be very reliable, I don't know where their complaint comes from. A refrigerated air dryer helps but they're very expensive because everybody puts them in the LP side of the system...

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Well, if it reduced this crash by 1.6 cars, that ain't much.

Of course, you can ask what happens when only one car crashes--does it then hop back on the track?



spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Re-railings have happened.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Yes.

But I wouldn't want to count on it.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

As an off-road motorcycle rider we always had the saying, "if in doubt throttle out". Hitting the brakes can make a lot of situations worse. Extra power usually pulls you out of that bad situation. Maybe increasing power during such a failure would prevent the buckling action that leads to derailment. The derailment did happen during full dynamic braking. Full dynamic braking may have been the worst choice of action to take.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Since the engineer had no reason to assume the train would "buckle", there was no reason to add extra power to prevent it. By the time the train actually buckled, the air brake line was disconnected between those cars and the front of the train, and the engineer had no more input.


I would think dynamic braking would be an excellent choice for slowing a train, based on what the engineer knew. And didn't know. It is quite common for the problem to be sticking brakes; so staying away from brake usage appears to me to be the best choice.



spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Keeping the train with a little tension at the couplers prevents the buckling that lead to the cars turning completely sideways. Even if it doesn't prevent the derailment, having the cars derail inline with the tracks instead of wading up into a pile would be make the disaster response and cleanup a lot easier.

Just sharing a thought. Hitting the brakes isn't always the best remediation to a problem.

There was some complaint from truckers about governors a while back. In the event of a front wheel blowout you're supposed to accelerate at full throttle until everything stabilizes. Trucks running on the governor are not able to accelerate resulting in crashes after a front tire blowout.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
No. Not in this case.

The cars turned completely sideways because each of the preceding cars stopped abruptly, while the following cars did not. Until THEY stopped abruptly.

And etcetera...

When a freight car weighing 120 tons is no longer supported by its trucks, it falls to the ground, engages the ground, and tends to stop very quickly. The following cars keep rolling until they are also stopped abruptly by the various preceding now-stopped cars. The only reason the whole rear of the train did not pile into the crash is that the brakes automatically went into emergency when the crash happened. Plus there was one trailing locomotive which did whatever it automatically does in such a situation.

IF the entire train had been equipped with the previously mentioned EP brakes, several of the final "crash victims" probably wouldn't have.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I was thinking that if the head ends kept pulling the deceleration may not be so abrupt. Eventually the train has to be stopped but sudden application of full braking may not be the best route.

You're right, with EP braking, cars behind the derailment could brake while engines ahead could pull.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
"I was thinking that if the head ends kept pulling the deceleration may not be so abrupt. Eventually the train has to be stopped but sudden application of full braking may not be the best route."

So noted in the Youtube video. He mentions letting the train coast for awhile, and then maybe gently braking (as I recall). That's pretty much what the Palestine train did, in that he was already in dynamic because of going downgrade. If he took it off of dynamic, it would speed up. Not the goal in mind. Hence more dynamic.


"You're right, with EP braking, cars behind the derailment could brake while engines ahead could pull."

I don't think so, at least when the train is still in one piece. All EP braking does is get the braking action to commence sooner. Without it, the signal to activate brakes has to travel down the air line. That is not as fast as electricity. With EP, the brakes all go on together. With regular air, it takes "awhile".

After the train has broken apart, it's pretty much all over. As I said, you'd probably save a couple of cars. And that would depend on transmitting signals to cars with the train broken apart. If it uses wires, that wouldn't work. If it uses wireless, it would have to potentially jump past the crashing cars--might not make it.

What EP is good for is running at higher operating speeds, because you get more efficient brake application--RIGHT NOW! You don't have to anticipate as much. Much of railroad operation is anticipation--you're controlling thousands of tons. Sorta like operating a large ocean going ship. But in a straight line.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

The problem with dynamic braking is that it's done at the engines. Using the head end engines to dynamic brake would exacerbate the problem. Setting trailing engines only to dynamic brake during this type of emergency MAY be safer.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

You'd think that engineers (train) would know the best manner in which to do an emergency braking. They've only been doing the job for over a century.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

The way we've always done it is always the best way, right?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Not always, Tug... but, I would think that running trains for long time over great distances that those operating them would have a pretty good idea of how to safely stop them quickly. I don't know if train 'drivers' have driving tests, or what sort of training is undertaken. I suspect that Alistair has taken some training on how to stop a plane quickly.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
The train was already in dynamics. That would be all three(?) locomotives. Two front and one mid-train, I think. Seems like not enough, but I am more familiar with western railroading.

Since the engineer did NOT know what was going to happen, or even what the problem was,

And since he was already in dynamic (because of the grade),

And since using only the rear one was likely inadequate, and perhaps even less of a brake than what he was already using,

Doing the most conservative stop would be appropriate. Thus an increase in dynamics would be the best solution FOR THE PROBLEM AS HE KNEW IT.



spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Quote (dik)

I suspect that Alistair has taken some training on how to stop a plane quickly.

Over covid and pilot redundancy quite a few went to train driving in Europe and never came back.

Apparently the training is a lot longer and a lot more involved than flying a plane.

To be honest we don't get that much training. If you demonstrate you have the jist of it then that's it. And most do. Keep it in a straight line and press the pedals until the antiskid kicks in and max reverse thrust or leave the autobrakes to do the job with max reverse thrust.

The turbo props were manual braking with pretty powerful anti skid. The A220 is auto brakes and your best to leave it alone and let it do its job and concentrate on keeping it on the runway.

I would think trains are the same with emergency braking, the driver triggers it or the dead mans reset and it just does its thing.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

In the US these are the minimum requirements.
Title 49 Subtitle B Chapter II Part PART 240 - QUALIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS Railroads must submit their implementation to US DOT, and can add their own additions. It does look significantly involved.

Normal application of train brakes depends on the skill of the locomotive engineer letting compressed air out of the brake pipe. When the string of cars separates and the brake hose uncouples, the cars closest to the uncoupled hose will apply brakes as fast as the air is released. The brake application will then propagate in both directions down the car string, the engineer is just along for the ride.

Here is an explanation of the train braking system authored by a locomotive engineerNorth American Freight Train Brakes by Al Krug


RE: Train crash in Ohio

Thanks... the brake article is great...

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

it certainly is.

And thankfully we don't have to think or understand as much stopping an aircraft.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

They've done this before...

https://theintercept.com/2023/02/23/east-palestine...

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Locally there is a place where trains use the dynamics, and from the sound, they are applied to both the front and rear engines of the train. Also in building a train, it is more important to design the breaking power than the driving power. So the power of the engines may never be completely applied. But the breaking may be.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Sounds the same as aviation.

I haven't done a full power take off in over 14 years. I have though done more than a few max performance decelerations every year.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

No need to apologise... It seems that government agencies are doing less and less protection... FAA, EPA and others...

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

The whole federal governments attitude seems to be that it is a red state, so it is not important.
I guess we should call the present administration the blue state government.

This is like the administration during the depression, which allocated WPA projects mostly to states that voted for the president.
By another name, cronyism.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Cronyism? Which president rolled back safety regulations at the behest of industry lobbyists and to the detriment of ordinary citizens? Also, look into Nancy Beck - appointed by Trump. Then get back to me about cronyism.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

2
This being an engineering site, I don't see much value in arguing whose cronyism (or any other political process) is the worst. The point is all presidential administrations do it, and so do all Senators and Congressional Representatives, and so do all unelected heads of the thousands of unelected bureaucrats that control our lives. It is a fact of life that certainly affects the world in which we engineer, but we won't solve it or any other political process in this forum. We cannot engineer a solution to the mess, but we must make our engineering decisions within the framework of this reality.

Personally, some days I would like to admit to China that they have already bought and paid for Washington, DC, cut it out of the Potomac basin, and ship it in toto to China - COD!

On the other hand, at a basic human level much deeper than my engineering interest, I sometimes enjoy watching the unproductive yet entertaining bickering. After all, I AM still human! swords

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I know, I usually resist. But today I guess was the day I decided to call out the BS

RE: Train crash in Ohio

bones, so I can count on your help when I dig DC out of the Potomac basin and send it to the far East? hehe rofl

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Not sure what China has to do with any of this?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

LOL well if we are gonna cut out DC, we might as well get someone to buy it to give us funds to start over! I think China might have the funds available.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

3
> The whole federal governments attitude seems to be that it is a red state, so it is not important.
> I guess we should call the present administration the blue state government.

The actions the federal government can (legally) take without the governor issuing a declaration of emergency are extremely limited. It's the state's right to control whether they ask for disaster relief, and they haven't done so. The federal government has explicitly offered it, but that offer has not been accepted.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I would beg to differ when EPA is involved.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

There were no safety regulations rolled back that would have prevented this accident. The article which JRB linked quoted a current NTSB official who said that even if the air braking regulation were in effect, it would not have applied to this train. And even if it were, as spsalso has explained here, the cause was not a brake failure.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

What's the solution?

--Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

3
The reason the regulation would not have applied to this case is because the train length would not have met the threshold length requirement for the brakes. The reason the threshold requirement was so high to begin with was because of successful lobbying by the rail industry. There was an engineered solution to this problem available, but the cost-benefit analysis by the rail industry sees disasters like this as a worthwhile trade off to having to implement the engineered solutions. As with all industries, the cost to society does not factor in to their analysis.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Hence the need for regulation.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I believe there is future regulation for the requirement of thicker shell on tank cars. But that regulation can't be rushed because of car life and new production levels. That may help, but it might have helped had that regulation been enacted sooner. None the less the media is attempting to point fingers to shift blame off the current administration.
Although there is not much the present administration could have done, other than visit the site, and make people a little happier. But clean up funding might make a difference to the people who are true victims. That said, there will surly be non-victims who will be around with there hands out.

If there is true BS I would say it is in the media finger pointing, and administration CYA. But it is true the administration seems to be ignoring the event, as best as they can.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Just because government agencies are trying to go about their business in a normal professional way doesn't mean it's not happening. Handing out MAGA hats and using a tragedy as a campaign stunt is not governing, it's just grandstanding for personal gain. Classic charlatan behavior.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Seems to me any expenses involved in lessening the damage or extent of railroad crashes would be passed on to the shipper, with higher rates.

And it seem so me that any raise in cost to a shipper would be passed on to the customer who buys the product.

The alternative might be to have many dispersed chemical plants to lessen long distance shipping. How's that going to fly?

Aside from petroleum fuel products, chemical tank car shipping appears to me to be a "recent" phenomenon. WILD guess: last 30 years.

spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

It seems to me that speed limits are a simple and reasonable solution to the transport of hazardous materials. Obviously nobody is interested in safety.

--Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

It might have been prevented if the hot box detectors reported a change in temperature... say 25% increase or something of that ilk. That could take care of a bearing that normally runs 'warm'.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

It sounds like the bearing went from ok to warning between hot boxes, braking was initiated, and the bearing failed before the train was able to be stopped. A reduction in stopping distance would be the only way to have prevented this failure and the best way to reduce stopping distance is to reduce speed.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

But on the one that failed, there was a significant increase in temperature on the reading before the 'failure' reading; this would require stopping and investigating. It's not just the temperature, but the change in temperature that could signal a problem. In this case it would have.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Quote:

But on the one that failed, there was a significant increase in temperature on the reading before the 'failure' reading; this would require stopping and investigating.

Supposedly, they stopped the train specifically because the last reading exceeded their spec; it's just that it was too late. It's not clear whether an earlier warning would have helped, since the prior hot box reading was still well below the limit for requiring a stop. The only way that those readings would made a substantial difference would be if they were much closer together, but even if the last box was the same 10-mile separation as the first two, that would have saved maybe 10 minutes, at best.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Train crash in Ohio

IRS... it's not just the temperature, but an increase in temperature. This was detected long before the warning was given and would have given them the opportunity to stop.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Quote (TugboatEng)

It sounds like the bearing went from ok to warning between hot boxes, braking was initiated, and the bearing failed before the train was able to be stopped. A reduction in stopping distance would be the only way to have prevented this failure and the best way to reduce stopping distance is to reduce speed.

The other way to reduce stopping distance is better brakes. "Advanced brakes", like the ones that should have been installed a long time ago, would have accomplished this.

This is from 2008: https://railroads.dot.gov/elibrary/fra-issues-fina...

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Basically, they would have saved only 20 minutes, since only the second hot box could have been the trigger

see https://www.utrgv.edu/railwaysafety/_files/documen... particularly slides 10 and 15/16.

slide 3 indicates that existing limits already result in 40% false alarms, so lowering the threshold even more will result in even more false alarms and disruptions to service.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Train crash in Ohio

Out of curiosity, I understand that running a long train with a big engine provides best efficiency but when the train becomes so long it requires multiple engines, why not break the train up into shorter, easier to stop units? I understand the manning issue but each train is only two men.

I'm thinking one engine in the front and one dynamic braking unit in the rear.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

See https://www.traingeek.ca/wp/faq/trains-with-multip....

Seems to me there are number of reasons why single long trains are more efficient than multiple shorter trains. Additionally, more trains means more coordination along tracks and more separation distances to keep track of. The Greek train collision is a glaring example of what happens when the coordination fails.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Part of the reason for having more than one power units on the lead of a train, is if one engine fails, then at least there is enough power to limp to the next siding. Other wise you would have just clogged the rails and slowed down other trains.
No surprise here. Also there is the issue of how much pulling power one can have with out pulling the couplers off the cars.
Longer trains also mean fewer trains, so simple math here.
Currently the slowest trains are coal trains. And part of that is because of the value of the cargo.
But what was found, in the past is the type of traction used made a difference.
DC traction motors, while cheaper to purchase, can not put 100% of the engine power to the rails at slow speed.
AC traction, while more expensive to purchase, can put close to 100% of the engine power to the rails at slow speed.
So as the railroads are changing from DC to AC traction, not all engines are capable of pulling long trains at low speeds.
This transition is also slow because of cost and current production- rates for new engines.
Also the AC traction requires more maintenance, and more highly trained technicians to work on them. A man power requirement that most railroads, and other industries are struggling with.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
BNSF has been, generally, assigning AC locomotives to coal trains ever since BNSF was formed (1996). And DC locomotives to high speed freight. Generally.

At BNSF locations where I've observed coal trains mixed with general freight, they all run at the same speed. Helps planning and to keep the road clear.

spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

This needs to be looked into to see is this was an issue in the Ohio train crash:

Leaked audio reveals US rail workers were told to skip inspections as Ohio crash prompts scrutiny to industry

Exclusive: employee says manager told her to stop marking cars for repair, as Ohio derailment brings hard look at industry’s record of blocking safety rules


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/mar/03/us...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
I do think that the claims and observations in the article should be taken seriously. Really.

I'm sure the NTSB will be looking at the history of the failed car. And that they started doing that within 24 hours of the crash. And, in a year or two, we can read about it.

Note that NTSB has not released their report on the Empire Builder crash of September 25, 2021.

Nor, for that matter, has NIST had much to say about the Florida condo collapse (June 24, 2021).



spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

A very very good question.

--Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
If the factories that used all that Bad Plastic were right next to the ones that produce them, then the Bad Chemicals wouldn't have to be transported more than a mile or so.

Darryl's PEX Incorporated could have Other Brother Darryl's Chemical Incorporated just send over a couple of vats with a fork lift. Or maybe just build a 1000 yard pipeline.

"Thanks for the quick delivery, Other Brother Darryl!"


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

NEVER underestimate the amount of damage that can be done with a forklift.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Oh, I am familiar with that. But it would have been far less than what DID happen.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Removing information from the public domain is becoming a trend with this administration.

"Environmental researchers say the combustion of vinyl chloride almost certainly created dioxins, a highly toxic chemical that can remain in the environment for years. However, the EPA has resisted calls to test for it, and the agency removed from its website the results of its in-depth soil analyses, so it’s unclear which chemicals are in the soil."


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/mar/04/ea...

RE: Train crash in Ohio

This administration? You're lucky there's anything left of the EPA at all. The reason for removal of the information was not given, for which there could be many legitimate reasons. One possibility; the area appears to have been previously contaminated by incineration. It makes no sense to publish information that will potentially be directly related to this train crash by opportunists, if you have no baseline of what existed beforehand. Which brings us to the elephant in the room, inadequate public protection from emmission abusers of all sorts.

"Trump’s presidency proudly presided over a bonfire of regulations, including health and safety controls, and eviscerated almost 100 environmental protections."
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/feb/26/tr...

"East Palestine’s waste disposal has raised fresh questions about the disposal of toxic substances. Some of the waste is being sent to incinerators around Ohio, while about 1.5m gallons of wastewater is being injected into wells deep into the Earth’s crust near Houston. Deep wells can leak waste into groundwater, and are thought to cause earthquakes.

Meanwhile, some contaminated soil was shipped to a Michigan landfill with a history of discharging PFAS into a public sewer system. A state-of-the-art incinerator in Arkansas is likely equipped to more safely handle the East Palestine waste, Kiger said."

Obfuscation of information in the public domain goes well back to the 80's when EXXON and scores of other companies began painting out logos on their tanks and creating shell companies for their questionable activities making it nearly impossible for the general public to ever find out who is responsible for anything going on in their neighborhoods. Its virtually impossible to find any technical details of any industrial site anywhere, including plans that must be submitted for gov approval, all hidden under "confidential commercial information" redactions. One soil study removed, for unknown reasons? Hardly anything to get excited about. Try to find out how much of all this stuff is being shipped around on the tracks and highways in your neighborhood. Now that's a challenge. Took me 2 weeks to find the TC Keystone (not XL) Pipeline permit application. Basically I just got lucky. During Obama's administration, I could see the construction progress report photos and data. After Trunp got in, NOTHING.

--Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

It's happened again; a Norfolk Southern train derails in Ohio, only this time there was no chemical spill nor fire, however, it did take out some power-lines leaving 1,500 homes in the dark:

20 cars of Norfolk Southern train derail in Ohio; no hazardous materials on board, officials say

It was the second derailment of the company’s trains in Ohio in a month.


https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/20-cars-norfo...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train crash in Ohio

OK. Basically something else is at work besides probability.
Suspected case of corporate profit at all cost with a blatant disregard for safety shaping up.

--Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
One of the things with probability is that sometimes the improbable happens.



spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Correct. I should have said "the probability of independent events".

--Einstein gave the same test to students every year. When asked why he would do something like that, "Because the answers had changed."

RE: Train crash in Ohio

The chair of the NTSB has commented on the Norfolk Southern train accidents:

NTSB chair on Ohio derailments and freight rail safety

https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-liv...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train crash in Ohio

That's a huge train... didn't know they were that long... betcha no hills...

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

NS discovers loose wheel on certain rail cars; AAR issues safety advisory

Highlights from the above posting.

Quote (Linked Posting)

During its cleanup of the site, the Class I determined that a model and series of rail cars had loose wheels, which could cause a derailment. The investigative team identified the wheels as coming from a series of recently acquired cars from a specific manufacturer, which NS did not identify in its press release.

Given that this fit is supposed to be a heavy press with QC being press force to assemble usually over 100 tons (The one time I helped with a wheel change we used a 300 ton axle press, I do not remember the exact force we used.), finding loose wheels on truck sets is surprising. Elsewhere posted - there are 600 cars identified in this batch which require inspection.

Quote (Linked posting)

As a result of the situation, the Association of American Railroads issued an advisory to halt the use of these cars. Earlier this week,...

The AAR announced the following:
  • Detectors – spacing: ...
  • Detectors – new action threshold: ...
  • Confidential Close Call Reporting System:
  • Training: In 2023, the railroads will train roughly 20,000 first responders in local communities across the country on accident mitigation. ...
  • Tank car improvement: Following a safety advisory from the NTSB raising the “potential for certain manway assemblies with aluminum protective housing covers to melt when exposed to extreme heat as experienced in a pool fire situation,” ...

Looks like some potentially useful actions.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

You used a press to install bearings and not heat? No hydraulic expansion?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Tug,

The wheels are pressed onto the axles--no bearings involved. Yet.

After that's done, the journals are projecting out from each wheel face. The bearings are slid onto those (I assume, rather than pressed), and the truck frame is dropped down onto the bearings.

Here's axles with wheels pressed on:

https://cdn.globalauctionplatform.com/f7adb67a-494...

Note the projecting journals (without bearings).


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

We fit similarly sized shafts in similarly sized gears for our marine transmissions. It's all done with heat, though. No pressing. There is too much risk of galling at that level of interference.

Bearings are the same, heavy interference on the inside race, too much risk of galling. Newer systems are often drilled for hydraulic expansion but I don't see any such system on train wheels or bearings.

The press is usually used to hold the bearing against the step while it cools as they tend to walk as the shrink.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Port and bridge crane wheels get pushed onto their axles the same as railway practice. A good press lubricant is vital. In the late 1970's we used white lead and tallow, now the mechanics often use copper / oil paste (CopperCoat FelPro or somthing similar).
I think the roller bearing journals are a light interference fit.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Quote (FacEngrPe)

Following a safety advisory from the NTSB raising the “potential for certain manway assemblies with aluminum protective housing covers to melt when exposed to extreme heat as experienced in a pool fire situation

Aluminum covers over pressure relief devices (PRDs)may have melted and affected their proper functioning.

https://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/NR2...



​Figure 2. Energetic pressure relief from a vinyl chloride tank car, East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 4. After releasing material, the PRD closed and remained closed. (Source: NTSB) (Emphasis added)

RE: Train crash in Ohio

What people were hearing about the Ohio train crash may not have been coming from where they thought that it was:

Pro-Russia Voices Tried To Steer Ohio Train Derailment Debate

Some took advantage of Elon Musk's new Twitter policies to increase their reach and promote Moscow-approved talking points.


https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pro-russia-voices-t...

An excerpt from the above item:

Soon after a train derailed and spilled toxic chemicals in Ohio last month, anonymous pro-Russian accounts started spreading misleading claims and anti-American propaganda about it on Twitter, using Elon Musk’s new verification system to expand their reach while creating the illusion of credibility.

The accounts, which parroted Kremlin talking points on myriad topics, claimed without evidence that authorities in Ohio were lying about the true impact of the chemical spill. The accounts spread fearmongering posts that preyed on legitimate concerns about pollution and health effects and compared the response to the derailment with America’s support for Ukraine following its invasion by Russia.

Some of the claims pushed by the pro-Russian accounts were verifiably false, such as the suggestion that the news media had covered up the disaster or that environmental scientists traveling to the site had been killed in a plane crash. But most were more speculative, seemingly designed to stoke fear or distrust. Examples include unverified maps showing widespread pollution, posts predicting an increase in fatal cancers and others about unconfirmed mass animal die-offs.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train crash in Ohio

HuffPo, really?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Regardless of Huffington Post, Twitter has been substantially damaged by Musk's ownership; they recently turned off two-factor authentication to non-subscription accounts. WHO DOES THAT SORT OF NONSENSE? Security should be priority and TFA should be a part of that for every user, paying or otherwise.

And the Russian stuff is reported elsewhere, including Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/tylerroush/2023/03/18... so Russia-supporters not withstanding, I don't get why so many so-called Americans are so eager to declare "fake-news" and defend Russians.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Train crash in Ohio

It's funny that they never show examples. How are we supposed to identify Russian propaganda if we are never shown what it looks like?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Quote:

It's funny that they never show examples. How are we supposed to identify Russian propaganda if we are never shown what it looks like?

Seriously?

Quote (https://www.forbes.com/sites/tylerroush/2023/03/18...)

The accounts, identified for the AP by the London-based nonprofit Reset, made claims that authorities were lying about the impact of the train’s chemical spill, provoked concerns about possible health effects and compared the derailment to the U.S. government’s support for Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.

Other posts by the accounts—each of which featured a Twitter Blue verification mark—include a conspiracy that environmental scientists traveling to East Palestine were killed in a plane crash and a claim that the derailment will increase fatal cancers in the area.

One account with 25,000 followers tweeted: “Biden offers food, water, medicine, shelter, payouts of pension and social services to Ukraine! Ohio first! Offer and deliver to Ohio!”

Other accounts offered their support for the Russian government, spread claims that the U.S. was stealing Syrian humanitarian relief supplies (donated by China), and reposted videos and articles from Russian state media.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Train crash in Ohio

No links?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

No matter how you cut it... you'd expect those kinds of antics from a third world country... it's sad.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Quote (IRStuff)

Seriously?: a conspiracy that environmental scientists traveling to East Palestine were killed in a plane crash (emphasis added)

Chasing the AP story down (https://apnews.com/article/ohio-train-derailment-r...) they link to another AP story: https://apnews.com/article/little-rock-arkansas-bu....

5 employees from CTEH were killed in a plane crash headed to an explosion at an Ohio metals plant. IIRC that is the same firm hired to do some environmental testing at East Palestine. whether those particular employees had anything to do with the environmental testing in East Palestine or not is unknown. So, no conspiracy, but perhaps a mistake.

Quote (JohnRBaker)

But most were more speculative, seemingly designed to stoke fear or distrust. Examples include ... unconfirmed mass animal die-offs.

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (https://ohiodnr.gov/discover-and-learn/safety-cons...):

"...ODNR used a calculation endorsed by the American Fisheries Society to estimate the total number of minnows killed in the entire 5-mile span of waterway from the derailment site to the point where Bull Creek flows into the north fork of Little Beaver Creek. Of the estimate, 38,222 were minnows, ranging in size between 1 and 3 inches.

ODNR also estimated the total number of other aquatic life killed as a result of the derailment, including small fish, crayfish, amphibians, and macroinvertebrates. This number is approximately 5,500."

So, again, no conspiracy theory. Instead a mass animal die-off from a reputable government source.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

And if the referenced article had sited 'estimated numbers', that would have been condemned as an attempt to mislead people, eh?

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train crash in Ohio

@ JohnRBaker

Let's start over. When I posted about the aluminum covers, I was thinking about the slices of swiss cheese theory of accidents. When the holes line up, an accident happens. Causation is not simple, but a combination of events. Previously, brakes, hot box detectors, the length of the train, reduced manpower had all been identified as factors in the accident. I thought the fact that the aluminum covers weren't on anybody's radar to be interesting. Since the necessity of doing a controlled vent and burn of the vinyl chloride tankers had also been questioned, I thought that pointing out that the pressure relief devices had failed was important. I never thought to look for Russians under my bed. Surprisingly (to me), venting and burning vinyl chloride tank cars has been done before in other derailments. The one most similar to East Palestine, OH happened in Livingston, LA on Sep. 28, 1982. I have found two accounts of that derailment and aftermath plus the NTSB report. One is a bit rosy and makes thing sound like there is little concern for future health effects: https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/east-p.... It doesn't mention any cancer deaths. The other one (https://www.firehouse.com/rescue/hazardous-materia...), however, states:

Quote:

... the first three state troopers to arrive on the site have since died from cancer. It is unknown how many others may have died from cancer caused by exposure to toxic materials during the incident.

The second one is also more detailed. Six vinyl chloride tank cars were vented and burned in Livingston, although two of these had already been breached and three of the ones that had not been breached had vented at least some of their content. A seventh vinyl chloride car BLEVEd, as did a tetra ethyl lead tank car. The NTSB report: https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReport...

Based on the Livingston, LA derailment, there is some concern about future cases of cancer, especially among first responders. That is not a conspiracy theory.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

And it is real that the EPA initially would not test for dioxins because they didn't have a previous baseline. You know that most hazardous chemical produced by the combustion of halocarbons.

Why would you even share such a dubious story linking peoples' serious concerns to... Russia. Are those concerns illegitimate?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

@ TubboatEng:

It gets more interesting. Attached is a report on dioxins obtained by the State of Indiana: https://www.in.gov/idem/files/report_10644640_SW82...

Quote:

Client Project #: Waste Sampling - OH Derailme ... This report presents the results from the analyses performed on three samples submitted by a representative of the State of Indiana.

Were these samples taken in the State of Indiana, roughly 250 miles away from East Palestine? If so, the results (pg 25: max of 700 ppt) would imply evacuating half of Ohio and half of Pennsylvania (/sarc). If the soil was sampled in East Palestine, OH, why aren't these samples being submitted by Ohio, Pennsylvania or federal agencies like FEMA, EPA or NTSB? Why only 3 samples? Where were they taken? How far from the derailment? Many questions.


P.S. Please note the sarcasm tag.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Steve Mould had an interesting video today https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtMTvsi-4Hw&t=... It's about acoustic cameras and imaging. What's germane is the possibility of using such cameras to "hear" and image bearing noise as a train passes, and could therefore potentially detect bearings that are starting to fail.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
I suspect acoustic sensing is a very good idea. It could possibly be located at the same location as the hot box detectors--no need for additional "infrastructure", just bolt on another type of sensor.

Yes, you would keep the same spacing as is used currently.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Is this different from Fourier spectrum analysis commonly used for condition based monitoring? Steel rails are an excellent conductor or sound. One would think accelerometers on the rail could produce similar measurements while covering much larger areas of track from a single measurement point.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
I suspect if you're using air-transmitted sound, rather than rail, that it's easier to pick out which bearing is the naughty one.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Sensing through air doesn't sound much more effective. If it's measuring diffraction caused by pressure waves one would think the pressure waves caused by the truck moving through air or wind would also cause a lot of "interference".

Medium speed diesel engines used to have fusible links on their connecting rods. If the bearing gets above 250F a solder joint melts and a metal rod pops out of the connecting rod and strikes a valve which dumps control air to shut the engine down. No electronics necessary. It's not so indifferent that the old Square D style overload heaters in motor controllers.

Then again, direct temperature measurement is so inexpensive nowadays, why do it any other way?

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Sensing through air is directional and local. Thus you know immediately which bearing is of interest. You can compare that one with hot box data (from the same location). Once the train is stopped, the trainman knows exactly where to look.

Rail transmission will not do that.

The sound thing is nice because the bearing doesn't even HAVE to be hot.

The problem with "direct temperature measurement" is that that you need a power source to run it and transmit the data. Certainly doable. Even fun to design. Then we start looking at cost-benefit. Compare the cost with adding acoustic detectors.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

That's why I brought up the fusible link no power. Heck, you could have it pop up a flag that a camera then sees. It needs to be a flag or something that can be protected until it's needed to indicate otherwise it may get too dirty to be seen. A spare fusible link can be carried onboard and replaced in the field in the event of a false indication.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

With all the noise level that a train makes, it has to have an incredible filter to detect these small noises... else they may be at a frequency that can separate the different noise.

By the time it heats up, it may be too late to stop the train.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

The acoustic cameras have FFTs. The current CONOP is to have they basically a trackside, and the FOV of the camera would capture no more than one or two cars at a time, do their FFTs and identify whether there are any anomalies. I suspect we're still many years away from a practical product and they may need to be paired with co-registered thermal cameras. That would be a substantially more expensive thing than upgrading hotboxes.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Train crash in Ohio

Acoustic detectors would be good for other classes of defect though. Wheelflats (which play merry hell with the infrastructure if you carry on running with them) are a good example.

A.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I small solar panel, and electronics package, with bearing sensors is really not that hard. Use a short range transmitter to a receiver on a hot box detector, and you are set.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Solar panels have been working quite well on trains that are in dedicated service for one "owner".

But most freight cars in the US are designed for interchange, and might end up anywhere they're needed. And may need maintenance anywhere they're at. By anyone who is willing to attempt it.

You will likely need a plug-and-play (if'n it don't work, plug in a new one, dude) cheap-as-dirt (theft) highly reliable and very sturdy bit of hardware.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

This is not going to end well...

Hours Of Video Deleted In Ohio Train Derailment

Footage was overwritten when the train went "immediately back in service following the accident," according to a federal agency investigating the incident.


https://www.huffpost.com/entry/parts-of-video-miss...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
Aside from the 20/5 mentioned, there is almost no hard info in that article.

Sebastian, as a trained and professional reporter, simply restated NTSB's announced statement.

Must have taken at least 5 minutes of his time to produce it. True dedication.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I think it's ignorant that the author would expect a company to keep an undamaged engine that was not a cause in the derailment out of service for the duration of the NTSB investigation which we all know typically last over a year.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Not 'ignorant', but 'naive'.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
There is a POSSIBILITY that the reason there is a 20/5 minute remaining bit of video is that, due to employee privacy concerns, all other data is automatically wiped by the equipment. As in: not retained.

If that is not the case, one could ask just how far back DOES the equipment save the recording. The whole trip? And when does it stop recording?

And if someone wiped the video because the locomotive was being put back in service, how is it that they neglected to wipe the whole thing? How is it that they left that interesting 20/5 minute bit?

Sebastian does not appear to have done any research for his article; he only parroted what the NTSB rep said. Of course, he could have felt the need to get this important news out right away; and he is, at this very moment, researching this matter to get ALL the information.

Go Sebastian, go!


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

It reads as if Sebastian used ChatGPT to write the article.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Reminds me of a program from Byte Magazine over 30 years back that would transform a text program; the transformation was syntactically correct, but gibberish... It was a real 'hoot' back then... and probably used by politicians for speech writing... the program was titled, 'Travesty' and was written as a lark...

It's still out there...

https://sourceforge.net/projects/travesty.mirror/


-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Oh Lord, I think you just found the source code for ChatGPT.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I'll have to try the program... I think it's been modified to run in a GUI... the old one ran in DOS... It was really neat back then...

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

...not a good sign.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-65141709

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Train crash in Ohio

To say nothing of...

US Justice Department sues Norfolk Southern following train derailment in East Palestine

https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/31/us/us-norfolk-south...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I can see the defense now. You can't blame us for the pollution because you don't have a baseline.

EPA really opened a can of worms when they used that excuse for not testing for dioxins.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
A very nice video.

I'll emphasize (as he did not) that many mainline sidings used to have manually controlled switches that needed to be thrown by a person. So when a train was sent into a siding so another could pass, the head end brakeman got down and threw the switch for the train to enter the siding. When the caboose had entered that siding, the rear end brakeman threw the switch back, and the other train could roll through without stopping.

The crew names probably should have been changed from brakeman to switchman, but that term was already used by a somewhat different trade. And then there's tradition.

If you finally get to the point where all appropriate mainline sidings are remotely controlled by a central dispatcher (CTC), then you now have no work for the two brakemen, except for emergencies.

As the video guy noted, trains that do a lot of switching might have a caboose assigned. The Union Pacific still has about 150 available for that task and others.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

I had heard a radio report yesterday ( NPR) that the USA's Federal Railroad Admninistration FRA does not keep ANY records of train derailments or analysis of what caused each derailment. If this is a true summary of what that organization does not accomplish, then it is an incredible waste of money and a lost opportunity to improve operations, and a prime reason for the frequent derailments in the USA railroad system.In other words, our 175 yr old rail network is condemned to poor availability and frequent environmental catastrophes due to simple stupidity.The claimed reason for their forced stupidity is that the onwers of the rail system do not want to invest in the improvements needed to minimize derailments, and so the political pressure on the FRA is " to see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil".

There is the old saying " if it can be measured, it can be improved". More to the point, the use of modern statistical quality control measures can find , and fix the top 3 reasons for derailments if they were to indeed keep records. At a minimum, one should compare the frequency of US railroad derailments on a normalized basis with other countries, such as derailments per ton*mile of freight shipment . Perhaps the insurance industry could provide the data that the FRA refuses to keep.


"...when logic, and proportion, have fallen, sloppy dead..." Grace Slick

RE: Train crash in Ohio

(OP)
It would appear the Propublica article is in error when it claims that accident reports don't include data on train length.

Here is form FRA F 6180.97:

https://railroads.dot.gov/forms-guides-publication...

Note box 24. "Total of Cars in Equipment Consist"

Here is form FRA F 6180.54:

https://railroads.dot.gov/sites/fra.dot.gov/files/...

Note box 35 calls for the total number of cars in consist. Note also box 29, where it requests tonnage of train.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it looks like the writers are way uninformed about the subject.

Perhaps they could argue that the number of cars in the train does not reveal the length of the train. To an extent, that's true. Car length generally ranges from 60' to 90', these days; which is a broad range. However, I suggest that the number of cars is more important than the length, because (1) the weight of the load and of the car is generally independent of the length, and (2) problems in this instance are generally caused by the quantity of trucks and couplers in the train, not the length of the train.


spsalso

RE: Train crash in Ohio

Perhaps this should have been posted this in the 'pub', but...

3 former GOP operatives to pay $50K for roles in a fake charity tied to E. Palestine derailment

Three former Republican political operatives have agreed to pay over $50,000 in restitution and penalties for their roles in operating a fake charity tied to the East Palestine train derailment


https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/3-former-gop-o...

An excerpt from the above item:

Three men who have worked as Republican political operatives agreed to pay more than $50,000 in restitution and penalties in Ohio for their roles in operating a phony charity that collected cash purportedly to help victims of the East Palestine train derailment.

The settlement, announced Thursday by Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, requires Isaiah Wartman and Luke Mahoney of WAMA Strategies to pay more than $22,000 to a local food bank, plus $3,000 in investigative costs and fees.

Under the deal, Michael Peppel, co-founder of the fraudulent charity, Ohio Clean Water Fund, must pay a $25,000 civil penalty and agree to a lifetime ban on starting, running or soliciting for any charity in the state, Yost announced.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train crash in Ohio

JohnRBaker, wherever you might have chosen to post it, I have no argument. It is still true and another sad commentary on how quickly thieves can take advantage of people. A couple of centuries ago, con men relied on the very slow dissipation of news and information to move rapidly about their society from one pigeon to the next. Today they rely on the very fast dissipation of news and information to reel in the pigeons before someone digs into their chicanery. At least in this case the thieves were caught. I have no law enforcement or legal background so I wonder, but don't know, if all the donators can be made whole again.

RE: Train crash in Ohio

This sort of thing is unfortunately becoming the norm, i.e., graft and corruption, particularly at the local level.

We have police raiding and confiscating equipment and materials from a local newspaper because someone influential convinced the local police to gain a warrant based on false allegations of identity theft in a complete violation of the 1st and 4th amendments.

We have another local police stopping out-of-state travelers and abusing asset forfeiture laws to benefit themselves. This one is particularly egregious because asset forfeiture laws don't require conviction of any crimes, or even a semi-valid criminal case.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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