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  • Topic: Ugly side of railroading

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    • February 4, 2019 8:25 PM EST
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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    • February 4, 2019 8:28 PM EST
      • Cleveland, , Mississippi
         
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      Looks like a pile of scrap iron for someone now.

    • February 5, 2019 11:25 AM EST
      • Missouri, It's like Floodsburg, man
         
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      That line from article,

      "“We know that, for example, the government is already reviewing rules regarding crew fatigue and we’re hoping to see regulations coming out shortly out of that process,” he said."

      Brings to mind things like, https://calgaryherald.com/business/local-business/cp-rail-union-at-odds-over-worker-fatigue

      CP Rail, union at odds over worker fatigue

      Canadian Pacific Railway is butting heads with one of its unions over its workplace fatigue practices, saying its efforts to bring predictable schedules and mandatory time-off periods to employees are being "thwarted at every turn."

       

    • February 5, 2019 8:41 PM EST
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      I hated on call type work, did it for several years, saw 3 co-workers wad their trucks up into balls of metal  because of it and pretty much swore I would never do that again, it’s somtimes difficult to maintain a scheduled work schedule for a trucker but since I now own and operate my own truck I can have some say over things. I have a nephew who is an engineer for UP and have not talked too much with him about scheduling and how it affects him. 

      This post was edited by Pete Lassen at February 16, 2019 11:51 PM EST
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      Butt Modeler #2

       

       

    • February 27, 2019 7:39 PM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      I  was just informed today, that "Unofficially" the possible cause of the train wreck which started this thread, was possible caused by a "Kicker" in the consist, which was causing the problem with speed control (Brakes) before the relieving crew took over.

        A car, with a problem with its brake regulator, which causes its brakes to go into emergency, and "Dump" its air, during a regular application of the train brakes, is called a "Kicker".

          Trying to locate the car with the problem in a 100+ car train is not easy and is very time consuming, even in the best of times. Quite often it is located only easily, if it develops flat spots on its wheels,  the brakes are found dragging/or the wheels seized up.

          In any case, it seems, "Unofficially" that such a car was reported in the consist, of the run-away train, and caused the death of the three railroad workers.

           I hope I described the "Kicker Car" properly, without making too many errors in my description. I have been aware of such a situation for a number of years, since I was near to a wreck just up the Ottawa Valley, on CP's Chalk River Sub, near Chalk River, Ontario, and my association with a retired member of the investigating team.

        Fred Mills

    • March 1, 2019 10:33 AM EST
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      I read up on "kickers" or "dynamite" cars, still a bit confused.

       

      I get the loss of air, but that would put the entire train in emergency, setting the brakes.

       

      This train wreck was caused by brakes "accidentally" being released... which takes pressurization of the brakes... so can you or anyone explain the process?

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • March 1, 2019 11:49 AM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Greg;

        I hope I can help you out...

        When the brakes are put into emergency, in this case by the action of the "Kicker" caused by the faulty regulator, all the air in the system is released. This causes the brakes on each car to be pressed onto the wheels by the air in the reservoir tanks on each car.

           Ok; so the brakes are being held on by the air in the reservoir tanks on each car, and the train is stopped...

       But...that air gradually leaks off, allowing the brakes to release.  Any train, especially in VERY cold weather, has leaks in the air line. Mostly at the "Air bags" connecting each car...and within the system on each car...if the train line is nor recharged by the compressors on the locomotives.

           You may have heard of the "Lac Magentic" rail disaster in the province of Quebec. That wreck and major fire, with the loss of life, was caused by the same brake line situation, but was caused by the locomotives being shut down, and not maintaining the airline pressure. There were not enough hand brakes applied to prevent the run-away.

        I'm sure any trainman, with experience can add to this, and describe the brake system better than I can.

        Fred Mills

    • March 1, 2019 12:03 PM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Greg;

         You have to understand, that the air brake system on our trains in North America, is based on air pressure to keep the brakes off, when running. This allows a safety feature to work.

          If for any reason the brake line is broken, or the engineer puts the system into emergency, all the brakes go on.

        How do they get activated if the train line air pressure is released....?  The brakes are applied by the "Regulator" on each car sensing the drop in pressure, and applying the brakes using the air in the air reservoirs on each car, which is built up, and maintained by the air in the train line when all is functioning properly.

           Normal "Gentle" release of air, applies the brakes without the complete depletion of the air in the car reservoirs, which are recharged by the train line. (The car regulators control all this, except when they become faulty, and become "Kickers")

            Fred Mills 

    • March 1, 2019 12:03 PM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Deleted 

      This post was edited by Fred Mills. at March 1, 2019 12:08 PM EST
    • March 1, 2019 1:30 PM EST
      • Sherwood Park, Alberta
         
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      Removed - Issue is too sensitive.

       

      This post was edited by Shane Stewart at March 1, 2019 6:59 PM EST
    • March 1, 2019 1:41 PM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Like I said....Others may know more about this subject than I do, but I was not interested in involving any "Politics" in this discussion.

      Fred Mills

    • March 1, 2019 1:44 PM EST
      • Sherwood Park, Alberta
         
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      Removed - Issue is too sensitive.

       

      This post was edited by Shane Stewart at March 1, 2019 6:59 PM EST
    • March 1, 2019 1:46 PM EST
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      Shane, would you be so kind to help my understanding of how a "kicker" works? I just cannot seem to connect what I am reading to an "accidental brake release"...

       

      Greg

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at March 1, 2019 1:57 PM EST
      ____________________________________

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    • March 1, 2019 1:55 PM EST
      • Sherwood Park, Alberta
         
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      Greg, something malfunctions in the brake valve causing it to dump the air when it senses any pressure change. When you take a train brake, if your train immediately goes into emergency, you probably have one. If it happens a second time, you know you have one. To find it, normally the conductor will work his way back in the train closing angle cocks, about ten cars at a time. The engineer applies a brake. If nothing happens, he releases, the conductor cuts the tail back in, and then repeats 10 cars further back. It can be a slow process.

       

      Shane

       

    • March 1, 2019 2:00 PM EST
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      Cool that helps.

       

      Now taking that knowledge, how a kicker could be related to and "accidental release"? My pea brain says a kicker would be associated with an "accidental application" not release, or unexpected emergency.

       

      My guess is the "official" explanation or whatever the recent story was about "kickers" ... was really not what happened... will take some time to get to what really happened.

       

      Thanks!

       

      Greg

       

       

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • March 1, 2019 2:05 PM EST
      • Sherwood Park, Alberta
         
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      It can't. It definitely sounds like it was why the train was stopped, but it can't cause a release. Hopefully they release the locomotive downloads with the final report.

       

      I should clarify, the kicker is sensitive to a drop, not a rise.

       

      Shane

       

    • March 1, 2019 2:14 PM EST
      • Sherwood Park, Alberta
         
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      Removed - Issue is too sensitive.

       

       

       

      This post was edited by Shane Stewart at March 1, 2019 7:00 PM EST
    • March 1, 2019 2:54 PM EST
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      Shane,

      I'm going to disagree with you about cars not bleeding off. Not every car bleeds off at the same rate, some slower and some faster, but eventually you will find a car that has had it's emergency set bled off (without pulling the bled rod). Newer cars are better at holding air. Just because the piston is extended, doesn't always mean that the pads are touching the wheels...

       

      Here's the facts that I see/read about the this latest derailment.

      1. Train stopped on 2.2% grade, facing downhill.

      2. Train stopped with emergency brakes applied due to undesired release

      3. Crew did not tie hand brakes

      4. Relieve crew shows up.

      5. Train rolls down hill.

       

      My thought is 

      A. Relief crew assumed original crew tied handbrakes?

      B. Relief crew assumed that they could recharge airline while holding the train with dynos and independent. 

      or 

      C. Relief crew took so long that emergency application had bled off.

       

       

      Still doesn't answer why the original crew didn't tie handbrakes. Anytime you make a stop on a mountain grade due to an emergency application, you should immediately start tieing handbrakes!

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