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Old July 8th, 2013, 11:29 PM   #261
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It's now being revealed that the lead engine of the fives's worth suffered a fire at the outset of the train being parked in Nantes. The local fire brigade there, 7 miles up slope from Lac-Mégantic, believe they extinguished it, although now much uncertainty reigns over the matter of handing the train back over to the railway. Nonetheless, the lead engine itself was the one left switched on for the (overnight?) park, the rest of them having been switched off.

Apparently, the international railway themselves have (had?) issued some embarrassing press release that's appalling people
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Old July 9th, 2013, 02:33 AM   #262
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:pfft: Regarding the Nantes fire department's actions in his phone interview (today?), the railway's chair: (a) questioned their wisdom in having the burning loco powered off so they could tackle the blaze in its engine room, and (b) their wisdom again for not having the engineer roused from his sleep in the hotel opposite their firehouse. :pfft: He kept mentioning the trackperson his railway had had dispatched to the crippled parked train, over and over. Anyhow, the Nantes fire dept isn't pleased.

So the brake failure might now be explained, i.e., gradual loss of air-brake pressure because of powered-off loco, although how the cargo became uncoupled from the engines remains a mystery.

Me, I blame big-business lobbyists and the federal goverment for this ongoing CRAZY deregulation, e.g., I'd fancy knowing just what small fraction of you here readers are capable of describing the appearance of a caboose ...
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Old July 9th, 2013, 03:46 AM   #263
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Cabooses are not needed if you have modern in-cab signaling and electronic train information softwares.

90% of former federal rail regulation both in US and Canada were pure non-sense by the 1980s, a relic of steam-powered train times. However powerful unions were dragging down train operation modernization in North America just to preserve jobs.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 04:30 AM   #264
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I thought cabooses were eliminated on N. American freight trains sometime back in the 80's, when there was widespread deregulation of the RR's. They were replaced with end of train devices equipped with telemetry.

The pre-incident fire on the lead loco seems to be the first step that led to this disaster. It appears subsequently that either employee neglect of rules, and/or lack of enforcement by the RR company of safe operating practices, led to this disaster- namely, not having hand brakes applied on the cars, and putting a derail on the track, especially given the hazardous material train was parked on a slope(!)
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Old July 9th, 2013, 06:22 AM   #265
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Such a repulsive state of affairs. The first of the pair of federal ministers at this afternoon's press conference ended by trumpeting at length how stiffer penalties have been introduced just May Day. Yet the government has been ignoring the rail regulator's annually-reiterated recommendations many, many years now for better safety rules addressing the operating practice of the day. Banana republics enact crap practice like this that kk has just identified. Shirk the train even after it catches alight at that? No prob

Ultimately juvenile.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 10:07 PM   #266
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Today's :
Canada train blast: Blame game over Lac-Megantic disaster

A rail firm and fire department appear to be pointing the finger at one another over a Canada oil train blast that has killed at least 13 people.

A rep from this country's transport safety board's rail division said in a phone interview today that they themselves will be looking into what currently available technologies might have mitigated this disaster, and that for many years they have been promoting modern rolling stock replacements for our, obviously, current obsolete tanker cars again and again, yet always find themselves being ignored. Their mandate's muddling to me. How about you, because what precisely mandates that federal board only halfway to a (the?!?) goal?

Also, several current and past railway professionals have been calling into call-in radio shows, DISSING the state of railway safety in this here banana republic while sharing their stark examples throughout. Banana republics carelessly resort to childish tattle taling(sp?). This country both CAN and had better make up its mind ... it's all about choice.

Some petroleum distillate was blended into the crude, this is believed to explain how come the first explosion was instantaneous upon derailment.

Only today has the matter of proper air brakes ever come up.

The matter of how the locos became separated from their cargo has STILL NOT been mentioned ... shit, maybe this place is dismally hopeless after all.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 08:38 AM   #267
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A rep from this country's transport safety board's rail division said in a phone interview today that they themselves will be looking into what currently available technologies might have mitigated this disaster,
That 'currently available technology' is called a manually operated parking brake and, at least in Europe as far as I know, nearly every rail vehicle is equipped. I have no reason to asume that in NA this would be different.

There is one thing I also don't understand. If the train broke the total loss of main airline pressure should have put on all the airbrakes. Or were these cars so poorly maintained that they could not keep up enough main reservoir and brake cilinder pressure for more then 8 to 10 hours? According to my dad (former train driver) in the Netherlands if you were to park a freight train on the air brakes, it would take at least a few days before leakage would have limited the remaining brake force enough for it to be movable at all (on a slope it may not be a few days, but still longer than a few hours). Despite this, it is standard practice for parked trains to use the parking brakes, just to be safe.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 05:00 PM   #268
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Nope, coz by what they announced yesterday, your scope limited to handbrakes is to singularily narrow. Signalling, positive train control, emergency trigger appliances, etc., etc., are what was mentioned by them yesterday. Inadequate tankers seems to be the safety board's biggest concern so far this week.

Anyhow, from his helm in Chicago yesterday, the railway's chair retracted his accusations, saying that his company has really screwed up.

His railway's one of a pair in this country whose trains are allowed to be operated by just one staff. He said his company's trains won't be left unattended any more, and that Nantes itself will no longer serve as the overnight pit stop.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 07:45 PM   #269
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Quebeckers are finding the discussion of pipeline vs. rail transport --which is the first, subsequent general matter to have cropped up since this disaster-- unsavoury and disrespectful. 13 dead, 50 missing. Many find absenteeism of a corresponding rail exec at Lac-Mégantic careless, although now that chair is supposed to arrive there this afternoon.

Although provincial flags will be half-mast as of only tomorrow (for 1 week), the sitting provincial separarist government are now trying to shame the federal government for not lowering their own flags The premier is now also severely critisizing that railway chair. A $60M emergency fund will be set up by the province come Monday.

Municipalities are now clamouring for disclosure of cargo contents so that they can bring their emergency response preparedness up to snuff. Over fear of sabotage, only the federal government is informed of cargo contents, being a practice that municiplaties (e.g., the City of Montreal the last 10 years) have been contesting.

The matter of how the cargo became unhitched from the locos still isn't being addressed. A witness has now come forward saying the dark train started rolling downhill 5 minutes after the Nantes firefighters left the mainline there.

I can't recall seeing catch points about this country.
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Old July 10th, 2013, 10:01 PM   #270
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One of the first things that rail chair did upon arriving at the impromptu press scrum at Lac-Mégantic this afternoon was to chide that their dismissed engineer probably won't ever be back on their payroll

Updated daily :
Lac-Mégantic timeline
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Old July 11th, 2013, 12:39 AM   #271
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Me, I blame big-business lobbyists and the federal goverment for this ongoing CRAZY deregulation, e.g., I'd fancy knowing just what small fraction of you here readers are capable of describing the appearance of a caboose ...
Goverment-owned and carefully regulated raulways of Europe and USSR totally eliminated caboosez in like... late 50s?
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Old July 11th, 2013, 01:29 AM   #272
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More like as late as the '80s.

The chair's appearance in the town there has bombed...mere childishness (detailing how so would be useless.), although townsfolk there through and through found the chair's abject apology insincere. He came alone not even a translator accompanied him, which is fueling townsfolks' anger to yet another level. Lots of bungling melded to tragic loss of life

Initially, the chair was supporting his engineer. However, his suspension of the engineer, ultimately veiled as an outright dismissal, is also maddening locals. On Friday night, it's said that the engineer bolted out of bed and uncoupled either 7 or 9 tankers from the runaway cargo up in Nantes, and then somehow tore off to Lac-Mégantic where he liaisoned with emergency officers.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 01:59 AM   #273
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I don't see that CEO lasting long. He was better off not visiting at all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTxSj0wemdU
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Old July 11th, 2013, 02:03 AM   #274
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There is nothing wrong with operating one-person crew trains. That is common standard practice on many European freight operations.

I'm curious about what happened to the damn air brakes? Even on a scenario of total collapse of the loco power, air brakes should last at least 24h.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 02:15 AM   #275
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Not that I blame you overseas folks, I myself find the failures unbelievable, but you guys don't seem to grasp the crippling conditions our railways operate on over here, e.g., trains used to be 120 cars but now they're commonly 240 cars long. With excessively extensive operations like this, one would suppose both its infrastructure and rolling stock to champion state of the art, yet it essentially boasts one of the lousiest railway networks around. No track renewal? Obsolete cars? No modern signaling? Corroded bridges and viaducts? Cocked-up operation policies? Quoi?
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Old July 11th, 2013, 06:48 AM   #276
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Today's :
Deadly Quebec train crash to be fertile ground for lawsuits
"...The key questions that will have to be answered in the coming weeks and months include whether any cases filed will be heard in Canada or the United States, which parties were most negligent and how liability for the crash is spread among them. ..."


The disaster's not over. Supposedly the fires were extinguished yesterday although many hotspots risk reigniting. The flammable cargo has made its way into the sewer system and poses much danger. The Chaudičre River supplying much drinking water to communities near and far from its banks is contaminated. Witnesses said the streets at first had rivers of fire. Fires popped up many places. It's now suspected that the initial explosion/s were from (fixed) propane tanks being punctured by the derailing tankers...surely there must have been sparks from all those collisions there.

This country's carelessness with propane storage has been bothersome to me for quite some time now...it's much like how I can't help myself from perceiving Iberia symbolic of exploding gas canister delivery trucks

Prescribing the number of handbrakes to be deployed lies squarely with rail companies here, no authority (no longer?) seems to ever scrutinize their analyses Deregulation had better revert to being a dirty word, quick.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 09:01 AM   #277
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Nope, coz by what they announced yesterday, your scope limited to handbrakes is to singularily narrow. Signalling, positive train control, emergency trigger appliances, etc., etc., are what was mentioned by them yesterday. Inadequate tankers seems to be the safety board's biggest concern so far this week.
As I now understand the engineer was supposed to have put on at least 11 parking brakes along the train and it seems he didn't do that. What is the use of any amount of safety equipment when you skip your most basic safety measure?

Anyway, all modern European train control systems are equipped with a function protecting unwanted train movement. In most systems the emergency brakes will be activated when a train moves more then a few meters when it shouldn't.

As I mentioned before: Over the course of a few hours the airbrakes should have retained enough air to be able to operate properly. If they didn't those railcars were very poorly maintained.

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His railway's one of a pair in this country whose trains are allowed to be operated by just one staff.
I would go one further then Suburbanist: In which European country freight trains are not operated by a one-person crew? And also: You can put a crew of a hundred men on a train, if they don't follow proper procedure it doesn't make a difference.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 09:34 AM   #278
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I would go one further then Suburbanist: In which European country freight trains are not operated by a one-person crew? And also: You can put a crew of a hundred men on a train, if they don't follow proper procedure it doesn't make a difference.
Right - most european trains operate with one person crews and without
caboose since 1960 at least. But those trains are short and do not overnight
in stations with no personnel. In America trains are significantly longer, travel
long distances in quasi-desert territories, and find almost no ground-based
personnel along the way. So I can feel the need for keeping two men in the
train crews. The transformation of american railway companies into lean and
mean organizations has probably gone a bit too far, and the search for
savings in operating costs taken precedence over plain common sense...
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Old July 11th, 2013, 07:10 PM   #279
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Quote:
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Right - most european trains operate with one person crews and without
caboose since 1960 at least. But those trains are short and do not overnight
in stations with no personnel. In America trains are significantly longer, travel
long distances in quasi-desert territories, and find almost no ground-based
personnel along the way. So I can feel the need for keeping two men in the
train crews. The transformation of american railway companies into lean and
mean organizations has probably gone a bit too far, and the search for
savings in operating costs taken precedence over plain common sense...
But how having two men would prevent event like this?
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Old July 11th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #280
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Spot checking one another from having called out aloud what action/s one of the pair of staff is performing, which is obligatory even when crews apply handbrakes. This practice would have much narrowed the margin of error.

I wish I knew just how everyone around the Nantes loco fire figured on no likelihood of it reigniting, for instance, because the fire dept there did hand back control of the train to the railway. Plus it seems that a fire dept around this country needn't release the operation of the train back to either its designated engineer or conductor The train was released to the track person, and the engineer who had driven the train there had already completed his shift.

I think the federal government is in big trouble and going to find itself bogged down by this tragedy.

Also, guidelines ought to be established to prevent corresponding spokespersons from uttering flippant statements. They really hurt the traumatized parties involved. That daft chair is now faulting his engineer without even following through on sharing his dispatcher's actions. When you think about it, lousy orchestration subsequent to aftermath ought to be regulated against.

Onto its website yesterday, Montreal's English-language daily posted a media clip of a phone interview they conducted of some railway expert who, without suggesting any explanation whatsoever, wondered aloud a couple of times how the cargo must have become uncoupled from the locos.
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