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(My Fox DC)   Subway tracks get inspected because of extreme heat. One day later, Metro train derails. Good job inspectors   (myfoxdc.com) divider line 42
    More: Fail, metro, extreme temperatures, underground trains  
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5035 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Jul 2012 at 12:36 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-12 07:12:26 PM  
"Heat kinks are not an unusual occurrence. It's something the system has to look at its vulnerabilities... and figure out what kind of monitoring process," said Tom Downs, a Metro board member.

Is there any chance the track could bend?
 
2012-07-12 08:31:43 PM  
If extreme heat bends the tracks, what about some kind of sensor that snaps when the track bends? Would that work?
 
2012-07-12 10:36:07 PM  

Skywolf Philosopher: If extreme heat bends the tracks, what about some kind of sensor that snaps when the track bends? Would that work?


Don't really know much about railroads per se, just speaking from a general engineering/system design standpoint, but there are a lot of things that will work from sensors to expansion joints and probably even changing the alloys used for the tracks. But all of them cost time and lots and lots of money. Giant infrastructure systems are designed around a set of parameters (including temp range), and if those parameters start consistently running outside the initial assumptions, you have a big expensive problem on your hands.

Just one of the many highly expensive problems we'll have on our hands if global temps continue to rise.
 
2012-07-13 12:38:02 AM  

St_Francis_P: "Heat kinks are not an unusual occurrence. It's something the system has to look at its vulnerabilities... and figure out what kind of monitoring process," said Tom Downs, a Metro board member.

Is there any chance the track could bend?


Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
 
2012-07-13 12:38:23 AM  
Too much guacamole.
 
2012-07-13 12:39:11 AM  
Five!
Five car pile up!
 
2012-07-13 12:44:40 AM  
How about just air condition the farking metro stations, you cheapskates.
 
2012-07-13 12:45:14 AM  
www.washingtonpost.com

Ah, I see it's one a them fancy above-ground subways.
 
2012-07-13 12:45:33 AM  

pizen: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.


What about us braindead slobs?
 
2012-07-13 12:47:48 AM  

Fluorescent Testicle: pizen: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

What about us braindead slobs?


You'll be given cushy jobs.
 
2012-07-13 12:48:58 AM  

vossiewulf: Skywolf Philosopher: If extreme heat bends the tracks, what about some kind of sensor that snaps when the track bends? Would that work?

Don't really know much about railroads per se, just speaking from a general engineering/system design standpoint, but there are a lot of things that will work from sensors to expansion joints and probably even changing the alloys used for the tracks. But all of them cost time and lots and lots of money. Giant infrastructure systems are designed around a set of parameters (including temp range), and if those parameters start consistently running outside the initial assumptions, you have a big expensive problem on your hands.

Just one of the many highly expensive problems we'll have on our hands if global temps continue to rise.


Very true, I just read another story where a plane's wheels sunk into the tarmac while taxiing (waiting) because the asphalt had returned to a liquid state in this heat.
 
2012-07-13 12:50:08 AM  
Steel melts at 2600o.

Wake up, sheeple.
 
2012-07-13 12:52:15 AM  
As a red line rider, it's getting to the point where if the metro runs properly, it should make front-page news.

/really should move to within walking distance of work
 
2012-07-13 12:53:50 AM  

pizen: Fluorescent Testicle: pizen: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

What about us braindead slobs?

You'll be given cushy jobs.


Well, that is how metro works. Giving inspector jobs to completely unqualified people, among others.
 
2012-07-13 12:54:11 AM  

Bill_Wick's_Friend: Steel melts at 2600o.

Wake up, sheeple.


wow, you almost got me....
 
2012-07-13 12:56:13 AM  

Bill_Wick's_Friend: Steel melts at 2600o.

Wake up, sheeple.


There is clear evidence that thermite was used here.
 
2012-07-13 12:57:18 AM  

cptjeff: pizen: Fluorescent Testicle: pizen: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

What about us braindead slobs?

You'll be given cushy jobs.

Well, that is how metro works. Giving inspector jobs to completely unqualified people, among others.


Among other jobs, that is. They don't hire people who are actually qualified.

Sad thing is, I'm not even kidding. About the only way to fix the mess that is the DC metro is to fire everyone and start over. Public private hybrid thing with no real accountability to anyone, and it's evolved into a culture where competence is punished because it makes other people look bad. And they lose several million every year to embezzlement, because any sort of effective managerial oversight is verboten.
 
2012-07-13 12:57:59 AM  

Bill_Wick's_Friend: Steel melts at 2600o.

Wake up, sheeple.


i18.photobucket.com

Never forget
 
2012-07-13 01:00:21 AM  

Bill_Wick's_Friend: Steel melts at 2600o.

Wake up, sheeple.


imgs.xkcd.com
 
2012-07-13 01:02:26 AM  
Will this inspector get a famous road and a cult movie named after him, too?
 
2012-07-13 01:02:53 AM  

St_Francis_P: Is there any chance the track could bend?


It's funny you mention that - Disney World doesn't have problems with the monorail beam bending, but when it gets really cold there are a couple of places where the expansion joints open up enough where the trains have to go over them *really* slowly to keep from jarring the hell out of everyone.
 
2012-07-13 01:20:52 AM  
Metro / Deadtro continues its ritual un-prosecuted pre-meditated killing of passengers city wide.
 
2012-07-13 01:25:09 AM  
The engineering term for it is a "thermal misalignment". Modern railroad mainline is almost all CWR or continuous welded rail. Back in the day rail came in standard length sections that was bolted together, thus providing expansion/contraction points when the weather got hot or cold. All those joints require a lot of maintenance though, which is why the jump to CWR was made. Unfortunately you lose all those points of expansion/contraction, so you have to combat it in other ways.
The normal methodology is to lay the CWR at a certain temperature, causing the rail to expand when it's being installed, and locked in with rail anchors or some other form of fastening technology. The track structure can resist compressive forces much easier than expansive, and everything should be good.
What happens in instances like this could be attributed to maintenance, like cutting in a rail plug during the winter and not taking the steps to adjust the rail's temp, or it could just be rail movement over a long period of time, especially around areas such as switches or crossings (or the concrete section as shown in the picture) as they can act like an anchor point. It could also be attributed to poor components of the track structure.
Regardless, this isn't necessarily a rare instance, especially in areas experiencing higher than normal temperatures.

/used to be a gandy dancer
//bonus points if you know what that is w/out googling the term
 
2012-07-13 01:26:42 AM  

Tax Boy: As a red line rider, it's getting to the point where if the metro runs properly, it should make front-page news.

/really should move to within walking distance of work


Cue GoRemy's Metro Song...
 
2012-07-13 01:30:39 AM  
Way to be proactive!

Oh wait.
 
2012-07-13 01:31:53 AM  

Mhal9000: The engineering term for it is a "thermal misalignment". Modern railroad mainline is almost all CWR or continuous welded rail. Back in the day rail came in standard length sections that was bolted together, thus providing expansion/contraction points when the weather got hot or cold. All those joints require a lot of maintenance though, which is why the jump to CWR was made. Unfortunately you lose all those points of expansion/contraction, so you have to combat it in other ways.
The normal methodology is to lay the CWR at a certain temperature, causing the rail to expand when it's being installed, and locked in with rail anchors or some other form of fastening technology. The track structure can resist compressive forces much easier than expansive, and everything should be good.
What happens in instances like this could be attributed to maintenance, like cutting in a rail plug during the winter and not taking the steps to adjust the rail's temp, or it could just be rail movement over a long period of time, especially around areas such as switches or crossings (or the concrete section as shown in the picture) as they can act like an anchor point. It could also be attributed to poor components of the track structure.
Regardless, this isn't necessarily a rare instance, especially in areas experiencing higher than normal temperatures.

/used to be a gandy dancer
//bonus points if you know what that is w/out googling the term


I remember the good old days where we'd put a quarter over those gaps (at very specific gaps) and it would make the gates come down. Good times for a young teenager looking to be a pain in the ass. Then we discovered (ok, were taught) that bridging both rails with any good conductor (like speaker wire) would do the same thing but could be done pretty far from the crossing. We caused some mayhem for a few days until the railroad cops chased us off.

/Googling not necessary for me!
 
2012-07-13 01:32:49 AM  

Mhal9000: The engineering term for it is a "thermal misalignment". Modern railroad mainline is almost all CWR or continuous welded rail. Back in the day rail came in standard length sections that was bolted together, thus providing expansion/contraction points when the weather got hot or cold. All those joints require a lot of maintenance though, which is why the jump to CWR was made. Unfortunately you lose all those points of expansion/contraction, so you have to combat it in other ways.
The normal methodology is to lay the CWR at a certain temperature, causing the rail to expand when it's being installed, and locked in with rail anchors or some other form of fastening technology. The track structure can resist compressive forces much easier than expansive, and everything should be good.
What happens in instances like this could be attributed to maintenance, like cutting in a rail plug during the winter and not taking the steps to adjust the rail's temp, or it could just be rail movement over a long period of time, especially around areas such as switches or crossings (or the concrete section as shown in the picture) as they can act like an anchor point. It could also be attributed to poor components of the track structure.
Regardless, this isn't necessarily a rare instance, especially in areas experiencing higher than normal temperatures.

/used to be a gandy dancer
//bonus points if you know what that is w/out googling the term




moose turd pie, eh?
but seriously. yup. hard work leveraging them in...
 
2012-07-13 01:33:37 AM  

Mhal9000: /used to be a gandy dancer


Hold me closer.
 
2012-07-13 01:49:48 AM  

cptjeff: About the only way to fix the mess that is the DC metro is to fire everyone and start over. Public private hybrid thing with no real accountability to anyone, and it's evolved into a culture where competence is punished because it makes other people look bad. And they lose several million every year to embezzlement, because any sort of effective managerial oversight is verboten.


THIS.


The track bend occurred right next to my former station on the Green line. Add to that the recent Red line door-opening incident near my current home station, and I'm beginning to wonder what kind of death-trap I'm taking to work everyday.

Really, when the safety level of the Metro makes riding a bike to work in DC look like a better bet, you know something's wrong.
 
2012-07-13 02:00:18 AM  
My husband works for a railroad, and he's told me before that they have machines that actually heat up and/or physically stretch the track before installing it in cool weather (no idea of Metro does this), so that this issue doesn't arise as often. But it still can happen in very hot areas, or if the temperature rises rapidly.

What happens is as the track heats up it expands, and if the track has nowhere to expand along the length, the only place it can go is off to the side.

As far as sensors, how would that be implemented? You can't very well install sensors along hundreds of miles of tracks. A heat kink could happen anywhere. Broken rail can be detected because there is an electrical current flowing through the tracks, so that if rail breaks apart it will break the circuit and send a signal through the same system that shows when switches are flipped back and forth.
There is no similarly simple, and cost efficient way I can think of to alert to heat kinks since the track expanding but remaining intact.

There actually are places where extra sensors are sometimes installed to alert people to track damage, but that is in smaller sections of track where damage could be much more expensive or dangerous if not attended to immediately.
Think rail bridges, intersections, etc.

Either way, the question is not did Metro do anything to prevent this, as heat kinks WILL happen periodically no matter what, but why did they not put a slow order once temperatures went too high? Most railways don't wait until they see "signs", but instead put in a slow order as soon as temperatures reach a certain level (for some railways that is 90 degrees, some less, some maybe more, depending on the type and tolerance of the rail). According to the article their current rail is only tolerant to 95 degrees.
 
2012-07-13 02:13:32 AM  

Mhal9000: /used to be a gandy dancer
//bonus points if you know what that is w/out googling the term


Yay! Bonus points!

My husband was just talking about you guys the other day.

When he hired out in '04 there were still a few groups of guys that knew songs and could demonstrate their technique. I think most if not all are retired at this point though.
He got to see a few of them get together one day and do their thing. Said it was pretty damn cool.
 
2012-07-13 05:00:43 AM  
But does it bend?
 
2012-07-13 08:22:46 AM  
If those socialists had used Rearden Metal, they never would have had this problem.
 
2012-07-13 08:32:15 AM  
The ring came off my pudding can....
 
2012-07-13 08:56:46 AM  
Metro sucks so bad
 
2012-07-13 10:19:29 AM  

Bill_Wick's_Friend: Steel melts at 2600o.

Wake up, sheeple.


Things expand when they heat up. Light rail tracks are typically continuous rails made up of shorter pieces which are then welded and ground smooth for a smoother, quieter ride. Get even a little expansion in a piece of metal a mile or more long, and that pressure will eventually have to go somewhere.
 
2012-07-13 11:15:36 AM  

cptjeff: pizen: Fluorescent Testicle: pizen: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

What about us braindead slobs?

You'll be given cushy jobs.

Well, that is how metro works. Giving inspector jobs to completely unqualified people, among others. Mono...D'OH!


FTFY
 
2012-07-13 12:09:01 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: But does it blend?


FTFY
 
2012-07-13 12:24:51 PM  

Bill_Wick's_Friend: Steel melts at 2600o.

Wake up, sheeple.


The expansion from heat can cause them to bend.
 
2012-07-13 12:29:09 PM  
Damn Heisenberg and his principles!
 
2012-07-13 12:33:13 PM  

dark_canuckistani: cptjeff: pizen: Fluorescent Testicle: pizen: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

What about us braindead slobs?

You'll be given cushy jobs.

Well, that is how metro works. Giving inspector jobs to completely unqualified people, among others. Mono...D'OH!

FTFY


Well played, sir.

/the tab came off my pudding can...
 
2012-07-13 03:04:18 PM  

rooftop235: Bill_Wick's_Friend: Steel melts at 2600o.

Wake up, sheeple.

The expansion from heat can cause them to bend.


Thats it.

Turn off the lights you child bearing misfits from an Era ..........Ha I'll show you some delight in my life
Thats obscure

Everything he said is true
All 7 words
 
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