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(SeattlePI)   Everybody makes a wrong turn now and then, winding up somewhere other than where they were trying to go. Not everybody does it in an Amtrak train   (seattlepi.com) divider line 53
    More: Dumbass, Amtrak train, Amtrak  
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5916 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Nov 2013 at 10:22 PM (35 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-19 06:42:15 PM
i...i didn't know they had steering wheels
 
2013-11-19 06:47:28 PM
Seems dumb. The conductor could have just stopped when he/she realized they were going the wrong way and made a 932-point turn to get back going the right way.
 
2013-11-19 06:59:31 PM
I was in Japan once, and read in the English language newspaper that an investigation was being launched into why one Shinkansen train was six minutes late.

And then there are these yo-yos.
 
2013-11-19 07:53:20 PM
It could have been worse.  It could have crashed into another train.
 
2013-11-19 08:19:00 PM

mr_a: I was in Japan once, and read in the English language newspaper that an investigation was being launched into why one Shinkansen train was six minutes late.

And then there are these yo-yos.


I used to ride Amtrak to work every day and one of the Amtrak higher ups got on at my station.  We talked frequently about US rail.  One of Amtrak's biggest problems is that they have over 20 separate groups that all have varying labor agreements, and they adamantly refuse to work with anyone outside their own group.  The bar car staff?  Different union than the porters.  The engineer?  Different union.  Mechanics?  Well, are you talking about the engine or the cars?  Because those are different unions.

Even better, dispatch and control for the entire east coast is done out of Florida by CSX, which has zero interest in keeping Amtrak running on time.  Someone knew that train was on the wrong track and didn't say shiat.
 
2013-11-19 08:48:59 PM

Lsherm: Even better, dispatch and control for the entire east coast is done out of Florida by CSX


GAH.
 
2013-11-19 08:59:13 PM
Looks like they got...side tracked.
 
2013-11-19 09:16:20 PM

RedPhoenix122: Lsherm: Even better, dispatch and control for the entire east coast is done out of Florida by CSX

GAH.


It's worse than you think.  Since most of amtrak's routes run on track owned by freight lines, they have to lease the track.  Until about 13 years ago, part of the Richmond-DC lease with CSX forced CSX to pay a fine if an Amtrak train was more than an hour late because of routing decisions made by CSX dispatchers (as opposed to unplanned delays because of broken down trains or the like).  Then, in a ludicrous move, Amtrak began signing the leases without the time guarantee because CSX would charge them far less for time on the track.  The reason they charged far less is because CSX trains automatically get priority on those rails.  They will delay an Amtrak train to let a freight train pass through because they no longer have any financial incentive to accommodate Amtrak.

Amtrak at least got their shiat together for the Acela line, but the ticket prices are higher not only because of the speed but also because the Acela has the highest priority of any train on the run from DC to Boston.

The rest of it is the theater of the absurd.  My route, just north of Richmond to DC, took about 90 minutes.  However, most Amtrak diesel engines can pull a train at 90+ mph, but they are limited because the track can't handle higher speeds.  So part of the stimulus bill replaced the old wood ties on that route with concrete ties that would let trains travel faster.  There are only two main tracks between DC and Richmond, and they finished one track first, then did the other one.  Guess who got to ride on the first upgraded track?  CSX.  Amtrak had to wait for the second line to get finished.  It was all a moot point, though, because the passenger trains were still stuck behind freight trains that couldn't reach those speeds.
 
2013-11-19 09:18:59 PM
I once met a girl that was so ugly she could make a freight train take a dirt road

/got nuthin'
 
2013-11-19 10:25:37 PM
Damn that iPhone navigation!
 
2013-11-19 10:31:02 PM
narwhaler.com
 
TWX
2013-11-19 10:33:40 PM

real_headhoncho: It could have been worse.  It could have crashed into another train.


Yeah, that was my thought. Other thought was to end up on a dead-end spur line and run right off the end at speed.
 
2013-11-19 10:35:13 PM
"It wound up at a local train station in Bala Cynwyd ..."

It took wrong turn and ended up in Wales? That's some sidetrack...
 
2013-11-19 10:35:51 PM
In Quebec the AMT forces the CN and CP rail companies to take a nominal lease payment and to suck it, giving themselves exclusive rights during rush hour. You'd THINK that would make the commuter trains run on time but they're always f*cking broken.

Then Via Rail cuts down on service in the lower St-Lawrence area because it's not profitable enough. What's the point of being a Crown corporation if you won't serve people?
 
2013-11-19 10:37:45 PM
An Amtrak spokesman tells The Philadelphia Inquirer the train's crew is being held out of work until they undergo additional training.

The entire crew? I am curious if it's the conductor's fault that the train engineer missed the signal?!
 
2013-11-19 10:39:49 PM
Could have been worse...
cdn01.dailycaller.com
 
2013-11-19 10:41:13 PM

TWX: real_headhoncho: It could have been worse.  It could have crashed into another train.

Yeah, that was my thought. Other thought was to end up on a dead-end spur line and run right off the end at speed.


Or hit a derail, or run over a maintenance gang...
 
2013-11-19 10:42:54 PM

DarkSoulNoHope: An Amtrak spokesman tells The Philadelphia Inquirer the train's crew is being held out of work until they undergo additional training.

The entire crew? I am curious if it's the conductor's fault that the train engineer missed the signal?!


media.filmschoolrejects.com

"NO TICKET!"
 
2013-11-19 10:46:07 PM

Lsherm: RedPhoenix122: Lsherm: Even better, dispatch and control for the entire east coast is done out of Florida by CSX

GAH.

It's worse than you think.  Since most of amtrak's routes run on track owned by freight lines, they have to lease the track.  Until about 13 years ago, part of the Richmond-DC lease with CSX forced CSX to pay a fine if an Amtrak train was more than an hour late because of routing decisions made by CSX dispatchers (as opposed to unplanned delays because of broken down trains or the like).  Then, in a ludicrous move, Amtrak began signing the leases without the time guarantee because CSX would charge them far less for time on the track.  The reason they charged far less is because CSX trains automatically get priority on those rails.  They will delay an Amtrak train to let a freight train pass through because they no longer have any financial incentive to accommodate Amtrak.

Amtrak at least got their shiat together for the Acela line, but the ticket prices are higher not only because of the speed but also because the Acela has the highest priority of any train on the run from DC to Boston.

The rest of it is the theater of the absurd.  My route, just north of Richmond to DC, took about 90 minutes.  However, most Amtrak diesel engines can pull a train at 90+ mph, but they are limited because the track can't handle higher speeds.  So part of the stimulus bill replaced the old wood ties on that route with concrete ties that would let trains travel faster.  There are only two main tracks between DC and Richmond, and they finished one track first, then did the other one.  Guess who got to ride on the first upgraded track?  CSX.  Amtrak had to wait for the second line to get finished.  It was all a moot point, though, because the passenger trains were still stuck behind freight trains that couldn't reach those speeds.


and here we keep screaming for that high speed connection from richmond to DC.
 
2013-11-19 10:49:11 PM
Could have been worse... he could have had the fish.
 
2013-11-19 10:52:41 PM

Danger Avoid Death: DarkSoulNoHope: An Amtrak spokesman tells The Philadelphia Inquirer the train's crew is being held out of work until they undergo additional training.

The entire crew? I am curious if it's the conductor's fault that the train engineer missed the signal?!

[media.filmschoolrejects.com image 580x250]

"NO TICKET!"


content6.flixster.com
 
2013-11-19 10:53:46 PM
A wrong turn? A wrong turn, Subby?

You drove almost a sixth of the way across the country in the wrong direction!
 
TWX
2013-11-19 10:56:22 PM

Alx_xlA: TWX: real_headhoncho: It could have been worse.  It could have crashed into another train.

Yeah, that was my thought. Other thought was to end up on a dead-end spur line and run right off the end at speed.

Or hit a derail, or run over a maintenance gang...


Yeah...

There's a spur line near me that served some various industry near old downtown. Over the years the spur has been shortened and shortened, but basically they've just paved over the old rails at the crossings with fresh asphalt and bolted chocks to the track where the spur officially ends, never actually removing the rails. Some day they're going to take down the old mill or citrus transshipping facility and build a new building right across the old track, and I look forward with morbid interest to the day a train gets accidentally routed down the spur, breaks the inadequate chocks at the official end-of-line, cuts through the asphalt laid down over the various street crossings, and plows through the building.
 
2013-11-19 11:02:12 PM
I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque.
 
2013-11-19 11:03:41 PM
I noticed that TFA author said "debarked" instead of disembarked.  Never realized the two words are synonyms; I thought debarking was strictly for obnoxious dogs.

The moar you know.
 
2013-11-19 11:11:09 PM
i.telegraph.co.uk
What the train's engineer might look like
 
2013-11-19 11:11:35 PM
I had family who took the train from California to New England. The trip took three days extra, the train had to backtrack more than a day because they went down the wrong track. This was more then 40 years ago, maybe even pre-Amtrak.
 
2013-11-19 11:14:21 PM

TanHamster: I noticed that TFA author said "debarked" instead of disembarked.  Never realized the two words are synonyms; I thought debarking was strictly for obnoxious dogs.

The moar you know.


Debarking is something done to tree.
 
2013-11-19 11:17:25 PM
Texting while driving a train is dangerous they say, it takes your attention off your path of travel they say. Well, let me tell you... I've been a conductor for 25 years and I'm on Fark pretty much my whole shift. It's funny how someone who has no idea what they're talki
 
2013-11-19 11:18:10 PM

pete1729: TanHamster: I noticed that TFA author said "debarked" instead of disembarked.  Never realized the two words are synonyms; I thought debarking was strictly for obnoxious dogs.

The moar you know.

Debarking is something done to tree.


I thought deb-arking was when you put young women into a large box.

/too subtle?
 
2013-11-19 11:18:57 PM

DarkSoulNoHope: An Amtrak spokesman tells The Philadelphia Inquirer the train's crew is being held out of work until they undergo additional training.

The entire crew? I am curious if it's the conductor's fault that the train engineer missed the signal?!


Doesn't matter.

There was an incident down here in South Florida where an Amtrak went by their red signal, then backed up to get back behind it. Well the Tri-Rail that was coming the other way hit their emergency brakes and shiat their pants. They continued on and it was reported when they finished their trip. A few days later we find out that the engineer and assistant on that Amtrak never bothered to report it. The video from the Tri-Rail was passed along to FDoT to verify, and every single person who worked on that Amtrak train was fired, including the baggage handler sitting in the back of the train.
 
2013-11-19 11:23:54 PM

DarkSoulNoHope: An Amtrak spokesman tells The Philadelphia Inquirer the train's crew is being held out of work until they undergo additional training.

The entire crew? I am curious if it's the conductor's fault that the train engineer missed the signal?!


Part of the conductor's job is to see things the engineer missed and to verify the things he doesn't.  So the fact that both the conductor and the engineer apparently didn't notice the missed signal is equally both of their faults.
 
2013-11-19 11:28:37 PM

Mentat: I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque.


Crimeny, that took waaaay too many comments to get to. Sad how far we've come since those halcyon days of our youth, eh... Doc?
 
2013-11-19 11:53:54 PM
TWX:  Other thought was to end up on a dead-end spur line and run right off the end at speed.

Actually, Cynwyd is the end of the line.  The train stopped a few feet short of the bumper block:

http://www.trainweb.org/phillynrhs/RPOTD131114.html

The best part is that they went over a bridge that's not rated for the weight of the locomotive.  Nor is the power system really rated for it, either.

They violated all sorts of rules - for starters, Amtrak crews aren't qualified for SEPTA territory.  They also ran through a stop signal, and never switched radios to SEPTA's frequency.  Rumor has it SEPTA actually killed power to the overhead when they saw the train rolling down the line.  Also - this line isn't signaled (it's only a few miles long, has 2 stops, and by procedure takes a train at a time).  Had a SEPTA train been on it at the time, it could have been....messy.

BTW - the Northeast Corridor is dispatched by Amtrak, so it's their screw up all around.
 
2013-11-19 11:55:33 PM

mr_a: I was in Japan once, and read in the English language newspaper that an investigation was being launched into why one Shinkansen train was six minutes late.

And then there are these yo-yos.


I really do love it here. If a train is 2 minutes late, it's very unusual. You can generally set your watch by train arrival and departure times.
 
2013-11-19 11:56:18 PM
Missed a signal?

Since when does the modern train crew flip the track switch?  I thought that was all done in a control center.

Were they supposed to stop and radio in to let them know they wanted to go to New York?
 
2013-11-19 11:58:19 PM
www.mediacircus.net
 
2013-11-20 12:32:07 AM
Switchman sleepin'
Train hundred and two
Is on the wrong track
And headed for you...
 
2013-11-20 12:32:50 AM

Cerebral Knievel: and here we keep screaming for that high speed connection from richmond to DC.


<sbrownehr.com

You want the train?  You can't handle the train!
 
2013-11-20 12:34:21 AM

DarkSoulNoHope: An Amtrak spokesman tells The Philadelphia Inquirer the train's crew is being held out of work until they undergo additional training.

The entire crew? I am curious if it's the conductor's fault that the train engineer missed the signal?!


They were texting.
 
2013-11-20 12:37:15 AM

PsychoPhil: TWX:  Other thought was to end up on a dead-end spur line and run right off the end at speed.

Actually, Cynwyd is the end of the line.  The train stopped a few feet short of the bumper block:

http://www.trainweb.org/phillynrhs/RPOTD131114.html

The best part is that they went over a bridge that's not rated for the weight of the locomotive.  Nor is the power system really rated for it, either.

They violated all sorts of rules - for starters, Amtrak crews aren't qualified for SEPTA territory.  They also ran through a stop signal, and never switched radios to SEPTA's frequency.  Rumor has it SEPTA actually killed power to the overhead when they saw the train rolling down the line.  Also - this line isn't signaled (it's only a few miles long, has 2 stops, and by procedure takes a train at a time).  Had a SEPTA train been on it at the time, it could have been....messy.

BTW - the Northeast Corridor is dispatched by Amtrak, so it's their screw up all around.


Wow, that's impressive.
 
2013-11-20 12:39:53 AM
cdn-usa.gagbay.com
 
2013-11-20 12:45:47 AM

Cerebral Knievel: and here we keep screaming for that high speed connection from richmond to DC.


The concrete ties and new rails make the trip possible in just over an hour with existing equipment, but since Amtrak doesn't own the rails they can't offer the service.  Closer to the city, the VRE (which is currently being run by a French company) owns the important timetables on those rails.

Amtrak can't work without a bulk investment to build new rail routes, but even then it probably doesn't make sense.
 
2013-11-20 01:47:51 AM

awruk!: "It wound up at a local train station in Bala Cynwyd ..."

It took wrong turn and ended up in Wales? That's some sidetrack...


All the towns along the suburban part of the old Pennsy Main Line have Welsh names.  The fun thing that it's not because he area was settled by Welsh farmers in the 1600s (though it was), but rather that the wife of the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad was very proud of her Welsh heritage and she got to name all the stations when the Main Line was built; before her, all the Welsh farming villages had English names.
 
2013-11-20 01:56:33 AM

TwowheelinTim: Switchman sleepin'
Train hundred and two
Is on the wrong track
And headed for you...


You'd better watch your speed!
 
2013-11-20 04:45:37 AM

Lsherm: mr_a: I was in Japan once, and read in the English language newspaper that an investigation was being launched into why one Shinkansen train was six minutes late.

And then there are these yo-yos.

I used to ride Amtrak to work every day and one of the Amtrak higher ups got on at my station.  We talked frequently about US rail.  One of Amtrak's biggest problems is that they have over 20 separate groups that all have varying labor agreements, and they adamantly refuse to work with anyone outside their own group.  The bar car staff?  Different union than the porters.  The engineer?  Different union.  Mechanics?  Well, are you talking about the engine or the cars?  Because those are different unions.

Even better, dispatch and control for the entire east coast is done out of Florida by CSX, which has zero interest in keeping Amtrak running on time.  Someone knew that train was on the wrong track and didn't say shiat.


I resent you saying that we adamantly refuse to work with those outside our work gangs. We generally work in crews that that are pretty well varied. I'm a motor equipment operator for example but I work with machinists, electricians, conductors, pipe fitters, carmen and others.

I can say that the Harrisburg line isn't as well used as the north south regional lines. I'm not sure exactly how this incident happened but I will inquire out of curiosity. At track speed (120-125 mph) everything pretty much looks the same so you are traveling from signal to signal. Regardless it sounds like the conductor blew a signal which is a big deal for safety reasons. Per FRA the conductor, engineer and brakeman are probably out of service pending drug test results. It happens anytime someone farks up no matter whose fault it was.
 
2013-11-20 05:18:52 AM
s23.postimg.org
 
2013-11-20 08:32:33 AM
OMG! We're All Gonna Die!:
I resent you saying that we adamantly refuse to work with those outside our work gangs. We generally work in crews that that are pretty well varied.

Yeah, I remember the clowns up at New haven back when they still changed power there.  It wasn't uncommon at all to wait 30, 40 minutes because the Amtrak train arrived on someone's coffee break (15 min, but you need that 5 min pre break and 10 minute post break).  Of course, they couldn't take their break when the train WASN'T scheduled to arrive, since they were already siting on their asses.  End result?  A 15 minute (already pathetic - European RRs take less than 5) engine change took close to an hour.  Of course, this also assumes they swapped a working locomotive on the first time, which they didn't always do, and of course the train crew would decide this AFTER they went a few miles out of town, so we'd then back up at 5mph and wait another hour...

The day I got a car in college, I stopped taking Amtrak.  Saved a shiatton of money and got home in 1/2 the time.

I can say that the Harrisburg line isn't as well used as the north south regional lines. I'm not sure exactly how this incident happened but I will inquire out of curiosity.

It happened because someone was an idiot and farked up, big time.  Railroads don't exactly hire the best and brightest, since anyone who can get a better job elsewhere, does.  Amtrak's the bottom of the barrel for passenger ops and then there's the freight RRs, where the qualifications are...a pulse.  The industry treats their employees like shiat, and as a result they can't attract anyone worth a damn.
 

At track speed (120-125 mph) everything pretty much looks the same so you are traveling from signal to signal.

They weren't going anywhere near 120mph.  Even still, that's zero excuse for not knowing where the hell you are.If you can't tell the difference between the Harrisburgh line and the Cynwyd line, at any speed, you shouldn't be allowed to drive a train...

Regardless it sounds like the conductor blew a signal which is a big deal for safety reasons. Per FRA the conductor, engineer and brakeman are probably out of service pending drug test results. It happens anytime someone farks up no matter whose fault it was.

And annoyingly, Amtrak doesn't fire these screwups until there's an accident, and even then not always.  At least they're better these days - there were only two major rule violation incidents last week.  I remember 10 years ago when stuff like this happened all the time.  The NTSB's accident database was littered with all sorts of fun ones (my favorite was the one train that hit another in Baltimore because the driver didn't know how to work the brakes on the train.  Seriously)
 
2013-11-20 09:17:02 AM
Lsherm:
Even better, dispatch and control for the entire east coast is done out of Florida by CSX, which has zero interest in keeping Amtrak running on time.  Someone knew that train was on the wrong track and didn't say shiat.


not exactly true - CSX used to dispatch out of Jacksonville but stopped that several years ago, and not all the lines Amtrak operates on are CSX owned and operated.  The North east Corridor is owned and operated by Amtrak and Amtrak operates on Norfolk Southern trackage.  can't blame it all on CSX.

i live not far from where this incident took place.  multiple levels of fail - the dispatcher, the tower operator at Zoo, and the train crew all deserve an amount of blame.
 
2013-11-20 09:25:39 AM
Lsherm:

The rest of it is the theater of the absurd.  My route, just north of Richmond to DC, took about 90 minutes.  However, most Amtrak diesel engines can pull a train at 90+ mph, but they are limited because the track can't handle higher speeds.  So part of the stimulus bill replaced the old wood ties on that route with concrete ties that would let trains travel faster.  There are only two main tracks between DC and Richmond, and they finished one track first, then did the other one.  Guess who got to ride on the first upgraded track?  CSX.  Amtrak had to wait for the second line to get finished.  It was all a moot point, though, because the passenger trains were still stuck behind freight trains that couldn't reach those speeds.

if you don't know how railroads operate, please don't try to explain it.

the former  RF&P line is double track.  there are places where a train can cross over (called crossovers) to the other track to pass another train.  the issue isn't that Amtrak is getting the shaft, the issue is two fold - longer trains have become the norm so the distances between the crossovers reduces the speed of trains and this leads to the other issue: capacity.  believe it or not, the railroad industry is drowning in traffic - they don't have the capacity to handle the number of trains needed.

also toss in NIMBY's who move next to railroads and then complain about them creating all manner of issues - can't add additional tracks, have to reduce speeds for quiet zones, can't increase speeds due to dangerous crossings (see Ashland, VA).
 
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