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  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by dowlingm
 
Weren't the Talgos grandfathered from another FRA requirement about door interlocks, or was that just the Series 8?
  by AgentSkelly
 
I knew a lot of the early FRA regulations had roots in US Post Office regulations for RPOs; but this is kind of getting a laugh out of me, but does explain a few things.






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  by electricron
 
dowlingm wrote: Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:23 pm Weren't the Talgos grandfathered from another FRA requirement about door interlocks, or was that just the Series 8?
Yes, and no. The Series 8 bought by Oregon entered service before the door interlock regulation was made, those bought by Wisconsin required the grandfather exemption because they never entered service, but were also built before that regulation was made. It’ll be interesting to see what might happen to those still parked in Indianapolis. Will Washington buy them?
  by STrRedWolf
 
What gets me is that this 1940's rule hasn't been reviewed for relevancy.

It's (almost) 2020. Trains don't use wood unless it's interior trim. Everything is steel and aluminum. Time to update the regulations.
  by Tadman
 
The door interlock rule is asinine, too. For decades trains ran with the doors open. Just flat out ran with doors open. How many fatalities or injuries were there? None that I'm aware of, although I havent' done a deep dive on that one. But now there's a rule, because it might be a problem some day in the mid of some Washington puke that has never been on a train but one time forgot to lock the doors on his/her Lexus RX330 and got really scared.

What are we doing about the 200+ trespassing and grade crossing fatalities this year?

Nothing.
  by ExCon90
 
For that matter the B&M, Erie, DL&W and no doubt others had commuter coaches that didn't even have doors to close--just steps, handrails, and a center gangway as wide as the aisle inside the car. There seems to have been some idea that if a passenger did something dumb it was his own fault.
  by STrRedWolf
 
More likely than not, some train company got sued over it and the FRA was party to that -- probably to the losing side.

I also bet folks going train to train wasn't a problem -- it's folks getting off when it came into the station. Folks getting injured when the train skidded into the station and "falling" out into an I-Beam. Squish pro quo?
  by Tadman
 
ExCon90 wrote: Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:44 pm For that matter the B&M, Erie, DL&W and no doubt others had commuter coaches that didn't even have doors to close--just steps, handrails, and a center gangway as wide as the aisle inside the car. There seems to have been some idea that if a passenger did something dumb it was his own fault.
Wabash/N&W's Chicago commuter train was on this list as well. Funny thing is this fleet was 8 lightweight P-S cars toward the end, all with doors and traps removed. Streamliners with no doors. Imagine that.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Rock's Joliet trains Harriman-like cars were the same.
  by ryanch
 
In fact, Metra had a pretty well known incident because of automated doors. Conductors didn't notice someone who had exited but whose musical instrument case got caught between doors. She was dragged, then fell (or let go?) and her leg was severed.
  by Tadman
 
ryanch wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:24 pm In fact, Metra had a pretty well known incident because of automated doors. Conductors didn't notice someone who had exited but whose musical instrument case got caught between doors. She was dragged, then fell (or let go?) and her leg was severed.
That was a really sad case, but it's worth reviewing the facts and seeing if there are any lessons to be learned here. This case involved a college-age woman in Chicago's suburbs.

1. The door closed on her violin case, not on her person.
2. The door closed enough that the door light showed clear, even if there was no throttle interlock.
3. She was not trapped in the violin case, she chose to hold on because it was very expensive.
4. She was then dragged 300+ feet.

As someone who lectures frequently on industrial safety, I can tell you the first thing we tell people is that "items can be replaced, people cannot". Holding on to a violin whilst being dragged by a train is crazy.

Another important point - we get lazy and rely on our lights and sensors. If the door was closed enough not to throw a doorlight, it was closed enough to release a throttle interlock. Nothing was going to save this woman short of her letting go of the violin or the slim chance a passenger saw this and pull the e-brakes. Nothing. No sensor or light or interlock.

This is why NYCTA requires motormen and conductors to point out certain important indicators on the route, to increase their situational awareness and not let them just rely on lights and sensors.

What the open doors on old commuter trains taught us was "always assume the door is dangerous and stay clear". That's a safe way to do it even today.
  by AgentSkelly
 
I remember something about an NJT Commuter Train where someone got caught in a door, assistant conductor did notice the light was indicating an issue but because there was a chronic false positive on said door, he didn’t check it and used the override. So guess what happened? Yup...passenger was dragged...


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  by ExCon90
 
As I recall, in the Chicago case it was the strap on the case, not the case itself, that got caught in the door, probably making it possible for the door to be actually closed, and the light so indicating--so there was no malfunction, and it might not have been possible for the conductor to see from where he was that the instrument case was caught.
  by dowlingm
 
electricron wrote: Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:43 pm Yes, and no. The Series 8 bought by Oregon entered service before the door interlock regulation was made, those bought by Wisconsin required the grandfather exemption because they never entered service, but were also built before that regulation was made. It’ll be interesting to see what might happen to those still parked in Indianapolis. Will Washington buy them?
But didn’t the Series 8s trainsets in Beech run out of time because they never entered service before the interlock requirement became final? There was discussion about that a few months back when things started looking grim for the Series 6s
  by JoeG
 
Tadman, interesting research you did on the history of the strength requirement for passenger cars. Nitpick: Link and pin couplings were gone long before 1912. (According to Wikipedia they were outlawed effective in 1900.Most were gone before then. The law banning them effective 1900 was passed in 1883.)
I have been reading NTSB accident reports for a couple of years and noticed that they often repeatedly issue recommendations that the FRA and other agencies ignore.

One thing that surprised me is that the NTSB says that PTC would have prevented the accident. It is now activated. So you would think that makes all other issues moot. I guess NTSB believes in the belt and suspenders approach to safety. Partly that's because we have had the technology to prevent these kinds of accidents for about 100 years or so, but they were still happening. Maybe the NTSB figures PTC could be turned off inadvertently; we have seen some accidents where signals were turned off for maintenance but safeguards for this situation were not adhered to.
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