• Cascades 501 Wreck 18 December 17

  • 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 Backshophoss
 
ARTICLE PAYWALLED1
  by STrRedWolf
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:34 pm Update from the engineer:

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/20 ... derailment
Engineer filed suit over training on the line among other things.
TACOMA, Wash. — The engineer at the controls of an Amtrak train involved in a fatal Washington state derailment in 2017 has sued the passenger railroad, alleging that he was not properly trained.

On Jan. 21, attorneys for Steven Brown filed a lawsuit in Pierce County District Court seeking damages resulting from the derailment of Amtrak Cascades train No. 501 in December 2017. The derailment killed three people and injured dozens more. It occurred during the inaugural run on the Point Defiance Bypass, a new alignment meant to speed up the trip between Seattle and Portland, Ore.

...

In the lawsuit, attorneys for Brown alleged that Amtrak had acted negligently when it failed to properly train the engineer on the new route and that he and others were not given a sufficient number of familiarization runs on the Port Defiance Bypass. The lawsuit also goes on to blame a number of nameless individuals only identified as “Does one through fifty.” The attorney states that they will file amended complaints as those individuals are identified.
  by Tadman
 
JoeG wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:50 pm 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.)
Hey four out of five ain't bad, eh? I certainly learned something today!

Something that's alarming here - if the FRA's safety regulations are largely based on 1914 rules (I'm not sure they are, just assuming for a minute), shouldn't we be concerned that new hazards may be present? Perhaps a serious re-think of overall passenger car regulation might make for much safer cars while also allowing for higher speeds, lower costs, better recyclability, or some other positive concept?
  by electricron
 
daybeers wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:07 pm Hasn't the 800k pound requirement been abolished for new equipment?
Yes, and No.
The Code of Federal Regulations was amended in November 2018 allowing an alternate set of regulations along with the older one many are familiar with. It is up to the railroad operator to pick which set of regulations they wish to run on, and the FRA still has to approve it.
Section 238.201 has the details too lengthy to post entirely.
https://ecfr.io/Title-49/se49.4.238_1201
Keeping it simple, Tier I was for trains running a maximum of 125 mph, Tier II for Acela trains on the NEC, and the new Tier 3 for all new trains using alternate compliance rules, for speeds less than 125 mph and higher than 125 mph.
  by Jeff Smith
 
https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews ... st-amtrak/
A judge in Washington state has ruled that Amtrak is strictly liable for the fatal 2017 derailment of an Amtrak Cascades train in DuPont, Wash., meaning a trial later this year over a claim by the train’s engineer will only be to determine damages, not fault. The Tacoma News Tribune reports the suit by engineer Steven Brown alleges he was not properly trained and that positive train control equipment that could have stopped the train had not yet been installed. Brown was the engineer when Cascades train 501, making its first trip on the Point Defiance Bypass, derailed at a low-speed curve, killing three. Amtrak had claimed Brown’s negligence caused the derailment. But Superior Court Judge Karena Kirkendall granted Brown’s motion for partial summary judgment, which asked her to find Amtrak “strictly liable” and argued that the only defense to Amtrak’s absolute liability would be to prove that Brown “was the sole cause of his own injuries.”
  by STrRedWolf
 
Pulling the source article...
A Pierce County Superior Court judge has ruled that Amtrak is strictly liable for the claim of its engineer who sued for his injuries after a deadly 2017 derailment near DuPont.

"The judge will instruct the jury that the court has already ruled that Amtrak is 100 percent at fault, what we call strict liability here," Fred Bremseth, one of the engineer's attorneys, told The News Tribune earlier this month.

The ruling means the trial scheduled later this year will be to determine damages, Bremseth said, without "the back and forth of the blame game."

Engineer Steven Brown's lawsuit, filed last year in Pierce County Superior Court, alleged he wasn't properly trained and that technology that could have stopped the train hadn't been installed at the time. Brown "suffered physical and emotional injuries as a result of the derailment," according to his lawsuit.

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(The ruling) went on to argue: "The single most important reason for summary judgment on the sole cause defense is that if Amtrak had implemented the FAST Act protections, one or both conductors would have pulled the emergency brake and prevented the derailment by stopping the train."
There's a lot more detail, but I think the judge got this one right by looking at the actions of all actors in total. Amtrak's training (inadequate) and providing of qualified conductors and crew (the train was short-staffed), the actions of SoundTransit, and the actions on the ground/on the train. No word on the track-side speed signs, but at least PTC is on the line.
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