• Empire Builder on the Ground in MT

  • 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

  by west point
 
It becomes an item. Just replace , eliminate, overpass, or underpass most grade crossings. Great infrastructure projects. One thing do the work 24/7.
  by eolesen
 
Yeah, that won't fix derailments, which is the topic here, not grade crossing accidents... maybe you hit the wrong thread?
  by Railjunkie
 
Not sure who is going to pay for drone pilots, rolling drones, CCTV and what ever else . Its all being done already by the train crews themselves and MoW. As an engineer if I see something that can immediately effect the safe operation of the railroad ie washouts trees down heat kinks and so on I am to make an emergency broadcast. Other less important items I can report to the dispatcher or RTC who then will hand them off to MoW.

MoW has patrols via hi rail vehicle that can reach even the most remote parts of the railroad and track is inspected accordingly by rule according to class. The Sperry Co. aka the yellow hemorrhoid is used to find track defects that normal patrols and maintenance cant see or find with the naked eye. Patrols are normally increased in times of weather events such as snow rain large temperature swings.

As pilot friend of mine has a habit of saying when things go really bad "all the holes in the Swiss cheese lined up that day".
  by John_Perkowski
 
Serious question: When T&E crews sign in for their run, are they given an update from dispatch centers of urgent conditions to watch for on their trips?
  by WhartonAndNorthern
 
Yes. RRs also contract with private forecasters who can deliver point forecasts for specific rail lines that may even differ from NWS forecasts. There are High Wind Warnings (slow down the doublestack trains, Flash Flood Warnings (slow down everything and watch for rising water) and Tornado Warnings (stop everything and hunker down until it passes). Also Heat Warnings to slow down and beware of sun kinks. Warnings can also be updated en route.
  by Railjunkie
 
I have heat warnings when it wasn't hot, it was because of the temperature swing. Forty degrees ish seems to be the magic number. Had flash flood warning on a clear sunny day account somewhere near by there was rain in the forecast with the possibility of flooding which in turn could cause run off issues around the railroad.. Same for high winds nothing in site but they were on the bulletin. If its there irregardless of the conditions it must be fulfilled.

With ACSES and I-ETMS its all in the computer. What ever the MAS for your train is will be enforced. If the dispatcher needs to add or in some cases subtract they will issue paper be it Form EC-1, Form D, Form M etc. Once its issued it will also be added to the system and enforced.
  by justalurker66
 
The recorded swing in Havre was 48 degrees on the day of the incident. I do not know what was forecast but there was no warning in effect.

One week prior there was a 64 degree swing (28 at night to 92 in the daytime.
  by Railjunkie
 
justalurker66 wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 4:28 pm The recorded swing in Havre was 48 degrees on the day of the incident. I do not know what was forecast but there was no warning in effect.

One week prior there was a 64 degree swing (28 at night to 92 in the daytime.
May have to be for a couple of days straight. I just make them stop and go but 40ish seems to be the number for temp swings. Then of course there is the continuous heat where temps exceed ??? Ive had heat orders in the 80s, 90s and 100+ degrees. Then again same situations and had none. Welded rail is a funky beast and the weather can make it do a lot of different things.
  by R&DB
 
Kinda on kinda off topic:
Don Woods "Unique New York and Long Branch" has a wonderful picture of CWR installed in winter but shown in a photo the next summer with several deflections of 20+ inches. So yes it can occur.
  by justalurker66
 
It should be noted that the temperatures I gave were air temperatures, not track temperatures. Properly installed track can withstand swings within the normal range. What would be of concern would be exceeding the extremes. That is where one would see slow orders due to high heat or extreme cold. There is a science to adjusting the tension correctly on the day of installation so track doesn't fail unless their is an out of range extreme.

Instead of carts and drones railroads could invest in track temperature monitoring.
  by Bracdude181
 
@justalurker66 Not a bad idea, but how would they do it? Probes every x amount of feet along the tracks?
  by David Benton
 
Pretty easy, the electrical resistance of steel changes with heat, so they could measure the resistance of a mile or so of track, and work out the temperature.
  by STrRedWolf
 
David Benton wrote: Sat Nov 06, 2021 2:04 pm Pretty easy, the electrical resistance of steel changes with heat, so they could measure the resistance of a mile or so of track, and work out the temperature.
I had to dig into this... but David's right. If you know the resistance of the rail at a set temperature, plus the temperature coefficent of resistivity (TCR) of the rail's composition, you can find the difference in temperature between set and actual (delta-T). The formula is (measured resistance) = (set/known resistance) * (1 + (TCR) * (delta-T).

The thing here is... the measurement needs to be sensitive to at least six decimal places because said TSR is 0.00094 per degree C (or K). I'm not sure how expensive that would be. I also think you need to measure in a "closed loop" (read: the return of klaka klaka klaka)... and I'm not sure about voltage dropage and whatnot over long distances.

Still a good idea. Just instead, take a laser thermometer pointed right at the track at track level, and build it into a measuring unit that reports back. Those would be cheaper (hand held guns are $23 off Amazon) and easier to make a IoT device for under $100 a pop. I did hear off of the national news channels (NBC News I think) that rail temperature would swing more in the sun, and it was a sunny day.
  by John_Perkowski
 
ADMIN NOTE

OT comments on employee injuries and the way to get care and compensation have been moved to the EMployment Forum
  by BandA
 
I like the idea of a drone or a cart. You could even build a cart that deploys grade crossing gates on an infrequently used branch. You can inspect for rock falls, mudslides, washouts, heat kinks every time. You could design a cart that is unlikely to derail a train (although in Boston a streetcar can be derailed with a skateboard)
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