• 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

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  by planespotting
 
Why is the one coach car perfectly upright on the siding track next to the rest of the train? Was it re-railed there by recovery crew or is that where it actually came to stop on its own post crash?
  by John_Perkowski
 
ADMIN NOTE:

Until NTSB releases its preminary findings, does the research, and has the hearing, we won’t really know the full story.

Be patient.
  by J.D. Lang
 
Back to the photo... I kinda want to see more east of the East Beulow interlock (up in the photo). My thinking is that there's two derailments, one of the back three sleepers (from what I can tell) rolling 270 degrees over, possibly hitting a sensor that false-signaled to the interlock and caused the remaining train to split the interlock. The cause of the first one is east of this photo.

Can't wait for the NTSB report, but that's 30 days away...
I'm kind of thinking the same thing. One of those cars wheels must have hit the ground before coming to the switch which would cause the separation when they hit the switch. The engines and first few cars where on the main so they were not entering the siding. They were probably running at or close to track speed. Better drone pictures to the east of the switch might make it clearer.

I also can't wait for a preliminary NTSB report.
  by John_Perkowski
 
Update from Trains

Victims identified in ‘Empire Builder’ derailment; The NTSB and FRA are conducting separate investigations into the derailment

Brief, fair use quote
Saturday’s derailment occurred at about 3:55 p.m. at mileposts 1015.8 between Havre and Shelby on BNSF Railway’s Hi Line Subdivision near the small, unincorporated community of Joplin in north-central Montana, about 150 miles from Helena and about 30 miles south of the Canadian border. BNSF states that the rail line where the derailment occurred was inspected two days prior to the crash.
  by MBTA3247
 
planespotting wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:09 pm Why is the one coach car perfectly upright on the siding track next to the rest of the train? Was it re-railed there by recovery crew or is that where it actually came to stop on its own post crash?
Yes. This photo is clearly taken after they started moving the derailed cars with heavy equipment. One car was rerailed onto the siding, and the 3 rear cars were flipped over their roofs to get them away from the track.
  by Ken W2KB
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 3:24 pm NTSB briefing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HydfaXKhHYc . The train was traveling at speed - 78 MPH - not slowed down for switching or anything along those lines.
Some takeaways: The NTSB is going to increase pressure on the regulatory/legislative front to require (1) seatbelts be installed and worn by passengers, (2) window size to be substantially reduced, and (3) overhead bag shelving have latching doors similar to aircraft overhead compartment.
  by STrRedWolf
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 3:24 pm NTSB briefing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HydfaXKhHYc . The train was traveling at speed - 78 MPH - not slowed down for switching or anything along those lines.
Okay, from the briefing:
  • NTSB has the black box from the train as well as video from it and freight trains before the accident.
  • Last freight was 80 minutes before the accident. They're studying the videos now.
  • Train was going 75-78 MPH, near track MAS.
  • Derailment started at a gradual curve east of the East Beulow interlock.
  • Prelim report in 30 days.
  • Some of the involved locomotives and rail cars (probably the ones still upright and inspected/passed) have been released from NTSB control and are allowed movement out of the area.
  • Accident area is very spread out -- usually trains accordion.
The fourth point jives with a lot of photos taken from the accident and my own inferences. The accident scene is much larger than was once thought.
  by David Benton
 
Interesting the media haven't picked up on only 147 or so passengers. Spread over 8(?) revenue cars, with 16 crew.
Is this a normal load over this section? In this case its probably lucky their was not more passengers on the train.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Also interesting and morbid the comments on “ejection.” Makes one wonder if one or more of the deceased was found outside the train…
  by dgvrengineer
 
Another possibility, possible heat kink. Temp was over 90 degrees that day after several days of quite cold weather. Heat kinks frequently happen under the train not always in advance of the train. Wondering if track work in the area. Disturbed track kinks easier. Anyway, something I'm sure NTSB will look at.
  by west point
 
It may be that the car on the siding can be made roadworthy. The others on the ground will probably have to have trucks removed and placed on flat cars. regular 89 foot flats will not work for trucks still on as it would exceed plate "H" heights by inches.
  by David Benton
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:32 am Better resolution on the AP photo posted above at

https://www.wseetonline.com/rs/2021/09/ ... n-braking/
Check out the track at the top of the first photo, spread big time. Wether the replacement track to the right was there before , or has been placed after the accident , IDK.
  by photobug56
 
That is a very confusing photo, but as noted, don't know timing. It's weird to see a car upright on the 2nd track, others on the other track, so one might guess that it was picked up.
  by justalurker66
 
There is a very large gap between the three cars that broke from the rest of the train and rolled on to its side and the seven cars that made it past the switch. I'm not sure what force could have stopped the three cars so far away from the others. (That's why we have professionals at the NTSB and the FRA on site.) Note that eight of the 10 cars derailed, so the third car shown connected to the engine was also derailed (along with the fourth which was rerailed on the siding, the fifth and sixth that are shown somewhat upright and the seventh car which is on its side near the switch).

The large gap between the seventh car and the still connected last three cars was shown in pictures posted immediately after the incident. Something happened to break these three cars off of the train and bring them to a stop before the rest of the train came to a stop ahead. I am looking forward to the NTSB/FRA making the determination of what caused that break.
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