• Fingerlakes RR engine derailment in Himrod in July - an Update?

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by Fireman43
https://www.fingerlakesdailynews.com/20 ... es-county/

https://www.observer-review.com/finger- ... o-cms-7462

Can someone explain what this statement means?

"Upon arrival, it was found that a train engine belonging to Finger Lakes Railway had struck a train derailment apparatus that was purposely placed in that location to accommodate the rail replacement at the intersection of Himrod Road and Rice Road. The derailment caused the train engine (with no cars) to overturn onto its side on the east side of the tracks.

Since this original incident in July i haven't caught any updates.
Not sure what they'd report other than " they came , they uprighted it and thats that"
I'm presuming was road worthy to go for repairs?

  by RandallW
If you look at the photos in the first article you linked to, you will see that portable derailer was placed on the tracks to prevent any movement past the point where it was located and that it was . It would appear that it was hit at excessive speed (greater than 10 mph) or worked excessively well (in that these devices are designed to drop the lead truck of a slow moving train off the tracks, not dump the entire car onto its side). Here's a link to a portable derailer and test videos from a vendor.

Given that the concern in the articles was leaking fuel, that's likely to be reported, and the at a minimum the fuel tank would need to be replaced or permanently repaired before the locomotive returned to service.
  by jurtz
Seeing as how they reported that there was an “operator” in the cab, it sounds like a light engine simply ran over a derail. Why that happened is unstated.
Last edited by jurtz on Mon Sep 12, 2022 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Fireman43
Thank you for the info .
Another article did explain the ‘derailer was placed incorrectly’.
As I look at the picture ( as a layman ) of the device still not quite sure how that would stop an engine at any speed !

( let alone the attempted use of one in the movie Unstoppable). :)

Would have liked to follow the process how they would right the engine .
Is Winters the main contractor in this part of NY that would handle the recovery?
  by BR&P
Federal regulations require protection for roadway workers - a track gang or individual. There are various ways to accomplish this, one of which is a portable derail. Unlike a permanent derail on a given spur, which is spiked to the ties, a portable one can be set up and removed as needed.

From what I have read in the media, there was a track crew doing work in a given area, and they properly placed a derail to protect themselves from unexpected equipment movements. There was a train crew (I have heard unofficially it was a 1-man crew with a remote control, who was sitting at the controls. That may or may not be accurate) in the area and the engine approached the work area. The operator did not see the derail and the loco derailed and rolled over. It does not require a great speed to cause that, if the first truck gets derailed and goes past the ends of the ties, the engine is going to take on a tilt and may well roll. I can easily see this happening without "excessive speed" being involved.

I have not heard any official statements of cause in the media, either from railroad or government officials. However, standard rules require trains and engines within Yard Limits to be operated at a speed which will allow them to be stopped short of an improperly lined switch, obstructions, etc. In this case, that did not happen - the engine did not stop short of the derail. Fortunately the crewman was not severely injured. Also, the derail did the job it was supposed to do by protecting the track workers from possible injury or death from unexpected equipment entering their work zone.