• Heartland Flyer Mishap

  • 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 n2cbo
 
A lot of these can be prevented IF the driver reads the signs. That being said, I've been told that some trucking companies (and truck manufacturers have been experimenting with adding data for things like this (A RR Xing that will not have clearance for a "low Boy") to GPS driven mapping systems and IF the driver properly enters the data of his load into the system, it will route around such hazards.

OK, but if the truck did not have one of these new GPS maps, and the driver DIDN'T read the signs and got stuck, an old trick that I think will still work would be to place jumper cables between the two tracks and that would usually pull the signal to a STOP indication as to if there were another train in the block. Of course, out in the "sticks" usually, the block lengths are quite long, so this wouldn't work if the train was already in the same block.

Again my knowledge of these types of things (RR Signalling systems) is about 40 years old, so I'm not sure if this will still work. At least the driver should call the phone number on the Xing signal and report to the dispatcher what had happened. IMHO... Anyone with more current knowledge on RR Signalling systems, please chime in and correct me. Thanks
Last edited by n2cbo on Tue Oct 19, 2021 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by John_Perkowski
 
n2cbo wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:44 pm At least the driver should call the phone number on the Xing signal and report to the dispatcher what had happened.
I suspect NTSB will focus on this in their review of the matter. Well spoken!
  by BandA
 
Note the video is found on "storyful rights management" youtube channel! What a spectacular video!

We don't know how long before the gates came down that the truck got hung up. How fast was the train moving? Looks like straight track with good sight lines, although there is a bridge shortly before which would interfere visually. Also looks like it was starting to get dark.

The one remaining gate goes up after the train clears!

I would say the engineering of the crossing was defective. Who owns the crossing, the railroad or the town? If I was the NTSB or Amtrak I would insist that the road be re-graded or closed.

As mentioned by Mr. Wolf, here is the street view of the prescient sign on the US 77 side (not the side the truck was coming from) https://goo.gl/maps/yJqXXocAny4qBmb87. I've never seen that sign before and assuming there is one on the other side of the tracks it would take a while to decode the pictograph, longer than if they just wrote the words! Tons of pavement scrapes from trucks bottoming out.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:15 pm If this trucking company is small, you'd be amazed how low the minimum liability coverage is - double that statement "in Spades" in states such as OK. Their insurance very likely is "blown".

Fortunately the driver did not try to "play hero" and bailed out along with his dogs. "The music will play", but he lives to see another day.
Agreed, the blame will likely shift to the driver, the insurance company, with possibly the state and county getting some knock-on effects. If I remember the reports, the driver called police for assistance and the police tried to shut down the line ASAP.

It'll get down to a court case, for sure.
  by JimBoylan
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:55 amIf I remember the reports, the driver called police for assistance and the police tried to shut down the line ASAP.
There was a similar situation in central Florida in the 1970s. Seaboard Coast Line, the track owner, assured the caller that none of their trains were in the area.
Nobody tried to notify Amtrak and a Silver service train hit the truck. Again, more recently, when Florida State Police called CSXT to report a wheel had just fallen off a Circus train, they were told "You have to call Ringling Bros., it's not our train". The National Transportation Safety Board was not impressed.