atsf sp wrote:The move as originally stated in this topic was not to reverse on the mainline to clear it for the freight car. It was to catch the car in doing so to reduce the impact when it hit. But the requested was not given early enough for this manuever to work. 1030 did not have enough time to build up speed and it recieved substantial damage. The engineer didn't even bail trying this manuever. The request was given when the car was in sight of the engineer.
considering it can take sometimes SEVERAL calls and several minutes to get the dispatcher on the horn, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
I have said before, of course, depending on the location where it was, proximity to interlockings and other trains possibly behind me or crossing over behind me, I would make the move while trying to get a hold of the dispatcher, Especially if a loaded car is comign at me and getting larger and larger in my windshield. Self preservation of course kicks in, but you are also HOPEFULLY reducing the impact, and in turn, the severity of the injuries of the folks on board the train.
If im on a stretch of track, with no interlockings real close or trains following close behind me (say for example, the trains run every hour down the line), Id tell my cond to get on the hind end ASAP and bring the train to a safe stop (you CANNOT put the train in emergency, it would take too long to recover from emergency) and boom, into reverse we go.
Let the RR try to bring me up on charges for making a reverse move without permission, i would fight them tooth and nail. Now, Im not saying that I would go for 15 miles backwards and not talk to the disp, but rather to get the train moving in the same direction as teh car coming at me at a minimum. If there was a junction or diamond behind me where a train could be crossing, well that could lead to bigger problems, and I wouldn't really be able to do much.
It all depends on the stretch of track, and the knowledge of the engineer of the layout of the track, the interlockings, and other trains (scheduled and not scheduled) in the area as to what really could be done in that situation
What would be better, getting up to 10-15 or better yet 20mph in the same direction as the car coming at you, lessening the impact from say 35mph to about 15-20-25mph, or the loaded car hitting a stopped train (with brakes on) at 35mph, creating a 35mph impact? Seems like a no brainer to me.
Also you have to realize, Commuter trains can get up to 10-15mph pretty quickly, so this isn't gonna be a real long distance that the train is going in reverse