A train is a linear object, the forces are transmitted in straight line unless a unit derails, just like you assume that only cab cars derail, yet your closed mindis not willing to think about locomotives derailing.
I have been in several crashes with cab cars and have done serious damage to trucks with no damage to cab car other than lights and stairs.
If you outlaw cab cars you can also no longer run buses , EMU, DMU etc
when a train is in emergency each vehicle brakes at same rate. A locomotive does not keep pushing, A locomotive is not like a H.O. type trainset, each vehicle has brakes.
Here are some more expert reactions ???
Councilmember and train expert declare 'push' train method unsafe
By Sylvie Belmond
Concerned for the safety of Metrolink riders, Moorpark Mayor Pro Tem Clint
Harper and Simi Valley resident Greg Bell are using train models to demonstrate
how the locomotive push method is a dangerous practice.
"I would advise Metrolink riders to not ride in the first car, also known as the
'coffin car,' while the train is in the 'push' mode," said Harper.
Harper expressed his concerns at a city council meeting last month. Metrolink
was invited to send a representative to speak on the recent crash and discuss
train operation procedures.
In a recent letter to the council, Metrolink indicated David Solow, CEO for the
commuter train company, would attend the meeting on March 2 to speak on behalf
of the company.
Meanwhile, Harper and Bell have been working on crash simulations in a lab at
Moorpark College to illustrate the dangers of push trains.
The effort was inspired by the deadly train crash that occurred in Glendale in
January. Eleven people died and about 200 were injured in the accident.
One of the trains involved originated from Moorpark.
The commuter train was powered in the "push" mode when the accident occured.
"The Metrolink crash simulations were very revealing," Harper said. "The
derailments in the 'pull' mode had a much higher chance of survivability than in
the 'push' mode," he said.
Harper will present his findings to the council next Wednesday.
"It's a lot easier to explain it if you demonstrate it," said Bell, a piano
tuner and train afficionado.
The pair set up two cameras to film the model as they were operating trains in
the "push" and "pull" modes and crashing them. They used an HO scale model that
looked exactly like the Metrolink train, Bell said.
"We are currently putting together a CD-ROM with the video of the scale crashes,
data on the technical issues, and a full description of the experimental
procedure and results," said Harper.
During the experiment, when the train is in the "pull" mode, the locomotive and
bi-level passenger cars stayed near the track. "Only in one try out of about 10
did a passenger car even tip over onto its side," he said.
In the "push" mode the passenger cars scattered all over the place, they
jack-knifed or accordioned, Harper illustrated. Usually at least the first two
cars spun and ended up on their side.
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen has been lobbying against the
"push" mode of train operation for years, based on safety, Harper said.
There are solutions to make the trains safer, he pointed out.
The trains could be turned if a section of "Y" track is installed.
The "Y" track is an alternative to the turntable; it would allow the locomotive
to be placed at the front of the train before it returns. If a "Y" track is not
available, the engine could also pull the train while it goes backwards,
provided the engineer has a video camera system to enable him to see ahead of
"Objections can be made that a scale collision is not a perfect representation
of a full-scale collision . . . that is certainly true, but the results are
dramatic enough to at least warrant further engineering studies," Harper said.
At the council last month, Councilmember Keith Millhouse, who serves on the
Ventura County Transportation Committee, objected to Harpers comments. He
supported the Metrolink operations and said the accident was an unusual chain of
events, involving three trains in the same location while a vehicle was wedged
into the tracks, causing the collision and the ensuing results.
Harper believes that Millhouse, when faced with evidence, may also become more
critical of Metrolink for putting profits ahead of lives, because, in Harper's
opinion, the "push" mode isn't safe, no matter what.