• Runaway on the Rockland Branch

  • Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.
Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.

Moderators: GOLDEN-ARM, mikec, cjl330

  by MEC407
Some passenger cars take off on their own; local man with railcar knowledge manages to stop them.


  by james1787
Wow, glad that nobody got hurt in the runaway train incident. It sounds like they will have to thoroughly test and repair the cars.

  by bystander
Good thing there trains arentHAZEMATS.

  by MEC407
bystander wrote:Good thing there trains arentHAZEMATS.
Actually, most of their freight trains as of late have been hazmat.
  by ProRail
In addition to not setting the brakes and making sure they were chocked..

How about setting a portable derail and blue flag out in front of these cars while they were being worked on from the inside to protect the people working in them? These are OSHA and FRA requirements too and are supposed to be in place to prevent such runaways from happening and from getting people hurt.

Sounds like safety practices need to be reviewed by all at the railroad.

Those "blue-flag" rules don't protect coach cleaners. They are in effect for the protection of MOE employees and carmen only. Coach cleaners are usually folks off the street, who clean windows, empty trash and vacuum carpets. No need to protect them, as they do not work under, or in between equipment I highly doubt the coach cleaner accidentally knocked off a handbrake. (anyone who has done it intentionally can attest to how hard it is to do) As far as the carriers "attitude" towards what does, and does not apply to them, this stuff never trickles down to the guys in the field. Even the laziest, or most arrogant of carriers won't tolerate, or allow conduct from T&E employees, that could put them into a situation of being held liable. It will probably never really be "solved", but I bet that crew won't get caught short again. Anyone with 2 weeks on the railroad will tell you, they know someone who thinks "air will really hold that car". Every time you cut away from a car, or a train, it is supposed to be tied down, as per the rulebook. How many times have you said to yourself "this will only take a second, that air will hold". Air leaks off over time, and handbrakes don't always apply, even though it might seem to you, applying that brake, that it is functioning. That's why the rule is in effect, to TEST handbrakes, before relying on them to hold a car, or cars from moving. Thankfully nobody was injured, or killed, as a result of this "occurance". Cars have been "rolling-out" since railroads were invented. They, unfortunately, will most likely continue to do so, forever. :(
  by Pull Man
This incident has been thoroughly investigated by the M&E RR Police, the Maine Eastern management and the FRA. The findings indicate that a mechanical failure and not safety or rule violations were the cause of the incident. The findings were reviewed by the FRA who concurred with results of the investigation. The investigation is now closed. ARS

Kudos for the quick determination of fact, in this incident. Appears mechanical failure was at fault, so I stand corrected. Again, thankfully nobody was injured. It is refreshing, to actually learn of one, that wasn't "our" fault. :-D