• Safest Place to Sit on a Train

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Met113
 
Have there been any studies done on where the safest place to sit on a train is? After the recent Metrolink crash where the last two cars of the three car train received close to no damage while the first car was destroyed make me think that the back is the safest place. Is this true? In the Amtrak bayou accident the four cars further back on the train did not fall into the river and there were no deaths in those cars.
  by AEM7AC920
 
yes the rear would of been the best place to sit in this case but what if an accident happened where 1 train was rear ended by another then that wouldn't apply... Not sure but this probably should be in another forum since it has nothing specific to do with Amtrak.
Last edited by AEM7AC920 on Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by hi55us
 
AEM7AC920 wrote:Ok and what if the train is rear ended by another train??
That would be odd...
  by AEM7AC920
 
I would think the research would be better put into finding more ways to prevent accidents like this happening rather then where you are most safe when it happens... I still view train travel as one of the safest ways to travel, this is just an unfortuante accident. Freak accidents this bad only happen on rare occasion...
  by AEM7AC920
 
hi55us wrote:
AEM7AC920 wrote:Ok and what if the train is rear ended by another train??
That would be odd...
Yes it would be odd but it's still a possibility. Look at the Amtrak/MBTA accident that happened in the 90's where Amtrak rear ended the MBTA commuter train siting in Back Bay Sta, fortunately the train was in push mode and Amtrak smashed into the locomotive of the MBTA train.
  by Chessie GM50
 
I'd say if it is a longer train, i'd sit in the next to the last car. Although, I still advocate the installation of lap-belts on new railcars, so that if the train did crash like it did in the metrolink crash, the people sitting wouldn't be flying through the car.

What this has to do with Amtrak, I have no idea, but those are my 0.02 on this subject.
  by hi55us
 
Chessie GM50 wrote:I'd say if it is a longer train, i'd sit in the next to the last car. Although, I still advocate the installation of lap-belts on new railcars, so that if the train did crash like it did in the metrolink crash, the people sitting wouldn't be flying through the car.

What this has to do with Amtrak, I have no idea, but those are my 0.02 on this subject.
oh please no seatbelts
  by wigwagfan
 
MODERATOR'S NOTE:

This is the third Mod's note regarding a post that started with discussion of the Metrolink incident.

If one wants to discuss safety on U.S. passenger railroad cars, fine, but move that discussion to the General Discussion: Locomotives, Rolling Stock & Equipment forum since it has to do with passenger cars, not Amtrak specifically.

If one wants to discuss the specific safety issues of an Amtrak car (for example, "safety egress from an Amfleet-I car"), that discussion would be relevant and welcome here in the Amtrak forum.

This thread will be locked.
  by henry6
 
Front or rear? I heard this discussion years ago from commuters in NJ and I don't think there was a consensus then either. Somkers preferred the first or last car of DL&W trains so safety didn't matter to them. Yeah, me, too. Middle of the train? I guess that depends on how long the train is. I wonder if there are any statistics which would show the frequency of head on, head end, rear end, mid train derailments, etc. which could lead to a semi definitive answer?
  by David Benton
 
Presuming head ons are more common , ( every crash i can think of lately has been head on ) , then rearward facing seats would be safer as well . Been proposed for airplanes too , but they think people will have a aversion to travelling backwards .
I wonder if there are any stats form europe where generally 1/2 the seats would be facing backwards .
  by henry6
 
I do believe, though, that many would have to say the bar car or tavern lounge!
  by VikingNik
 
My grandfather was an engineer in Denmark and he always said that he would not sit in the first or last car. FYI.
  by CarterB
 
Witness the ICE wreck in ESCHEDE, Germany in 1998, and you wouldn't have been safe in the middle of the train either.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eschede_train_disaster

I suppose if you wanted generalities, you'd stay away from either the first or last car, but other than that, it's pure luck of the draw.
  by Met113
 
I would like the installation of lap belts on trains. The use wouldn't be as strict as say a plane but if you are in a seat put on a seat belt. I can't think of a train crash where it wouldn't have helped. I also think emergency glow in the dark lighting like on airplanes (Where the Flight Attendant goes in case of an emergency white lights lead to red lights etc.) would help because passengers would be able to find exits faster and have less chance of suffering from smoke intalation.
  by 2nd trick op
 
Historically, the goriest rail diasters, those involving both greatest loss of life and loss of limbs among the survivors, have involved the phenomenon known as telescoping -- the penetration of a passenger car by another piece of equipment, particularly if end-to-end.

The worst example of this within the life span of most of us at this forum was the Illinois Central (Gulf) commuter train wreck in Chicago in the fall of 1972.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972_Illin ... rail_crash

In that instance, the engineer of a new lighter-weight and wider-bodied suburban train overshot a station platform and, in defiance of a cardinal saftey rule, backed up toward that station without realizing that the automatic block signal sytem operated in only one direction. A following train, consisting of older, narrower, and heavier equipment, then rear-ended the lightweight, telescoping into the end car.

The reinforced vestibules at the ends of all passenger cars are designed with the specific intent of reducing the possibility of telescopng on impact. Unfortunately, in the case of Friday's Metrolink accident, the combined speeds at impoact of 100 MPH was so great as to force the entire vestibule structure back into the passenger compartment.

Although it's much too early to speculate, the interface between the locomotive and the front end of the lead car may also have been a factor in the structural damage upon impact.

Mr. CarterB's advice is something I'd heed: Stay away from the ends of the train, but there's no absolute security on this side of the cemetery.
Last edited by 2nd trick op on Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:16 am, edited 2 times in total.