• SD-40-2 question

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

  by lexon
I read a story back in 2001 about a SD40-2 chasing down a runaway SD40-2, #8888 freight in Ohio. According to the article, a rule book for the loco says max speed unloaded is about 30 mph. The chase loco, CSX #6462 had to run long hood forward in this chase and did about 70 mph at times.
Some claim roads run a long hood forward quite a lot and this was not unusual, even at this speed.
Any former CSX workers have any facts on this style of loco? I have seen various opinions about this event the past years.

Here is a link to what happened.


  by roadster
There is a CSX rule that states that single light engines are limited to 30 mph, due to just 4 axles may not properly shunt track circuits for signal and crossing protection. Being this incident was a declared emergency, and Police agencys had the crossing protected, the crew was ordered to pursue and catch if possible. Management, exemptng them from speed rules. Long hood or short in lead does not effect speed requirements unless the unit is lacking ditchlights on the leading end. In which case, the rule requires 20 mph over grade crossings. Again, for crossing protection.
  by lexon
The original story I read was in Reader's Digest, March, 2002. Maybe the writer did some embellishing. Supposedly the conductor hung on as best he could to the front of the long hood to signal the driver on right hand curves.
We will probably never know the real story as I have read some accounts that the CSX did not reveal everything about how the runaway freight got onto a mainline. The unloaded chase loco caught and latched on to the runaway freight at about 55 mph.
The movie, Unstoppable is based on this event and is even more unbelievable.

  by lvrr325
A locomotive is not like a car, with a transmission connecting engine to the wheels. It uses a generator to operate electric motors which turn the wheels. It doesn't care which direction it's going, it will go just as fast either way.

Obviously in an emergency situation rules will be waived if needed to resolve the problem, within reason.

As long as the knuckle on the leading coupler is open, no one needs to be on the deck at all to couple to another car or locomotive.
  by roadster
Having run longhood forward, there is no need for the conductor to be on the steps or deck for that matter. He can see the opposite side from inside the cab and easily relay verbal reports to the engineer across the cab from him. I wasn't out there that day, only saw the reports and news media reports. "Unstoppable" was 100% pure Hollywood, creating entertainment. It was not meant to be historically correct.
  by roadster
I have not heard of CSX with holding info. regarding the incident. it was investigated by the FRA and NTSB. Their reports are public record.