• Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midland,TX

  • Discussion about the Union Pacific operations past and present. Official site can be found here: UPRR.COM.
Discussion about the Union Pacific operations past and present. Official site can be found here: UPRR.COM.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

  by Scott K
 
quote<<'"The eastbound train was sounding its horn before it hit the float around 4:40 p.m. in Midland, Union Pacific spokesman Tom Lange said. A preliminary investigation indicates the crossing gate and lights were working at the time, Lange said, though he didn't know if the train crew saw the float approaching.">>

It wouldn't matter if the crew saw the float or not, we all know that. I just can't understand why the driver of the truck tried to go around the gates in the first place, as I read in the Huffpost version of this story; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/1 ... 40886.html

As usual when a vehicle is struck by a train, a needless tragedy that could have been avoided. Some of the stories I've heard however, make it sound as if the train just appeared out of nowhere, and deliberatly crashed into the float. Typical, blame the railroad.

My heart goes out to the victims and their famlies, just the same, as well as the U.P. crew.


Scott K.
  by Clean Cab
 
Such a terrible event. Early reports seem to indicate that the truck driver tried to beat the train at the crossing. The entire event was video taped and once the FRA and NTSB investigate, the footage should be released. I feel for the victims, all war heroes, their families and the members of the train crew.
  by awtprod
 
Clean Cab wrote:Such a terrible event. Early reports seem to indicate that the truck driver tried to beat the train at the crossing. The entire event was video taped and once the FRA and NTSB investigate, the footage should be released. I feel for the victims, all war heroes, their families and the members of the train crew.

Video from the cab? Security Cam? Why would they release such graphic, I assume, footage?
  by Ocala Mike
 
Not about "beating the gates" at all. It seems that the driver of the float tried to proceed across the tracks while traffic was stopped ahead of him. The float was stationary across the track when struck.

It's true about the news reports, though. Statements like the train was "barrelling along" and "speeding down the track" are ridiculous in the context of what happened.
  by Backshophoss
 
This is ex-MP trackage,UP calls this the Toyah Sub,Midland is at mp 555.6,in the heart of the oil and natural gas patch in Texas.
It's part of UP's southern "Transcon" route to LA from Memphis Tn/Shreveport La,connecting with the "Sunset" route at Sierra Blanca Tx.
It's single track,mixed CTC/Track Warrant, 60 mph.


(Altamont Press,Texas Regional TT,dated 09/01/2002)
  by pswag115
 
awtprod wrote:
Clean Cab wrote:Such a terrible event. Early reports seem to indicate that the truck driver tried to beat the train at the crossing. The entire event was video taped and once the FRA and NTSB investigate, the footage should be released. I feel for the victims, all war heroes, their families and the members of the train crew.

Video from the cab? Security Cam? Why would they release such graphic, I assume, footage?
Once the ntsb has it it becomes public record, and therefore publicly available. I will not watch it, and recommend you also do not watch it, though i will deff read the report.
  by kaitoku
 
Best news article to date about this incident, by far, by the reliable (for accurate railroad reportage) Wall Street Journal:
It wasn't clear Friday whether the parade organizers knew—or could have known—that the train was due to come through town at the time of the parade. Ms. Scott said her group believed that no train was due until 7 p.m. However, a spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration said freight trains "don't run on schedule. They run on demand." Parade organizers would "have to contact the railroad to know to expect the train."

Even if organizers of a parade try in advance to coordinate with the railroad, "there's no way for us to know" when a train would arrive at a specific intersection, a UP spokesman said.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... %3Darticle

Also available through Google News Search, if you encounter a subscription paywall.

*the level of the discussion in the comments section is also much higher than your average fishwrap website.
  by Clean Cab
 
awtprod wrote:
Clean Cab wrote:Such a terrible event. Early reports seem to indicate that the truck driver tried to beat the train at the crossing. The entire event was video taped and once the FRA and NTSB investigate, the footage should be released. I feel for the victims, all war heroes, their families and the members of the train crew.

Video from the cab? Security Cam? Why would they release such graphic, I assume, footage?
One of the parade watchers recorded it and turn it over to the NTSB. I'm sure that if it is released, it will be edited from being too graphic.
  by Clean Cab
 
Ocala Mike wrote:Not about "beating the gates" at all. It seems that the driver of the float tried to proceed across the tracks while traffic was stopped ahead of him. The float was stationary across the track when struck.

It's true about the news reports, though. Statements like the train was "barrelling along" and "speeding down the track" are ridiculous in the context of what happened.

Barrelling along? Speeding down the tracks? Why is it that the trains are the bad guys and the people who drive aroung downed crossing gates are the victims?????????????????????????????
  by kaitoku
 
It's looking less like the railroad was at fault (which was the implied tone of most coverage up to now) and more like the investigation will focus on the truck driver as well as the parade organizers and the City of Midland (which had imposed a quiet zone on this stretch of track):
Investigators have yet to find any mechanical problems linked to the collision that killed four military veterans Thursday, when a train slammed into their parade float in Midland, Texas.

The investigation is underway, but at news briefings this weekend, National Transportation Safety Board investigators revealed a series of details that point away from technical malfunction and more toward human error.

On Sunday, safety board member Mark Rosekind said investigators had found no mechanical, maintenance or railroad track anomalies. When a tractor trailer filled with 24 veterans and their spouses wandered onto the Union Pacific railroad tracks -- in front of an oncoming train -- the crossing's warning system was "functioning as designed," he said.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nati ... 2185.story
  by Denver Dude
 
The arguments go like this:

1. The train shouldn't have been on the tracks at that time.
2. They should have steered the train around the float.
3. They should have stopped the train when they saw the float.

Etc.

I feel bad for the crew. They are probably losing pay, will be drug-tested, blamed, etc.
  by awtprod
 
Clean Cab wrote:
pswag115 wrote:
awtprod wrote:
Clean Cab wrote:Such a terrible event. Early reports seem to indicate that the truck driver tried to beat the train at the crossing. The entire event was video taped and once the FRA and NTSB investigate, the footage should be released. I feel for the victims, all war heroes, their families and the members of the train crew.

Video from the cab? Security Cam? Why would they release such graphic, I assume, footage?
Once the ntsb has it it becomes public record, and therefore publicly available. I will not watch it, and recommend you also do not watch it, though i will deff read the report.
One of the parade watchers recorded it and turn it over to the NTSB. I'm sure that if it is released, it will be edited from being too graphic.
Ah, okay. Didn't know that.
  by maddoxdy
 
Denver Dude wrote:The arguments go like this:

1. The train shouldn't have been on the tracks at that time.
2. They should have steered the train around the float.
3. They should have stopped the train when they saw the float.

Etc.

I feel bad for the crew. They are probably losing pay, will be drug-tested, blamed, etc.
Has there been much mention of the driver of the float? Was he properly licensed? CDL Class A w/ Passenger Endorsement. I hope he wasn't just some high school kid who volunteered and they said OK. Then again maybe a properly lic drivers would have turned them down. I know I would have.

Doug Maddox
  by ExCon90
 
There was a news report the other day that the driver was a 30-year army veteran (retired) who now works as a truck driver for the contractor who provided the trucking service -- apparently devastated by what happened.