• Derailment in Paulsboro

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New Jersey

Moderator: David

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  by Freddy
 
scotty269 wrote:Some comments from "unnamed" sources - http://www.philly.com/philly/news/break ... lment.html
Interesting write-up and more detailed than I expected. I was a bridgetender from Jan.75 till Nov.76 on the same type of brodge in Florida after I got rolled of the section in Waverly Ga.
On top are 'lift rails', 2 on each end of course, that lift up. Down below are what's called 'wedges' , 2 on each end, that have to withdraw in order for the span to basically unlock and then
turn. To lock back in place it's basically like this; Span turns back from open position to closed. Down below the 'wedges' are motor driven into their 'seats'. After that, up top, the 'lift rails'
are motor driven down into their 'seats'. After all that the signal circuit controller is closed which should then give a Green signal if everything has worked correctly. The wedges keep the span
from shifting and in place. The only inspection a conductor can do is to look at the 'lift rails' up top and make sure their down and in place. There's no way anybody can see what position the
wedges are in unless their under the span to physically see the wedges.
  by CarterB
 
So basically the A frame bridge gave the CSA train a 'wedgy'!!!
  by wolfboy8171981
 
The truth is slowly coming out. This bridge has been automated since around 2001. There are no indications in the dispatcher office for this bridge, Bridgeport, and Darby. In 2009 a bridge supoport on the fixed span collapsed. But even before then a train encountering a stop siginal at a closed bridge was a common occurance.

Rule 241 (d)
Stopped at a Signal Protecting Moveable Bridge
Under the following conditions, a qualified employee must determine that the rails are properly lined and
the bridge is safe for movement before verbal permission is given to pass the signal:
1. When the signal cannot be displayed for the first movement over a bridge after the bridge has been
closed, regardless of bridge lock indication.
OR
2. At any time a bridge unlock indication is received.

For the last 11 years the carrier insisted that a conductor was a qualified employee.
  by Quinn
 
CPSK wrote:Who is the owner / maintainer of this bridge?

CP
Conrail, apparently.
  by charlie6017
 
Article states that Conrail has saved $100,000 a year since "automating" the bridge. Think this derailment
and clean-up will wipe out any money saved since then!

Charlie
  by Freddy
 
wolfboy8171981 wrote:The truth is slowly coming out. This bridge has been automated since around 2001. There are no indications in the dispatcher office for this bridge, Bridgeport, and Darby. In 2009 a bridge supoport on the fixed span collapsed. But even before then a train encountering a stop siginal at a closed bridge was a common occurance.

Rule 241 (d)
Stopped at a Signal Protecting Moveable Bridge
Under the following conditions, a qualified employee must determine that the rails are properly lined and
the bridge is safe for movement before verbal permission is given to pass the signal:
1. When the signal cannot be displayed for the first movement over a bridge after the bridge has been
closed, regardless of bridge lock indication.
OR
2. At any time a bridge unlock indication is received.

For the last 11 years the carrier insisted that a conductor was a qualified employee.
The bridge I was on was manned from 6am till 10pm. The timetable said that outside normal hours of operation bridge would be lined for rail movement and crews encountering a red signal
would make a walking inspection to make sure the lift rails were in proper position before calling the dispatcher for permission to proceed.
  by Freddy
 
I'll add this. In the 14 years I was in the track departments of CSX and the former SCL and had ocassions to be with my Roadmaster and both state and federal track inspectors I never once in
all those years see them inspect either a wooden trestle or steel bridge span. In the subsequent years,as a signal maintainer, I would follow behind, in my hy-rail, either the roadmaster or
section foreman with an FRA inspector and never saw an inspection of a bridge structure of any type. I'm talking about the states of Florida,Georgia and Alabama.
  by Quinn
 
charlie6017 wrote:Article states that Conrail has saved $100,000 a year since "automating" the bridge. Think this derailment
and clean-up will wipe out any money saved since then!
My thoughts exact;y when I came across that!
  by Ken W2KB
 
Quinn wrote:
charlie6017 wrote:Article states that Conrail has saved $100,000 a year since "automating" the bridge. Think this derailment
and clean-up will wipe out any money saved since then!
My thoughts exact;y when I came across that!
Though expert Freddy above stated that the Conductor would not be able to see improper locking in the lower mechanism. Therefore one could conclude that a bridge tender walking the bridge would not be able to detect the defect either. So the automation may not have averted this incident.
  by wolfboy8171981
 
Ken W2KB wrote:
Quinn wrote:
charlie6017 wrote:Article states that Conrail has saved $100,000 a year since "automating" the bridge. Think this derailment
and clean-up will wipe out any money saved since then!
My thoughts exact;y when I came across that!
Though expert Freddy above stated that the Conductor would not be able to see improper locking in the lower mechanism. Therefore one could conclude that a bridge tender walking the bridge would not be able to detect the defect either. So the automation may not have averted this incident.
I would hope that the bridge tender would know to look at the wedges underneath the bridge before stating the bridge is ok for movement. The wedges should beable to be seen from the deck level by looking down.

There are a lot of layers in this story that the common person does not understand. I hope the NTSB gets to the bottom of this and I cannot wait to read its findings, it should be an eye opener.
  by Freddy
 
wolfboy8171981 wrote:
Ken W2KB wrote:
Quinn wrote:
charlie6017 wrote:Article states that Conrail has saved $100,000 a year since "automating" the bridge. Think this derailment
and clean-up will wipe out any money saved since then!
My thoughts exact;y when I came across that!
Though expert Freddy above stated that the Conductor would not be able to see improper locking in the lower mechanism. Therefore one could conclude that a bridge tender walking the bridge would not be able to detect the defect either. So the automation may not have averted this incident.
I would hope that the bridge tender would know to look at the wedges underneath the bridge before stating the bridge is ok for movement. The wedges should beable to be seen from the deck level by looking down.

There are a lot of layers in this story that the common person does not understand. I hope the NTSB gets to the bottom of this and I cannot wait to read its findings, it should be an eye opener.
Inside the tenders house and out on the span itself were located indicator lights that would light up when the wedges and lift rails were properly withdrawn when first opening the span and
these same lights would also indicate when the span was closed and all wedges and lift rails were properly seated.
  by Freddy
 
I wonder also,since there was no tender,who was taking a grease gun and an oil can and crawling the length of the drive shaft in order to grease all the fittings and applying grease to the
wedges and also changing the burnt out light bulbs that the Coast Guard would require for navigation. Our wedges and fittings were looked at every few weeks and we only ran 3 trains per
day.
  by Quinn
 
Ken W2KB wrote:Though expert Freddy above stated that the Conductor would not be able to see improper locking in the lower mechanism. Therefore one could conclude that a bridge tender walking the bridge would not be able to detect the defect either. So the automation may not have averted this incident.
It appears that the automation was completing its function. There was a problem detected and the stop signal was properly indicated. If this was a manned position, perhaps the person stationed there would be familiar with with the intricacies and the "feel" of the bridge (as in the way that many pieces of equipment have their own peculiarities and such), noticing changes, and would go on from there. I'm not saying this would, or could, have definitely been avoided either way. Sometimes, however, it pays to have an experienced person on-hand to keep an eye on your operation. That's what I was thinking in the vein of long-term costs and how that may apply in a situation like this.
  by pdtrains
 
Gee...Bridge not maintained on schedule, Bridge not functioning correctly, DS gives authority to pass stop signal based on inspection by inexperienced condr, with no training in bridge inspection.
CSAO will try to blame it on Sandy (act of God), but bypassing a safety system (the red signal) will be a smoking gun. They will settle out of court in the millions of $. A bunch of people will be hauled in for investigation, and have to sweat their jobs.
Bring your union reps with you.
  by RDG467
 
CarterB wrote:Darby Creek P&R Bridge looks to be about the right size. But....is it feasibly functional and moveable??
That bridge is double track, but I don't think that would preclude making it an extra wide single track bridge. Building a new control system is one obvious necessity, if the bridge is still structurally sound. Parts for the bascule mechanism would probably have to be modernized, since I have no idea of the availability of spare parts for that old relic.

The big problem would be how to handle the rail traffic while building a new bridge. You'd have to put the new bridge on a new alignment and there's not much room on either land approach, unless you widened the fill.
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