PC789 wrote:I'm 15. Yes I get that if you where driving a car, for example and you hit a deer (a smaller mass) you would be injured because of the speed, that's not my point.
I'm just saying that alot of train crashes could have been less catastrophic if there were better safety features in the US. Look at europe and how much safer (and lighter) their trains are. Look at the above video, why did the bourbanais accident happen if we could have had those crash zones? It would have kept the cars in line.
A car could not possibly derail a train if there were a guard on the locomotive or railcar, but some trains still drive without sufficient guards.
Have you ever been to Europe? Problum is that even thow there trains are lighter and faster in Western Europe inspecters still can't catch everything that happens all over there system face it things happen just becouse a wheel looks good and was passed by someone who inspected it 24 hours ago dose not mean that it won't lock up or crack a few miles down the road causeing the train to derail or it was a hot day the rail kinked up later on in the afternoon do to the heat. In Eastern Europe it 's no better top speed in most parts don't run over 45 miles and hour becouse there is no money to put into the tracks or keep the rolling stock or cars runing. The Russian State Railroads has something like half a million railroad cars and only 20%-30% are useable becouse there is no money to rebuild or upgrade them.
The problum is not that there are not enough inspecters its just there so many miles they have to cover in a day. On top of his/her inspections there being called by road formen and outher work crews and so forth some times your called to work on a job site and are not able to get away. Or you may start at one work area and stop at 4 or more in a 10 mile strech.
Some of the defects that happen and can be vary unpredictable on and could cause a train to derail are:
Heat Kinks in the rail: The rail expands in the heat and gos out of alinment. You might notice that some railroads may stop running between a perticuler time in the morning and resume again later on near sun down.
Swelling of Ties: Railroad Ties can Swell up if it Rains enough to cause Spikes to loosen up.
Cold Weather: can cause the Rail to contract making them brittle and they pull apart.
Defects that are not commonley seen by the eye but are detectable with special equipment again they are not always caught the rail may look good today and month later a defect is detected.
Shelling: the rails rust from the inside out this happens when unseen Air bubbles in the steel rust out and exspand with the help of cold weather and rain.
Bolt Hole Cracks: these are most commonley found where bolts go in the rail these do happen in due time as the joint bars and bolts rock up and down causeing cracks to form in the bold holes. For this reason Ribbon Rail came into play to reduce the number of 39ft sections of rail needing replacement.
There are more defects to explane but I'll go into later.