OSS was missing an ingredient...



  • @flabdablet said:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-8gV4DJZUw

    Hint: 25mph isn't fast enough to do much in a derailment, as this video demonstrates. Besides, as you can also see here, trains are very tolerant of bad track at low speeds...

    Now, on the other hand, 50mph derailments are serious business.



  • Given that they had equipped themselves with sledgehammers as well as explosive, I was surprised that they didn't just blow a smallish hole and then bash the downstream ties sideways, in order to deflect one wheel flange to the outside. That's the first thing I would have tried.

    Also, it seems to me that if your mission weight constraints allow you to carry a sledgie, it should not be terribly difficult to design a portable steel saddle that drops over the rail and works on the same principle as one of these:


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Well, damn. That's basically the thing I was talking about in that thread a week or two back, and I just went out yesterday to walk the track to get pictures, which I haven't uploaded yet.



  • @tarunik said:

    Besides, as you can also see here, trains are very tolerant of bad track at low speeds...

    Lumber trains here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, used to run on log track. They made special wide double-flanged wheels for it and everything.



  • @tarunik said:

    25mph isn't fast enough to do much in a derailment

    That's a coincidence, I was watching that video just last night.

    Filed under: What are the odds?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Hmm, makes me wonder something random...

    Does that thing work both ways?

    paging @tarunik since apparently he knows things about trains


  • sockdevs

    @sloosecannon said:

    Does that thing work both ways?

    it would give a train a bad day in either direction (assuming it doesn't break) but it's designed to have a preferential direction.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    That's kinda what I figured :)



  • @accalia said:

    it's designed to have a preferential direction.

    Specifically, it's intended to prevent a car left on a siding or industrial track from inadvertently rolling onto the mainline if its brakes fail and causing a serious accident; getting it back on the rails after a low-speed derailment is trivial in comparison. The other direction, not so much.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @HardwareGeek said:

    Specifically, it's intended to prevent a car left on a siding or industrial track from inadvertently rolling onto the mainline if its brakes fail and causing a serious accident; getting it back on the rails after a low-speed derailment is trivial in comparison. The other direction, not so much.

    I'd have thought that it was more normal to have these installed:



  • @dkf said:

    I'd have thought that it was more normal to have these installed:

    These are more common when protecting controlled siding ends or steep slopes, where long cuts may runaway, and they can be powered up easily -- flop-over derails are generally hand-operated because they're on industrial tracks, where all movements are at low speed, but they don't really have a facility to be hooked up to a switch machine.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Speaking of railroads, here's an oopsie:



  • Uh oh, where'd you find this at?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I figured you'd have something to say. :smile:

    You remember the spur we were talking about a week or two ago? I walked it Sunday to get a couple of pictures. This is the lever to control the switch for the spur, which I thought was unused, but there's actually empty car there. (I'll probably put the pictures on Imgur later today or this evening and then post a link to it.)



  • @FrostCat said:

    You remember the spur we were talking about a week or two ago? I walked it Sunday to get a couple of pictures. This is the lever to control the switch for the spur, which I thought was unused, but there's actually empty car there. (I'll probably put the pictures on Imgur later today or this evening and then post a link to it.)

    The switch on the main, you mean!? Or are you talking about one of the switches on the industrial lead?

    Also, was there any evidence of a crew switching the lead, or of Maintenance of Way personnel working there? Otherwise, it's time to give the DGNO a ring and let them know that you saw a switch left unlocked near grade-crossing-such-and-such...because that's not supposed to happen!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @tarunik said:

    The switch on the main, you mean!? Or are you talking about one of the switches on the industrial lead?

    Yes, that's the lever that controls whether the switch is set for the main line or the industrial lead.

    @tarunik said:

    Also, was there any evidence of a crew switching the lead, or of Maintenance of Way personnel working there?

    There were a couple of guys parked in the nearest parking lot, but their truck didn't look to me like it was marked for anything railroad-related.

    @tarunik said:

    Otherwise, it's time to give the DGNO a ring and let them know that you saw a switch left unlocked near grade-crossing-such-and-such...because that's not supposed to happen!

    I wouldn't know who to call. If you can figure it out I can drive by there again tomorrow morning and see if it's still unlocked and call them, if so.

    I made a point, just in case there were any cameras around, of not touching the thing or even getting within a couple of feet of it. ;)



  • @FrostCat said:

    DGNO

    Contact Information

    Emergency Phone Number
    (800) 979-4958

    Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad
    403 International Pkwy, Suite 500
    Richardson, TX 75081
    (972) 808-9800


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Well, like I said, I'll try to run by it tomorrow morning and see if it's still unlocked.

    I'm curious if this kind of thing is an RGE even if nobody actually comes along and flips the switch.



  • @FrostCat said:

    I'm curious if this kind of thing is an RGE even if nobody actually comes along and flips the switch.

    Not quite a RGE, but definitely a cause for some remedial training, either that or someone who shouldn't have undid the lock...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @tarunik said:

    Not quite a RGE, but definitely a cause for some remedial training, either that or someone who shouldn't have undid the lock...

    I have no idea how long that's been unlocked, of course, and I haven't walked the industrial lead in a couple of years. I did notice that there was a car of some kind at the end of it, which I don't recall having ever seen before.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @HardwareGeek said:

    (972) 808-9800

    Good grief, that's one long-ass voicemail menu. I finally got to Operations, I think, as that seemed fairly unlikely to be wildly wrong. He didn't seem overly concerned; he said it's a restricted-speed line or something and the siding is supposedly currently inactive, and the track might be spiked so nobody can actually activate the switch.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I wonder what @tarunik has to say about that...

    Filed Under: The Daily WTF, finding failures in and out of RL since $creation_year


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @sloosecannon said:

    I wonder what @tarunik has to say about that...

    That's why I replied.

    You call the non-emergency number, and it says "our customer service has been redirected to [a Florida number]" and then goes on to give a long spiel of functional extensions (operations, sales, etc.)" I called that number, and they mentioned an entirely different railroad, so I called back again and it suggested "for signal malfunction or accident, call ARDC (whoever that is) at a Vermont number." Both of those seemed kind of non-local so I called back the local number again and picked Operations, after a bit of dithering--I almost called Signaling.

    I did try to make clear to him that the spur was booted but that the lever was unlocked. He wasn't what I would call dismissive, just his attitude seemed more perfunctory; he certainly didn't give the impression he thought it was an emergency situation, which made me glad I didn't actually call the emergency number. :smile:

    I guess I could've just called the town and let them deal with it, too, heh.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I don't know that much about railroads, but from what I do know, even a slight chance that the switch could be thrown the wrong way is a very bad thing. So his reaction strikes me as just slightly less worried than it should be...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I would've thought so too, but as I said above, he said "oh, the switch is probably spiked so you can't physically throw it" and I certainly wasn't about to touch it when I went by it. :smile:

    I'm also not discounting the possibility he just didn't want to freak out in front of a random caller. They'll probably wind up sending someone out to check.

    After I hung up I realized I probably should've mentioned it's been that way for at least a few days, but I didn't want to sound like I was monitoring it. :smile:


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @FrostCat said:

    After I hung up I realized I probably should've mentioned it's been that way for at least a few days, but I didn't want to sound like I was monitoring it.

    Probably a good idea :)



  • @FrostCat said:

    and the track might be spiked so nobody can actually activate the switch.

    If the switch is spiked or clamped, then I'd say it's OK to leave it like that...

    @FrostCat said:

    he said it's a restricted-speed line

    Restricted speed helps as well (probably FRA excepted track on an industrial lead, if he's talking about it that way), as you are slow enough to be able to stop within half the range of vision of an obstacle at any time when you're operating at restricted speed

    @FrostCat said:

    They'll probably wind up sending someone out to check.

    Yeah, I'd think $my_employer would have someone (either the next train crew headed that way, or a nearby MofW type) check on the switch if it were ours -- an unexpected switch can be a bit of a nasty surprise, even at restricted speed, and can also wind up getting damaged in and of itself if trailed through in the wrong position.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @tarunik said:

    If the switch is spiked or clamped, then I'd say it's OK to leave it like that...

    Well, I don't know if it was. I didn't know what that was, so I don't know if it's obvious.

    @tarunik said:

    Restricted speed helps as well (probably FRA excepted track on an industrial lead, if he's talking about it that way), as you are slow enough to be able to stop within half the range of vision of an obstacle at any time when you're operating at restricted speed

    Yeah, he said more or less the same thing ("stop within half the range of vision") and that the track was limited to 10mph. I'm not sure if he meant the line or the lead--but I've never seen a train move faster than a crawl on that line.

    @tarunik said:

    damaged in and of itself if trailed through in the wrong position

    Well, it was in the correct position. I hope it's spiked or fixed before any other trains come through. :smile:



  • @FrostCat said:

    and that the track was limited to 10mph. I'm not sure if he meant the line or the lead--but I've never seen a train move faster than a crawl on that line.

    The line -- it'd be FRA excepted track then, I'm pretty sure.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @tarunik said:

    The line -- it'd be FRA excepted track then, I'm pretty sure.

    Probably. I thought he had said exempted or something, but it could've been excepted. The guy apparently thought I had industry knowledge, because he used a bit of jargon like that.




  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @HardwareGeek said:

    FRA excepted track: http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,1741132

    Yup, that's the first hit (IIRC) when searching for that term.


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