Two killed in crash involving Amtrak train, freight train - South Carolina

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Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
#2
They're now reporting that the Amtrak trains was "on the wrong track".

A Miami-bound Amtrak train appeared to be on the wrong track when it collided with a freight train in South Carolina early Sunday morning, killing two people and injuring 116, authorities said, but officials with the passenger railroad said the freight line controls signalling and dispatch on the tracks.
It appears that this is a CSX line.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/amtrak-passenger-train-collides-freight-train-sc-injuries/story?id=52826058
 
#8
I read an article quoting Amtrak as saying that PTC could have prevented the accident. Ironically, the railroad's signal system was shut off at the time of the accident while PTC was being installed and trains were being dispatched by radio.
 
#9
I read an article quoting Amtrak as saying that PTC could have prevented the accident. Ironically, the railroad's signal system was shut off at the time of the accident while PTC was being installed and trains were being dispatched by radio.
This will be either a dispatching error or someone not telling the dispatcher that the switch was lined and locked to the siding.
 

BNSFEng

Locomotive Engineer!!!
#10
Another article said that the CSX freight train had done some work in the area and backed their train into the siding and left. The Conductor would have had to line and lock the switch and ride back on the 34 empty autoracks into the clear. Once in the clear, he would have had to get back up to the switch and line and lock it for mainline movement and tell the dispatcher, if the signals were down or not down. The dispatcher could have relieved him of this responsibility if a MOW crew, that was rumored in the area, used that siding, too. A big problem is that operating without signals in a CTC area is rare and if personnel are not used to it, mistakes can be made. Was it the Conductor or the MOW crew who never lined the switch back and report it to the Dispatcher or the Dispatcher forgot it was lined for the siding when giving a track warrant to the Amtrak crew??? The investigation will be able to track the timeline by the mainline radio traffic, which is normally recorded and the Dispatchers logs for radio orders he/she issued.
 

BNSFEng

Locomotive Engineer!!!
#11
Would Positive Train Control (PTC) prevent this kind of accident?
Yes, absolutely! I've been running with PTC since June. If a switch is out of position, it informs the PTC computer to give the train a Stop signal at the signal entering the block. It would not let the train go any faster than restricted speed up to the switch and it would have informed the Engineer that the switch was open in a text line on the screen. I tested that function over 2 years ago on our mainline while testing PTC and it works. PTC stopped my train before I went past the switch unless I acknowledged that the switch was in the proper position to allow me to enter the siding where I was directed to go. If the switch was say, at the other end of that CSX siding such that you would run through the switch, damaging it, PTC would not let you foul (the act of putting your train in a dangerous position that would cause an accident if somebody went through the switch in front of you) the switch until the switch was then lined for mainline movement.
 



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