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Thread: Happening NOW - Amtrak Cascades NEW Service Derailment

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Albuquerque, NM


    I have to agree with one comment I read. $180 million was spent upgrading these tracks to provide higher speed service on the route, but this included a 30 mph section on an old decrepit bridge. Why didn't they spend money to straighten out that section? (FYI this is a rhetorical question.)

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Wareham, Dorset, U.K.


    Quote Originally Posted by markhyams View Post
    I have to agree with one comment I read. $180 million was spent upgrading these tracks to provide higher speed service on the route, but this included a 30 mph section on an old decrepit bridge. Why didn't they spend money to straighten out that section? (FYI this is a rhetorical question.)
    that depends on how much of the alleged sum was spent on the rail improvements and how much was...... lets just call it oiling the wheels? I never cease to be amazed at the alleged cost of public works projects ....however with the media's track record of "think of a number and double it" one has to be sceptical about ANY costing? ...let alone what the money was ACTUALLY spent on?

    My cynicism (or as I view it realism) aside you've actually asked a VERY pertinent question IMO.

    The only answer is that there isn't the will to spend the required money to achieve that logical improvement

    I think the harsh reality is in Mike's post #25?

    In Europe we have far shorter distances between cities and industrial facilities. Mile and a half freight trains are not required here. Passenger traffic can and does compete with the airlines for exactly the reasons Mike outlined. There's an obvious conflict in the requirement for trackage and signalling for long heavy slower moving freight traffic and high speed passenger traffic. IT's worth pointing out that in France the TGV's only achieve their maximum speed on track exclusively for TGV use. Here I the UK our (now rather ancient) HS 125 trains were only ever limited to 125m.p.h. because the signalling couldn't be used at the 140 m.p.h. they were capable of. In Europe Passenger traffic is the greater %. Once the Airlines started internal flights the end for that traffic in the US was inevitable.

    Where the traffic has been supported there it's been relatively successful (NE corridor etc.) but todays tax cuts are hardly likely to make a publicly owned passenger railroad a priority ...are they
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tujunga Calif (Senile City)


    There is a limit to the angle of the bridge, changing it would require support columns going down to a major interstate that would have to be routed around them. Or changing the track alignment to the approach of the bridge would require land purchases. Any of that would easily be another 180 million++++

  4. #34


    Moderator note: Enough about driver vs. engineer. Use your preferred pronoun and be done with the bickering...

  5. #35


    Quote Originally Posted by lateagain View Post
    Yes the latter point is why I referenced the RENFE crash. At high speed that doesn't count for much (as is sadly seen in the CCTV) but at lower speeds this must really help deceleration?

    IF they had that effect from 80m.p.h. that's truly remarkable? Amtrak should be ordering more of these sets in that case?
    Is this specific CCTV a live video of the derailment as it happened? If so can you provide the link?

  6. #36


    Quote Originally Posted by lateagain View Post
    Firstly thanks for the Charger pics Jim & Geepster. I only saw the loco from above and the back.

    A few years back a sad individual decided to commit suicide by parking his car on a level crossing here in the UK. It was hit by a HST125 train which derailed. The cab looked undamaged but rocks and earth forced their way up through the floor and killed the driver

    Considering the leap/fall that Challenger has had it looks incredibly "together". As I understand it the driver has survived? If so that would be remarkable having survived such a violent derail?

    It does seem to me that IF the train had really derailed at nearly three times the speed limit it would have faired far worse? If you go to You Tube and type RENFE Talgo crash you can see what happened to that train. It was of course a high speed train so the impacts were far greater, as was the awful death toll . However we can see that quite a few of the coaches here remain coupled? Even the one hanging over the bridge.

    My guess would be late braking with wet rails? Even though the RENFE crash was at a much higher speed I can't believe what we're looking at happened at 80m.p.h.

    Of course we're not party to the extent of injuries to surviving passengers but I feel that there would be many more fatalities if this had happened at that speed.
    Quite true. I think that if it was really going at 80mph then it wouldn't even have successfully negotiated the curve. Unless the picture below is exaggerated, it was pure luck they made it that far. Wonder why that Talgo is so close to the Genesis though. Maybe they had left the tracks by the time they reached that point, but were still moving over the bridge.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Metro Vancouver


    So I had two friends on that train and the engineer I had talked to also over time and all I will say is lets let the TRAINED Professionals figure out what happened and I know that this engineer always like to give his customers a smooth ride so something happened and what that was we will find out soon enough.
    To the killed may they rest in peace and the injured may they heal in body and soul.
    Work Safe play hard

  8. #38


    I have another theory. Suppose the Charger and some of the cars left the tracks at the beginning of the curve, heading down that path on the right in my picture. The rest of the cars and the P42DC made it in some way around the curve but derailed off the bridge.

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