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Los Angeles Area Train Wreck Yesterday

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  • brakie
    This is not good! 2 major wrecks in a week involving Passenger trains.Not good at all.


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  • rush2ny
    Freighter Ran Red:

    A freight train ran a red light moments before Tuesday's deadly crash with a commuter train, but investigators stopped short of blaming human error.

    ``There is no question the Burlington Northern train should have stopped,'' National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Marion Blakey said Wednesday.

    Two died and more than 260 were injured in the crash during morning rush hour. Some Metrolink passengers were thrown from their seats; others clambered out windows of the double-decker commuter train.

    Blakey said the freight train rolled through the signal at 48 mph, hitting the commuter train, which was stopped at the crossing. Investigators found no problems with railroad signals, equipment or the tracks, she said.

    The freight train began braking about 1,700 feet before the crash, and had slowed to 20 mph at impact. The Metrolink engineer saw the other engine coming and halted the commuter train, Blakey said.

    ``He did have time to leave the cab to proceed toward the back of the first car and warn the passengers,'' she said.

    Investigators are interviewing crew members of both trains and pulling personnel records and work schedules. ``We want to look particularly at that 72-hour window before the crews came on duty to see what may have factored in in terms of their performance,'' Blakey said.

    Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Richard Russack withheld comment on the agency's findings.

    ``We have participated fully with the NTSB in the investigation so far and we will continue to participate and we will wait until the final report is produced before we make any further comment,'' he said.

    After the commuter train halted at the crossing, some riders, apparently thinking the train had reached its next station, stood up, according to passenger Bill Marin, 50.

    NTSB investigators believe the freight train's brakes were working properly, Blakey said, adding that the train's crew applied them 1,700 feet before the crash.

    The freight train's crew - an engineer and conductor - jumped from their locomotive just before the accident. Blakey said drug and alcohol tests were given to the train crews and the dispatcher on the route, as is routine after a crash.

    NTSB investigators retrieved the event recorders that provide mechanical data on the trains, such as speed, braking maneuvers and use of horns at the time of the crash. Recorded radio conversations between the dispatcher and the crews also will be analyzed, Blakey said.

    Russack said the freight train was en route from Los Angeles to Clovis, N.M., and carried 67 loaded containers. The train company owns and maintains the stretch of rail where the crash occurred.

    Southbound Metrolink 809 was traveling from Riverside to San Juan Capistrano on a route that has 12 trains and 3,000 passenger boardings each day.

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  • rush2ny
    Here you go:

    Two people were killed and about 265 others were injured when a freight train crashed head-on into a stopped commuter train south of Los Angeles Tuesday, officials said. The accident crumpled one passenger car and sent people flying out of their seats.

    The accident, the second deadly rail mishap in the United States in five days, occurred at about 8 a.m. PDT in Placentia, about 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

    Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Miller said out of about 300 passengers on the Metrolink commuter train, 162 were taken to hospitals for treatment, along with two crew members from the freight train. Others, classified as "walking wounded" were treated at the scene.

    Two men, both commuters, died in the accident, including Robert Kube, 59, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The second man, who was not identified, died later at a local hospital. About 20 of the more seriously injured were rushed to area hospitals and several were listed in critical condition.

    Witnesses described bodies flying at the time of impact and there was an unconfirmed report that an engineer from the freight train leaped from his cab just before the crash.

    Officials at first thought the freight train had rear-ended the passenger train but later they said it was a head-on crash as the locomotive of the passenger train was at the rear.

    According to reports from the scene, Metrolink train 809, which left Riverside at 7:29 a.m. PDT, was about 3 minutes from the station when it came to a full stop on the tracks. The freight train reportedly began frantically slowing after it came around a corner.


    Charlie Watts, who rides the Metrolink 809 train nearly every day from his home in Riverside, told Reuters that the first sign of trouble for passengers in the first car is when they saw the engineer, who he knew as "Mike," bolt from his cab toward the rear of the train and away from the impact.

    "I heard the brakes being released and when I looked up I saw Mike, the engineer, running past me," Watts said. He said several passengers also tried to run, but his U.S. Air Force training told him to stay put and brace for a crash -- a move that Watts believes spared him serious injury.

    "Then there was a huge crunch, with lots of flailing bodies and people getting hurt and you thought: 'This is the big one."'

    Watts said he later saw the engineer, Mike, walking around and realized that he escaped serious injury as well.

    The southbound passenger train travels a 70-mile route from the inland city of Riverside to San Juan Capistrano near the coast.

    A source from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., which operated the freight train, said dispatch tapes showed the train, which weighs more than 6,000 tons, was traveling at 10 miles per hour at the time of impact, although its engineer may have tried to use the brakes just before the crash.

    '10 MILES PER HOUR IS DEVASTATING' The source, who did not want to be identified, said: "At that much weight and tonnage 10 miles per hour is devastating."

    National Transportation Safety Board investigators were expected to arrive on the scene by Tuesday evening and planned to check on the possibility that one of the two trains may have missed a signal shortly before the collision.

    On Friday an Amtrak auto train en route from the Orlando area to Washington, D.C. derailed in northern Florida killing four passengers and injuring 159 others.

    In the Orange County accident, two of the train's three passenger cars derailed but remained upright. The track did not appear damaged but one of the cars crumpled up.

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  • rush2ny
    They are saying that a faulty signal placed a metrolink commuter train on the same track as a BNSF freight. It was a head on collision although it was being reported as a rear-ender (This due to the fact that the metrolink was being operated in the MU position with the operator in the MU car controlling the locomotive pushing from behind) I will post an official article as soon as I find one.


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  • papasmurf37
    started a topic Los Angeles Area Train Wreck Yesterday

    Los Angeles Area Train Wreck Yesterday

    Does anyone have some info to report on it?


    Tom in NH