Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 35928
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2018/09/20 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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2005/1/27 [Transportation/Car, Transportation/Car/RoadHogs] UID:35928 Activity:very high
1/27    How did a compact SUV, a relatively light object compared to a
        locomotive, cause the train to derail in the LA incident?  I've seen
        some TV documentary where a train hits a school bus.  The school bus is
        cut into two but the train keeps going.
         \_ I think i read that the suicider-suv-er drove his
            car a little farther down on the track and 'parked', so
            the locked wheels combined with the railroad ties
             caused the car to become a very Large Immoveable
             Object.  this is a little different than just
              being in theway at the crossing point.
        \_ I have the same question. Remember the PSA poster saying: "When
           there is a tie at the railroad crossing between a car and a train,
           the train wins."
        \_ Maybe the train here was going faster than the documentary one.
           maybe the track curved at that spot.  who knows..  Wait for a
           TSA report.
        \_ I heard that the engine (the heavy car) was in the rear and the
           the passenger cars in the front are relatively lightweight.
           \_ This is correct: http://csua.org/u/avb (LATimes, brew your own
              login/pwd)
           \_ Great Fucking Design!
              \_ Yes, it is a great design. This is a train. It is not an
                 automobile so that the individual cars are not easily
                 moved out of position relative to one another. Ergo
                 engines since time immemorial have always been positioned
                 at the ends to either push or pull the train. Trains are
                 also not designed to break quickly, nor can they turn,
                 reverse directions, or go over terrain which has no
                 track upon it easily. If you ever had a train set or utilized
                 the common sense part of your brain you'd realize this.
                 In addition, if you're thinking about "writing to your
                 representative" to improve train safety because you somehow
                 believe that trains are unsafe, simply lookup the statistic
                 on how many people die from train wrecks per annum vs.
                 how many die from car accidents. If you argue that fewer
                 individual use trains then you may go ahead and utilize the
                 resources on BART and other light rail systems.
                 -williamc
                 \_ Holy shit.  A williamc post that isn't *completely* moronic.
                    Of course, you have the usual drooling ad homonem, but
                    this is still a potential precedent setter.
                 \_ He's talking about putting the engine in back.  Pushing
                    a bunch of cars is going to be less stable than pulling
                    them if the front one derails or hits something, and will
                    cause more damage as the whole thing is far more likely
                    to jackknife, especially if there's a locomotive in back
                    that keeps pushing for a few moments.  This is not best
                    practice, and while you're right, trains can't just turn,
                    most rail lines use switching yards to move a second
                    engine to the other end of the train when it has to
                    reverse direction (you generally don't just change the
                    direction of a train from pull to push away from terminal
                    stations, which should have other engines standing by for
                    just this purpose.  As for comparative statistics, they
                    are irrelevant if an accident is avoidable--people still
                    die unnecessarily.  -John
                 \- What if someone hijacked a train and crashed it into the
                    White House?
                    \_ There are train tracks going to the White House?
                       \- They could build underground tracks to the White
                          House as an insider job.
                          \_ ali, sign your posts.
                             \- bigup yourself --alig
                    \_ What if someone built a trebuchet and fired it at the
                       White House?
                       \_ http://www.ysabel.org/lj/lotr-catapult1.gif - danh
                    \_ What if someone took a high powered laser and beamed
                       it into Bush's eyeball, from far away, at a speech?
        \_ I wonder how must it would cost to put a simple radar like devie
           in the front of the train, to activate emergency breaks or sound
           alarms if it detects something directly ahead...
           \_ Not expensive, but futile.  Trains are not easy to stop.
              \_ But it doesn't sound like they even tried to stop, the
                 light passenger cars hit the SUV at full speed and derailed.
                 \_ The paper says that conditions were such that the driver
                    likely didn't see the car until s/he was right on top of
                    it.
           \_ Doesn't work on curves.
              \_ Oh no, not the CURVES, I LOVE THE CURVES!!
              \_ Of course not, no sodans can handle the curves.
                 \_ "I want the curves!"
                    "You can't handle the curves!"
                    \_ Hahahaha, oh we are such dorks, damn I love the csua.
                 \_ All sodans suffer from premature ejaculation?
                    \_ Oh that's sick, go back to your hole..
        \_ And in Al Jazeera, they say "Jeep Cherokee, your new terror weapon"
        \_ The SUV body crumpled, but the SUV's engine block caused the train
           to derail.  It's in one of the LA Times articles.
        \_ Crap on the rails is always a problem.  In Holland, lots of trains
           are apperantly late now because teens are finding it cool to put
           stuff on the rails and watch the trains hit it.  There is always
           a chance that a large heavy piece of something will make a train
           derail.
2018/09/20 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/20    

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2012/7/29-9/24 [Transportation/Car, Transportation/Car/RoadHogs] UID:54446 Activity:nil
7/29    Is it really true that we subsidize auto driving to the tune of
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        \_ You might have missed the point.  Hiring a chauffeur to drive your
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2012/7/9-8/19 [Transportation/Car] UID:54433 Activity:nil
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2011/12/5-2012/1/10 [Transportation/Car/Hybrid] UID:54250 Activity:nil
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2011/7/10-8/2 [Transportation/Car/Hybrid] UID:54141 Activity:nil
7/8     Is there some reason we can't have mass market nat gas cars?
        \_ Not enough infrastructure for refuing.  Chicken and egg.
        \_ Not enough infrastructure for refueling.  Chicken and egg.
        \_ It has less than half the energy density of gasoline.  -tom
           \_ So you have to compress it, which results in huge explosions
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	...
Cache (8192 bytes)
csua.org/u/avb -> www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cause27jan27,0,3041084.story?coll=la-home-headlines
Most E-Mailed TRAGEDY ON THE RAILS Train's Lineup May Have Added to Risk With the locomotive pushing from the rear, a passenger car took the bru nt of the collision. Juan Manuel Alvarez (Carlos Chavez / LAT) Red Cross Donate blood: The Glendale-Crescenta Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross is holdin g an emergency blood drive. By Dan Weikel and Scott Glover, Times Staff Writers The configuration of southbound Metrolink train 100, which had a locomoti ve pushing passenger cars from the rear rather pulling them from the fro nt, may have contributed to the severity of Wednesday's deadly derailmen t, according to transportation safety experts. Trains pushed along the tracks generally have lighter, less sturdy passen ger cars in front, which experts say have a greater chance of sustaining damage during a collision and are more likely to derail. The configurat ion also puts more people closer to the point of impact, placing a carfu l of passengers rather than an engine with the train's crew at the front . advertisement The train that slammed into a Jeep Cherokee outside the Glendale station Wednesday was being pushed by a 140-ton locomotive and was led by a modi fied passenger car, known as a cab car, that weighed 56 tons. "There is no question you are safer when the engine is pulling the train, " said Loren Joplin, who worked as an accident and safety official for t he Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Co. "For years, I h ave thought that using engines to push trains was going to end in a disa ster. Had there been a locomotive on the front end, this would not have happened in Glendale." Timothy L Smith, who chairs the California legislative board of the Brot herhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, said union officials had b een concerned about cab car safety for years. Smith said the union had lodged formal written complaints about the issue with Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration, but nothing was do ne. Not everyone, however, agrees that the placement of the train's engine is a significant safety issue. Whether a locomotive is in the front or the rear of a train makes little difference in a crash, said George Elsmore, program manager at the Calif ornia Public Utilities Commission's rail safety division. Passenger cabs are reinforced to help withstand crashes, and both cabs an d locomotives are outfitted with bumper-like devices meant to push cars and debris from the path of a train, "like a snow plow," he said. Warren Flatau, a spokesman for Federal Railroad Administration, said "the evidence is not conclusive" on whether locomotives positioned in the re ar are less safe than ones pulling from the front. But, he said, "there are clearly situations where, with on-track obstructions, a heavier loco motive might" be safer. Although few studies have addressed the issue of train configuration, the Federal Railroad Administration conducted research in 1996 on what woul d happen if a train headed by a cab car were involved in a head-on colli sion with a train pulled by a locomotive. Researchers found that if the trains were going faster than 30 miles per hour, there would be substant ial damage to the cab car, with "severe injury or fatality of the vehicl e occupants." The researchers also concluded that other types of accidents involving ca b cars could have serious consequences. "The concern with this type of train configuration is that the occupants of the relatively exposed cab car are vulnerable to serious injury or fatality in the event of a collision with either a road vehicle at a gra de crossing or with another train," the Federal Railroad Administration said. The practice of pushing trains has been around since at least the 1950s a nd is viewed by many transportation experts as the best way to run a com muter rail system, from a logistical and practical standpoint. In such configurations, an engineer operates the train from controls in f ront of the cab car, where passengers also sit. The practice helps lines move trains more quickly and efficiently. It is also less expensive because train operators don't have to buy addit ional locomotives or build turnarounds to move engines from one end of t he train to the other. In the Metrolink system, only Union Station is equipped with a turnaround system that allows train officials to move a locomotive from back to fr ont, and the process is unwieldy and time-consuming, officials said. Metrolink officials were unable to provide data Wednesday comparing crash es of trains being pulled with ones that occurred when trains were being pushed, but another accident along the same stretch of rail in January 2000 provided a contrast with Wednesday's collision. In that case, a Metrolink train with the engine in front crashed into a t ractor-trailer stranded on the tracks. The train did not derail and the crew walked away with only minor injuries. Metrolink chief executive officer David Solow said Wednesday that the two accidents weren't necessarily comparable. In 2000, he said, the tractor -trailer was a long, horizontal mass across the track at the road inters ection, but the SUV involved Wednesday was much smaller and may have bee n lodged on the rails. "Most of the time, when we hit a car in a grade crossing, we win. The tra in has so much more weight, it either squashes the car or pushes it to t he side," Solow said. He said it was too soon to tell whether the train's configuration was a f actor in the severity of Wednesday's crash. Transportation consultant Tom Rubin, former chief financial officer of th e county's transit agency, said the configuration of the train was an im portant factor in the number of deaths and injuries in crashes like the one Wednesday. "If you are going to hit something, you want to hit it with a locomotive. It just makes sense," Rubin said, explaining that the engine, with its greater weight, was able to act almost as a bulldozer, clearing the trac k of objects in its path. He is among experts who said they would never sit in the lead car of a commuter train being pushed. "The chance of col lision is small, but if a collision does happen, where you are located i s exceedingly important," Rubin said. "If you can take a safety step and it does not cost anything, why not?" After the derailment, state and federal investigators flocked to the scen e to reconstruct what happened. Police said Juan Manuel Alvarez drove on to the tracks in an aborted suicide attempt. Investigators worked throug hout the day, combing the wreckage for clues. One of the factors investigators are expected to examine is the rear plac ement of the locomotive. Aside from the question of whether passenger cars should be placed at the front of trains, Wednesday's calamity also drew attention to a long-sta nding problem with rail travel: the inherent risk created by train track s intersecting with public roads. After years of accidents that occurred when impatient drivers tried to da sh over the rails or when people intent on suicide drove or walked onto the tracks deliberately, commuter rail operators have begun trying to bl ock off crossings or build overpasses or underpasses. During the last 10 years, railroads and transportation agencies nationwid e have eliminated 41,000 road-track intersections and added lights, gate s and signals to 4,000 others. As a result, accidents at crossings have been decreasing steadily. But it costs up to $40 million to build a bridge over a rail line so that cars can't drive on the tracks, and funds are scarce. This year, for ex ample, the federal government has allocated just $15 million to build th is type of crossing in California, said Richard Clark, head of the Rail Operations and Safety Branch of the California Public Utilities Commissi on, which regulates rail travel in the state. With thousands of miles of above-ground track, California has among the h ighest number of crossings in the nation. The state is fifth in the nation for accidents at railroad crossings, wit h 577 incidents and 161 deaths over the last five years, according to th e Federal Railway Administration. Accidents caused by trespassers those who cross the tracks somewhere o...