Train derailment in Port Richmond - Now

Discussion in 'Fishtown / Northern Liberties / Kensington / Port ' started by Litter Box, May 12, 2015.

  1. Sailaway

    Sailaway Giggity Giggity Goo!

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    Or, more correctly, denied the Democrats their attempt to exploit the tragedy to more than double Amtrak's capital, but non-safety-related budget.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/13/politics/congress-amtrak-funding-crash/

    As far as the curve goes, it's always been a bane of the NEC. The Connecting Railway (as it was built) was part of a compromise with the residents of Kensington. Had the route been built as the PRR wanted in the 1860s, it would have been pretty much a straight shot into what is now Zoo interlocking.
     
  2. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    I think it's important to employ technological safety devices but you shouldn't lose sight of the fact that engineers have operated safely for decades. How do you forget where you are? It's not like he just came out of a two hour computer controlled journey, he was coming through north philly and had not yet hit the curve.
     
  3. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    It clearly states they cut the budget by 15 percent or 250 million
    As far as the curve goes I believe the prr had actually acquired property to eliminate it (roughly along erie). Interesting about kensington. Was the prr still a state company then?
     
  4. thetalkingmule

    thetalkingmule Well-Known Member

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    No need to keep a single human as the only fail-safe in 2015.
     
  5. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    No need other than money
     
  6. Sailaway

    Sailaway Giggity Giggity Goo!

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    I'm going with Zeolite's narrative. $250m isn't huge either way.

    I'm not aware of the PRR ever being a state company, if you mean state-owned; that happened with the advent of Conrail. PRR was really more of a holding company, buying up every small railroad (and, occasionally, other transportation resources) and combining them to build routes and corridors, and founding smaller outfits to fill in gaps. That, of course, required extensive cooperation from the government.

    The city did approve a proposal in 1910 to eliminate the curve and the PRR did indeed buy property, though how much, I don't know. The PRR ultimately superelevated the curve instead to allow higher speeds. I've never been able to find an exact reason why; I'd only speculate that, between the expense and hassle of land acquisition, combined with probably much-lower cost of superelevation and the relatively slow operations of the day, the PRR decided it was too much trouble to proceed any further.

    BTW, Triumph III by David Messer and Charles S. Roberts goes into considerable detail about the Connecting Railway.
     
  7. Sailaway

    Sailaway Giggity Giggity Goo!

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    I believe all passenger locomotives have some type of "dead man's pedal" or "dead man's switch" which the engineer must hold down with his foot. Releasing it immediately dumps the air and throws the train into emergency brake. Happened earlier this week on a SEPTA m.u. in which I was riding. Also, all passenger equipment AFAIK has some type of alerter that sounds an alarm (and eventually dumps the air) if the engineer doesn't manipulate the power or brake controls, or doesn't hit a reset switch, after about 20 seconds or so. You've probably heard a tweeting sound come from the cab of a SEPTA m.u. if you've ever ridden near the engineer's cab - that's what that sound is for.

    Now, if the engineer was on a cellphone like the guy in the Chatsworth wreck...
     
  8. ShoshTrvls

    ShoshTrvls Well-Known Member

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    Murphy talks about it a lot and it is one of his primary advocacy causes. So, um, that's how someone would know about it.
     
  9. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    Supposedly about a dozen people are still missing, according to an article last updated in the past hour. That's a little hard to believe, as you'd think 24 hours would be sufficient time to thoroughly comb through the wreckage.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/2...m_that_would_have_prevented_deadly_crash.html
     
  10. daninpa

    daninpa Cheesesteak GURU!

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    Hopefully those dozen never boarded the train in the first place.
     
  11. Exigius12point5

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    While this tragedy was horrific, and speculation continues until facts are out, all the stuff I'm hearing now doesn't include those little nuances of current human nature.
    People have gotten sloppy and lazy, due to too many things designed to make you a brain-dead zombie.
    Not only from ignorant and utter addiction to cell phone use, but the way people have gotten towards their work habits.
    The lack of being responsible, and having pride in your work.
    Just hand over that paycheck, and let me kick back and "chill".
    Sloppy.

    Why was this 31 year old bozo so lax in his operation of a massive vehicle?
    Why did he hit the brakes too late?
    Speculation - another texting issue?
    Grindr PM / hookup absorbing his attention?

    We'll know soon enough.
     
  12. zeolite

    zeolite Banned

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    Thanks, that would explain it. Now you can explain why it was stated in a derogatory manner, such as all other caps are in place except for his name?
     
  13. zeolite

    zeolite Banned

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    That's a good feature to have. While the engineer may have to eat this one, it ultimately seems to be on Amtrak and the Congress for not getting the speed limit system in place, especially on this curve, and for putting a lone 31yo in charge. Either way the engineer will take the fall.
     
  14. Litter Box

    Litter Box Well-Known Member

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    The engineer gave a blood sample and claims his phone was off and in a bag. That does not mean that he didn't have a second phone. I wonder how many straight hours he worked prior to the crash. That may be the only thing that will give him some wiggle room. Just some early morning thoughts...............
     
  15. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    this is incorrect, $250 million a year is huge. 15% of the total capital budget (which itself has been increasing as the operating subsidy has decreased). over ten years we're talking portal bridge money


    yes I'm confusing it with the main line of public works which built and operated the main line for a time


    ,
    this is how railroads were built but it by no means indicates they were not a railroad. around the turn of the 20th century they vastly simplified their corporate structure
    I wonder if it has something to do with the rate setting power the ICC got in 1907 that sparked a panic. from a land value perspective the land in north philly had to be at an all time high
     
    #75 eldondre, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  16. Tartan69

    Tartan69 Pawn in game of life

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    http://washington.cbslocal.com/2015/05/14/lawyer-amtrak-engineer-has-no-recollection-of-crash/

    Nutter rushing to blame without waiting for the full investigation. Very irresponsible for a man in his position IMO, as this could still turn out to be a mechanical failure. The truth will come out...why would he not wait for that?

    EDIT: Now with video:

    [video=youtube;9mKpctO4WyI]https://youtu.be/9mKpctO4WyI?t=76[/video]
     
    #76 Tartan69, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  17. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    If it was a mechanical failure, he would have applied the emergency brake sooner. The only way the engineer is in the clear is if he was in some way incapacitated through now fault of his own.
     
  18. Tartan69

    Tartan69 Pawn in game of life

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    Good point, and I agree that Occam's Razor would say that human error is probably the cause here. I just remember flying from Houston to Dulles in late 2001 after the Amtrak Texas Eagle derailment down there, and sat beside one of the NTSB investigators on the plane. We of course talked about the 9/11 attacks quite a bit, but he also gave me a lot of insight on the process that they have to take to investigate rail and plane accidents. The investigations aren't quick...some (especially plane crashes) take years. And he said quite often the presumably obvious cause is not the actual cause. So it just gives me some pause.

    Either way if I'm a mayor of a major city I don't put a hot take out there so quickly and unnecessarily.
     
  19. jslader

    jslader Well-Known Member

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    Am I wrong to be annoyed that the crash area is referred to as Port Richmond? The main streets to access the site are in Kensington or Frankford (I recently learned Frankford stops at the creek, which is about a block away from Wheatsheaf/Pike. What is this area? I always thought of Port Richmond as being on the other side of Aramingo.
     
  20. billy ross

    billy ross Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure it's Harrowgate. That is, north of Kensington and south of Frankford, but in reality Harrowgate is the northern end of Kensington.

    And I suspect that to be at the scene of that horrific train wreck arouses passions and anger. They probably saw severed body parts and mutilated people. That would shake anyone up. Nutter certainly seems to be impassioned - remember that he's supposedly a Poindexter.
     
    #80 billy ross, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  21. zeolite

    zeolite Banned

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    Locking up the brakes, as on ice or snow at a curve, seems like the worst thing to do. It doesn't seem to be mechanical or else he would have defended himself rather than lawyering up. I wonder if it would have made the curve without the braking.
     
  22. billy ross

    billy ross Well-Known Member

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    You're a moron. If the Titanic had applied the brakes we'd never have heard of the Titanic. In your scenario, the rear cars of Train 188 would have rolled, too, and there would have been many more casualties.
     
  23. Tartan69

    Tartan69 Pawn in game of life

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    Um, no. Trains don't behave the same way as cars
     
  24. daninpa

    daninpa Cheesesteak GURU!

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    Can't access them here but there are quite a few right-wing sites commenting on the fact that he's gay, was probably a diversity hire, and worked at Target before joining Amtrak. :eekfacepalm:
     
  25. Litter Box

    Litter Box Well-Known Member

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    Port Richmond is sort of on me because the first live report on Ch 3 said it was P R. Fog of war.
     
  26. mixiboi

    mixiboi Philly Remixed

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    SEPTa and NJ Transit have figure a way around for those that need to get around this:

    http://planphilly.com/articles/2015...tdown-after-the-frankford-junction-derailment


     
  27. michpc

    michpc Well-Known Member

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    I took PATCO to the RiverLine (NJ Transit is cross-honoring SEPTA and Amtrak ticket holders) this morning, which is what I used to do before I decided to splurge on monthly TrailPasses. I paid for PATCO this morning, but tweeted (?) them asking why they were cross-honoring Amtrak and not SEPTA. They are now cross-honoring for SEPTA Trenton customers, although I'm not sure of the logistics since the Center City stations are generally not staffed. Going to see how that compares to the NJ Transit shuttle + West Trenton this evening.
     
  28. jslader

    jslader Well-Known Member

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    Eighth victim confirmed.
     
  29. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    Was located by a cadaver dog this morning in the wreckage of the first car. The Mayor stated just now that all missing have been accounted for.
     
  30. Moonraker

    Moonraker Rocket Scientist

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