BC train derailment

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BC train derailment

ajl
Feb 9, 2019 | 08:37 1 Anybody been following the story of the CP train derailment at Golden BC? The good news here is that a bunch of surplus grain got dumped into the kicking horse river but that is where the good news ends. Three people were killed in this accident and this along with I am sure big slowdowns in grain movement is the bad news. Apparently transport Canada has mandated the use of hand brakes on all slopes over 1.8%. What was holding that train? Do they not put the brakes on the entire train when sitting in the cold so that it does not freeze when it is stupidly cold outside? Apparently the stupidly cold is sticking around for another week in this area. Hope grain shipment is in not slowed too much as I have tough wheat in the bin booked for March so it can't sit much longer. Hope stupidly cold is finished otherwise my equipment not up to task of moving it in this weather. Reply With Quote
farmaholic's Avatar Feb 9, 2019 | 08:42 2 I'm surprised it took this long to make it to this forum.

Before I say anything I would like to offer my condolences to the crash victims families. Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2019 | 08:54 3 After the bomb went off in Lac Magentic....you would think someone would have thought about have some more stringent safety measures put in place .....apparently not..... Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2019 | 08:58 4 Yes the air brakes are applied on parked trains also every car and engine have manual hand brakes,when engines are disconnected from cars a % of the cars have to have manual hand brakes applied. It’s not clear if they will have to apply all hand brakes or just a % while engines are connected to cars and left on a grade. Reply With Quote
farmaholic's Avatar Feb 9, 2019 | 09:00 5 Apparently the cold weather causes the air system to leak. Ask any self respecting man the affect frigid cold weather has on his "equipment". Maybe air seals "shrink" and the system has trouble maintaining its pressure and holding/braking capacity.

This is Canada and winter comes every year, this shouldn't be a new problem.

I don't know exactly what happened.

Are the "hand brakes" equivelant to the spring/parking brakes on highway tractors?
Last edited by farmaholic; Feb 9, 2019 at 09:03.
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Feb 9, 2019 | 09:20 6 The hand brake is a 2’ dia wheel that is turned by hand and it pulls a chain that is attached to a steel rod which applies the brake shoes. Reply With Quote
farmaholic's Avatar Feb 9, 2019 | 09:27 7
Quote Originally Posted by DaneG View Post
The hand brake is a 2’ dia wheel that is turned by hand and it pulls a chain that is attached to a steel rod which applies the brake shoes.
So no, spring brakes are applied by a lack of air pressure on highway tractors and air brake trailers . Applying rail car hand brakes sounds onerous.

So was the accident caused by mechanical failure or "human" error? Reply With Quote
Feb 9, 2019 | 09:39 8 Farma just say it,
The system they use is flawed and doomed to failure. Brakes should always be on unless released by air pressure ( the same as semi trucks and trailers). Railway technology and safety systems are ancient and doomed to failure. Reply With Quote
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  • Feb 9, 2019 | 09:45 9 The air brake system is the same concept as highway tractor. Yes applying all the hand brakes on a 100 car train would take a while each one involves climbing up on car platform,may want to pack a lunch. Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 09:49 10 Thanks for clarification Dane

    Are they worn out or out of adjustment?

    What’s the fix? Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 09:54 11 Very sad for the loss of life.

    I do not think there is a spring applied brake on rail cars. There is a spring but that spring pressure is what you are overcoming when you turn the wheel that applies the brake shoe to the wheel.

    So, air pressure must be maintained for the train to remain parked "in emergency" if no hand brakes are applied.

    The investigation will need to run its course. A preliminary statement said "it was nothing the crew did" and likely there was nothing they could have done. Dynamic braking (using the electric motors to slow the train) would have been insufficient I would think. With distributed power I am not sure how air brakes are applied, but if it requires a signal from the manned engine it seems that the remotes would have not received a signal to help slow the train, and that something failed or froze up on the lead engine. Reply With Quote
    farmaholic's Avatar Feb 9, 2019 | 09:56 12
    Quote Originally Posted by Rareearth View Post
    Farma just say it,
    The system they use is flawed and doomed to failure. Brakes should always be on unless released by air pressure ( the same as semi trucks and trailers). Railway technology and safety systems are ancient and doomed to failure.
    Could it physically/mechanically be done?

    112 cars, that's alot of connections and components. I wonder what the rate of loss of air pressure is in the current braking system.

    Sounds like DaneG might have some insight. What's operating pressure. Etc.

    Edit in, Didn't realize Dane posted again Reply With Quote
    farmaholic's Avatar Feb 9, 2019 | 09:59 13 So brakes are always "off" unless applied by air pressure? Except for manually applied hand brakes.

    The mechanical spring pressure of "always on" unless they are released by air pressure doesn't exist on railcar like it does on highway tractors?
    Last edited by farmaholic; Feb 9, 2019 at 11:06.
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    Feb 9, 2019 | 10:01 14 Jet airliners work in plus 50 degree Celsius to minus 60 degree Celsius at altitudes

    There is a good example of technology differences, safety systems, modernization, efficiency, etc ( I guess every thing comes at a cost) Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 10:51 15 Tragic event. My first question is they know stopping on a grade is dangerous, especially in cold weather, so why stop on them. I understand it was for crew change seems it would be better if they had changed before or after steepest grade on the line. Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 10:57 16
    Quote Originally Posted by DaneG View Post
    The hand brake is a 2’ dia wheel that is turned by hand and it pulls a chain that is attached to a steel rod which applies the brake shoes.
    It sounds like this brake is 100% mechanical.

    What is the standard operating procedure for applying these hand brakes on shift change while parked on a down grade?

    What safety procedures are in place to ensure proper braking has been completed at shift change?

    Something isn’t adding up. Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 11:14 17 The other question is why a 2hr stop to change crews? Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 11:16 18
    Quote Originally Posted by walterm View Post
    Tragic event. My first question is they know stopping on a grade is dangerous, especially in cold weather, so why stop on them. I understand it was for crew change seems it would be better if they had changed before or after steepest grade on the line.
    probably union rules of some kind. they send taxis all the way out here(2.5 hrs) from Saskatoon to pick them up , can't go a minute over their shift . no shit , taxis , can you imagine what that costs ? Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 12:07 19 I assume the reason why upgrading rail cars to have maxi style brakes ( spring applied, air released 2 chamber pots), is that you would need to redo the entire fleet at once. Can't have one car in middle of a train with air released brakes, since there would be no supply line to release them. Can't have one car without, which can't transmit the air from the car ahead to release the car behind, so that doesn't work either. Would have to be a way to cage every updated car and still have the air applied brakes function normally until the entire fleet is done. Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 12:27 20 Like a dedicated engine to car train system leased system (maybe) for exclusive industry use, such as potash, or new oil tankers, etc Reply With Quote
    Klause's Avatar Feb 9, 2019 | 12:41 21 So... Our trains don't have Westinghouse triple valve brake systems?


    If I recall, a drop in pressure slams the brakes on in that system Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 12:52 22
    Quote Originally Posted by Klause View Post
    So... Our trains don't have Westinghouse triple valve brake systems?


    If I recall, a drop in pressure slams the brakes on in that system
    Producer cars that I have filled were parked with hand brakes applied. to move the car you released the hand brake by either turning the brake wheel(slow) or pulling the lever(fast). to set the brakes again you had to turn the brake wheel the other way to tighten the brake shoes against the steel wheel. It always amazed me that I could get the car rolling
    half loaded just by putting your shoulder(not recommended) to the steel wheels when the brakes were off. Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 13:25 23
    Quote Originally Posted by Klause View Post
    So... Our trains don't have Westinghouse triple valve brake systems?


    If I recall, a drop in pressure slams the brakes on in that system
    True, the brakes slam on as a result of a pressure drop in the supply line, either by operating the control valve or a severed line, but only if the railcar's reservoirs are full. Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 13:48 24 It seems that people are questioning the reason for parking the unit for 2 hours on a steep grade. There have been several accidents at Field in the past. No one learns from history. Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 13:57 25 If the brakes applied with no air, the elevators would not be able fill them (unless a new one that leaves the loco hooked up) and lots of places couldn’t unload them either. Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 13:58 26 What allowed the train to start to move after the shift change when the new personal were already on board. If engines were running and train had adequate air pressure why was the engineer unable to brake the train as soon as it started moving. Were procedures missed when shift change occurred. Reply With Quote
    helmsdale's Avatar Feb 9, 2019 | 15:01 27 Yes they have the Westinghouse triple valve brake... but even with the engine hooked up, they have no way to replenish the air tanks on the cars when the brakes are applied. Unlike highway tractors, it's a single airline system.

    When line pressure is equal to the car air tank pressure, brakes are off.

    When line pressure exceeds air tank pressure, they build pressure in the tanks, and brakes are off.

    When line pressure is below air tank pressure, and car air tank reservoir applies the brakes. How far line pressure is below tank pressure dictates how hard the brakes are applied.

    When air pressure leaks out of the tanks, line pressure has to be further reduced to maintain the same degree of brake application.

    If hand brakes are not applied when the engines have made an emergency brake application like they would in that situation, it's only a matter of time before line and tank pressure equalize at zero due to air leaking out of each individual cars brake system, the brakes come off, and you will have a runaway. Reply With Quote
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  • helmsdale's Avatar Feb 9, 2019 | 15:04 28 All that said, the situation could have been avoided if:
    1) dismounting train crew had applied the sufficient amount of hand brakes.
    2) they had stopped the train for shift change on flat ground in field, rather than on a grade coming off the kicking horse. Reply With Quote
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  • farmaholic's Avatar Feb 9, 2019 | 16:35 29 Pardon my ignorance, but maybe the RailCo likes to use gravity to get the train moving and up to speed again. Kind of an efficiency thing but maybe some procedures were overlooked and there was an unrecoverable loss of braking capacity when they got going again.

    I hate guessing or assuming things, I have no idea what caused this accident. Reply With Quote
    Feb 9, 2019 | 17:31 30 From my limited knowledge of trains, but from. What I understand it's a time consuming job to manually apply the brakes on the train, then release them again. Perhaps if they made it easier to apply the brakes, perhaps a battery powered impact to turn the brake wheel might make it faster and easier. Just like most things in life if a job is difficult it may not get done unless forced.

    Or else giving the hours of operation a little more leeway so the first crew would of had time to make it to a more appropriate place to switch out.

    Seems like applying the brakes manually is difficult as the accidents happen on occasion, so obviously we must find a way to make it easier to do. Reply With Quote