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@Chas posted:

I am wondering if the rear engine had any influence to cause the lead engine to jump up off the tracks upon impact?

Huh? Nothing derailed in this accident. And the answer would be “No.” anyway.

If there was ever a good illustration of the huge difference between the weight and kinetic energy of a typical train and a highway vehicle, this is it! That big trailer was tossed aside like a tiny toy.

Last edited by Rich Melvin

While sifting through the comments a rfew things surfaced:

--the locomotive did derail, but only the front truck (many have noted the lead unit appeared to bounce up upon striking the trailer, with some pointing out that when viewing the footage frame-by-frame, the front truck can be seen to tilt as it strikes the trailer frame)

--the truck driver was attempting to evade a weigh station on nearby I-35, explaining why he wound up on a restricted road with signs warning flatbed trailers not to use this crossing.

--Passenger injuries were the result of the airborne SUV colliding with the first Superliner upon impact.

---PCJ

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that I heard the horn blowing just a second before impact. So, at least one crew member didn't have much a chance to duck.  I hope they are O.K.  I've ridden with crews using cabin cars on eastern commuter trains and they always keep the interior door open just in case they have to make a quick exit.  The job is not for the faint-of- heart.  Rich and others can tell you, no matter how big you are, approaching grade crossings at high speed still causes one's heart rate to raise, if only for a second.       

I have no doubt their heat rate increased a bunch when they say that truckload of cars getting bigger in the window!

You're right, I did hear the horn blowing, and obviously I hope that the crew was OK.  I would have thought they would have mentioned injuries to the crew in the news article if they were injured, they talked about the passengers that were injured by falling cars.

@Allegheny posted:

Well I hope this driver gets his Axx handed to him big time considering all of the unnecessary injuries and destruction of property - because he wanted to avoid the weigh station.

Probably because he knew that he had the trailer overloaded.

The injured passengers may have been standing, walking or thrown from their seats.

One news report I saw said one of the flying cars hit a coach and caused injuries.  Obviously, some could have been injured the way you describe as well.

A few years ago, there was a grade crossing accident on the LIRR due to an impatient driver going around the gates. The motorman (engineer? driver?) actually had enough presence to jump out of the cab and drag several passengers with him further back in the first car. The lead 2 cars derailed after hitting the car and plowed into the end of the station platform.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/0...lision-accident.html

Watching the video of this accident, it's amazing how the cars on the trailer were tossed like matchbox cars.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that I heard the horn blowing just a second before impact. So, at least one crew member didn't have much a chance to duck.  I hope they are O.K.  I've ridden with crews using cabin cars on eastern commuter trains and they always keep the interior door open just in case they have to make a quick exit.  The job is not for the faint-of- heart.  Rich and others can tell you, no matter how big you are, approaching grade crossings at high speed still causes one's heart rate to raise, if only for a second.       

That is a true statement. One of my uncles was an engineer for amtrak in the 70s/80s. He was running cab end car/commuter train into Boston south station and the dispatcher accidentally put him on an occupied track. He was able to get himself and a passenger out of the first car before they hit. When they hit, even at relatively low speeds, he was thrown forward into the bulkhead and broke his back. He said thats why they used to keep the doors open.

This was near my home. Local paper carried the news, as well as local TV stations. I go up that way a lot. There is no weigh station anywhere close to where this happened. Locals can not figure out what the heck this truck was doing going over that crossing. I believe there is even a warning sign about low trailers hanging up on tracks. Driver was probably doped up on something to stay awake.

@mowingman posted:

Driver was probably doped up on something to stay awake.

You may be right but I'd start with "Driver can't read" and evidently "Driver either doesn't have, or doesn't know how to use, a cell phone".

In most (all?) locations there's a blue sign attached to the crossing signal's post.   One would call the 800 number and report that the crossing with the ID number on the sign is blocked.

To be fair however maybe he/she didn't have enough time to do this?  Or wasn't trained to know what to do?

Mike

@mowingman posted:

This was near my home. Local paper carried the news, as well as local TV stations. I go up that way a lot. There is no weigh station anywhere close to where this happened. Locals can not figure out what the heck this truck was doing going over that crossing. I believe there is even a warning sign about low trailers hanging up on tracks. Driver was probably doped up on something to stay awake.

The accident was said to have occurred in Thackerville, OK. If this is correct, looking at Google Maps does show a weigh station between the Thackerville interchange with Rte 153 and the next exit at Marietta, OK. You do have to be zoomed in fairly close for it to appear, otherwise all you see is an unmarked separation in the northbound/southbound lanes of I-35.

---PCJ

@RailRide posted:

The accident was said to have occurred in Thackerville, OK. If this is correct, looking at Google Maps does show a weigh station between the Thackerville interchange with Rte 153 and the next exit at Marietta, OK. You do have to be zoomed in fairly close for it to appear, otherwise all you see is an unmarked separation in the northbound/southbound lanes of I-35.

---PCJ

I don’t recall ever seeing this one open. However there is one north of Davis that is really active.

I probably missed it but where did it say that he was trying to avoid a weigh station, did he actually tell someone or did someone on the list just assume that.  Maybe he had picked up a vehicle at some business or maybe at someone's house and was transporting it back to the place where he works for them to sell it or do whatever with them.  If I missed it I apologize but it seems like he is being criticized for something that he may not have been trying to do.  I think the following a GPS directions is a good assumption  as maybe he didn't know the area and was trying to get back on I-35 to head to his next destination.  Was this in the early morning hours or right before nightfall.  Either way, he should have been able to see that the crossing didn't look like a level crossing and should have known better than to try and take that trailer with all that weight across that large hump.  Unfortunately, he screwed up big-time.  I feel sorry for the ones that got hurt and i hope he has good insurance.  Was it actually mentioned as to who owns the rail line, was it UP or BNSF?  Not living in the DFW area for very long, I don't really know what other lines come into this area other than UP and BNSF, I think the KCS also comes into the area but not really certain about it.

Unfortunate accident indeed and needless injuries, I'm glad there were no deaths.  I'm sure there were more than one that had to clean out their shorts after the accident.

Last edited by J. Motts

The reference to a weigh station was gleaned from the video's comments (I read through a lot of them, figuring locals would chime in). There is a weigh station on Google maps in the area of I-35 some were saying the driver was trying to avoid. A respondent here says it's never open, but if it shows on GPS, it's possible the driver didn't know that and wasn't going to chance it, hence the inopportune detour.

---PCJ

Last edited by RailRide

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