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@mark s posted:

Tiresome.  Why can't trucking companies hire people who can see trains, which are as large as houses, coming?

The demand for drivers is so great that they require little if any experience and many large companies train their own new hires.

As a local driver myself for 30 years. The number of inexperienced drivers on the road is staggering.

Add to that, the inability to read a map, or know north, south, east or west. Most "new drivers" spend as much time looking at their GPS as they do the road.

It's a sad state of affairs. I have a way to go before I retire, but I'd be happy to be off the road tommorrow.

Last edited by RickO

I assumed new hire truck drivers drive their private vehicles to/from their employer and also cross railroad tracks once in awhile as well?

Item: Should there be silent ordances in cities where trains are prohibited from sounding 14L when approaching crossings at grade?

Any members know if there have been any increases in vehicle/train accidents since such ordances were put in effect by cities that passed them?

Last edited by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

I assumed new hire truck drivers drive their private vehicles to/from their employer and also cross railroad tracks once in awhile as well?

Remember what happens when you "assume" trb.

Unfortunately. Driving a 15' car and driving a 75' tractor trailer are not the same.

A car typically won't get high sided over an elevated crossing, is less likely to be trapped in traffic or between intersections blocking the crossing, and a car can clear the crossing much faster  even when the gate rules are ignored.

The field of vision in a car is also much better than a semi cab as well.

@poconotrain posted:

After retiring from driving after 42 years I can honestly say that inexperienced truck drivers are the norm anymore. Unfortunately that is the way it is. That’s the reason it was time for me to get out. The news mentions the driver and the conductor survived. Any word on the Engineer?

The current members of the news media in the U.S.A. universally use "Conductor" as the person that "drives the train". Rarely is the actual Locomotive Engineer mentioned by the media.

Journalisms in the U.S. is surely DEAD!

Read about it here in Australia this morning, and saw your news footage. I was also wondering how a semi-trailer can run into the side of a moving train. It would have to happen on a level crossing??? Surely the driver would have seen there was a big moving train right in front of him!!!!

We also had two (2) separate train/vehicle crashes today here in Australia in different states. In the one in Western Australia (freight train) a fully loaded "B Double" ore carrying semi hit the lead locomotive on a level crossing, and derailed the locomotive....it remained upright but "parked" in the dirt at the side of the line. It appears the engineer and conductor are in a bad way, and had to be flown to a Perth hospital for life-saving treatment. The front of the loco looks a mess.

The "B Double" driver miraculously escaped injury, and was able to walk away, but his rig and the trailers were totaled!!

There were flashing lights and a warning bell at the rural crossing......go figure!!!

Peter (Buco Australia)

@Hot Water posted:

Latest report I read on Trainprders.com was, the tractor trailer ran into the side of the train! How Dows something like THAT happen?

I have read that something like 20% - 25% of grade crossing accidents involve a vehicle running into the side of the train, and that statistics predates GPSs.   No way to confirm, but the fact that even ONE such accident happens is staggering to me.

Item: Should there be silent ordances in cities where trains are prohibited from sounding 14L when approaching crossings at grade?

It's not clear whether you are questioning whether the existing Quiet Zones are effective, or whether there should even be any Quiet Zones.

In order to establish a Quiet Zone, a local entity, normally a city, must agree to pay the entire cost of installing -- or upgrading to -- enhanced active crossing warning devices.  This could be in the form of 4-way  or 8-way crossing flashers and gates (to prevent motorists from occupying the crossing by driving around lowered gates) or a raised center island for a distance approaching the crossing (to make it more difficult for motorists to occupy the crossing when gates are lowered).

Texas is a largely rural state with many of the road crossings being county roads, often graded but not paved.  Although there are still some of those crossings protected only by crossbuck signs, Texas is ahead of most other states in the number of rural crossings protected by active warning devices usually flashing lights, gates and bell.  Almost all Texas paved road crossings on main lines now have active warning devices, as do many, unpaved roads with flashers and gates.

The video did not show anything but a lot of heavy black smoke rising from behind trees, so we can't tell from that, whether this crossing was paved, graded, or next to another road that would make possible a  turn directly onto a crossing, or whether it was equipped with active warning devices.  Also, we cannot determine whether there was a Quiet Zone in effect there.

When I was still working, we had a crossing collision in Plainview, in which a Class 8 truck and trailer turned off of a paved road paralleling the track, onto a crossbuck-protected, paved, road that crossed the track to access a meat packing plant, and was struck by a train, killing the driver, who did not stop while making the turn.  There was no explanation as to why the driver did not yield right of way to the train.

Last edited by Number 90
@palallin posted:

I have read that something like 20% - 25% of grade crossing accidents involve a vehicle running into the side of the train, and that statistics predates GPSs.   No way to confirm, but the fact that even ONE such accident happens is staggering to me.

Well, there's always drugs and alcohol which have been around for decades.

I suppose a there have been a few sober drivers that miss -time beating the train to the crossing.

Human error/carelessness/ stupidity, whatever. Accidents happen anyplace ,anytime. Railroad crossings are not exempt.

May I suggest you tube as a place to view  endless displays of human error carelessness, and stupidity Stagggering? You might want to be sitting down first.

@mowingman posted:

Local sources say no one was killed, or even seriously injured.

Jeff

Saw the news report last night. This report showed the thick black smoke and then (amazing someone happened to film it) a huge fireball, which climbed way up, with flames bellowing inside the black ball. It was pretty spectacular. The report said the train was carrying "petroleum cars." They also said the fire department indicated there was nothing to do but monitor it and let it burn itself out.

I would assume the huge fireball was a car exploding. The report said there were no injuries. I was amazed. As mentioned above about a report, in this one they also said the "conductor" was unhurt, and mentioned noone else specifically. Probably that was from the same news feed.

If the information posted above is correct, that the truck hit the side of the train (back of the engines?), then the train crew might have been away from the blast. How the truck driver escaped without injury, though, is beyond me. Quite miraculous, it would seem. That driver better put some extra in the collection plate next time he has a chance!

Last edited by breezinup

Number 90: I was thinking in terms of quiet zones, period!  Of course human beings have and continue to be killed while crossing tracks even when 14L was/is sounded.  Cell phone chatting may account for many of these accident/deaths?

breezinup: Perhaps the truck driver should consider buying the church, lock stock and barrel, instead of just dropping a few bucks in the collection plate?

Joe

My 2 cents, wonder if driver was looking at cell phone for direction, playing game etc and not looking out windows?  Just read most recent article where the truck driver didn't realize the arms were down!    Can't count how many drivers I see on highway with eyes on, or yakking on their phone.  Heck I have hard enough time just driving with those idiots around me.

Last edited by rrman

Ate not highway-rail crossings an absolute stop for any commercial truck or bus?

Only school buses. It's also a very antiquated law. It originates form an accident in 1938.  However what's really bad is that the accident may would not have been avoided even if the bus had stopped due to the poor visibility.

I have children that ride the bus and their safety is utmost to me. However I realize also that this law was a knee jerk reaction and that the advancement of technology and and how crossings are managed makes it even that much more obsolete.

As for this trucker the trucking industry has seen a huge drop in quality of drivers over the last 20 years. I avoid I10 west of Houston for this very reason.  The trucks weaving is as bad as cars but really so many times more detrimental due to their size and inability to speed up and move around traffic quickly.

There are two quiet zones near me in Edison NJ. They are about a half mile apart on the ex-LV main line. When these crossings were made into QZ, barriers were installed in the roads center and all four sides. An effective cattle chute for cars. They are complete with lights, bells and gates.  One crossing is a busy county road. After about 4 years the feds decided to overturn the quiet requirement and horns sounded again.

Smart move.

@PRR Man posted:

There are two quiet zones near me in Edison NJ. They are about a half mile apart on the ex-LV main line. When these crossings were made into QZ, barriers were installed in the roads center and all four sides. An effective cattle chute for cars. They are complete with lights, bells and gates.  One crossing is a busy county road. After about 4 years the feds decided to overturn the quiet requirement and horns sounded again.

Smart move.

Yeah, the Feds did that years ago. I happened to be the engineer on the first train through a town on the night the "FRA horn blowing" took effect. The funny thing was, the unit I was on just happened to have a horn that took its own good time to stop blowing after you eased off of the handle!!! Gee whiz what a cacophony!!! A few days later, someone wrote in to the local newspaper screaming about the horn blowing! So anyway, the townfolk complained about all of the noise and not long after, the crossings (3 within a quarter mile) went back to being a quiet zone. No one has been hit there yet!

Ate not highway-rail crossings an absolute stop for any commercial truck or bus?

Not for all commercial trucks and buses.  Only for trucks if carrying certain placarded hazmat cargo (including placarded empty) or when carrying any quantity of chlorine.

For commercial buses (capable of seating 16 passengers or more), if carrying passengers they must stop 15 to 50 feet before the crossing and some states require opening the door and then closing it before proceeding.

All school buses must stop 15 to 50 feet before the crossing, shift into neutral, open the entrance door and driver's window, then close the entrance door, before proceeding.  Some states exempt school buses if there are no passengers on board, and others require the safety stop regardless.

All commercial vehicle drivers must determine that there is no train closely approaching and then they can move the entire vehicle continuously across the tracks, and they must not shift gears until the entire vehicle is clear of the crossing.

There is some variance by state, but these are the most common regulations.











The safest grade crossings are the one's that don't exist. Here on Long Island, the LIRR is eliminating 9 grade crossings along the main line through Nassau County. One had been eliminated in the late 70's after a horrific accident that killed 9 teenagers. The driver of the vehicle went around the lowered gates.

I do see all school buses stop and look at crossings around here.

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