Amtrak’s new “high speed” train derails on first day

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/18/amtrak-train-derails-near-seattle-onto-the-i-5-freeway.html

The high speed (79 mph) trainset built by Siemens (similar to the Acela) crashed down onto I-5

https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Rail/Operations.htm

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/train-derails-from-bridge-onto-interstate-5-near-olympia/

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32 Responses to Amtrak’s new “high speed” train derails on first day

  1. Fred Stiening says:

    The train was Southbound having left Seattle at 6 AM (Pacific)

  2. Fred Stiening says:

    Derailment location

  3. Fred Stiening says:

    Strange arrangement of cars

    181 is a very old Amtrak locomotive (running backwards) being controlled from the cab car in front of it

  4. TheChairman says:

    My jaw dropped when I saw the radius of the track at the bridge approach… totally inadequate for ‘high speed’ rail. It makes a tighter turn than the highway below it.

  5. TheChairman says:

    Word on the rail buff blogs indicates there is a speed limit flag 1/4 mile before the curve indicating 30 mph. That would explain the lead engine and several cars jumping the outside of the curve and winding up past the bridge down on the freeway. PTC fail?

    Another thing, it looks like WSDOT cheated at their bridge ‘improvement’. i.e. Re-laid the new track in an arc, but left the old bridge (straight). i.e. Literally cutting corner$.

    • CC1s121LrBGT says:

      10-1 bet that no government employees go to jail. Move them to HR so they can decide who to hire.

    • Parrott says:

      I think that line was old Northern Pacific. You know, they ( Amtrak ) ran test trains when the opened the new service from Roanoke Virginia to Lynchburg and north. The service started OCT31, this year, but they had run test trains for the crews to qualify from September through most of October. Not every day , but at least three times a week.
      You would have thought they had done this on this new run as well and had it down when to accelerate and when to brake ( hard).
      All of Amtrak diesels are oldies, 94-95 models ? maybe older. I can’t remember, Those old GE’s hustle the Autotrain to Florida everyday with
      500+ souls on board. the new locomotives will be expensive, to meet the
      new Tier 4 emissions ‘obo-epa’ rulz .
      GE has their Locomotive division up for sale.
      Amtrak should buy some the older C40-8 locomotives, rebuild and re-gear them.
      NS is trying to convert some of the older 1990’s DC units over to AC, and stay on pre-tier two level.
      Here is a sample, Good vid.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbwfQBAF9vU

      best
      parrott

    • Fred Stiening says:

      There are overhead pictures that are a bit clearer, but after they started cleaning stuff up. It is still confusing to figure out how the trailing locomotive wound up there…

  6. TheChairman says:

    “What keeps the train on the track?” While perusing some old lectures of Richard Feynman, I came across this video of him discussing the basic physics of how a train is actually ‘steered’. Feynman was one of the great physicists of the last century, and an even greater teacher of physics. Fortunately, many of his lectures where recorded.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7h4OtFDnYE

    Happy New Year everybody!

    • Fred Stiening says:

      All this time, I thought it was government rules and regulations that kept us safe

    • countess robini says:

      Happy New year, chairman! May all your blessings, Big and little, bring you Joy in 2018.

      To all of you here == the same wish, from both of us. Our basket of blessings runner 4th over. CERTAINLY.

      Read “surely You,re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” In The Late 1980s. Good Writer. Fun And Original guy. Quirky. Scientists and lawyers usually lousy writers. He was an exception.

      Sorry For Crazy Puntuation/spellimg Etc. Fred Teaching me New Machine Called Amazon Dr tablet
      Fire.
      Not easy.

      • TheChairman says:

        Thank you Countess! I hope you and Fred are avoiding the bomb cyclones and keeping warm during the annual climate change. 😉

        Feynman’s books are definitely interesting. His anecdotes about ‘cracking’ the combinations of the safes and vaults around Los Alamos was memorable… nuclear secrets everywhere, yet the brilliant scientists and engineers never changed the default combinations on half of the safes.

        We just acquired our first smart-phones (technology that we resisted), so we’re also learning our way around a new device.

        • Fred Stiening says:

          This month is suggesting there may be a future entrepreneurial opportunity in producing supplemental heat for heat pumps in the South. We have a fireplace, but no interest in using it.

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        Ahh…. another product from the owner of the Bezos Post. 😉

        WGOW AM (a Chris Plante station) runs a promo saying “Alexa, play WGOW”

        I don’t own an Alexa but it seems like a robot replacement for SRG. 😉

        • CC1s121LrBGT says:

          Here it is in the upper right corner. Click the pic to enlarge:

          • Fred Stiening says:

            Tom Taylor has been touting radio stations to get themselves added to Alexa. Of course, an ad that tricks Alexa into playing WGOW while you already listening to WGOW doesn’t accomplish much.

        • CC1s121LrBGT says:

          I sometimes look for streams that I can add to my internet radio devices either for my own personal use, or sometimes to share with the radio’s public database.

          In past years when I did that, most sites had links to so you could add them to WinAmp, VLC, iTunes, Windows Media Player, QuickTime, Real Player or others.

          I found that virtually no web sites show those links any more. In fact, I would say that the Alexa button was more common than the combination of all of these I listed in the previous paragraph.

          I sometimes see a link to play the station in TuneIn or iTunes, but that is very rare too. All sites seemed geared toward cell phone users – virtually all have a link to their own app in Google Play or the Apple Store.

          Fortunately, Google Chrome lets you right click and do an Insepect and then look at the Network traffic to see where the web based streams are coming from. Without that, I would be listening to AM again!

  7. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    Amtrak – something new and something old. Didn’t realize the tunnels aree 107 years old already… and doing really well until Sandy filled them half way with salt water.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-01-10/the-most-awful-transit-center-in-america-could-get-unimaginably-worse

    BTW – I tried to post this several times over the last several hours and each time got the message that SRG was unreachable… finally I realize my Chrome browser plugin for free proxy serves was still on and routing my browser though The Netherlands so that I could listen to European radio streams that geo-block listeners from the good ‘ol USA. Once I turned that off, I was “in like Flynn.” 😉

    • Fred Stiening says:

      Eventually, a big chunk of the Long Island traffic will move to the under construction East Side Access tunnel connecting LIRR to Grand Central. People living on Ling Island but working in Midtown have to switch to the subway either in Jamaica plains or Penn Station. That will be a big enough deal that commuters will move out to Long Island.

      Trump’s reason for slamming the brakes is not that he doesn’t see the need. The man making the verbal deal Anthony Foxx (former Charlotte Mayor) negotiated a 50:50 Federal / State split, but then agreed to make the NJ/NY contribution a loan, making them having no skin in the game.

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        That was actually a good article despite blaming “global warming” rather than human error for the tunnels flooding with salt water. The author also seems blind to the irony of these two sentences in the article advocating increased investment in trains: “There are always ferries. But does a region that has prided itself on being ahead of the rest of the world truly want to see the large-scale return of a mode of transportation from the 19th century?”

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        In other train news: I was listening to WMAL last week and their top local story was that the District of Columbia is pushing the states of Virginia and Maryland to increase their sales taxes in nearby counties so that people riding on the DC Metro do not have to pay for the a greater share of the cost of their rides.

        Chris Christie did something similar to NJ recently – a record setting gasoline tax increase so that workers on Wall Street would continue to get the rail ride costs shared 50/50 with drivers that do no use the trains. May he never hold elected office again.

        • CC1s121LrBGT says:

          I miss Chris Christie already. 🙁

          Out of the frying pan and into the fire with the binary choice offered by the two halves of the incumbent duopoly

          https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/16/nyregion/governor-murphy-new-jersey.html

          • Fred Stiening says:

            Has he created an agency yet to protect illegal aliens from the federal government?

            • CC1s121LrBGT says:

              I had heard he had worked with his friends in the Democrat legislature to do that before he took office so that it would be ready when he took the oath.

              On a related note, I miss Michael Bloomberg too. The current NYC mayor is shaking down ExxonMoble and the other oil companies based in the US for the cost of super storm Sandy flooding some the NYC tunnels. It wasn’t anyone in the Democrat administration’s fault for not sealing the entrances closed with days of warnings from the federal government’s weather service. In fact, no employees were fired. It is the fault of the retirees who today own 401ks and mutual funds because they invested in a company that made all this global warming .

            • TheChairman says:

              CC: Speaking of Bloomberg (and his ‘salt police’)… I heard a PSA the other day, advocating the usage of more salt. 🙂

            • CC1s121LrBGT says:

              Don’t get me wrong, TheChairman, I am no big fan of Michael Bloomberg, but compared to the current mayor, Michael Bloomberg is Alt-Right for believing in capitalism.

              I am allergic to smoke and don’t get out often, but about 15 years ago went to a concert at BB King’s in NYC. I was astounded. Not only no marijuana smoke, but not smoke at all. I left without a headache and was able to breathe through my nose with no stuffiness or congestion. All was wonderful except for the lights. Not only the laser lights but the regular lights. The performers on the stage were light up… but I had to turn my head and look around to see where the light was coming from… no visible light beams with there is no smoke.

              Enjoy some vintage “Machine Head”.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUwEIt9ez7M

            • TheChairman says:

              CC: I applauded smoking bans in public facilities, I have asthma. However, the salt at my table goes on my food, it’s a choice which does not affect anyone else in the room. Bloomberg’s salt ban was absurd, and tantamount to preventing access to “life minerals” (aka vita-mins). He also outlawed food donations to homeless shelters “because the city couldn’t assess their salt, fat and fiber content.” I’d take Rudy Giuliani over either of these last two autocrats.

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