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Incompetence revisited

 
 
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 12:00 pm
To OpEds, Victorville, Ca Daily Press

However detached from everyday events, I am continually astounded by accounts of disaster at crossing, like "Officials: 40 passengers injured in NC truck-train collision" March 10. Hey you Science Fellas, in a day and age when we routinely send rockets to distant planets.....

...as a ham radio operator 74 years ago I could have described a perfectly feasible system to detect a large metallic object at a crossing, then send out a signal that would reach the train in time for it to safely stop. It's called "radio."

Of course it woulda used tubes so cost a bit more to build. But didn't they have any such accidents back then?
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 912 • Replies: 14
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contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 12:06 pm
It sounds like you don't know anything about train stopping distances.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 12:48 pm
@contrex,
No, Con, but I do know something about the range of a radio signal
Even if the meeting cojuld be a little less violent
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 01:30 pm
You clearly don't understand very much about railroad operations.

Your typical grade crossing accident involves a road vehicle being in the way of a train because the road vehicle driver ignored the flashing red lights which are triggered by the approach of a train. The lights are triggered when the train is too close to the crossing to stop before reaching it. Railroad operators are reluctant to run all their trains at 15 mph just because a few dumb car or truck drivers decide to take a gamble. Also the obstruction detector might give a warning that was obsolete by the time a train arrived and stopped. Many grade crossings have a telephone number displayed where people can alert the railroad controllers to a blockage.

Of course, there might be other reasons for the vehicle being on the track, like the driver is confused or does not read the signs and if they get struck it could be said to be just bad luck. Often there is a line of cars stopped beyond the crossing and as more vehicles arrive the line backs up across the railroad track and a gap is not left for a train to pass, then when a train approaches one car is trapped. I have seen a video taken by CCTV where a semi trailer rig is stopped over the tracks, the drivers tractor cab is past the track but the trailer is not, a freight train ran into the trailer and tore it apart like it was a cereal box and the tractor cab spun around very violently.

Accidents are declining in the US, but of course, the best thing would be to remove grade crossings, and in the United Kingdom, where we have passenger trains going at up to 125 mph, and 1000 ton freight trains doing 60 mph, they are being removed wherever possible.

dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 01:45 pm
@contrex,
Thank for that, Con. Well, in my own defense I did suggest that if brakes could be applied just a little earlier it might not do quite so much damage

Quote:
Also the obstruction detector might give a warning that was obsolete by the time a train arrived and stopped
But Con isn't that preferable to killing a few humanoids

Besides doesn't my position hold for vehicle that gets stuck long before the gates come down, where did I go wrong
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 02:39 pm
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:
Quote:
Also the obstruction detector might give a warning that was obsolete by the time a train arrived and stopped
But Con isn't that preferable to killing a few humanoids

Besides doesn't my position hold for vehicle that gets stuck long before the gates come down, where did I go wrong


If the vehicle gets stuck the driver can call the railroad or failing that the police who can radio or call the railroad controllers. In the UK these crossings have telephones linked directly to the signal cabins so trains can be halted.

I guess it comes down to balancing the number of lives potentially saved against the cost of the measures and their impact on railroad operations and profitability. If a railroad needs to run 100 trains a day along a particular line to make a profit, and your radio collision preventer reduces the number they can run to 50, they will close the line.


dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 02:47 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
If the vehicle gets stuck the driver can call the railroad
But what if he doesn't have a phone or if he does, can't find the number in time

Quote:
or failing that the police who can radio or call the railroad controllers.
By which time of course…..

Quote:
In the UK these crossings have telephones linked directly to the signal cabins so trains can be halted.
So why haven't we so emulated 'em decades ago

Quote:
the cost of the measures
Alas

Quote:
If a railroad needs to run 100 trains a day along a particular line to make a profit, and your radio collision preventer reduces the number they can run to 50, they will close the line.
But in a day and age when sending men to the moon got so easy we quit doing it…………..
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 03:07 pm
@dalehileman,
Dale, maybe you should write your congressman!
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 03:10 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
write your congressman!
Thanks once more, Con, but at 84 I'm laziness personified. Apple Valley, Ca; gimmy a link to him and I'll send him a link to this thread
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 03:12 pm
I was being sarcastic, because your idea is about as practical as stopping people from drowning by paving over the ocean.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 03:19 pm
@contrex,
But Con, forgive me but you're not convincing. It's a fine idea and should be pursued

Hitler indeed made fun of Einstein

Again my apologies Con, couldn't resist
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 03:45 pm
if it was such a good idea, don't you think it would have been done already?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 03:50 pm
@contrex,
contrex wrote:

. . . because your idea is about as practical as stopping people from drowning by paving over the ocean.


But if it saves just one life, it's worth whatever it takes - isn't it?
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2015 05:03 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
if it was such a good idea, don't you think it would have been done already?
Not if it affects even slightly the corporate budget
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2015 01:39 pm
@contrex,
"Expert says crash could have been avoided," AP, Victorville, Ca Daily Press: "….truck…stuck in a railroad crossing with time enough to alert approaching train…….crash….injured 55….

…driver…and trooper apparently failed to follow…protocol…

……Keeter…directly behind…rolled down her window and asked the flag man if he could call….'and he said he didn't think so'…"
0 Replies
 
 

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