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Grain Train derailment

Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:22 am
by chapmaja
Per Mlive,

The GLC derailed in Owosso tonight, dumping what appears to be loaded grain cars.

The article also mentions that 1225 was hauling the NPE behind the derailed train and as a result they had to bus passengers back to the SRI. This has to be a huge mess for the railroad and the SRI.

This appears, based on the article to be on the stretch between the split of the two northbound lines and the M-52 crossing.

https://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index. ... il_in.html

Re: Grain Train derailment

Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:36 am
by pbmaxno15
We had the family on the NPE tonight. Everything was handled amazingly by SRI, emergency personnel, and bus drivers. It led to a long night, but we had a great experience, and a great story to tell. I feel bad for those scheduled to ride the Sunday morning train. It was rescheduled to 5 pm next Sunday.

Re: Grain Train derailment

Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:19 am
by MiRailProductions
Looking at the track condition in Owosso, I assumed it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. Good thing nobody was injured. On another note, GLC has had a fair share of derailments recently. Wasn't there one on the Middleton Branch a couple of months ago, and another in Howell a little over a year ago?

Re: Grain Train derailment

Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:04 pm
by chapmaja
The accident in Howell (actually north of Howell) was in March 2016. I don't know about the Middleton Branch derailment.

I will say this. Derailments can have any number of causes. It can be a broken rail (the cause of the Howell Derailment), or issues with the substructure of the right of way. It can be due to train handling by the crew. It can also be due to mechanical issues with the equipment. Finally it could be related to issues from individuals outside of the railroad (vandalism).

My guess on the cause of this will be a mechanical issue with either the tracks or the train.

Does this seem to be happening more on the GLC recently? Maybe, but there is also the thought that we don't know how often other railroads have derailments. My guess is that reported derailments are a small percentage of those that actually make news. This made news because of three things. First, six cars dumping loads is hard to miss. Two, it happened in a city rather than out in the country where it might get less attention, and three, the NPE was delayed behind the derailment which automatically makes news.

As for the idea about passenger rail. The system the U.S. has is an outdated model of intercity passenger traffic. The problem is nobody wants to invest in actual intercity passenger rail that would work because the cost would be so expensive. Countries with successful intercity passenger service have high speed and largely dedicated routes without freight interruptions. The issues with many long distance trains in the U.S. is freight traffic. If you want regular scheduled passenger traffic, put it on a route where it doesn't have interference from freight traffic and you will get much better on time service.

Basically the U.S. passenger rail system is a combination of 1900 technology with mid 1900's locomotive technology and 2010's signal systems. Other countries who rely on passenger traffic have much newer systems and the advanced signally technology.

Re: Grain Train derailment

Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:58 am
by dmitzel
To see the future of passenger rail in the U.S. look at what Brightline in Florida is doing, now soon to be rebranded as Virgin Trains USA, and also Texas Central between Dallas and Houston. This stuff will happen, slowly, where the economics make sense.

Brightline is also branching out beyond Florida as they just bought the rights to Los Angles to Los Vegas. I think the Virgin Trains franchise will be the one to watch in the coming years. It may be a good thing that Amtrak Midwest is getting the Siemens Chargers and their compatible passenger cars, should the states decide to contract outside Amtrak one day.

Re: Grain Train derailment

Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:31 am
by DaveO
The FEC sold Brightline to the Virgin Group. The Virgin Group has a good reputation. The reality is, they are in the business of buying and selling businesses. I don't consider the sale of Brightline as being a positive development.

Re: Grain Train derailment

Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:09 pm
by dmitzel
They didn’t sell Brightline, only a minority interest - which includes assuming the Virgin Trains branding. Fortress and current railroad management remains in charge.

Re: Grain Train derailment

Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:44 pm
by DaveO
dmitzel wrote:They didn’t sell Brightline, only a minority interest - which includes assuming the Virgin Trains branding. Fortress and current railroad management remains in charge.

I should have read the official press release instead of a newswire story.