Thread: Dc Metro Crash

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Dc Metro Crash

    I caught this on the front page of FH, but this article is from the Victoria news.

    Washington subway crash kills 9, dozens injured

    By Lucile Malandain and Michael Mathes, Reuters June 23, 2009 5:11 AM

    WASHINGTON - Two Washington, D.C., subway trains collided during the Monday afternoon rush hour, killing nine people and injuring at least 75, officials said early on Tuesday.

    A District of Columbia Fire Department official said the death toll had been raised from 6 late on Monday, but said officials were prepared to identify any of the deceased.

    Mayor Adrian Fenty called the crash the deadliest in the 33-year history of the city's Metro subway system.

    Officials said one train hit another train that had stopped at a platform, but the cause of the crash was not immediately clear. At least one car from the trailing train was hurled onto the top of the other in the accident, which occurred on above-ground tracks.

    "Metro officials do not know the cause of the ... collision and are not likely to know the cause for several days as the investigation unfolds," the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said on its Web site.

    The crash occurred on the heavily traveled red line about 5 p.m. EDT, between Fort Totten and Takoma stations on the northeastern outskirts of the city near the border with Maryland. Both trains were heading south into the city.

    It was the first crash involving a passenger death since 1982, when three people were killed in a derailment. The Metro train system began service in 1976.

    "What happened ... (was) one train was stopped waiting to get the order to pass. ... The next train came up behind it and, for reasons that we do not know, collided into the back of that train," John Catoe, general manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, told reporters.

    "We are committed to investigate this accident until we determine why this happened and what must be done to ensure it never happens again," Catoe said in a statement.

    The transit authority said one of those killed was a female train operator in the trailing train. The accident trapped passengers in one or more of the subway cars.

    One witness described how one train appeared to collide with -- and then run up and over -- the second train.

    "It was very mangled, everything is ripped out of there," the woman, who was not identified, told the local ABC television affiliate.

    Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were at the crash site early on Tuesday collecting evidence.

    "They will have to do both an investigation and then a release of the scene for us to clean it up," Fenty told reporters at the scene.

    Officials encouraged riders to avoid the red line, which they said would be "severely impacted" by the crash.

    Copyright (c) Reuters


    People work at the scene where two transit trains were involved in a crash in Washington June 22, 2009.Photograph by: Yuri Gripas, Reuters

    One thing that comes to mind, in viewing the photo is that there are (I forget the proper name) "ride-up" plates at each end of every car, to prevent the following car from riding up and over the floor plate of the preceeding car.

    Prayers to those involved on this event.
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    27 - The plates you are referring to are called "Anti-Climbers".

    Looking closely, it doesn't appear that an anti-climber is/was present on the equipment shown.. unless they are integrated into the frame behind the front wall of the cab car, which would defeat the purpose pretty much.
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    Regarding the anti-climbers, I think you can see the bar in the photo, just behind the ladder. It should be the silver strip just below the doors.


    Train in Washington crash in 'automatic mode:' investigator

    AFP June 24, 2009 3:07 AM

    WASHINGTON - Twenty-four hours after the US capital's deadliest subway crash, federal investigators Tuesday said they believed the trains were operating in automatic mode but that the cause of the collision remained a mystery.

    The emergency brake had also been pressed in, indicating that the train's 42-year-old female driver may have attempted to halt it before slamming into another train from behind during rush hour Monday, investigators said.

    The driver, who was among nine people killed in the crash, had only been operating Metro trains for three months, according to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) spokeswoman Debbie Hersman.

    "We have not yet made any determination about the cause of this accident," she told a press conference near the scene of the crash.

    "We haven't ruled anything out," she added, acknowledging that the NTSB had formally requested access to the striking train operator's mobile phone records but stressed that that was "not a specific area we are singling out."

    The striking train was one of the oldest in the fleet, potentially in service on the day Washington's Metro system opened to the public in 1976, Hersman said.

    She said preliminary evidence at the scene in northeast Washington strongly suggested the striking train was operating in automatic mode -- as normal during rush hour.

    "The toggle switch, dial and master controller (in the train's operator cab) confirm to us that the train was in automatic mode at the time of the accident," Hersman said, adding that the "mushroom, emergency brake... was found in a depressed position."

    The NTSB would soon gain access to nine recorders on the newer, struck train -- data she expected would shed light on what may have caused train 112 to plow into train 214 which was stopped on the same track.

    Concerns have focused on the computerized signal system designed to prevent train collisions, and on the age of train 112, one of the Metro's 1000-series trains delivered from 1975 to 1978.

    "We are aggressively seeking to replace the 1000-series railcars... and we had taken action before this tragedy to achieve that objective," Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) board chairman Jim Graham said.

    Copyright (c) AFP

  5. #5
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    Default Terrifying seconds

    Must have been pretty scary for the operator. Coefficient of friction of steel on steel is about 20%, so even with the train in emergency, the slowing rate would have been about 1/4 of the braking rate we experience in a panic stop with our cars. I would hope that the automatic operating mode was disabled the instant the brake plunger was deperssed. Imagine trying to stop if the motors continued to drive the train forward. Some mention of "Blued Rotors" in some write-ups. Blue color occurs when steel reaches temps above 475 deg. F. Some serious brake application, showing that the equipment was functioning properly at threshold rates without sliding the wheels on the rails.

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