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SpiritFlyer

Living Nightmare

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A train carrying crude oil being exported to the US derailed and exploded while passing through a small town of Lac-Megnatic, Quebec. Approximately 60 missing and 1,000 evacuated. Horrific explosion caught on video. Click on embedded video part way down the page:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2013/07/06/quebec-train-derailment-fire.html

And they say pipelines are dangerous!



Kind regards,

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What I noted is that even some of the firemen and equipment from the U.S. were on scene assisting. That's remarkable considering the accident was reported as 108 miles from the border.

 

My prayers for everyone's safety in this disaster.

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What I noted is that even some of the firemen and equipment from the U.S. were on scene assisting. That's remarkable considering the accident was reported as 108 miles from the border.

 

My prayers for everyone's safety in this disaster.

Bill,

 

It is about 12 miles away by road from the border. Both countries co-ordinate their fire services in the region as equipment must be available close to where forest/ground fires need to be knocked down as water strikes are very weather dependent.

 

 

 

I guess Skowhegan Maine also contributed as did distant Canadian cities to provide relief for rotating crews. There is a fuzzy indistinct border when it comes to neighbors helping neighbors and pursuing and catching bad guys.

 

I heard you don't want to run into the Mounties when running from US police, or vice versa. They might tend to want to avoid all the paper work, and due process by both countries that accompanies a messy capture.

 

Kind regards,

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I have a concern regarding this one. How come a train that was loaded with crude oil, parked 'some distance' from this town with no one aboard or watching it end up slamming into this town driverless?

Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, which operated the train, said it had been parked some distance from the town and no one was on board when it derailed.
"We're not sure what happened, but the engineer did everything by the book. He had parked the train and was waiting for his relief ... somehow, the train got released," Montreal, Maine & Atlantic vice president of marketing Joseph R. McGonigle told Reuters.


My guess is this may be a criminal investigation if this is true the driver secured this train and left it unattended, or the train was not properly secured by the driver.

 

 

 

Chairman Edward Burhardt said an engineer parked the train west of Lac-Mégantic before he went to a local hotel for the night.

 

It sounds like he secured the train and was in his hotel room when it rolled away some time later on. Not sure how a train can just roll away on its own. 

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Yes that one is saying:

 

 

 

Joe McGonigle, a vice president at Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, said the train “came loose” in the early morning hours Saturday and “started rolling down the tracks.”
 

 

How does a train 'come loose' when parked. If the couplers failed then why not while the train is moving when it has the most stress on them. When parked is seems suspicious a coupler will just 'come loose' like that.

 

I will wait to see what the investigators find, I just find this to be suspicious.

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that's horrible :( burning oil will take a lot of time to get the fire out

:Rose:  for all deaths and missing :Rose:

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Yes that one is saying:

 

 

How does a train 'come loose' when parked. If the couplers failed then why not while the train is moving when it has the most stress on them. When parked is seems suspicious a coupler will just 'come loose' like that.

 

I will wait to see what the investigators find, I just find this to be suspicious.

Don't have the link handy, but there were reports of a locomotive fire where the train was stopped.

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Don't have the link handy, but there were reports of a locomotive fire where the train was stopped.

 

I've read that too now. Apparently there was a fire in a locomotive and about 5 minutes after the firemen left the train came loose and ran away into town. 

 

At least it doesn't look like foul play, their had been a number of cases of people targeting pipelines in Canada (in Alberta) so I was hoping this wasn't a case of someone targeting a train with crude oil, this doesn't seem to be the case now.

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What I cannot understand, is why no hand bakes were in use, especially with an unattended train, engine(s) running or not.

 

As a former Engineer, when ever a train was left unattended, away from depot, hand brakes were applied on every second wagon, and on locomotives. Engines were never allowed to be left running unattended, when away from or outside station limits. In the US, maybe that does not apply, but after this terrible disaster, maybe the rules need to change, so this sort of thing never happens again.

 

The CEO of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, ( formerly Wisconsin Rail, and Tranz Rail here in New Zealand, was my former boss, and there are things I could say, but as this is a forum, it would be prudent for me to be careful what I say.

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This has now become a criminal investigation and the entire area is being treated as a crime scene.

 

-Train parked on a hill outside of town

-Locomotive left running to power the air brakes

-Locomotive abandoned as driver checks into a hotel room

-Fire breaks out in the locomotive

-Fire department puts out fire shuts down locomotive and leaves

-Air brakes deactivate and train runs away after fire dept left

-Some how the main line in town is switched in town

-Train crashes into the main part of town where all the pubs are, on a busy summer weekend when the pubs are at its peak times

 

311px-Lac_megantic_affected_area.png

 

Badfinger, on 09 Jul 2013 - 4:21 PM, said:

As a former Engineer, when ever a train was left unattended, away from depot, hand brakes were applied on every second wagon, and on locomotives. Engines were never allowed to be left running unattended, when away from or outside station limits. In the US, maybe that does not apply, but after this terrible disaster, maybe the rules need to change, so this sort of thing never happens again.

I would like to know why hand brakes were not applied as well. The amount of time it takes to apply them and as the driver was coming off a shift. I am suspicious he was being paid anymore so just left the engine running with the air brakes applied and went to bed.

 

I am not sure the regulations in Canada but this may be contrary to the regulations and the reason why this is now a criminal investigation.

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Railroads use the Westinghouse air brake system.  It does not need a locomotive to "power" the system to provide braking.  On the contrary, in the absence of pressure on the lines, the brakes are applied, so it requires a locomotive to apply pressure to the system to release the brakes.

 

The latest I'm seeing on this is that the fireman at the first fire may have inadvertently released the brakes while they were trying to shutdown the locomotive.

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Captain_Barfbag, on 10 Jul 2013 - 10:51 AM, said:

The latest I'm seeing on this is that the fireman at the first fire may have inadvertently released the brakes while they were trying to shutdown the locomotive.

I am reading this as well....

Quote

 

According to Nantes Fire Chief Patrick Lambert, "We shut down the engine before fighting the fire. Our protocol calls for us to shut down an engine because it is the only way to stop the fuel from circulating into the fire." - source Toronto Star

Quote

 

The fire department extinguished the blaze and notified Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway. By 0:13 MMA employees had arrived; the firefighters left the scene as the MMA confirmed the train was safe. - Montreal Gazette

I also found this regulation:

Quote

 

By regulation, "when equipment is left at any point a sufficient number of hand brakes must be applied to prevent it from moving" (per Section 112 of the Canadian Railway Operating Rules) and "the effectiveness of the hand brakes must be tested” before relying on their retarding force - Montreal Gazette

It doesn't look like hand brakes were applied.

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Railroads use the Westinghouse air brake system.  It does not need a locomotive to "power" the system to provide braking.  On the contrary, in the absence of pressure on the lines, the brakes are applied, so it requires a locomotive to apply pressure to the system to release the brakes.

 

The latest I'm seeing on this is that the fireman at the first fire may have inadvertently released the brakes while they were trying to shutdown the locomotive.

Sorry, but that is incorrect. Without the loco's compressors providing air , the air will bleed off over time. How much time depends on the amount of leakage.

Normally a break test is carried out before departures, and the Engineer will perform a leakage test, now depending on the amount of leakage ( there is always air leakage) will determine how long the train will remain stationary before enough air has depleted before the brakes start releasing.

The train being on a grade only exasperated the situation, and with no handbrakes applied, it was a recipe for disaster.

The engineer of this ill fated train, and brakeman/ conductor will have a lot of questions to answer, and any good engine man would not have stabled that train without securing it safely.

I am reading this as well....

 

 

 

I also found this regulation:

 

It doesn't look like hand brakes were applied.

Thanks for that info Matt, same regs as here in NZ.

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<p>New video. Looks like Cologne Germany during WW2 saturation bombing firestorm, but on smaller scale.</p>

<p> </p>

<p><a href="

What a tragedy.

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It doesn't look like hand brakes were applied.

 

There's thought now that that the train may have been tampered with.

 

I did some pretty stupid things when I was a teenager, but if some stupid teenagers were behind this... well....

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There's thought now that that the train may have been tampered with.

 

I did some pretty stupid things when I was a teenager, but if some stupid teenagers were behind this... well....

 

The investigation is pointing at the Engineer that was driving the train. He came off his shift, parked the train on the hill, left one of the 5 locomotives running to power the air brakes. He has claimed he had set all of the 11 hand brakes required for a train this size, but it appears that is not true.

 

The fire is irrelevant had all 11 hand brakes been set properly and checked by doing a 'push pull' maneuver on them. It looks like he did not do this.

 

The driver has now been suspended without pay and the focus of the investigation at this point.

“We think that he applied some handbrakes, the problem is that he didn’t apply enough of them,” —Ed Burkhardt,President of Railworld Inc

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