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stasisLAX
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2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:37 pm

Metro confirms two trains have collided on the Red Line between the Takoma and Fort Totten stations. It happened close to the Fort Totten station, a Metro spokesperson said.

D.C. Fire Department said one train was on top of the other train.

The number of injuries and the extent of the injuries could not be immediately confirmed. Mass casualty units were called to the scene since this incident occurred during afternoon rush hour. Train traffic has been stopped in the area.

Source: http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0609/634125.html
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LTU932
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:51 pm

Metro collisions should almost be non-existent nowadays, so this leaves me to believe these could be the causes (note that this is speculation):

1. One of the train drivers either failed to see, or ignored a stop signal (red light).
2. A go signal (green light) was set, when it still had to be red, or the signaling system malfunctioned. This is for maintaining safe distance between trains (especially if you expect a metro entering the station every five minutes).
3. An improperly set switch though I don't know if, like in Hamburg, there are switches in stations, where trains rarely terminate (an example from Hamburg is the switch south of station Lattenkamp, as well as the one west of station Hammer Kirche).
4. The train driver did not respect whatever speed limit there was. Yes, even in metros, as well as in heavy rail, there can be speed limits, mostly in places like very sharp turns or when the track isn't suited for trains at full speed (e.g. due to damages, or because of ongoing construction works at or near the track).
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D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:55 pm

5. Brake failure

One dead.

Creepy as hell considering I (along with a million other people) was just on the Metro about 10 minutes ago.
 
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LTU932
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:59 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 2):
5. Brake failure

You're right, I forgot brake failure.
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:00 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 2):
Creepy as hell considering I (along with a million other people) was just on the Metro about 10 minutes ago.

Glad you're OK. CNN News is reporting that the accident was a head-on collision, according to news reports they're getting from local WDC news outlets. How is this possible with all of the electronic safety features?
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:14 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 4):
CNN News is reporting that the accident was a head-on collision

It probably was not a head on per se, but rather a rollback. WashPo is reporting that one train derailed then kept rolling into another train.
 
D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:16 pm

Oh man. Pictures on tv now. Not good.  

One train is sitting on top of another. The one on the bottom is crushed.


EDIT: Pics here: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/06/22/washington.subway.crash/index.html

[Edited 2009-06-22 15:17:52]
 
jcs17
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:21 pm

Metro isn't exactly known for its safety culture, it has had quite a few accidents over the past couple of decades. I believe I read somewhere that Metro has one of the lowest amounts of safety automation in terms of commuter rail in the US. Also, there was another article I remember about serious problems with its equipment and personnel. Oh well, I'll be back on Metro this weekend.

Watching the local news here, it's funny/sad how quickly the local councilwoman was able to get in front of some cameras.

[Edited 2009-06-22 15:23:31]
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BMIFlyer
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:34 pm

Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:46 pm

People are trapped in the train. Unknown number.
 
Flighty
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:50 pm

How is this even possible, in this day and age ?
 
plateman
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:51 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 2):
Creepy as hell considering I (along with a million other people) was just on the Metro about 10 minutes ago.

I too got on the Orange line as the news broke...mood was unusually quiet it seemed. Then phone singals jammed when I got back to Arlington, and everyone was on a phone.

Pictures are stomach turning...with seeing the train above and the floor gone
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D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:55 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
How is this even possible, in this day and age ?

It's an aging system. Some track is nearing 40 years old. Metro was built to look pretty and be space aged... in 1960. The result is that it is a very expensive system to maintain and upgrade. People have pushed back against raising fares, and the feds have pushed back on providing funding.


UPDATE: 2 dead, more than 100 injured. Still people trapped.

(Getting sick of WRC though, they're sensationalizing. Switching to WJLA.)
 
WestWing
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:11 pm

Fenty just said fatalities up to four, now.
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AirframeAS
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:14 pm

How far is this from DCA?
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BlueElephant
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:17 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 2):
Metro about 10 minutes ago.

I got to the metro station to see a "Service Advisory" about a "Police situation at Fort Totten"
Reached home to find this news....scary.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 14):
How far is this from DCA?

Opposite side of the city...different line.


4 confirmed...RIP.
 
D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:28 pm

One train was stopped waiting for clearance to enter the station. The train behind it slammed into it at speed. (Those trains go about 45 miles per hour in that area, if I recall correctly.) They do not go full speed there. And it looks like it is on a turn, so it was possibly going slower than that.

At first glance, this looks a little like the LA MetroLink accident where the driver was texting and ran into the train in front of him. With that said, the MetroRail system is supposed to have automatic train separation unless the trains are being run in manual mode. That automatically stops a train that approaches too close to another one.

Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 15):
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 14):
How far is this from DCA?

Opposite side of the city...different line.

Right. CNN was reporting that a person was complaining about having a 2 hour delay at the DCA station. That was BS. I live on that line, and that line moved very well. We all had no idea there was such a serious problem elsewhere in the city until we got home. On top of that, the accident happened *just* two hours ago as I write this.

GOD, I'm so happy this did not occur in the heavy tourist area downtown and in Alexandria. Those trains would have been packed, and they would have been packed with people who would likely not know what to do.
 
BlueElephant
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:33 pm

Quoting D L X (Reply 16):
I live on that line, and that line moved very well.

As do I...it was running quite normally actually...the station was unusually crowded though...

It was an Inbound train, Silver Spring is right before Ft. Totten, where a lot of people get on and off.... but we can all be glad it wasn't an outbound train...and that it was above ground!, as it was nearly Rush Hour....and the Red Line is the most congested line as far as I know.

[Edited 2009-06-22 16:40:55]
 
WestWing
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:55 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 16):
One train was stopped waiting for clearance to enter the station. The train behind it slammed into it at speed.

It seems that the car that is on top is the rear car of the front (stopped) train. So the driver's cab of the rear train went under the stopped train. The train operator of the rear train has succumbed to her injuries.
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stasisLAX
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:38 am

Death toll now 6 and rescue operations are still underway.

"A Metro train slammed into the back of a stopped train on the Red Line during the height of rush hour Monday afternoon, killing at least six people and injuring 70 others in the deadliest crash in the transit agency's 33-year history.

"The scene is as horrific as you can imagine," D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty said in a news conference . "The one car of the train squeezed almost together." Fenty also confirmed there were six fatalities. The D.C. Fire department is still going through the wreckage and it will be a few hours before the total number of casualties is confirmed, Fenty said.

"It is my preliminary understanding that this is ... the deadliest accident in the history of" Metro, Fenty said..."

Source: http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0609/634125.html
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JetBlueGuy2006
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:57 am



Quoting D L X (Reply 16):
I'm so happy this did not occur in the heavy tourist area downtown and in Alexandria. Those trains would have been packed, and they would have been packed with people who would likely not know what to do.

Yeah, I just left there this morning...although we took a cab to Union station. There are a ton of families that stay in that area.

Wow, this is scary

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LTU932
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:27 am



Quoting D L X (Reply 16):
One train was stopped waiting for clearance to enter the station. The train behind it slammed into it at speed. (Those trains go about 45 miles per hour in that area, if I recall correctly.) They do not go full speed there. And it looks like it is on a turn, so it was possibly going slower than that.

At first glance, this looks a little like the LA MetroLink accident where the driver was texting and ran into the train in front of him. With that said, the MetroRail system is supposed to have automatic train separation unless the trains are being run in manual mode. That automatically stops a train that approaches too close to another one.

Isn't there any light signal that should tell the driver where and when to stop? Or do they all get verbal clearance or something?
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Cadet57
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:29 am



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 21):
Isn't there any light signal that should tell the driver where and when to stop?

There are signals in the tunnels and the cab of the lead unit iirc. Also, I thought there was an auto stopping mechanism if a car blew a signal?
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D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:46 am



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 21):
Isn't there any light signal that should tell the driver where and when to stop? Or do they all get verbal clearance or something?

I'm not certain, but I don't think that's how the DC system works. I think it's all in-cab.

But again, in normal operation, the train stops itself when it gets too close to another train.


If you're interested, there's a *great* book about the DC Metrorail system called "Great Society Subway" by Zachary Schrag. Lots of good stuff for transit junkies.
 
plateman
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:01 am

Quoting WestWing (Reply 18):
It seems that the car that is on top is the rear car of the front (stopped) train. So the driver's cab of the rear train went under the stopped train. The train operator of the rear train has succumbed to her injuries.

Thats not correct from what I have read. The car on top, multiple media sources report, the car on top was the train that did not stop.

WashPost: "The impact was so powerful that the trailing train was left atop the first train. "
NY Post: "as the front end of the trailing train jackknifed violently into the air and fell atop the first. "

[Edited 2009-06-22 19:03:25]
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plateman
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:06 am

Also has anyone else noticed that the trainset that rammed is one of the older models...as you can see the red placard in the rear window. I wonder if that was the same series invovled in the Cleveland Park accident a couple years ago.
Brian
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tz757300
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:12 am



Quoting PlateMan (Reply 24):

Thats not correct from what I have read. The car on top, multiple media sources report, the car on top was the train that did not stop.

If I remember correctly, the subway cars were designed to ride up on top of the other if one happened to slam into the other, i guess to limit damage. Therefore, the one of top is what hit the other car.
 
D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:12 am



Quoting PlateMan (Reply 25):
Also has anyone else noticed that the trainset that rammed is one of the older models...as you can see the red placard in the rear window.

The new(er) ones have the placards also. ALSO, it's one of the newer ones that keep derailing. Apparently, derailing is common on the metro, but usually harmless.
 
WestWing
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:44 am

Yes, the moving train that rammed into the stationary one was the one that ended up on top. My original assumption was wrong. I misjudged the camera angle of the news photos.
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D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:04 am



Quoting TZ757300 (Reply 26):
If I remember correctly, the subway cars were designed to ride up on top of the other if one happened to slam into the other, i guess to limit damage.

That is certainly not a design feature, because that will absolutely end up killing people. However, it is a bug that has been noticed in the DC system. This is at least the second and probably the third time where a train has mounted another train, crushing a car. If that had happened in a tunnel, it would have killed scores.
 
tz757300
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:14 am



Quoting D L X (Reply 29):
That is certainly not a design feature, because that will absolutely end up killing people

Interesting, I always assumed it was the way it was designed.
 
D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:04 am

Update: at midnight, there is one car that has been 75% compressed, and has not been inspected for occupants.

That *really* scares me that there is a whole car that I can't imagine finding survivors in that hasn't been looked at yet. I hope I don't wake up tomorrow to hear that 30 people are in it.
 
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:28 am



Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
How is this even possible, in this day and age ?

The metro system consists of dual tracks so that trains can flow in both directions without the need for stop-and-go clearances. However, earlier today there was another incident of some kind on this line, and they had to consolidate the Red Line down to single-track operation. That slows everything down and makes it more dangerous.

I don't ride the Metro very often, but when I do it's always the Red Line.

Quoting Jcs17 (Reply 7):
Metro isn't exactly known for its safety culture, it has had quite a few accidents over the past couple of decades. I believe I read somewhere that Metro has one of the lowest amounts of safety automation in terms of commuter rail in the US. Also, there was another article I remember about serious problems with its equipment and personnel.

From the latest CNN article:

"It was the second Metro crash to involve fatalities in the 33-year history of the transit authority. In January 1982, a derailment killed three people. The only other collision between Metro trains occurred in 2004."
No info
 
jcs17
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:34 am



Quoting Concord977 (Reply 32):

From the latest CNN article:

"It was the second Metro crash to involve fatalities in the 33-year history of the transit authority. In January 1982, a derailment killed three people. The only other collision between Metro trains occurred in 2004."

Check out the Interactive Time Line: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/getthere
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stasisLAX
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:44 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 31):
That *really* scares me that there is a whole car that I can't imagine finding survivors in that hasn't been looked at yet. I hope I don't wake up tomorrow to hear that 30 people are in it.

I wholeheartedly agree - death toll now at 9 dead with 75 injured, many seriously - according to a New York Times article just released to their website:

"At least nine people were killed and at least 75 injured when one Metro subway train slammed into another on the outskirts of the city during the afternoon rush hour on Monday, emergency officials said."

Much of the Metrorail system, which opened in 1976, runs below ground. Both trains involved in the accident were above ground. “This is an aging system and one that needs to be looked at very closely,” said Peter Goelz, former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/us/24crash.html?_r=1&hp

[Edited 2009-06-23 02:46:46]
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plateman
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:32 pm

8 am update from the Mayor:

7 dead
2 critical

Train struck was a 3000 series with 9 recorders onboard. The striking train was a 1000 series, so older, and has no recorders. NTSB had recommended that the trains be retrofitted with the recorders or be taken out of service, that ended unsatisfactorly, FOX5 DC reports.

terrible.

[Edited 2009-06-23 05:35:56]
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D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:50 pm

MSNBC reported this morning that there were 9 dead.

Also, it has been announced the name of the driver that died. Is anyone else with me that the loss is almost personal? The metro drivers talk to us, and definitely bring personality to the subway. I don't know any of my drivers by name, though it's rare I do not recognize a voice now. I have to wonder which one of my drivers is it that I won't ever hear again. Was it the super-articulate girl who talked like she was on a metronome and welcomed everyone to DC when we stopped at the Airport? Was it the woman whose voice was so sweet that you thought she should be on the radio (if not sharing a drink with you)? Listening to her, "on the left side" could turn into your favorite phrase. Was it the woman with a bit of sass that yelled at tourists that held up the train? "What the... WHO got they foot in the doh of MY TRAAAAAIN? Get your foot out the doh of ma train!" May she rest in peace, whoever it is.

Quoting PlateMan (Reply 35):
The striking train was a 1000 series

I could have sworn that the 1000 series was long gone! I certainly haven't seen one in years. Looking at the pictures, it doesn't look like a 1000 series. More likely 2000. But if that report is correct, those are the original trains from the 1960s. Wow.

I presume also if that story is correct, the 1000 series will be gone tomorrow.
 
plateman
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:23 pm

Quoting D L X (Reply 36):

I could have sworn that the 1000 series was long gone! I certainly haven't seen one in years. Looking at the pictures, it doesn't look like a 1000 series. More likely 2000. But if that report is correct, those are the original trains from the 1960s. Wow.

I presume also if that story is correct, the 1000 series will be gone tomorrow.

It definitely was the 1000 series, yes the original. WashPost Get There blog reports 30% of the fleet is made up on the 1000 series and is slowly being phased out.

However, what is really scary. All major Metro crashes (Cleveland Park, Federal Triangle), etc...have involved the 1000 series, according to Wikipedia backed up with other sources.

From the blog:
" NTSB says it told Metro after the 2004 crash that it should put event recorders on the 1000 series of trains, and should make them more crashworthy. Metro did not do so. The 1000 series comprises about 30 percent of the fleet, and is being phased out. Metro head John Catoe did not have an immediate response about why those recommendations were not followed, but said the agency would do a full investigation."

[Edited 2009-06-23 06:26:38]
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BMIFlyer
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:35 pm



Quoting PlateMan (Reply 37):
" NTSB says it told Metro after the 2004 crash that it should put event recorders on the 1000 series of trains, and should make them more crashworthy. Metro did not do so. The 1000 series comprises about 30 percent of the fleet, and is being phased out. Metro head John Catoe did not have an immediate response about why those recommendations were not followed, but said the agency would do a full investigation."

Hmm. I don't like to say it, but can smell a huge lawsuit coming, and quick.

May all the victims  tombstone , and all the injured recover soon.
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D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:59 pm

So, the train this morning had less than a third of its normal ridership (by my estimate) and almost no one would sit in the last car. Quite somber mood this morning.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 38):
Hmm. I don't like to say it, but can smell a huge lawsuit coming, and quick.

I think this is jumping to conclusions. An event recorder would not prevent a crash. And if the 1000 series is being phased out, it is not unreasonable to not put extra money into making the cars more crashworthy when crashes happen so incredibly rarely. (Think about the analogy - how much money should Boeing spend making its 732's more crashworthy when one crashes?)

Quoting PlateMan (Reply 37):
It definitely was the 1000 series, yes the original.

Yikes

Quoting PlateMan (Reply 37):
However, what is really scary. All major Metro crashes (Cleveland Park, Federal Triangle), etc...have involved the 1000 series, according to Wikipedia backed up with other sources.

I don't think that's true. The Shady Grove wreck (which also ended up with one car on top of another) were both 3000-series. One dead.

Quoting PlateMan (Reply 25):
Also has anyone else noticed that the trainset that rammed is one of the older models...as you can see the red placard in the rear window.

BTW, having done a little more research, I see that you were totally right. I hadn't even noticed that some trains don't have the placards because they only started taking them away with the 5000-series.
 
comorin
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:31 pm

The NY Times says that the DC Metro system runs on Automatic mode during rush hours, and the operators just open doors and make announcements. That is pretty impressive - then the collision must have been a system error?


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/us/24crash.html?pagewanted=2&hpw
 
cba
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:20 pm



Quoting D L X (Reply 29):
This is at least the second and probably the third time where a train has mounted another train, crushing a car. If that had happened in a tunnel, it would have killed scores.

What would have happened underground? There's no vertical room for the train to mount another, so I am assuming that the force from the collision would have been more concentrated and thus more tragic... Rescue efforts in the tunnel would also have been much more difficult

Quoting Concord977 (Reply 32):
However, earlier today there was another incident of some kind on this line, and they had to consolidate the Red Line down to single-track operation. That slows everything down and makes it more dangerous.

No kidding... I really wish they had built a 3rd auxiliary track when first digging the system... the marginal cost of adding the third tunnel couldn't be that bad could it?
 
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LTU932
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:49 pm



Quoting Comorin (Reply 40):
The NY Times says that the DC Metro system runs on Automatic mode during rush hours, and the operators just open doors and make announcements. That is pretty impressive - then the collision must have been a system error?

Nothing unusual. Hamburg experimented with automatically running trains for three years in the early 1980's (with a driver supervising the train, like in DC). Those trials were done mostly between Volksdorf and Großhansdorf, part of line U1 and on modified trains of the type DT3. The automisation project was later cancelled. Since its opening a few years ago, the line U3 in Nürnberg runs even fully automatically.

I personally would have my objections to fully automated trains. I'd prefer as a passenger that a driver would also be there, having control over what's going on, instead of leaving things to a guy in a booth at HQ or somewhere else.
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
 
D L X
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:11 am



Quoting Comorin (Reply 40):
The NY Times says that the DC Metro system runs on Automatic mode during rush hours, and the operators just open doors and make announcements. That is pretty impressive - then the collision must have been a system error?


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/us...2&hpw

It's looking that way. In automatic mode, the train should have stopped itself when it detected proximity to the train before it. So, the question is, did it not detect the train in front of it? Did the braking system fail? Preliminary investigation showed that the dials were turned to automatic mode, and that the operator had deployed the emergency brake in vain.
 
7324ever
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 10:46 pm

RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:59 am

What is the death toll up to know? I keep looking but different sites give me different answers...  ashamed 
Anything the US and EU build the Russians do it better! i.e. TU-144 vs Concorde and TU-154 vs The 727...
 
plateman
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:13 am



Quoting 7324ever (Reply 44):
What is the death toll up to know? I keep looking but different sites give me different answers... ashamed

Official death toll stand at a very sad nine people.
"Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
 
57AZ
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:55 pm

RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:15 am



Quoting TZ757300 (Reply 26):
If I remember correctly, the subway cars were designed to ride up on top of the other if one happened to slam into the other, i guess to limit damage. Therefore, the one of top is what hit the other car.

No. In a collision, a properly designed rail car will crumple at one or both ends with the end space absorbing the shock-preventing the passenger compartment beyond the collision posts from being penetrated. Locomotives and cab cars used on commuter services governed by the Federal Railroad Administration are also required to have anti-climbers that prevent exactly what happened on the Metro (again). On most passenger cars (Amtrak) and older pre-Amtrak intercity passenger trains, the collision posts were located inside the body of the passenger car. The vestibule between cars was designed to crush in a heavy impact.

Latest reports are indicating that the train operator who perished had activated the emergency brake and was attempting to stop the train prior to the collision. Investigators are looking into the possibility that the automated train control system contributed to the collision. It was also reported that as a safety precaution, no Metro trains were operated automatically on Tuesday.

As for what would have happened underground, there is some speculation that the accident may not have been so serious. The accident at Woodley Park was similar but the fact that the trains were in a tunnel would probably have prevented the body of the second train overriding the rear of the first train to the extent that it did.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
D L X
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Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:04 pm



Quoting 57AZ (Reply 46):
The accident at Woodley Park was similar but the fact that the trains were in a tunnel would probably have prevented the body of the second train overriding the rear of the first train to the extent that it did.

I would suspect that both trains would be vertically crushed because one would try to ride up on top of another, but the ceiling of the tunnel would prevent it. It would be bad.

Every collision of metro trains has seen one ride up on the other.
 
offloaded
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RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:22 pm

Very sad. My condolences to the victims families.

I was riding the blue and orange lines last week in Arlington / Washington.
To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215
 
57AZ
Posts: 2371
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:55 pm

RE: 2 Metro Trains Collide In Washington, DC

Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:15 am

Latest update from the NTSB is that during a test of the six signal and communication circuits controlling the area of track involved, five circuits passed inspection and one did not. Later testing revealed that the failed circuit evidently prevented the signal system from detecting the train that was stopped in the block. Word in the signaling community is that particular screws in that relay may have prevented it from de-energizing. That will have to be determined by additional testing.

If the accident was indeed caused by a signal or communications system failure, this could have a significant impact on the entire Metro system. Can you imagine the amount of time it would take to inspect every single track control circuit relay? What about the cost of replacing faulty units?
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."

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