Saturday, December 11, 2010

Derailment Caught By Railfans

A few railfans were filming a CSX freight train in Metairie, Louisiana. It looks like the train was going into a siding. The conductor got off the train and threw the ground throw, then as the train proceeded through the switch, several cars derailed not far behind the engine. The derailment itself starts at about 2:30 3:30 into the video.

I find it interesting that the conductor did not lock the switch. I don't know American regulations but the Canadian Rail Operating Rules are quite specific. For hand-operated switches: Except while being turned, each switch must be secured with an approved device. When a switch has been turned, the points must be examined and the target, reflector or light, if any, observed to ensure that the switch is properly lined for the route to be used. - Rule 104(b).

Often the switch is secured by the hasp of the lock. The problem with leaving a switch unsecured is that the movement of cars through the switch can cause the switch points to move. Putting something in the switch mechanism like the lock hasp prevents the switch from changing position.

Oil-Electric goes into the wreck and location in more detail... check it out!

EDIT: There is a news article about this derailment.

EDIT: I initially said it was a trailing point move, but the overhead shot from the above news article makes it clear it was a facing point move, i.e. the train was going INTO the siding. An unsecured switch could easily move in this case.


Eric said...

Awesome video Steve, I caught it at about 3:30 in. "Train Wreck! Train Wreck!" says the railfan. Awesome video, and the rest of the train just keeps on rolling in unawares.

Anyway, greetings of the season to you and your family. Thanks for being a blog partner to Trackside Treasure in 2010, Merry Christmas, and all the best for 2011.


Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks Eric, I've updated the post.

I wish the best of the season to you and yours, and keep those great blog entries cocming!

Anonymous said...

Most videos of train wrecks show the aftermath not as an "in progress". Not locking out the switch - now that is a new one on me. Maybe the US rules are different but you can see from the video that the switch was not locked in the first place.