A train derailment occurs when a rail vehicle comes off the rails. Although many of these incidents are minor, others can pose a serious danger to people onboard. The causes of derailments can range from lack of proper communication between train operators and towers to excessive heat. There are even cases where a train is unable to control itself and overturns on a curved track. Here are some common factors to consider.
Miscommunication between train operators and the towers
The cause of the fatal crash remains unclear, but authorities have speculated that a miscommunication between the train operator and the control center may have been to blame. A train travelling at 55 mph over the Turcot-Ouest interchange was unable to communicate properly with the towers, which could have caused the crash. The accident killed 101 people and seriously injured 171 others, according to authorities.
A train operator on the CTA’s Blue Line admitted that he was sleeping at the controls, but said that the derailment was not due to his sleepiness. He had been working for 12 straight days when the incident occurred. He was also working on the 12th consecutive day. As a result, he was fired. The train was stopped for seven hours, but shuttle buses were provided to passengers, and service resumed around 2 a.m.
The crash was the result of a miscommunication between the train operator and the towers. The NTSB report determined that the train could have stopped faster if it had received adequate instructions from the towers. The engineers, however, were not given any material to help them regain control of a runaway train. It was determined that the train operations management did not have adequate oversight over the train’s operation on the mountain.
A California train derailment is blamed on excessive heat, and it may be the first time in the history of the system. The hot weather has caused the track to buckle, and nearly 20 cars derailed last week in Tulare County. A spokesperson for the Bay Area Rapid Transit said that heat-related train derailments are extremely rare. In fact, BART hasn’t had a heat-related derailment since 2005.
As a result, trains have been limited to 60mph between noon and 20:00 BST on Monday. This means that a two-hour journey will take four hours. Network Rail will also paint “hot spot” sections of track white to absorb heat, and they will also have emergency teams that monitor temperature conditions. It’s unclear whether trains will continue operating as normal until Monday. But if delays continue, it could cost the system $20-60 billion by the year 2100.
The incident also highlighted how vulnerable our infrastructure is to the rising temperatures. Last year’s record-breaking heatwave caused train cables to buckle and other damage to roads and railways. Heatwaves also contribute to wildfires, which also cause major damage to infrastructure. And as climate change continues to increase the severity and frequency of heatwaves, these events will become more frequent and intense. Scientists say that heatwaves are expected to be six times more intense than they are today, with temperatures reaching up to 2.6 degrees hotter than they are now.
Overturning on a curved track
A train overturns when it is travelling at a higher speed on a curved track. This derailment can be attributed to the centrifugal force that occurs in a train when it speeds up. The track cant is a small structure that can be used to balance this force. The train will not be able to steer if the wheels lift up from the low rail.
Overturning a train derailment in a curved track is a challenging task. In the case of a curved track, the train is traveling at 60 mph. This is a critical condition. The right wheels are only touching the low rail. The contact force is small, but can cause the train to tip over. Overturning a train on a curved track is a difficult task, so you must be very careful and slow your speed.
The first car to tip over is the one behind the locomotive. When the second car comes off the track, it crashes into the concrete abutment. This is the most damaging part of the accident. The last two cars to derail are the power car and rear generator. The derailment was caused by excess speed on the curve. The derailment was most likely caused by driver distraction or failure to slow down.
Lack of automatic train control
There are several factors that may cause a train to derrail, from foreign objects on the tracks to conductor error. Regardless of the cause, train operators should be aware of their surroundings and take immediate action when they spot an obstruction. But because of outdated technology, conductors often miss an obstruction and the train derails. Luckily, there are ways to make these train derailments safer. This technology is available, but it will require a substantial investment.
A passenger train derailed in Philadelphia last week because it was missing positive-train-control technology. The train’s engineer fell asleep while entering a curve and failed to reduce speed to 30 mph. Another train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015 after hitting a curve at 106 mph in an 80-mph zone. During a subsequent investigation, the NTSB found that the engineer was driving too fast and lost awareness of the route, causing the train to crash. In that accident, the engineer said he would have been in a different mindset if PTC had been in place.
The federal government has set a deadline for railroads to adopt positive-train-control systems. This technology, known as automatic braking, was designed to prevent accidents. The technology was developed after a head-on crash between a Union Pacific and Metrolink commuter train in California, which killed 25 people and injured more than a hundred others. The Federal Railroad Administration estimates that train derailments kill 10 people each year. That number does not include trespassers on the tracks. In fact, two crashes involving Amtrak trains were caused by fatigue, both night and day.
There are many reasons a train derailment can happen. In some cases, it is the fault of the train engineer. Other times, it is the fault of a motor vehicle. Either way, you deserve compensation from the company that was responsible for the accident. If you’re the victim of a train derailment, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Here are three of them. The first one is based on negligence.
Another common cause of derailments is train driver error. A train driver’s negligence or impairment can cause a train to derrail and cause injuries. The train driver must take proper precautions to avoid a derailment. If he is impaired or fatigued, he should slow down before entering a curve. Otherwise, he may not recognize an obstacle in time and cause the train to derail.
If a driver’s negligence caused the accident, he or she may be liable for the accident. Negligence in a train accident can occur when a conductor failed to use reasonable care. This could include a careless driver or an object on the track. The train company or the owner of the train may also be responsible for the accident. No matter the cause of the derailment, it’s important to seek compensation for your losses.
The EPA has continued to monitor the issue of groundwater pollution after a train derailment. Monitoring wells have been installed in the area surrounding the spill. The chemical benzene was detected in samples, but this was not a risk to human health or to beach goers. However, the chemical’s presence appeared to be persistent and spread downgradient from the release area. A comprehensive cleanup will likely require the EPA’s continued attention and monitoring.
The railroad has yet to identify a cause of the spill, but officials say the oil was in a swamp so it was out of sight. There are also allegations of cover-up and denial by regulators. In the meantime, officials are monitoring the impact of the spill on groundwater. They will conduct tests to determine the footprint of the spill. In the meantime, mobile air monitors have detected a plume of black smoke but no dangerous concentrations.
In addition to oil and grease, chemicals can also contaminate groundwater. Many of these are used to kill weeds and fertilize plants. Other chemicals may also find their way into groundwater through road salts. Road salts, which are used to melt ice on roads, can end up in the groundwater. The hydrologic cycle carries pollutants into the groundwater. In the case of a derailment, the pollutants from the spill can transfer into the water.