Category: Train Accidents


There has always been a fascination between children and trains? How fast is it going? How much does it weigh? Will it really flatten a penny? The answer is simple. Trains go fast, they weigh a lot and they will flatten a penny.

As we get older our questions change to, ‘What if’s.’ What would happen if the tracks froze? What would happen if a car where on the tracks? How about a tire? Would that be a problem? If the tracks freeze the train goes on, if it hits a car it’ll spin the vehicle and stop when it can but it’ll stay on the tracks.

Unlike the penny that simply gets flattened, a tire on the tracks is an entirely new deal. If it hadn’t been proven before, it was a few months ago when a Chicago train encountered just such an issue. The Blue Line train left the city headed to Forest Park. At approximately 7:40 p.m ., they left the West Side station at Cicero Avenue. Shortly there after, the train encountered a very out of the ordinary problem.

There on the tracks was a semi trailer truck tire. With the tire suddenly in the driver’s vision there was no time to stop. Only Superman could see a tire a mile away and it takes a mile for a train to stop completely. With nothing to do but move forward train and tire hit head on. The result? The front car of the train derailed! The score? Tire 1, Train 0. The tire won.

As of the source date there were no injuries reported. The passengers were shuttled to the next station and the tale of the tire had come to a full circle. Pun intended.

 

Source: Chicago Tribune, Friday April 11, 2014 – Section 1, Page 9

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The New Year has begun much like the old year ended, with trains having problems. Monday, 1-20-2014 we saw another train figuratively hit the dust. Chugging down the Philadelphia track it reached a bridge and instead of going forward, it went sideways and tumbled off the tracks. Thankfully no one was hurt and the potentially dangerous crude oil cargo stayed where it ought to stay, in its oil cars.

Setbacks, well there are always setbacks with something of this type and drivers on the Schuylkill Expressway found their way barred with its closing. The Coast Guard reported that the nearby Schuylkill River was also safe. Reports say it will be a day or two before the rail cars and the various cargoes, including the crude oil can be removed and life in the area returned to normal.

Source Used:
Chicago Tribune Tuesday January 21, 2014 Section 1, Page 13

2013 yielded a variety of train accidents. They didn’t discriminate between nation and race but tortured innocent and guilty alike in their dastardly deeds. Some were small and awe inspiring. They killed without mercy and gave mercy. 2013’s rail disasters tell a story of man’s mistakes and natures foilties.

May 28, 2013 – USA
15 CSX Corp. train cars derailed when the train hit a truck near Marsh, Md. The truck driver was left in serious condition. The train carrying hazardous chemicals and other things sparked a fire. It became the third bad train crash in two weeks in the United States.

July 29, 2013 – SWITZERLAND
Grangespress-Marnard, Switzerland was the sight of a head-on crash. Together the two trains carried approximately 40 people. 35 people were injured with 5 seriously. The driver of one of the trains still hadn’t been found by the next day. It was feared that he was dead. What caused the crash was immediately unknown.

August 25, 2013 – MEXICO
Over 250 migrant workers attempting to enter the United States by rail were suddenly in jeopardy. In order to reach what they hoped was a better life for them and their families, Central Americans, many from Honduras and Guatemala, rode on top of a freight train carrying scrap metal. Fear of falling to their deaths had those riding between cars strapping themselves in. Little did they know that falling might have saved their lives this time.
Traveling at only 2 mph when eight of the twelve cars suddenly derailed sending rooftop riders on a jarring tumble. Having been told by rebels that they needed to pay for their ride or a guide less they be refused to leave, the illegal passengers found themselves captive on a slow moving train. The train’s derailment gave them back their freedom but only after 6 died and another 35 or more were injured.
Days later the cause of the wreck was still foggy. Bad rains in a soggy environment could have caused the tracks to no longer be level. In the past spikes and switching devises had been pilfered and that too could have been the cause of the accident.

October 21, 2013 – USA
Each rail accident is different. In the case of the Bartlett, Illinois crash Volodimyr Matkivski was driving a truck hauling a trailer of automobiles. As he came to the upgrade rail crossing he dismissed the signals and put himself in front of the train two blocks out from the station, traveling at 30 mph. Luckily the lead car of the train was empty as it derailed. Unluckily for commuters who’d parked earlier that day the train car crashed into 12 of them. The damage was extensive and for those people, coming back to the parking lot was one of disbelief.
Matkivski along with two passengers on the train were slightly injured. Within three days the Pennsylvania truck driver had been charged with violating a highway-rail grade crossing and avoiding a traffic control device.

November 18, 2013 – EGYPT
A Dahshur, Egypt train plowed through a truck and mini bus killing 26 and injuring another 28 people. Will people ever learn what a railroad crossing is? Sadly railways as well as roads in Egypt have a poor safety record. Camel anyone?

November 23, 2013 – USA
Lake Forest, Illinois had its own death this fall when Dr. Victor Tsirline ignored the lowered gates of a oncoming Metra train and attempted to cross the tracks. He didn’t make it. His car was struck, dragged 100 feet and by the time he was found in the black sedan his soul had left his body. Why he chose to cross against the flashing lights and lowered gates we’ll never know.

December 30, 2013 – USA
Two trains traveled parallel just outside Casselton, N.D. One train carried soybeans westbound while the other was chugging eastbound with a load of 3.5 million gallons of crude oil in a train of 105 tank cars. Everything was fine until the grain train derailed and fell into the crude oil train. The cargo of the two trains mixed with at least five resounding explosions and fires as possibly twelve cars of oil were hit and burst.
No one was hurt but due to the circumstances, most of the town’s of 2,421 residence found themselves evacuated for several days. 65 percent of the town waited to go home until Tuesday afternoon when many were told it was once again safe.

Sources:
Chicago Tribune – Wednesday May, 29, 2013 Section 1
Chicago Tribune – Tuesday July 30, 2013 Section 1, Page 15
Chicago Tribune – Monday August 26, 2013 Section 1, Page 13
Huff Post (World) – Friday August 30, 2013
Chicago Tribune – Wednesday October 23, 2013 Section 1, Page 9
Chicago Tribune – Wednesday October 24, 2013 Section 1, Page 9
Chicago Tribune – Sunday November 24, 2013 Section 1, Page 15
Chicago Tribune – Tuesday November 26, 2013 Section 1, Page 11
Chicago Tribune – Tuesday November 19, 2013 Section 1, Page 17
Chicago Tribune – Tuesday December 31, 2013 Section 1, Page 12
Chicago Tribune – Wednesday January 1, 2014 Section 1, Page 20
Chicago Tribune – Friday January 2, 2014 Section 1, Page 13

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