Skip to comments.Major Train Derailment Metro Link In California
Posted on 09/12/2008 4:48:21 PM PDT by My Favorite Headache
Metro Link train in flames...dozens of ambulances en-route to the scene...
What a horrific wreck. I ride an identical Bombardier-made high-speed commuter train every day, to and from work. I can only imagine how terrifying such a wreck would be and how tragic the results with all the people packed inside the train cars. While I hope that the fatality count remains low, I can’t see how it can by anything other than a miracle.
This is so sad. A friend of mine gets off that train at Burbank every night. I've taken it to the fair every year.
Sorry to but in, but it was mentioned that this commuter train drops off at Moorpark, the last stop. Others may go further, I just don’t know.
Your and my thoughts are running along the same lines. One guy mentioned that he always stays in the back car, with his head up against the wall in the front of the car.
I might pick a middle car for that. These trains get rear-ended sometimes too. Still the speed difference would be less from behind.
Good luck to you. I’m glad I don’t have to ride these commuter trains.
Good map, D1.
When folks said it happened right next to their backyards, they weren’t kidding.
We're heading down to LA tomorrow to donate blood. Hope lots of people do. They've mentioned it several times on KTLA.
I usually ride in the third car, furthest from the engine. But in the morning, the third car is the lead car as the engine is rolling backwards, pushing the train instead of pulling it. After seeing this wreck, I'll probably start riding in the middle car as it looks to be safer.
The commuter rail here in Salt Lake City opened in June and we were all surprised to see that it has only one track. There are several sidings along the way and you often have to pull over and wait for an oncoming train to pass before you can get back on the track and continue. It has always made me nervous that one bad switch or one miscommunication and both commuter trains would hit each other head-on at 70mph. I don't know if this is a normal configuration for commuter rail. The only thing I have to compare it to is the Metro in Washington, DC and it doesn't share tracks with trains running the opposite direction. One good thing we have though is that we don't share the track with the freight trains and in the areas where we cross most of the freight tracks, we're moving pretty slow - often with the horn blowing loudly.
My heart goes out to the victims of this wreck and their families. I also sympathize with the commuter train riders in L.A. who have to get on the train again Monday morning, despite this tragedy.
this train stops in Moorpark. later trains go all the way to Montalvo. Santa Barbara didnt want to join (pay) for Metolink so the trains dont go there....but Amtrak Surfliners do.
The UP freight train was the Leesdale Local....it originated in Gemco Yard in Van Nuys probably around noon, went to Oxnard yard to drop off cars, then was returning to Van Nuys with the loads it picked up. Those blue barrels were full of Oxnard strawberries.
The Metrolink train is usually full of government employees, and students.....as the governments pay for the train tickets as part of AQMD ride share laws, etc.
I just learned more from you than from the radio or TV. Thanks. So Sad. Wonder if your Bob is the same Bob mentioned upthread. Glad he at least survived.
I am forbidden from donating blood in the USA for life. Why? Because I lived in Europe for a number of years in the 80s. The thought is that I was exposed to England's Mad Cow, even though I never went to England and did not eat beef nor was I exposed to any English cows. Kind of ridiculous. Apparently if I'd been in the service on a base in Germany only for a number of months I'd also be banned from donating.
Prayers. Don’t know what else to say.
Most of the Red Cross LA blood comes from the Midwest now....
The “Bob” who conducts this train has white hair and looks to be around fifty to fifty-five.
Thank you Ben for pinging me.
Just registered here, this is to simply post comments:
No krylon, no seatbelts, not that it would’ve mattered much to the first car. So sad. I’m dying to know how this happened. I always think it’s nuts not to have seatbelts in these trains AND children’s school buses. Penny wise and pound foolish.
My prayers to everyone involved.
Looks like I was thinking of the bend on the opposite side of Topanga- close enough, unless it’s in your back yard. Probably can’t see that portion of the tracks from Topanga or the 118 since Stony Point Park is in the way.
There are a lot of very good reasons why trains, buses, to include school buses do not have seat belts. Number one on my list is the high risk of spinal cord injuries, that result from just a belt. Expense, risk of law suits, making a driver responsible for someone else wearing a belt and wearing it properly, and there is more.
Even full belts with across-the-shoulder/torso? Hmmm, never heard of those other factors against belts on school buses, etc. Thanks for shedding some light.
I have seen additional speculations that the Metrolink engineer may not have been able to see a signal because of the position of the sun lowering on the horizon. Unless the sun sets in the north, that is not the answer.
Awhile back my mom and I took a train from LA to SD after getting off Amtrak.. There was only two seats available and we had to ride backwards. It was weird at first but passengers told us we were in the safest seats. I was thinking hmmm...if it’s so safe why aren’t they sitting here:’).
We just found out our neighbor was on the train, and didn’t make it. She leaves a husband, a son, and a daughter in her teens.
Even full belts with across-the-shoulder/torso?
Full belts, no, but you will notice, even on aircraft they are lap belts only except for the crew, and of all means of transportation, belts on aircraft are probably only needed to keep passengers in their seats during turbulence, and unusual attitudes during flight. A belt isn’t going to help much during an actual crash, and I suspect some may have lost their lives trying to extricate themselves from a belt after surviving a crash.
On the left is the Metrolink locomotive on its side....the "nose" of the F59 is completely collapsed. The spray paint on the cab indicated fatality. I believe that is Engineer Rob under the sheet....as it is right next to the right side window, where the engineer sits.
The other locomotive is the Union Pacific one, and much newer as the freight railroads had to meet more stringent smog rules starting July 1. You can see the nose is intact.
Again, further out from the same area.....you can see how the Metrolink locomotive was pushed back into the 1st Metrolink car.
Here today, they have pulled apart the wreckage....LA Times publishing a wide shot...but you can see rescuers have placed up tarps to where more victims probably are....
Several drives were for "platelets only". Any medico in here explain that please? Is there a different procedure for donating?
Last night they had folks on complaining about the speeds of the trains. Evidently they go around 70 mph in that stretch, which flabbergasted me. There’s a 90 degree bend right there.
You may be right. The Metrolink individual they were interviewing stated that it’s last stop was Moorepark. I may have misunderstood her or she may have misstated it’s route.
I agree with your comments about that being quite a haul, and hope folks do donate blood.
Yes, I think I’d adopt your plan if I were in the same situation.
What surprises me most is that some computer preventative measures haven’t been implemented so that trains would electronically be stopped, when on the same track headed toward each other.
It would seem it wouldn’t be all that hard to prevent this sort of thing in this day and age.
Thanks for the information Karl. I had heard about the strawberries, but not the rest of it. Thanks.
Burbank Karl was able to confirm that this was my friend.
I’ll have to contact him.
He was always a huge fan of trains. I met him when he was a pharmacy intern at Glendale Adventist some twenty-five years ago.
At one point Bob changed his mind and decided to work for the railroad rather than continue in pharmacy. He’s been happy as a lark ever since.
Thank Yaelle, for the nice response. I appreciate it.
Yes, that’s him. BurbankKarl came up with his last name.
That’s right. I will say that the Metrolink track does come in from the East up until a short distance before the wreck, where it turns North. The dual track as near as I can tell is shortly after that turn to the north. So I guess it is possible they could be headed West where the warning light might have been.
The accident took place at 4:30 p.m. At that time, the sun wouldn’t have been a major factor IMO. Sunset is around 7:00 to 7:15 these days, I think.
Well they are the safest seats, but accidents happen so seldom that the view is the focus I suppose.
Hope you folks had a good time. I’ve traveled that route on occasion. We did it as a group of Freepers at one point.
Metrolink has just admitted guilt in the accident, blaming the “contract employee” engineer for running a red signal.
18 dead? or are they still counting?
I know it sounds like we wouldn’t do that, but something takes your attention away for a few moments and you miss the signal. Human error, it’s the one thing that’s very hard to filter out.
What a shame.
I appreciate the update.
Wow. just wow.
There are still people missing I think...there were 4 people on the Union Pacific freight train, 1 a student employee.
Z-Guy - BTW, Good news: Our neighbor is fine. For some reason, he decided to drive to work yesterday.
What Metrolink is trying to do is shift liability....to Connex, the company that provides the engineers and conductors.
The reporters were shocked that the PR lady just blurted it out with no warning.
LA County Sheriff is reporting 23 dead now
Platelets are the valuable clotting factors found in the serum. These are collected from a donor through a device that filters out the red blood cells that are returned to the donor. A trauma patient that has bleed extensively may have used up all of their own platelets and an infusion can restore the ability to clot again.
Ya know, a person can’t help but have respect for the police. (Cause if you don’t, you might get tasered).
And I honestly do respect them, they have a hard job.
But alot of folks have hard jobs, not just police.
Sometimes this “saluting their fallen brothers” stuff seems over the top.
Don’t see garbagemen saluting their fallen brothers. Don’t see doctors. Don’t see lawyers... (well, maybe lawyers do)
I mean, this was an accident. They didn’t die chasing illegal immigrants or something.
That honor line stuff started after 9/11 in New York. I can’t remember ever seeing it in L.A., and then the LA Sheriffs did one after the Metrolink Glendale crash.
I notice LAPD Chief Bratton was out of town again.....another speaking engagement or job interview....trying to be Homeland Security chief in the Obama administration.
23? I last heard 18. And the Metrolink Engineer ran a red light...?
Chatsworth — A Metrolink spokeswoman said today that a Metrolink engineer apparently made a mistake that caused the head-on collision between a commuter train and a freight train, killing at least 23 people.
Los Angeles city officials expressed fear that the lower level of a smashed double-deck passenger car will reveal additional fatalities once rescuers get in it for the first time later today.
I suppose in desperate and troubled times it gives people comfort and that is a good thing.
I just have the hair on the back of my neck tingle a bit when all this “police are superhumans and are always right and you must OBEY!” stuff comes out.
For a variety of reasons, I have the same thoughts.
My father was a Los Angeles County Sheriff, worked in the Special Inforcement Bureau among other departments. I do respect the job they have to do. I do understand that it permeates their whole life. I know they pay a certain price, so I am supportive.