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View Diary: Update: Canada "Ghost Train"on Fire Hours Before Runaway (138 comments)

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  •  does that mean vandalism suspected? (1+ / 0-)
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    certainly an investigation is needed, and many people unaccounted for yet...

    Zwoof, I have a question here, a fundamental question: the brakes on cars are locked 'ON' when disconnected from the train engine's hydraulic power right?

    Therefore, if so, first look suggests that he didn't set enough cars manually...yet to have to set individual cars manually implies to me that he also left the engine running and the hydraulics powered up, which if I am right releases the car brakes...because without the engines they are 'ON'.

    But why wouldn't they set all the car brakes 'ON' by depressurizing the brakes, thus engaging them all from the engine?

      Now maybe the car brakes have just a small automatic locking brake or just a mechanism on one wheel only,  and larger/more brakes for regular use? That could make sense too so then they would need even more car brakes applied when loaded and parked on a slope.... and they have a way to engage more brakes by going car to car? That would make sense that the automatic feature, the hydraulic power off engaging the brake lock on just some wheels.

    It also accounts for the brakes smoking observed, once the cars are rolling and when uncoupled the extra braking isn't there, only the automatic smaller or fewer  brakes per car, not enough to prevent the high speed and top stop them before the curve.

      Is this system be so easily vandalized? It couldn't be or this would be happening a lot. Pulling pins and cutting hydraulic lines should make a train just stop or we are doomed.

    anyway, lots I don't know, thanks...the brake configuration is essential to understanding anything here..perhaps already covered in other comments...

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 02:06:36 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Kenbee, new info (1+ / 0-)
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      The locomotive caught fire an hour before the cars hit the town. See above

    •  Train Brakes (3+ / 0-)

      They operate by air (not hydraulics).  Train air brakeoperation is a little more complicated than I want to go into here, so please see the wikipedia link for a discussion.

      Basically, the brakes go on when the train line air is reduced.  But they are applied because of a reservoir of compressed air on each car.  That air leaks off over time and the brakes come off.  So to park a rail car, or a train, it is necessary to apply hand brakes.   The phrase : "set the brakes on a sufficient number of cars on the train" comes from a regulation and/or a railroad operating rule having to do with leaving a train unattended.  And it will likely be the basis upon which the person responsible for setting the brakes will be judged.

      •  thanks, I meant pneumatic but ..well.. (0+ / 0-)

        and hadn't read aliaslias's comment either ...maybe...lalala..

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:41:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  likely be the case although the Canadian story (2+ / 0-)
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        Justus, KenBee

        with the video in a comment above also says that they had people out doing stuff to the train when it was on fire and so the brakeman who "set sufficient brakes" may not have been the last person to touch the train before it began rolling.

        We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

        by nuclear winter solstice on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 03:17:17 AM PDT

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