"Of course it had to be the new trains."
"FRA mandates are absurd."
Here are two photos for your consideration:
|Friday's crash - credit: @RobOliverCT on Twitter|
|M2 car from a 1988 incident in Mount Vernon, NY - credit: here|
Sure, it sucks that a handful of brand new rail cars are likely headed to the scrapper instead of a couple of crappy old cars that were headed there anyway, but I believe that if this incident had occurred between two trains of the old equipment - or even if one of the trains had the old equipment we wouldn't have just 70something people injured, We'd probably have 70something people dead.
To fill you in on the second photo, on April 6, 1988 (which was Metro North's last super srsbznz accident) a train was stopped outside of Mount Vernon East because of some sort of electrical problem while deadheading to Greenwich. While it was stopped, a train deadheading to New Rochelle rear-ended it. In the things that I've read (and maybe someone who has direct knowledge can fill me in - since this crash about 9 months before my time) the FRA and the NTSB came to different conclusions about why this occurred. The FRA claims the second train blew a signal and hadn't cut in the cab signals (the Harlem line didn't have cab signals yet, but the New Haven did), but the NTSB came to the conclusion that the cab signal had a normal indication. Either way, it was estimated that the train hit the other one doing anywhere between 45 and 60 miles an hour. I believe only the engineer of the second train died in this incident, but obviously the fact that these were non-passenger moves had everything to do with that. Which equipment would you rather be in a collision in?
That brings me to my second point. On several occasions (and in the past too), I've heard numerous people whining about how utterly ridiculous and absurd the FRA's requirements are for rail car construction are, and that they make the cars too heavy, etc. Clearly the FRA's "absurd" requirements that were taken into consideration when Kawasaki built the M8's saved lives. I see the fireman's side of the cab smashed to hell (and in other photos elsewhere - Google image search is your friend - sides of a few cars ripped off from impact). For a collision where both trains were doing around 70 at the time they collided, I think that those trains held up pretty damn well don't you? There were no fatalities, which is astonishing. Now that the M8's have proven their crash-worthiness in a real world application, can all the dumb little think they know it all foamers please stick a sock in it about FRA requirements plzkthx? All you do is make yourself sound like an ignorant little turd who only cares about the choo choo trains instead of the safety of the people who ride them.
Alright, now that I've gotten that little rant off my chest, what are your thoughts about what happened?
P.S.: Props to @TarasHeadphones on Twitter for inspiring this whole post with our conversation last night! :)