Sunday, March 4, 2018

The last Nor'easter was more severe than normal

Listening on the Weather Channel about the airports being closed and lots of people without power was not a surprise. But Amtrak shutting down all 106 trains a day got my attention. And I noticed that some people got killed by trees blowing over. That could be an indication that more trees than normal got blown over by this storm. But these following postings showing what the wind did to trucks and trains really drove home how severe this storm was. (One of the predictions of a warmer climate is that the storms will become more severe.)

Rolly Errol posted
Be careful out there! Look what happened on the VARRAZANO BRIDGE.

Michael Taylor Photo from NBCphiladelphia
[The NBC article has a couple more photos, and it reports the winds topped 60 mph.]
CSX had six freight cars deraiedl on the Susquehanna River Bridge at Havre DeGrace, MD. Note that those two hoppers are laying on their sides! And if you look just above the top girder you can see the trucks of some cars. Four car bodies were blown off the bridge. I assume they were empty.
Tom Salvatore Photo from FoxBaltimore
Here is one that blew off.
Tom Salvatore Photo from FoxBaltimore
FoxBaltimore includes a video of an excavator pulling out a blue hopper body. You can clearly see that it doesn't have any trucks (wheels). Remember, they stayed on the bridge. The video also shows the body floated downstream a little ways before it got stuck on the shore.

"Officials say the cause of the derailment is under investigation." It takes them that long to figure out that the hoppers were blown over? (Update: I learned from Jim Mclinn that "most long bridge's have a signal system with an anemometer attached that if the wind speed is to high it will display a stop signal and the trains will have to stop until wind speed is reduced." So the issue to be investigated is why was there a train on the bridge in the first place if it was that windy.
Jim Mclinn I work for a different class one RR, but on our orders we have blow over speeds posted on our printed manifests, and dispatchers notify crews of high winds as well, so to operate our trains in accordance of our rules.. So when they talk investigation, they are talking about checking, that every one was compiling. There could very well be a chance they got a signal to go across, and the winds kicked it up at that moment. Some one may have listed loaded cars, when they were empty, a thousand and one things will have to be checked, the investigation will not be over for weeks.)

Tom Salvator's posting was the source for the above Fox45 photos and video. His posting has a second video and this additional photo. He commented that this happened Friday evening [3-2-18] around 8:30 pm.
Tom Salvatore Can you imagine the splash that 3 railroad cars falling 100 feet into water would make?
Tom commented on his posting
 Here is the other car, an empty tanker that was pulled out earlier. There is one that is missing and divers are on the way.
A video of Cranemasters helping them pull out the hopper body.

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