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Train Crash update: Automatic safety barriers at the crossing had reportedly been malfunctioning days before the crash.

Posted By: MrFusion
Date: Sunday, 4-Feb-2018 17:51:08

I don't suppose someone could have been testing a hack to remotely control the barriers, could they? Also, the fatality was a passenger in the truck, not the train. Officials hope to interview the truck driver. This was from three days ago. I haven't seen any news since then.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Train's emergency brake was activated, safety arms at site of GOP train crash appeared to malfunction
Martine Powers - Feb. 1 2018

Federal investigators said Thursday that data gathered from an Amtrak train carrying Republican lawmakers that hit a garbage truck near Crozet, Virginia, on Wednesday indicates that the engineer activated the emergency brake and the train came to a full stop 20 seconds later.

---snip---

The safety arms at the railroad crossing appeared to be malfunctioning the day before the deadly crash, drivers who regularly cross over the tracks at the crash scene said Thursday.

Gene Locke, who lives near the tracks in Crozet, said he pulled up to the crossing between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and saw that the safety arms were down and the signal light was flashing, but there was no train approaching from either direction. After waiting a minute or so, he backed up, turned around and took a different route, assuming there was either a malfunction of the signal crossing or workers were testing it.

"I did not report this, as it was the first time this has happened in my observation since I have been using that crossing for several years," Locke told The Associated Press.

Jane Rogers, who lives about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the crash site, said that when she arrived at the crossing Tuesday, the gate was down, even though there were no trains approaching. She said after waiting, one car in front of her and two cars behind her turned around. Then, as she started to turn around, the gate went up. One car then crossed the tracks, but Rogers said she waited another 30 seconds, then the gate went down again. No trains passed, she said.

"It was a weird up-and-down thing," she said. "Then the next day, the accident happened at that intersection."

The crash happened at an intersection that crosses the tracks at the top of a hill where visibility is limited.

Rogers said she reported the trouble to the police after she heard about the fatal crash. She said she would have called about the malfunctioning arm on Tuesday, "but who do you call? No one knows."

Benny Layne, on whose property the truck landed, said the crossing arms had been known to malfunction, sometimes coming down even though no train was approaching. Sometimes, he said, they stayed down for hours.

"A guy was up here just yesterday or the day before taking a look at them," he said Wednesday.

Carrie Brown, human resources manager at Buckingham Branch Railroad, which leases the stretch of track and is responsible for maintenance, said she was unaware of any problems with equipment at the crossing. At a Wednesday night news conference, the National Transportation Safety Board said signal experts would be looking at the safety of the crossing.

~~~~~ full story at ~~~~~

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-gop-train-crash-20180201-story.html





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