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Metrolink train derailed by oversized load

  Friday January 28, 2000
 A truck carrying an oversize load and escorted by the California Highway Patrol was struck by a Metrolink train at Glendale yesterday (28 January).

photo: MSNBC

The passage of abnormal loads across level (grade) crossings always requires special caution.
In the UK, notices are posted at automatic crossings informing drivers of slow-moving vehicles that they must request permission to cross before entering the crossing. All automatic crossings are equipped with telephones linked to control centres for this purpose. By following this rule, the control centre can ensure that there will be no likelihood of a train approaching the crossing while it is obstructed.
Had such a system been in operation at Glendale, considerable expense and disruption could have been avoided.

The train was derailed and the engineer was trapped in his cab. The train's conductor and 6 passengers recieved minor injuries. All were taken to hospital for treatment.

The incident occurred at 06:08 as the tractor-trailer rig, transporting an oil condensor weighing 50,000 pounds became stuck on a grade crossing. The trailer had apparently bottomed out on the crossing and the driver was trying to free it. The Metrolink train which is thought to have been travelling at 79 mph hit the second of the rig's two trailers despite an emergency brake application.

A second train, travelling in the opposite direction was alerted to the danger by police officers and managed to stop about 50 yards clear of the wreckage.

The rig had left Texas twenty days earlier and was bound for an oil refinery at El Segundo. The trip had been incident free until it reached Glendale. Here, the truck driver took a wrong turning and drove across the rail tracks. CHP officers told the driver to turn round and re-cross the tracks. It was then that the rig became stuck.

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Web sources:
Metrolink train hits big-rig under highway patrol escort
Sacbee News 28/01/2000
Escorted big rig crashes into train
includes video
MSNBC 28/01/2000
Metrolink train hits big-rig under highway patrol escort
Sacbee News 28/01/2000



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This file last updated: Friday, 04-Feb-2000 16:59:33 EST
Copyright © David Fry 1999