Re: tractor loading


Bruce Smith
 

And, unlike the story that started this thread, the crawler was secured
in line with the centerline of the car, not cross wise, and there were
only 2 on the car. The crawler slid sideways due to failure to secure
the blocking according to the ICC (and multiple car inspectors missed
this, according to the ICC). So, the bottom line is that this accident
had none of the effect noted in the original message... all just urban
legend!

Regards
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

<john.allyn@...> 12/27/11 4:10 PM >>>
Appears that it was a bit more than a simple wheeled tractor -- it was a
tracked vehicle. Little bit bigger than a Farm-All, I'd guess.


John B. Allyn
Nashville TN ----- Original Message -----
From: "Charlie Vlk" <cvlk@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 3:59:38 PM
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: tractor loading






Al-

Your memory of the Downers Grove Wreck is a little off but not bad for a

four year old.. here is the text of the ICC Report. The tractor fell off

the flatcar on a Westbound freight into the path of the Eastbound Twin
Cities Zephyr. The articulated trainset is what wiped out a portion of
the
depot.

Charlie Vlk

From
http://ntl1.specialcollection.net/scripts/ws.dll?websearch&site=dot_railroad

s

Inv-3092

INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

INVESTIGATION NO. 3092

CHICAGO, BURLINGTON & QUINCY RAILROAD COMPANY REPORT IN RE ACCIDENT AT
DOWNERS GROVE, ILL., ON APRIL 3, 1947

SUMMARY

Railroad: Chicago, Burlington & Quincy

Date: April 3, 1947

Location: Downers Grove, Ill.

Kind of accident: Collision

Train involved: Passenger

Train number: 24

Engine number: Diesel-electric unit 9914A

Consist: 7 cars

Speed: 70 m. p. h.

Operation: Signal indications

Tracks: Three; tangent; 0.166 percent ascending
grader eastward

Weather: Misting

Time: 10:40 p.m.

Casualties: 3 killed; 30 injured

Cause: Operating a freight train in which the lading
on one of the cars was not properly secured.

INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION

INVESTIGATION NO. 3092

IN THE MATTER OF MAKING ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION REPORTS UNDER THE
ACCIDENT
REPORTS CT OF MAY 6, 1910.

CHICAGO, BURLINGTON & QUINCY RAILROAD COMPANY

May 26, 1947

Accident at Downers Grove, Ill., on April 3, 1947, caused by operating a

freight train in which the lading on one of the cars was not properly
secured.

REPORT OF THE COMMISSION 1

PATTERSON, Commissioner:

On April 3, 1947, there was a collision between a passenger train and a
tractor which had fallen from a car of a freight train moving on an
adjacent
main track on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad at Downers
Grove,
Ill. This accident resulted in the death of 2 passengers and 1
train-service
employee, and the injury of 25 passengers, 2 dining-car employees, 1
coach
porter and 2 train-service employees. The accident was investigated in
conjunction with a representative of the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Diagram
<
http://ntl1.specialcollection.net/scripts/ws.dll?file&fn=0&name=S%3A%5CDOT_

56GB%5CRailroad%5CWEBSEARCH%5C3092_D1.JPG>

Inv. No. 3092 Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Downers Grove, Ill.
April 3, 1947

Location of Accident and Method of Operation

This accident occurred on that part of the Chicago Division extending
between Roosevelt Road, Chicago, and Eola, Ill., 32.57 miles, a
three-track
line in the vicinity of the point of accident. The main tracks are
designated from north to south as No. 1, westward, No. 2, either
direction,
and No. 3, eastward. Trains moving with the current of traffic on tracks

Nos. 1 and 3 and in either direction on track No. 2 are operated by
signal
indications. The freight train was being operated on track No. 2 and the

passenger train on track No. 3. The accident occurred on track No. 3 at
a
point 19.73 miles west of Roosevelt Road and 592 feet west of the
station at
Downers Grove. Th main tracks are tangent throughout a distance of more
than
1 mile immediately west of the point of accident and a considerable
distance
eastward. The grade is 0.166 percent ascending eastward.

At the point of accident the distance between the centerlines of tracks
Nos.
2 and 3 is 14 feet. The track structure of track No. 3 consists of
131-pound
rail, 39 feet in length, laid on an average of 23 treated ties to the
rail
length. It is fully tieplated, single-spiked, provided with 6-hole angle

bars and an average of 10 rail anchors per rail length. It is ballasted
with
slag to a depth of 12 inches.

Automatic signal 321.2 governs east-bound movements on track No. 3 and
is
mounted on a signal bridge 75 feet west of the point of accident. This
signal is of the color-light type and is continuously lighted.

Operating rules read in part as follows:

102. * * *

When a train is disabled or stopped suddenly by an emergency application
of
the air brakes or other causes, adjacent tracks as well as tracks of
other
railroads that are liable to bc obstructed must at once be protected
until
it is ascertained they are safe and clear for the movement of trains.

Rules of the Association of American Railroads governing the loading of
commodities on open top cars read in part as follows:

* * *

Figure 170

TRACTORS-CRAWLER TYPE, WEIGHING 35, 000 LBS. OR LESS-FLAT CARS

Item No. of Pcs. Description

* * *

B 4 Wedge shaped blocks not less than 18 in., in
length. Height at point of contact with crawler must not be less than 8
in.,
and width must not be less than 6 in. throughout its length. If 2 or
more
blocks are substituted for 6 in. x 8 in. block, they must not be less
than 3
in. thick. Blocks should be nailed to 2 or more floor planks.

C 2 2 in. x 4 in. x 6 ft. If machine is too wide
to permit placing on outside they must be placed on inside of crawler.
Nail
each to floor with five 40D nails

Must be set in First Gear.

* * * Machines over 10 ft. high must be secured with rods, cables or
wires
to prevent tipping.

* * *

The maximum authorized speed was 50 miles per hour for the freight train
on
track No. 2, and 70 miles per hour for the passenger train on track No.
3.

Description of Accident

Extra 110 West, a west-bound freight train, consisting of
Diesel-electric
units 110D, C, B, and A, coupled in that order and in multiple-unit
control,
101 cars and a caboose, passed Congress Park, 8.1 miles east of Downers
Grove, at 10:26 p.m. while it was passing Tower R, located 1,645 feet
west
of the station at Downers Grove, and was moving on track No. 2 at a
speed of
48 miles per hour, a tractor fell from the eighty-fifth car, obstructed
track No. 3, and was struck by No. 24.

No. 24, an east-bound passenger train, consisted of Diesel-electric
engine
9914A, one baggage-tavern car, two coaches, one dinette car, one dining
car,
one coach and one parlor-lounge car, in the order named. The cars are
constructed with conventional steel underframes and stainless-steel
superstructures, and are provided with articulation-type trucks, except
at
the front end of the first car and the rear end of the seventh car. This

train, moving on track No. 3, passed Tower R, the last open office, at
10:40
p.m., passed signal 321.2, which displayed proceed; and while moving at
an
estimated speed of 70 miles per hour it struck the tractor, and the
engine
and the cars were derailed.

The tractor was demolished. The coupler at the rear of the engine was
pulled
out and the engine became separated from the train. The engine continued

eastward in an upright position and in line with the track a distance of
470
feet, then it struck the station platform, overturned, stopped on its
right
side and across tracks Nos. 1, 2 and 3 and at an angle of 30 degrees to
them
with the front end 875 feet east of the point of collision. The front
end of
the engine, both traction trucks, the right side of the superstructure,
and
the framing were badly damaged. The cars remained upright and coupled,
and
stopped with the front of the first car and the rear of the seventh car,

respectively, 668 and 209 feet east of the point of collision. The first
car
struck the north wall of the station, then it was diverted northward and

stopped with its front end on track No. 3, and its rear end on the
station
platform and 10 feet south of track No. 3. This car was badly damaged,
and
the right side at the rear was demolished throughout a distance of 12
feet
and inward to the centersills. The second car stopped in line with the
first
car, with its front end 10 feet south of track No. 3 and on the station
platform, and its rear end inside the station and 30 feet south of track
No.
3. The right side of the car was demolished inward to the centersills
throughout one-half the length of the car. The third car stopped with
its
front end against the north wall of the station and 30 feet south of
track
No. 3, and its rear end on track No. 3. This car was badly damaged. The
fourth to seventh cars stopped in line with track No. 3, and were
considerably damaged.

The engineer of No. 24 died as a result of injuries received in the
accident. The fireman and the front brakeman of No. 24 were injured.

It was misting at the time of the accident, which occurred about 10:40
p.m.

The tractor involved was an I. H. C. Model TD-18 TracTracTor, equipped
with
a continuous-travel crawler track arranged on each side. There was no
pivoted wheel for steering. Each crawler track was 20 inches wide, and
was
provided with 37 square-end track shoes 2-1/4 inches high. These shoes
were
so arranged that at any time 12 of them would be in contact with the
surface
under the tractor. The length of the track in contact with the surface
upon
which it moved was 7 feet 5/8-inch. The tractor was 6 feet 8 inches high
at
the top of the exhaust pipe, 7 feet 10 inches wide and 13 feet 2-1/4
inches
long. The weight of the tractor in working order was 23,945 pounds. The
tractor was cushioned against vertical shock by a heavy-duty 6-leaf
spring
mounted transversely between the main frame and the track frame.

The eighty-fifth car of Extra 110 West wan Southern 51327, a flat car of
the
fish-bolly steel-underframe type, and was built in March 1942. It is 54
feet
2 inches long, 10 feet 4 inches wide and 3 feet 10 inches high. Its
lightweight, capacity and load limit are, respectively, 60,900, 140,000
and
149,100 pounds. The trucks are of the 4-wheel type, having 33-inch
one-wear
steel wheels, and a cluster of five helical springs at each side of each

truck. Roller-type side-bearings are provided. The draft gear is of the
spring-edge friction type. The couplers and knuckles are type E, and the

uncoupling mechanism is of the rotary bottom-operated type. The flooring
of
the car consists of yellow-pine planking 2-3/4 inches thick, 6 inches
wide
and 10 feet 4 inches long, laid transversely, and secured to the framing
by
three bolts 1/2-inch thick and 4 inches long. The flooring is covered by

black paint. The draft tear was inspected, the journal boxes repacked,
and
the air brake cleaned during September, 1946. The lading of this car
consisted of two tractors, including the tractor involved, and the total

weight of the car and the lading was 108,790 pounds.

Discussion

Extra 110 West was moving on track No. 2. at a speed of 48 miles per
hour,
as indicated by the speedometer with which the first Diesel-electric
unit
was equipped, in territory where the maximum authorized speed for this
train
was 50 miles per hour. As this train was passing Tower R, located 1, 053

feet west of the point of accident, the enginemen and the front brakeman

were maintaining a lookout from the control compartment at the front of
the
first Diesel-electric unit, the conductor was in the caboose and the
flagman
was maintaining a lookout ahead from the window at the left side of the
cupola. The first any of these employees knew of anything being wrong
was
when the flagman saw sparks flying from the vicinity of the eighty-fifth

car, and at that time the rear of the train was about 1,000 feet east of
the
point where the accident occurred. Before the flagman could take action
to
stop either train, the brakes of Extra 110 West became applied in
emergency
and No. 24, which was moving on track No. 3, passed. the rear of Extra
110
West. Extra 110 West stopped with the front end and the rear end,
respectively, about 5,500 feet and 1,250 feet west of the point of
accident.
A separation occurred between the eighty-fifth and eighty-sixth car.
Immediately afterward examination disclosed that a tractor had fallen
from
the eighty-fifth car of Extra 110 West, then had obstructed track No. 3,
at
a street-grade-crossing 592 feet west of the station at Downers Grove
and
1,053 feet east of Tower R, where it was struck by No. 24.

As No. 24 was approaching Tower R the speed was 73 miles per hour, as
indicated by the speedometer with which the Diesel-electric engine was
equipped. The maximum authorized speed for this train moving on track
No. 3
was 70 miles per hour. The conventional headlight and the oscillating
headlight at the front of the engine were lighted brightly, and the
enginemen and a Diesel-engine mechanic were maintaining a lookout ahead
from
the control compartment at the front of the engine. The members of the
train
crew were stationed in various cars throughout the train. Signal 321.2
displayed proceed. The fireman said that a considerable amount of dust
was
stirred by the passage of Extra 110 West, and his view of the track
ahead
was partially obscured. The first he knew of anything being wrong was
when
he observed that a separation had occurred between two cars of Extra 110

West. Then he saw the tractor which Obstructed track No. 3 a few hundred

feet distant. He immediately called a warning, which was simultaneous
with
the engineer's action in moving the brake valve to emergency position.
The
collision occurred before No. 24 could be stopped. The engineer of No.
24
died as a result of injuries received during the derailment.

The brakes of this train had been tested and had functioned properly at
all
points where used en route.

Under the rules., the members of the crew of Extra 110 West were
required to
protect adjacent tracks in both directions when the train was stopped as
a
result of the emergency application of the brakes. However, No. 24 had
passed the rear of Extra 110 West before action could be taken to stop
that
train and before Extra 110 West had stopped.

The investigation disclosed, that on April 1, 1947, two tractors had
been
loaded on Southern 51327, a, flat car, at the plant of the International

Harvester Company, located on West Thirty-first Street, Chicago, Ill.
This
shipment was destined to New Orleans; LA., via the Illinois Northern
Railway, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad and the Gulf, Mobile
and
Ohio Railroad. The car was moved from the plant of the I.H.C. by the I.
H.
and was delivered in a out of 34 cars in interchange to the C.B. & Q.,
and
was accepted by the latter-mentioned carrier at its yard at Western
Avenue,
Chicago, Ill., 17.40 miles east of Downers Grove, at 11:40 a.m., April
3.
Later, this car was assembled in a cut of cars and was transferred to
the
C.B.& C. classification yard at Morton Park, Chicago, Ill., 13.66 miles
east
of Downers Grove. After various switching movements, the car was
assembled
in the train of Extra 110 West, which departed from Morton Park about
9:45
p.m., April 3.

Examination after the accident disclosed that the tractor involved,
which
had been loaded at the A, or rear, end of the car, had slid laterally
and
had fallen from the left side of the car. On the wooden decking of the
car
there were marks made by the raised portions of the track shoes of the
tractor as it moved laterally. The ends of the decking were broken
throughout a distance of 12 feet at the rear portion of the left side of
the
car, the left rear sill step was bent backward, the uncoupling lever
bracket
at the left rear side of the car was bent, and the left running board of
the
eighty-sixth car; a tank car, was broken about half its length. The
coupler
at the rear of the eighty-fifth car was found in open position.
Evidently,
when the tractor slid from the car, the uncoupling lever was struck with

sufficient force to operate the uncoupling mechanism. Several bystanders
who
were at the street-grade-crossing near the station during the passage of

Extra 110 West saw the tractor slide, laterally on the deck of the car
Then
it hung momentarily, over the side of the car, dropped to the surface of
the
crossing, and stopped upright and across track No. 3, where it was
struck
immediately afterward by No. 24.

The crew of Extra 110 West said that, prior to the accident, the
Diesel-electric units and the cars of the train had been riding smoothly
and
there was no indication of irregularity in the surface or the alinement
of
the track. The train had been handled smoothly and there was no abnormal

stretching or closure of slack between the cars. The wheels of the
eighty-fifth car were of good flange and tread contour, and measurements

indicated that they were not out-of-round. The journals were measured
and
the greatest variation in roundness was 0.0015 inch, and the greatest
variation in taper was 0.0045 inch. The clearance of the side-bearings
between the body bolsters and the truck-bolsters varied between
3/16-inch
and 5/16-inch

The rules of the Association of American Railroads governing the
movement in
trains of crawler-type tractors loaded on flat cars provide that, to
prevent
displacement by fore-and-aft motion, the crawler tracks must be checked
by
wedge-shape blocking not less than 18 inches long, 8 inches high at a
points
of contact with the crawler tracks, and 6 inches wide. If two or more
pieces
of blocking are substituted for 6-inch by 8-inch blocking, each piece
must
be not less than 3 inches thick. The end blocking must be nailed to two
or
more planks of the flooring. To prevent lateral displacement, the
crawler
track must be secured on each side by blocking not less than 2 inches
thick
by 4 inches wide by 6 feet long, nailed to the floor by not less than
five
40D nails. If the machine is too wide to permit the placing of side
blocking
outside the crawler-track, such blocking may be placed inside each
track. In
addition, the gear-shifting lever must be placed in position to engage
the
gears for low speed.

Examination disclosed that the tractor remaining on the car at the B, or

front, end was properly secured, and there was no evidence of shifting
from
its original position. At the A end of the car, eight pieces of blocking

were firmly secured to the flooring to prevent fore-and-aft movement of
the
tractor at that end. This blocking consisted of two wedge-shape hardwood

blocks, 6 inches wide by 8 inches high by 18 inches long, located at
each
end of each crawler track, and nailed to two planks at the inner
locations
and to three planks at the end location by 60D nails. Seven of these
blocks
were marked by paint, which indicated that they had been in close
contact
with the crawler tracks. The eighth block was unmarked. There was no
indication that side blocking had been provided, nor were there any nail

holes alined longitudinally in the flooring of the car to indicate that
any
side blocking had been properly secured, either outside or inside the
crawler tracks of the tractor involved. However, one piece of blocking,
consisting of two pieces of fir nailed together and measuring 2 Inches
thick
by 4 inches wide by 4.5 feet long, was lying loosely, together with a
broken
hammer handle, at the A end of the car. The end blocking indicated that
the
tractor involved had been loaded in line with the centerline of the car,

and, since the overall width of the tractor was 7 feet 10 inches, the
outer
edge of either crawler track should have been about 15 inches inward
from
either edge of the car. Therefore there was ample space for applying
blocking outside each crawler track.

The inspector employed by the I.H.C. said that he had inspected the car
involved after it had been loaded and before it left the plant. He was
certain that the required blocking was in place and properly secured,
but,
he did not strike the blocking with a hammer to ascertain if it was
secure.
He had never been instructed with regard to the loading rules of the
A.A.R.
There is no record of any inspection made by the I.N. Ry. Two car
inspectors
employed by the C.B. & Q. to inspect cars received in interchange at the

yard of this carrier at Western Avenue said that they had inspected the
car
involved after its arrival at Western Avenue, and at that time the
required
blocking was in place and properly secured. One of these inspectors said

that he boarded the car and tested all blocking by striking each piece
with
a hammer, and there was no indication that the blocking was not securely

fastened. Other inspectors employed by the C.B. & Q. at the yard at
Morton
Park said that they had inspected the car at several points in that
yard,
and they were positive in their statement that all required blocking was
in
place and properly secured. The flooring of the car was of sound wood
and
was covered with paint. It was in such condition that if any nails had
been
driven into it to secure side blocking for the tractor in question, the
nail
holes would have been detected easily. From this it is apparent that any

inspection made prior to the accident was not sufficiently thorough to
ascertain the true condition of the blocking.

Cause

It is found that this accident was caused by operating a freight train
in
which the lading on one of the cars was not properly secured.

Dated at Washington, D. C., this twenty-sixth day of May, 1947.

By the Commission, Commissioner Patterson.

(SEAL) W. P. BARTEL,

Secretary.

FOOT NOTES:

1. Under authority of section 17 (2) of the Interstate Commerce Act
the above-entitled proceeding was referred by the Commission to
Commissioner
Patterson for consideration and disposition.










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