Oops!

Mountain Man

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Jan 20, 2007
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Passed under the usual rail underpass on my way to the Air Force Academy this A.M., usual coal train crossing over...ho- hum.

Came back just over an hour later and one end of a track was sticking up 6-8 inches in the air. There was a crew there with a front loader straddling the track, and they seemed to be considering their best options.

Is there a detection circuit for broken or misaligned track? Or was this just spotted by some sharp-eyed inspector or engineer?

It's a nice logistical problem, as the dual trackage merges just 2 miles north. Repairing this will stop the coal trains and freight consists north and south bound for the duration of work.
 

bigsteel

Call me Mr.Tinkertrain
Dec 12, 2006
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i thought i saw something about a small electrical current passed through the rails so a break would interrupt it,not sure where i saw it though...but its a good thing they caught it in time,that would have been one hell of a derailment.--josh
 

Mountain Man

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Jan 20, 2007
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Yes it would. It would have dumped cars down onto State Highway 105, at a point where there is no alternative detour available.
 

60103

Pooh Bah
Mar 25, 2002
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Most automatic signalling systems put a small current in the rails. When this is shorted out (by a train) the signals go to danger. If a rail breaks that also interrupts the circuit and the signal goes red. The crew that sits at an unexpected red signal will contact the dispatcher who may authorize them to proceed at a slow speed looking for problems.