Engineering Ethics Blog: Cornfield Meet Near Panhandle, Texas: How?
Cornfield meet definition is - a head-on collision of railroad trains. lision - called a "corn-field" meet by railroaders - with another train. Earlier, McGrath had told Cycles of train wrecks had plagued the nation for several years. So it was that the two trains that morning, each with a crew of two, met in a fiery head-on collision that is known in railroad circles as a "cornfield.
Departures[ edit ] At 7: The train, pulled by locomotive No. Containing one baggage car, six wooden coaches, and two Pullman sleeping cars of steel construction, train No.
cornfield meet - Wiktionary
According to contemporary practices, the inbound train No. Thus, the railroad dispatch informed the crew of the opposing No. The term "Shops" referred to the railroad's massive repair and refueling shops including its largest roundhouse.
This was not a passenger stop but rather the junction where the railroad's mainline track to Memphis narrowed down to just one track.
While collecting tickets, the conductor mistook the sound of a passing switch engine with empty passenger cars as No. The crew either made the same error or were negligent in properly identifying the train.
Johnson showed a clear signal from the tower's train order signals, indicating all was clear. As he stopped to record the train in his logs, he noticed that there was no entry showing that the opposing train No.
Johnson reported to the dispatcher who telegraphed back, "He meets No. The train passed on the assumption that the clear train order board indicated that the line ahead was clear. The main idea of double tracks is to allow only one-way traffic on each track, eliminating any chance of head-on collisions. On June 28, PTC was not implemented in the section of tracks that run past the grain elevator near Panhandle.
So it was that the two trains that morning, each with a crew of two, met in a fiery head-on collision that is known in railroad circles as a "cornfield meet. Two bodies were recovered after the accident, and as of July 10, the fourth person's body had not yet been found. A passerby on nearby U. You can see cars flying off the track, and eyewitnesses testified to the horrific noise that seemed to go on forever.
A train running at speed can take up to a mile to stop after the brakes are applied, and it is not clear at this point when, if at all, the brakes were applied on either train.
Many trains, including those involved in the wreck, are equipped with digital video cameras and recorders at the front and rear, but the National Traffic Safety Board spokesman in charge of the NTSB investigation said that some of these were heavily damaged. However, other data recorders on board the trains may have survived to help understand how this accident happened.
Great Train Wreck of - Wikipedia
It will probably be some months before the NTSB has time to sift through the wreckage and other evidence that could show why, init's still possible to have such an accident. As in other railroad accidents involving fatalities in the last few years, PTC could very well have prevented this one. If operating properly, the system calculates a safe maximum speed for the train at each point in its travels, and if another train is heading for yours, presumably it would put on the brakes in time to prevent a wreck.
Trains are dispatched these days by means of centralized train-traffic control centers linked to the individual trains by microwave radio. One of the dispatch centers for trains in Texas is in Fort Worth, so investigators will probably be reviewing all communications between the controllers and the two trains involved. Like air-traffic controllers, the dispatcher's word is law as far as the in-train operator is concerned. So if both trains were told they had a clear track ahead, and saw something that looked like a train in the distance, each might have thought the other one was on the other track instead of the same track.