Tiny Town, Colorado, train derails, 20 injured

Posted Thursday, August 12, 2010 12:24 PM | Contributed by Jeff

The miniature train that has been a centerpiece at Tiny Town tipped over, sending 20 people who were on the train to four area hospitals, including Swedish Medical Center.

Read more from KUSA/Denver.

Thursday, August 12, 2010 4:08 PM

I've been watching this incident on a narrow gauge railroad board. One of the news feeds that was linked there stated that one of the sheriff's deputies "had contacted the NTSB" about the derailment. Interesting that the local law enforcement agency doesn't know who to contact.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 4:47 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

Who ya gonna call?

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 8:32 PM

Wierdest part is that this is the 14th anniversary of the tragic train accident at Old Indiana.


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Thursday, August 12, 2010 9:04 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

Wow...that is weird.

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Friday, August 13, 2010 10:02 AM

CastleKing said:
Wierdest part is that this is the 14th anniversary of the tragic train accident at Old Indiana.

Yeah I remember that incident near Thorntown 14 years ago. Old Indiana had so many safety violations, I'm surprised they stayed in business as long as they did :(


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Friday, August 13, 2010 2:12 PM

14 years ago, the State of Indiana barely had an inspection program, and lacked qualified inspectors. They have since corrected that problem.

The Tiny Town train has been operating without incident long enough that there aren't very many options for the cause of the accident. The most recent news article I have seen on the subject (sorry, I don't have the URL handy...) indicates that the operator admitted to grabbing the wrong lever and accelerating into the curve where he was already going too fast. The legal authorities had already ruled out criminal activity.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

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Friday, August 13, 2010 4:22 PM

Based on the evidence thus far, it appears just a bad judgement call on the operators part. Still though, doesn't mean he's out of hot water though. Likely isn't.


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Friday, August 13, 2010 6:52 PM

The description I read makes it sound even simpler than that...the operator probably missed his cue for slowing the train, realized he was going too fast for the turn, panicked and grabbed the wrong handle.

1) Is it proper that the design of the layout is so critical that missing a throttle-back cue results in a catastrophic failure?

2) Is it proper that the controls are designed in such a way that in a panic, the operator can seize the wrong control and do exactly the opposite of what he was trying to do?

3) Can anything be done with the train design to mechanicallky mitigate the consequences of improper action? And I don't mean limiting the speed of the train to 3 MPH; I don't consider that a "practical" solution.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 12:16 AM

The locomotive involved I believe is a 3" scale live steam locomotive. It has all the same controls in the same general positions as a full size steam locomotive. Anyone who has been suitable trained in the operation of a steam locomotive should not have a problem locating the primary controls without having to look for them.

http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_15763943

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 2:21 PM

From the Denver Post article:

Sheriff's spokesman Mark Techmeyer said the levers on the engine had all been pushed into the "brake" position

Yeah. That means nothing. After he wrecked the train, the first thing the operator would have done would be to push the levers into their "correct" positions. That doesn't mean anything, that's just normal behavior in an operator error accident. I remember reading something about aviation crashes in which there was a particular cause of crash where a control had to be in the wrong position to cause the crash, and in nearly every case the lever was in the "correct" position by the time the investigators got there. The only time where it wasn't was in cases where the pilot was killed.

It wasn't an attempted cover-up either. The pilots admitted the error; they all just tried to fix it post-crash.

About the only thing the lever position proves in this case is that the operator knew what he was supposed to do. He already admitted to not doing it.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

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Saturday, August 14, 2010 5:08 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

Mamoosh said:
Who ya gonna call?

Come on, folks...I set you all up for the perfect comeback and no one takes it? :)

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Sunday, August 15, 2010 12:03 AM
Jeff's avatar

Perhaps people are getting bored with your antics.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Sunday, August 15, 2010 2:35 AM

...or if not bored with, simply don't think the context is appropriate....

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010 12:22 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

Message received loud and clear. Thanks Jeff & Dave.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010 12:58 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

For the record, I would have, but the conversation went in a different direction before I got to it :).


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010 1:18 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Yeah, I don't really think anyone was trying to send a message by not responding.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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