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Train Wreck

The Forensics of Rail Disasters

George Bibel

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Gripping forensic tales explain how and why trains crash.

Trains are massive—with some weighing 15,000 tons or more. When these metal monsters collide or go off the rails, their destructive power becomes clear. In this book, George Bibel presents riveting tales of trains gone wrong, the detective work of finding out why, and the safety improvements that were born of tragedy.

Train Wreck details numerous crashes, including 17 in which more than 200 people were killed. Readers follow investigators as they sift through the rubble and work with computerized event recorders to figure out what…

Gripping forensic tales explain how and why trains crash.

Trains are massive—with some weighing 15,000 tons or more. When these metal monsters collide or go off the rails, their destructive power becomes clear. In this book, George Bibel presents riveting tales of trains gone wrong, the detective work of finding out why, and the safety improvements that were born of tragedy.

Train Wreck details numerous crashes, including 17 in which more than 200 people were killed. Readers follow investigators as they sift through the rubble and work with computerized event recorders to figure out what happened. Using a mix of eyewitness accounts and scientific explanations, Bibel draws us into a world of forensics and human drama.

Train Wreck is a fascinating exploration of
• runaway trains
• bearing failures
• metal fatigue
• crash testing
• collision dynamics
• bad rails

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Train Wreck

George Bibel

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Reviews

Reviews

Investigations of 17 accidents help show why trains crash and what those incidents can teach.

An interesting read to be recommended to anyone who travels by train.

Fascinating.

I would use this book in a high school science class and the book could be used as a supplement in a history class and in a math class. Actually the information presented involves science, technology, engineering, and math; it is a real world way of addressing STEM.

Bibel takes us on a journey from the fundamentals as to why trains crash, the trends through the history of railroads, through to scenarios resulting in crashes and cites many specific such cases. His approach allows the reader to immerse themselves as if they were on the accident investigation team, analysing the data from the aftermath and by interrogation of more modern equipment, such as trackside and onboard event recorders.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
368
ISBN
9781421427072
Illustration Description
19 halftones, 101 line drawings
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. The Railroad Industry (as Seen through Accidents)
Chapter 2. How Trains Crash, Then and Now
Chapter 3. Moderate-Speed Passenger Train Collisions
Chapter 4. Freight Train

Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. The Railroad Industry (as Seen through Accidents)
Chapter 2. How Trains Crash, Then and Now
Chapter 3. Moderate-Speed Passenger Train Collisions
Chapter 4. Freight Train Collisions
Chapter 5. Avoiding Collisions
Chapter 6. Positive Train Control
Chapter 7. Moving at the Wrong Speed
Chapter 8. Bearing Failures
Chapter 9. Gravity: It's the Law
Chapter 10. More Runaways: Brake Failure
Chapter 11. Broken Rail
Chapter 12. Buckled Track
Epilogue: Safety in the Modern Era
Notes
References
Index

Author Bio
George Bibel
Featured Contributor

George Bibel, Ph.D.

George Bibel, a former NASA summer faculty fellow, is a professor of mechanical engineering at the School of Engineering and Mines, University of North Dakota. He recently completed the Air Line Pilots Association Advanced Accident Investigation Course. He is the author of Plane Crash: The Forensics of Aviation Disasters and Train Wreck: The Forensics of Rail Disasters.