Bouldering is a form of rock climbing, performed on small rock formations or artificial rock walls, known as boulders, without the use of ropes or harnesses. While it can be done without any equipment, most climbers use climbing shoes to help secure footholds, chalk to keep their hands dry and provide a firmer grip, bouldering mats to prevent injuries from falls. Unlike free solo climbing, performed without ropes, bouldering problems are less than 6 meters tall. Traverses, which are a form of boulder problem, require the climber to climb horizontally from one end to another. Artificial climbing walls allow boulderers to train indoors in areas without natural boulders. In addition, Bouldering competitions take place in both outdoor settings; the sport was a method of training for roped climbs and mountaineering, so climbers could practice specific moves at a safe distance from the ground. Additionally, the sport served to build increase finger strength. Throughout the 1900s, bouldering evolved into a separate discipline.
Individual problems are assigned ratings based on difficulty. Although there have been various rating systems used throughout the history of bouldering, modern problems use either the V-scale or the Fontainebleau scale; the growing popularity of bouldering has caused several environmental concerns, including soil erosion and trampled vegetation as climbers hike off-trail to reach bouldering sites. This has caused some landowners to prohibit bouldering altogether; the characteristics of boulder problems depend on the type of rock being climbed. For example, granite features long cracks and slabs while sandstone rocks are known for their steep overhangs and frequent horizontal breaks. Limestone and volcanic rock are used for bouldering. There are many prominent bouldering areas throughout the United States, including Hueco Tanks in Texas, Mount Evans in Colorado, The Buttermilks in Bishop, California. Squamish, British Columbia is one of the most popular bouldering areas in Canada. Europe hosts a number of bouldering sites, such as Fontainebleau in France, Albarracín in Spain, various mountains throughout Switzerland.
Africa's most prominent bouldering areas are the more established Rocklands in South Africa and the new kid on the block Oukaimeden in Morocco or opened areas like Chimanimani in Zimbabwe. Highball bouldering is climbing tall boulders. Using the same protection as standard bouldering climbers venture up house-sized rocks that test not only their physical skill and strength but mental focus. Highballing, like most of climbing, is open to interpretation. Most climbers say anything above 15 feet is a highball and can range in height up to 35–40 feet where highball bouldering turns into free soloing. Highball bouldering may have begun in 1961 when John Gill bouldered a steep face on a 37-foot granite spire called "The Thimble". Gill's achievement initiated a wave of climbers making ascents of large boulders. With the introduction and evolution of crash pads, climbers were able to push the limits of highball bouldering higher. In 2002 Jason Kehl completed the first hard highball, called Evilution, a 55-foot boulder in the Buttermilks of California, earning the grade of V12.
This climb marked the beginning of a new generation of highball climbing that pushed not only height, but difficulty. Groundbreaking ascents in this style include. Too Big to Flail, V10, another 55 foot line in Bishop, climbed by Alex Honnold in 2016. Livin' Large, a 35-foot V15 in Rocklands, South Africa and established by Nalle Hukkataival in 2009, has become the "test piece" of hard high ball climbing in the 21st century and has only been repeated by only one person, Jimmy Webb; the Process, a 55-foot V16 in Bishop, first climbed by Daniel Woods in 2015. The line was worked with another climber, Dan Beal, but a hold broke after Woods's top and the climb has yet to see a second ascent. Artificial climbing walls are used to simulate boulder problems in an indoor environment at climbing gyms; these walls are constructed with wooden panels, polymer cement panels, concrete shells, or precast molds of actual rock walls. Holds made of plastic, are bolted onto the wall to create problems; the walls feature steep overhanging surfaces which force the climber to employ technical movements while supporting much of their weight with their upper body strength.
Climbing gyms feature multiple problems within the same section of wall. In the US the most common method Routesetters use to designate the intended problem is by placing colored tape next to each hold. For example, red tape would indicate one bouldering problem while green tape would be used to set a different problem in the same area. Across much of the rest of the world problems and grades are designated using a set color of plastic hold to indicate problems. For example, green may be v0–v1, blue may be v2–v3 and so on. Using colored holds to set has certain advantages, the most notable of which are that it makes it more obvious where the holds for a problem are, that there is no chance of tape being accidentally kicked off footholds. Smaller, resource-poor climbing gyms may prefer taped problems because large, expensive holds can be used in multiple routes by marking them with more than one color of tape; the International Federation of Sport Climbing employs an indoor format that breaks the co
A continental shelf is a portion of a continent, submerged under an area of shallow water known as a shelf sea. Much of the shelves were exposed during interglacial periods; the shelf surrounding an island is known as an insular shelf. The continental margin, between the continental shelf and the abyssal plain, comprises a steep continental slope followed by the flatter continental rise. Sediment from the continent above cascades down the slope and accumulates as a pile of sediment at the base of the slope, called the continental rise. Extending as far as 500 km from the slope, it consists of thick sediments deposited by turbidity currents from the shelf and slope; the continental rise's gradient is intermediate between the shelf. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the name continental shelf was given a legal definition as the stretch of the seabed adjacent to the shores of a particular country to which it belongs. Width of the continental shelf varies – it is not uncommon for an area to have no shelf at all where the forward edge of an advancing oceanic plate dives beneath continental crust in an offshore subduction zone such as off the coast of Chile or the west coast of Sumatra.
The largest shelf – the Siberian Shelf in the Arctic Ocean – stretches to 1,500 kilometers in width. The South China Sea lies over another extensive area of continental shelf, the Sunda Shelf, which joins Borneo and Java to the Asian mainland. Other familiar bodies of water that overlie continental shelves are the North Sea and the Persian Gulf; the average width of continental shelves is about 80 km. The depth of the shelf varies, but is limited to water shallower than 100 m; the slope of the shelf is quite low, on the order of 0.5°. Though the continental shelf is treated as a physiographic province of the ocean, it is not part of the deep ocean basin proper, but the flooded margins of the continent. Passive continental margins such as most of the Atlantic coasts have wide and shallow shelves, made of thick sedimentary wedges derived from long erosion of a neighboring continent. Active continental margins have narrow steep shelves, due to frequent earthquakes that move sediment to the deep sea.
The shelf ends at a point of increasing slope. The sea floor below the break is the continental slope. Below the slope is the continental rise, which merges into the deep ocean floor, the abyssal plain; the continental shelf and the slope are part of the continental margin. The shelf area is subdivided into the inner continental shelf, mid continental shelf, outer continental shelf, each with their specific geomorphology and marine biology; the character of the shelf changes at the shelf break, where the continental slope begins. With a few exceptions, the shelf break is located at a remarkably uniform depth of 140 m; the continental slope is much steeper than the shelf. The slope is cut with submarine canyons; the physical mechanisms involved in forming these canyons were not well understood until the 1960s. The continental shelves are covered by terrigenous sediments. However, little of the sediment is from current rivers. Sediments become fine with distance from the coast; these accumulate 15–40 cm every millennium, much faster than deep-sea pelagic sediments.
Continental shelves teem with life because of the sunlight available in shallow waters, in contrast to the biotic desert of the oceans' abyssal plain. The pelagic environment of the continental shelf constitutes the neritic zone, the benthic province of the shelf is the sublittoral zone. Though the shelves are fertile, if anoxic conditions prevail during sedimentation, the deposits may over geologic time become sources for fossil fuels; the accessible continental shelf is the best understood part of the ocean floor. Most commercial exploitation from the sea, such as metallic-ore, non-metallic ore, hydrocarbon extraction, takes place on the continental shelf. Sovereign rights over their continental shelves up to a depth of 100 m or to a distance where the depth of waters admitted of resource exploitation were claimed by the marine nations that signed the Convention on the Continental Shelf drawn up by the UN's International Law Commission in 1958; this was superseded by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Which created the 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone, plus continental shelf rights for states with physical continental shelves that extend beyond that distance. The legal definition of a continental shelf differs from the geological definition. UNCLOS states that the shelf extends to the limit of the continental margin, but no less than 200 nmi and no more than 350 nmi from the baseline, thus inhabited volcanic islands such as the Canaries, which have no actual continental shelf, nonetheless have a legal continental shelf, whereas uninhabitable islands have no shelf. Baseline Continental Island Continental shelf pump Continental shelf of Russia Exclusive ec
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments are sites in Los Angeles, which have been designated by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission as worthy of preservation based on architectural and cultural criteria. The Historic-Cultural Monument process has its origin in the Historic Buildings Committee formed in 1958 by the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects; as growth and development in Los Angeles threatened the city's historic landmarks, the committee sought to implement a formal preservation program in cooperation with local civic and business organizations and municipal leaders. On April 30, 1962, a historic preservation ordinance proposed by the AIA committee was passed; the original Cultural Heritage Board was formed in the summer of 1962, consisting of William Woollett, FAIA, Bonnie H. Riedel, Carl S. Dentzel, Senaida Sullivan and Edith Gibbs Vaughan; the board met for the first time in August 1962, at a time when the owner of the historic Leonis Adobe was attempting to demolish the structure and replace it with a supermarket.
In its first day of official business, the board designated the Leonis Adobe and four other sites as Historic-Cultural Monuments. The designation of a property as a Historic-Cultural Monument does not prevent demolition or alteration. However, the designation requires permits for demolition or substantial alteration to be presented to the commission; the commission has the power to delay the demolition of a designated property for up to one year. In the commission's first decade of operation, it designated 101 properties as Historic-Cultural Monuments. By March 2010, there were 979 designated properties. Leonis Adobe Bolton Hall 1913 Eastern Columbia Building Griffith Park CBS Columbia Square Studios Historic-Cultural Monuments in Downtown Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments on the East and Northeast Sides Historic-Cultural Monuments in the Harbor area Historic-Cultural Monuments in Hollywood Historic-Cultural Monuments in the San Fernando Valley Historic-Cultural Monuments in Silver Lake, Angelino Heights, Echo Park Historic-Cultural Monuments in South Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments on the Westside Historic-Cultural Monuments in the Wilshire and Westlake areas City of Los Angeles' Historic Preservation Overlay Zones National Register of Historic Places listings in Los Angeles List of California Historical Landmarks Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources: Designated L.
A. Historic-Cultural Monuments website — with'ever-updated' LAHCM List via PDF link. Official Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources website — Homepage Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission website Designated LAHCM Landmarks by Neighborhood — L. A. Department of City Planning website Big Orange Landmarks: "Exploring the Landmarks of Los Angeles, One Monument at a Time" — online photos and in-depth history of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments — Website curator: Floyd B. Bariscale. Big Orange Landmarks: Floyd B. Bariscale's Flickr Photostream — Big Orange Flickr Gallery of L. A. H. C. Monuments
The Simi Hills are a low rocky mountain range of the Transverse Ranges in eastern Ventura County and western Los Angeles County, of southern California, United States. The Simi Hills are aligned east-west and run for 26 miles, average around 7 mi in north-south width; the Simi Hills are part of the central Transverse Ranges System. They lie entirely within southeastern Ventura County, with some southern and eastern foothills within western Los Angeles County; the Simi Hills are on the western edge of the San Fernando Valley. The Simi Valley lies to the north, the Conejo Valley lies to the southwest; the San Fernando Valley communities of Chatsworth, West Hills, Woodland Hills are in the eastern hills and adjacent valley floor in Los Angeles city and county. The cities of Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Simi Valley city are in the hills and adjacent valleys within Ventura County; the two nearby mountain ranges are: the higher Santa Susana Mountains adjacent on the northeast across Santa Susana Pass.
The hills provide the complete or partial watersheds for several year-round creeks and numerous seasonal streams. They include Las Virgenes Creek, Moore's Canyon Creek, Bell Creek, Dayton Creek, Woolsey Canyon Creek, Brandeis Creek, Runkle Canyon Creek, Arroyo Simi, Palo Comado Creek, Cheeseboro Creek, Arroyo Calabasas. Bell Creek and Arroyo Calabasas are the headwaters of the Los Angeles River, by name its beginning with their confluence in nearby Canoga Park. 90% of the Santa Susana Field Lab property drains into the Los Angeles River via tributaries. Peaks in this region include Simi Peak, 2,403 ft, Chatsworth Peak, 2,314 ft, Escorpión Peak, 1,475 ft; because of its low elevation, the Simi Hills experience rainy, mild winters. Snow is rare in the Simi Hills in the highest areas. Summers are warm and dry and wildfires do occur here. Cool winds from the Pacific Ocean come from the Oxnard Plain and blow into the inland areas through the Santa Clara River Valley and the Conejo Valley, though some low hills, such as Conejo Mountain, block these winds from the Conejo Valley.
The Simi Hills further block these winds, which bring cool weather in both summer and winter from the San Fernando Valley. The southern lower hills are covered in grasslands and oak savanna; the northern rocky hills area is chaparral shrubland and oak woodlands. The Simi Hills are part of the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion; the oaks include: the evergreen coastal live oak, the deciduous valley oak, the scrub oak. Riparian zone plants include California arroyo willows. Spring wildflowers include the redbush monkey flower, Plummer's mariposa lily, canyon sunflower. Poison oak is an important member of the native plant habitat community here; the Simi Hills is the principal, much wider, of only two terrestrial wildlife corridors linking the coastal Santa Monica Mountains with the inland Santa Susana Mountains, Topatopa Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, all of the transverse ranges fauna community. The Simi Hills are the most critical wildlife corridor linkage for the Santa Monica Mountains to these and other Transverse Ranges further east.
The Simi's undeveloped native habitat provides routes that protect larger land wildlife of the Santa Monicas from genetic isolation. Large sections of the Simi Hills are protected by parks and open space preserves; the Santa Susana Field Laboratory property, a crucial wildlife corridor to the Santa Susanas, has been proposed for public open space parkland after the closed site's cleanup completion. The Simi Hills were inhabited for over 8,000 years by Paleo-indians and Chumash-Venturaño Native Americans for settlements and hunting grounds; the Chumash had the established village of Hu'wam in Cañon del Escorpión. It was a multicultural'crossroads' destination, where Chumash and Tataviam peoples traded and lived beside Bell Creek below Escorpión Peak, at the present day Bell Canyon Park; this peak in the Simi Hills is one of nine alignment points in Chumash territory and is essential to maintaining the balance of the natural world. Upstream were healing springs and are rock outcrop'grinding stones.'
The Burro Flats Painted Cave, an example of the Rock art of the Chumash people, is nearby. The Juan Bautista de Anza expedition passed through the area in 1769, being the first European sighting of the Simi Hills; the U. S. National Park Service administers the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail which enters at Moore Canyon in El Escorpión Park and crosses across the southern Hills through Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve and Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyon Park to the Conejo Valley. In 1845 the land grant for Rancho El Escorpión, beside the Peak and named for it, was issued to one Chumash and two Tongva people and a rare instance of Native Americans being grantees, by Mexican Governor Pío Pico; the Rancho El Conejo was to the west, included that end of the Simi Hills. In the first half of the 20th century, there were four large movie ranches in the Simi Hills for filming motion pictures on location; the gated community of Bell Canyon began development of geographic Bell Canyon in the 1968.
To the north of U. S. 101, east of Thousand Oaks, west of Simi Valley the early 1960s suburban expansion of metropolitan Los Angeles brought the development of small to sized parcels of land in the Simi Hills. Hillside subd
The ecological footprint measures human demand on nature, i.e. the quantity of nature it takes to support people or an economy. It tracks this demand through an ecological accounting system; the accounts contrast the biologically productive area people use for their consumption to the biologically productive area available within a region or the world. In short, it is a measure of human impact on Earth's ecosystem and reveals the dependence of the human economy on natural capital. Footprint and biocapacity can be compared at the individual, national or global scale. Both footprint and biocapacity change every year with number of people, per person consumption, efficiency of production, productivity of ecosystems. At a global scale, footprint assessments show how big humanity's demand is compared to what planet Earth can renew. Since 2003, Global Footprint Network has calculated the ecological footprint from UN data sources for the world as a whole and for over 200 nations; every year the calculations are updated with the newest data.
The time series are recalculated with every update since UN statistics change historical data sets. As shown in Lin et al the time trends for countries and the world have stayed consistent despite data updates. A recent study by the Swiss Ministry of Environment independently recalculated the Swiss trends and reproduced them within 1-4% for the time period that they studied. Global Footprint Network estimates that, as of 2014, humanity has been using natural capital 1.7 times as fast as Earth can renew it. This means humanity's ecological footprint corresponds to 1.7 planet Earths. Ecological footprint analysis is used around the Earth in support of sustainability assessments, it enables people to measure and manage the use of resources throughout the economy and explore the sustainability of individual lifestyles and services, industry sectors, cities and nations. Since 2006, a first set of ecological footprint standards exist that detail both communication and calculation procedures; the latest version are the updated standards from 2009.
For 2014, Global Footprint Network estimated humanity's ecological footprint as 1.7 planet Earths. This means that, according to their calculations, humanity's demands were 1.7 times faster than what the planet's ecosystems renewed. Ecological footprints can be calculated at any scale: for an activity, a person, a community, a city, a town, a region, a nation, or humanity as a whole. Cities, due to their population concentration, have large ecological footprints and have become ground zero for footprint reduction; the ecological footprint accounting method at the national level is described on the web page of Global Footprint Network or in greater detail in academic papers, including Borucke et al. The National Accounts Review Committee has published a research agenda on how to improve the accounts; the first academic publication about ecological footprints was by William Rees in 1992. The ecological footprint concept and calculation method was developed as the PhD dissertation of Mathis Wackernagel, under Rees' supervision at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, from 1990–1994.
Wackernagel and Rees called the concept "appropriated carrying capacity". To make the idea more accessible, Rees came up with the term "ecological footprint", inspired by a computer technician who praised his new computer's "small footprint on the desk". In early 1996, Wackernagel and Rees published the book Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth with illustrations by Phil Testemale. Footprint values at the end of a survey are categorized for Carbon, Food and Goods and Services as well as the total footprint number of Earths needed to sustain the world's population at that level of consumption; this approach can be applied to an activity such as the manufacturing of a product or driving of a car. This resource accounting is similar to life-cycle analysis wherein the consumption of energy, building material and other resources are converted into a normalized measure of land area called global hectares; the focus of Ecological Footprint accounting is biological resources.
Rather than non-renewable resources like oil or minerals, it is the biological resources that are the materially most limiting resources for the human enterprise. For instance, while the amount of fossil fuel still underground is limited more limiting is the biosphere’s ability to cope with the CO2 emitted when burning it; this ability is one of the competing uses of the planet’s biocapacity. Minerals are limited by the energy available to extract them from the lithosphere and concentrate them; the limits of ecosystems' ability to renew biomass is given by factors such as water availability, soil fertility, solar energy and management practices. This capacity to renew, driven by photosynthesis, is called biocapacity. Per capita ecological footprint, or ecological footprint analysis, is a means of comparing consumption and lifestyles, checking this against biocapacity - nature's ability to provide for this consumption; the tool can inform policy by examining to what extent a nation uses more than is available within its territory, or to what extent the nation's lifestyle would be replicable worldwide.
The footprint can be a useful tool to educate people about carrying capacity and overconsumption, with the aim of altering personal behavior. Ecological footprints may be used to argue; such a global comparison clearly shows the inequal
John Long (climber)
John Long is an American rock climber and author. His stories have been translated into many languages. Long is a 1971 graduate of Upland High School in Upland, Long studied humanities at the University of LaVerne, Claremont Graduate School and Claremont School of Theology. Long joined teenage climbers John Bachar, Rick Accomazzo, Richard Harrison, Tobin Sorenson, Robs Muir, Gib Lewis, Lynn Hill, Jim Wilson, Mike Graham as founding members of an elite group known as the "Stonemasters"; as the result of the groups exploits, from the French Alps to the North Pole, combined with Long's popular writings, the Stonemaster ethos was central in the "extreme" adventure sports culture. While Long and the Stonemasters branched out into diverse disciplines including caving, river running and first descents, extreme skiing, big wave surfing, trans-continental traverses, BASE jumping and Himalaya alpine climbing, the original renown sprang from establishing scores of daring new rock climbs—throughout the 1970s and 1980s—in Southern California and Northern Mexico, most notably at Tahquitz and Suicide Rock in Idyllwild, Joshua Tree National Park, Yosemite Valley, all in California, El Gran Trono Blanco, in Baja, Mexico.
Long's many climbing feats include the first one-day ascent of the most sought after rock climb in North America, the 3,000 foot Nose route on El Capitan, on Memorial Day, 1975, with Jim Bridwell and Billy Westbay. The route has since been climbed in under two hours by Tommy Caldwell; the following year, partnered with Dale Bard, Long made the second one-day ascent of El Cap via the West Face, in the remarkable time of five hours. He followed this with blitz ascents of Leaning Tower, Washington Column, Half Dome and Ribbon Falls, precipitating the modern speed climbing movement so popular today, both in Yosemite Valley and beyond. A skilled free climber, Long popularized "free soloing" during his high school days out at Joshua Tree National Park, first introducing John Bachar to the practice in 1974 with their now fêted ascent of Double Cross, at Joshua Tree. Bachar would soon establish himself as the world's leading solo rock climber. In 1977, Long and Bachar toured the Western States, repeating most of John Gill's notorious boulder problems at Horse Tooth Reservoir, Ft. Collins, Split Rocks, Estes Park, the Badlands, at the Needles of South Dakota.
Long's two seminal photo articles, "Pumping Sandstone," in 1976, "Pumping Granite," in 1977, both featured in Climbing Magazine, inspired an entire generation of free climbers throughout the US and Western Europe, helped establish bouldering in general, "High Balling" in particular, as a valid and extreme expression of traditional climbing. Long's 1973 ascent of Paisano Overhang at Suicide Rock in Southern California, helped to establish the 5.12 grade and was the most technically difficult free climb in the world at that time. His 1978 ascent of Hangover, at nearby Tahquitz Rock, was arguably the first climb achieved at that grade. In 1975, along with Ron Kauk and John Bachar, Long became the first to free climb a legitimate big wall with the first free ascent of the East Face of Washington Column, in Yosemite Valley dubbed Astro Man, for two decades considered "The World’s Greatest Free Climb." The following year in Yosemite, with British climber Pete Livesey, Long free climbed the second big wall in history – the 1,700 foot Chouinard/Herbert route on Sentinel Rock.
On June 15, 2011, Alex Honnold free soloed the Chouinard/Herbert for CBS News, with Long hosting alongside 60 Minutes correspondent, Lara Logan. Starting in 1980, with a kayaking expedition to Baja California, Long transitioned into international exploration. Many notable expeditions followed, including the first coast-to-coast traverse of Borneo, transcontinental traverse of Irian Jaya and exploration of the world's largest river cave, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea, First Descent, Angel Falls, First Descent of the Kayan River, Indonesia, as well as expeditions to the Troll Wall, Hand of Fatima, West Africa, Mt. Asgard, Baffin Island, Ellesmere Island and the North Pole. Starting in 1980, Long began working for David Frost Productions and producing ABC and BBC specials, including the International Guinness Book of World Records, which became a long-running syndicated series. Moving into feature films in the 1990s, Long worked on the second unit for dozens of motion pictures, including the Rambo series.
His novella, Rogue's Babylon, was the basis for Cliffhanger. During this time Long worked for Bennett Productions, in Santa Monica and producing action sport shows for TBS, NBC, CBS, FOX, HDTV, RUSH and others. Highlights include the Emmy nominated Red Bull Cliff Diving World Championships in La’nai and the International Monitor Award Winning show, Hawaiian Waterman, for Asahi. Work with New Wave Entertainment involved writing and producing long form shows for Discovery, History Channel, Showtime, A&E, HBO, his 2008 documentary for Code Black Entertainment and Ebony Magazine, Why We Laugh: The History of African American Humor, was a featured documentary at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. His most recent DVD, Who You Callin’ Crazy? Featured comedian Katt Williams. In September 2013, Long and Jeff Jackson, were signed by Steven Schwartz and Chockstone Pictures to write Chico Jones, based in part on Long's previous short story volume, Gorilla Monsoon. One Night Stand (also written with J
2008 Chatsworth train collision
The Chatsworth train collision occurred at 4:22:23 p.m. PDT on Friday, September 12, 2008, when a Union Pacific freight train and a Metrolink commuter train collided head-on in the Chatsworth district of Los Angeles, California; the scene of the accident was a curved section of single track on the Metrolink Ventura County Line just east of Stoney Point. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigated the cause of the collision, the Metrolink train ran through a red signal before entering a section of single track where the opposing freight train had been given the right of way by the train dispatcher; the NTSB faulted the Metrolink train's engineer, 46-year-old Robert M. Sanchez, for the collision, concluding that he was distracted by text messages he was sending while on duty; this mass casualty event brought a massive emergency response by both the city and county of Los Angeles, but the nature and extent of physical trauma taxed the available resources. Response included CEMP as a first responding unit requested by LAPD.
With 25 deaths, this became the deadliest accident in Metrolink's history. Many survivors remained hospitalized for an extended period. Lawyers began filing claims against Metrolink, in total, they are expected to exceed a US$200 million liability limit set in 1997, portending the first legal challenges to that law. Issues surrounding this accident have initiated and reinvigorated public debate on a range of topics including public relations and emergency management, which has resulted in regulatory and legislative actions, including the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008. Metrolink commuter train 111, consisting of a 250,000-pound EMD F59PH locomotive pulling three Bombardier BiLevel Coaches, departed Union Station in downtown Los Angeles at 15:35 PDT heading westbound to Moorpark in suburban Ventura County. 40 minutes it departed the Chatsworth station with 222 people aboard, had traveled 1.25 miles when it collided head-on with an eastbound Union Pacific local freight train. The freight train was pulling 17 freight cars.
The Metrolink locomotive telescoped rearward into the passenger compartment of the first passenger car and caught fire. All three locomotives, the leading Metrolink passenger car, ten freight cars were derailed, both lead locomotives and the passenger car fell over; the collision occurred after the Metrolink passenger train engineer, 46-year-old Robert M. Sanchez, failed to obey a red stop signal that indicated it was not safe to proceed into the single track section; the train dispatcher's computer at a remote control center in Pomona did not display a warning prior to the accident according to the NTSB. Metrolink reported that the dispatcher tried in vain to contact the train crew to warn them. Both trains were moving toward each other at the time of the collision. At least one passenger on the Metrolink train reported seeing the freight train moments before impact, coming around the curve; the conductor of the passenger train, in the rear car and was injured in the accident, estimated that his train was traveling at 40 miles per hour before it came to a dead stop after the collision.
The NTSB reported. The freight train was traveling at the same speed after its engineer triggered the emergency air brake only two seconds before impact, while the Metrolink engineer never applied the brakes on his train; the accident occurred after the freight train emerged from the 500-foot-long tunnel #28, just south of California State Route 118 near the intersection of Heather Lee Lane and Andora Avenue near Chatsworth Hills Academy. The accident was in Chatsworth, a neighborhood of Los Angeles located at the northwestern edge of the San Fernando Valley; the trains collided on the Metrolink Ventura County Line, part of the Montalvo Cutoff, opened by the Southern Pacific Company on March 20, 1904, to improve the alignment of its Coast Line. Metrolink has operated the line since purchasing it in the 1990s from Southern Pacific, which retained trackage rights for freight service. Both trains were on the same section of single track that runs between the Chatsworth station through the Santa Susana Pass.
The line returns to double track again. Three tunnels under the pass are only wide enough to support a single track, it would be costly to widen them; this single-track section carries 12 freight trains each day. The line's railway signaling system is designed to ensure that trains wait on the double-track section while a train is proceeding in the other direction on the single track; the signal system was upgraded in the 1990s to support Metrolink commuter rail services, Richard Stanger, the executive director of Metrolink in its early years of 1991 to 1998, said the system had functioned without trouble in the past. The Metrolink train would wait in the Chatsworth station for the daily Union Pacific freight train to pass before proceeding, unless the freight train was waiting for it at Chatsworth; the location was not protected by catch points. The events on September 12, 2008 leading up to the collision: The Los Angeles Fire Department dispatched a single engine company with a four-person crew for a "possible physical rescue" at a residential address near