Article about CSX / Amtrak crash in February

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Article about CSX / Amtrak crash in February
Posted by railfanjohn on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 6:10 PM

Here is a link to an interesting article about the crash between Amtrak's Silver Star and parked CSX train this past February.

https://www.thestate.com/news/business/national-business/article214607160.html

Sounds like NTSB was really grilling the CSX people about their safety program.  Or lack there of.

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 6:17 PM

railfanjohn
Here is a link to an interesting article about the crash between Amtrak's Silver Star and parked CSX train this past February.

https://www.thestate.com/news/business/national-business/article214607160.html

Sounds like NTSB was really grilling the CSX people about their safety program.  Or lack there of.

While we aren't given a transcript of the 'grilling', from the way the article stated the responses it sounds something like the questioning and responses from the Nuremburg Trials after WW II.

         

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 6:57 PM

From the article: 

".....Meadows said Tuesday that CSX has made several safety changes since the crash, including requiring employees that change track switches to verbally confirm changes with other crewmembers."

     I thought that was already a procedure on CSX?

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 7:27 PM

What about the conductor who said he re-lined the switch, but didn't?  Anybody grill him and ask him why?

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 7:53 PM

Euclid

What about the conductor who said he re-lined the switch, but didn't?  Anybody grill him and ask him why?

 

That is a good question. Is that conductor still employed by CSX?

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 8:21 PM

Euclid
What about the conductor who said he re-lined the switch, but didn't?  Anybody grill him and ask him why?

I suspect this 'expedition' by the NTSB was to investigate CSX field level Supervision and their 'marching orders' as it pertained to safety.

With the arrival of EHH and his implementation of 'Precision Scheduled Railroading' virtually ALL CSX field level management on all divisions was replaced in the 11 months from EHH's day 1 to the date of the incident.

The Conductor was wrong in his actions.  NTSB is trying to find out what management policies and actions could have contributed to the Conductor being SO WRONG in his actions.  No matter what the Conductor says, his testimony can be taken with a grain of salt.

         

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 9:55 PM

BaltACD
The Conductor was wrong in his actions.  NTSB is trying to find out what management policies and actions could have contributed to the Conductor being SO WRONG in his actions.  No matter what the Conductor says, his testimony can be taken with a grain of salt.

I found that part of the article a little confusing.  At first reading, it sounded like Sumwalt was tryint to find out about policies that affected the conductor's incorrect actions.  But I later concluded that it was Sumwalt listening to a CSX official who was describing how new policies perhaps played a part in causing the accident.  

It is fine for the NTSB and CSX to go dancing around in all that deep naval gazing about what went wrong at the philosophical level of management.   But the conductor failed to restore the switch and yet certified that he had restored it.  It is his story that I would like to hear.  If somebody else made him do it, fine.  We can look at that too.  But I want to hear his explanation.  Why do I get the feeling that NTSB feels we can't handle what the conductor said? 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 10:27 PM

Euclid
 
BaltACD
The Conductor was wrong in his actions.  NTSB is trying to find out what management policies and actions could have contributed to the Conductor being SO WRONG in his actions.  No matter what the Conductor says, his testimony can be taken with a grain of salt. 

I found that part of the article a little confusing.  At first reading, it sounded like Sumwalt was tryint to find out about policies that affected the conductor's incorrect actions.  But I later concluded that it was Sumwalt listening to a CSX official who was describing how new policies perhaps played a part in causing the accident.  

It is fine for the NTSB and CSX to go dancing around in all that deep naval gazing about what went wrong at the philosophical level of management.   But the conductor failed to restore the switch and yet certified that he had restored it.  It is his story that I would like to hear.  If somebody else made him do it, fine.  We can look at that too.  But I want to hear his explanation.  Why do I get the feeling that NTSB feels we can't handle what the conductor said? 

Condr. F'd up.  CSX field level management didn't have the safety aspects of railroading among their performance review elements and weren't working toward attaining rules compliance and safety.

If you don't have rules compliance and safety being a large part of your performance review you are being told by senior management that safety and rules compliance don't matter. 

Any real railroader can tell you each of the 1/2 dozen or so excuses the Conductor would offer and the logic he would supply to justify or cover up his failures.

         

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Posted by NP Eddie on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 10:54 PM

ALL:

It seems like the CSX is trying to cover their butts over EHH's mistakes and it is too bad the EHH is not alive to answer those questions. Balt has a good perspective of the havoc that EHH made into CSX's operations.

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, July 12, 2018 7:18 AM

BaltACD

 

 
Euclid
 
BaltACD
The Conductor was wrong in his actions.  NTSB is trying to find out what management policies and actions could have contributed to the Conductor being SO WRONG in his actions.  No matter what the Conductor says, his testimony can be taken with a grain of salt. 

I found that part of the article a little confusing.  At first reading, it sounded like Sumwalt was tryint to find out about policies that affected the conductor's incorrect actions.  But I later concluded that it was Sumwalt listening to a CSX official who was describing how new policies perhaps played a part in causing the accident.  

It is fine for the NTSB and CSX to go dancing around in all that deep naval gazing about what went wrong at the philosophical level of management.   But the conductor failed to restore the switch and yet certified that he had restored it.  It is his story that I would like to hear.  If somebody else made him do it, fine.  We can look at that too.  But I want to hear his explanation.  Why do I get the feeling that NTSB feels we can't handle what the conductor said? 

 

Condr. F'd up.  CSX field level management didn't have the safety aspects of railroading among their performance review elements and weren't working toward attaining rules compliance and safety.

If you don't have rules compliance and safety being a large part of your performance review you are being told by senior management that safety and rules compliance don't matter. 

Any real railroader can tell you each of the 1/2 dozen or so excuses the Conductor would offer and the logic he would supply to justify or cover up his failures.

 

Regarding excuses offered for rules violations, I am suspicious of this paragraph in the article:
 
“CSX owns the tracks where the crash happened. On Tuesday, NTSB Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt questioned CSX employees over what he saw as executive-level turmoil within CSX that could have potentially laid the groundwork for miscommunication and inattention to details leading up to the Feb. 4 crash.”
 
I have a hard time believing that Sumwalt, objectively investigating for the NTSB, would have concluded that “he saw” “executive-level turmoil” within CSX; and then questioned CSX employees to get their perspective on that conclusion. 
 
The premise, “Executive-Level Turmoil” sounds like the biggest excuse of all, which is to blame the failure to restore a mainline switch on Harrison.
 
I assume that fact of what the article purports to convey was this sentence:  
 
 “CSX owns the tracks where the crash happened. On Tuesday, NTSB Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt questioned CSX employees over what they saw as executive-level turmoil within CSX that could have potentially laid the groundwork for miscommunication and inattention to details leading up to the Feb. 4 crash.”
 
In other words, the conclusion that there was “executive-level turmoil within CSX” was introduced by the CSX employees, and not by Sumwalt. That would fit your description of the typical excuse-making that is used to cover up failures.
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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, July 12, 2018 7:30 AM

CSX Excecutives are CSX Employees, they may set policy but they are employees nevertheless.

         

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, July 12, 2018 10:41 AM

BaltACD
CSX field level management didn't have the safety aspects of railroading among their performance review elements and weren't working toward attaining rules compliance and safety. If you don't have rules compliance and safety being a large part of your performance review you are being told by senior management that safety and rules compliance don't matter. 

Are you saying that if safety concerns aren't part of the performance review, employees don't attempt to follow safe practices regardless of "rules"?

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, July 12, 2018 10:49 AM

charlie hebdo
Are you saying that if safety concerns aren't part of the performance review, employees don't attempt to follow safe practices regardless of "rules"?

Kinda like speed limits - we've all been on roads where the posted speed limit is more like the bare minimum...

You focus on the performance factors you get graded on...

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, July 12, 2018 11:45 AM

charlie hebdo
 
BaltACD
CSX field level management didn't have the safety aspects of railroading among their performance review elements and weren't working toward attaining rules compliance and safety. If you don't have rules compliance and safety being a large part of your performance review you are being told by senior management that safety and rules compliance don't matter.  

Are you saying that if safety concerns aren't part of the performance review, employees don't attempt to follow safe practices regardless of "rules"?

As much as rank and file decry 'weed weasels', they are necessary and the aspects of safety and rules compliance they test for set the tone of how the rank and file perform their duties. 

Don't stress safety in compliance testing and the rank and file perform more unsafe acts.  Don't stress rules compliance and more and more rules get violated.  Rank and File employees are human beings and like all human beings will try to 'get away' with everything possible - especially if they feel field management is not looking.

         

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, July 13, 2018 9:02 AM

BaltACD
As much as rank and file decry 'weed weasels', they are necessary and the aspects of safety and rules compliance they test for set the tone of how the rank and file perform their duties.

Just don't always equate the terms "rules" and "safety".

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Friday, July 13, 2018 10:30 AM

In preperation for the two day hearing NTSB opened a docket containing among others factual reports from different NTSB groups regarding this accident.

Docket: https://t.co/E48qUFYYSq

The factual reports are on pages 2 and 3.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by Euclid on Friday, July 13, 2018 11:48 AM

Idea

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