Remote locomotive accident, 4/13/2019

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 05, 2019 10:45 AM

jeffhergert
Once a zone is activated, no one can perform any kind of work or throw a switch without the consent of the RC crew that owns the zone ... It sounds like the employe was crossing the track, not performing work on or near it at the time.

Somewhat ironically -- the employee in question was not 'working' a yard job; he was removing blue-flag protection (I believe from from track 14).  Apparently he was not coordinated with the RCL crew (at least that's the firm impression I got from the testimony related in the reporting so far).  Expect 'fixing' this situation to be one of NTSB's recommendations, and I can't imagine why it is not a rule for any movement in a yard, on or off track, already to report location and intention whenever they would 'foul' a track in formal service.

RCL crew said he saw the truck, waited ... he said ... about five minutes, then in the absence of further motion on the ground shoved back from track 11.  This does not adequately explain how the employee came to be crossing from track 14 back across the ladder without observing the RCL motion.  The possible link with the 'Ivy City' incident is what the deceased employee might have been thinking, or assuming -- perhaps, since he was pulling blue-flag protection, he thought he was protected, or thought since he was assigned the job, he had been given 'protection' of his own against train moves in that area.  

It will be interesting to read the material in the docket as it accrues.  Perhaps interestingly, the NTSB docket management system search does not provide a docket number either by this accident's 'report number' or by a range of dates for April 2019; perhaps another reader can find and post a link when it is available.  I expect much will hinge on the interviews, and what is and isn't asked or followed up in them.

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Thursday, July 04, 2019 11:31 PM

 

jeffhergert
It doesn't say, but if they had remote control zones active, the leading edge of the movement does not need to be protected within the zone. Where we have RCZ, they are on the leads. They don't extend into the bowl tracks. Once a zone is activated, no one can perform any kind of work or throw a switch without the consent of the RC crew that owns the zone.

   Thanks, Jeff.  I've been thinking about your remote control zones.  Are they pre-defined fixed areas, or can they be set up as needed?   How is the information conveyed that the zone is active?  Signs, flags, lights?

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, July 03, 2019 6:45 PM

It doesn't say, but if they had remote control zones active, the leading edge of the movement does not need to be protected within the zone.  Where we have RCZ, they are on the leads.  They don't extend into the bowl tracks.  Once a zone is activated, no one can perform any kind of work or throw a switch without the consent of the RC crew that owns the zone.  

It sounds like the employe was crossing the track, not performing work on or near it at the time.  I don't know about others, but our remotes when starting to move will ring the bell for a few seconds.  

Jeff  

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Wednesday, July 03, 2019 12:19 PM

  I thought all moves had to have someone on the leading end, or in the case of switching with an RCL the operator should be on the ground where he would have a view of what was happening up front.  Riding the rear of the third car doesn't seem to me to provide an adequate view.  I don't know what the rule is on this.

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Remote locomotive accident, 4/13/2019
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 03, 2019 8:52 AM

Since the Ivy City accident has been 'done to death', I'd like to start reasonable discussion about a different lapse-of-attention accident -- one which I haven't seen discussed here at all: the fatal remote-locomotive incident at Wauhatchie (Chattanooga) in mid-April.

Here is the NTSB preliminary report, which contains enough detail to have me, at least, aghast.

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