Amtrak 501 Derail in Washington State

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Posted by 243129 on Thursday, August 09, 2018 8:50 PM

BaltACD

 

 
243129
That is unfortunate, that rule could have saved two lives.Sad

 

How much single track DARK non-signalled territory have you operated on?  

 

Approximately 200 miles of branch lines.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, August 10, 2018 7:39 AM

243129
 
BaltACD
 
243129
That is unfortunate, that rule could have saved two lives.Sad

How much single track DARK non-signalled territory have you operated on?   

Approximately 200 miles of branch lines.

CSX and the other Class 1's have thousands of miles of non-signalled DARK territory that are operated on daily basis.

         

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Posted by Euclid on Friday, August 10, 2018 7:39 AM

243129
 
charlie hebdo

I read it.  Vague.  Are you trusting senior engineers to make a determination about the candidates' character traits?  There always problems with peers making those judgments, especially when they lack the training.

 

 

 

Who better to assess a candidate's character traits and acumen for the position of locomotive engineer than a seasoned locomotive engineer.

 

I believe these character traits are critical to the job and should be determined upon hiring.  I also believe that Amtrak is lacking this part of the screening.  Seasoned locomotive engineers may be able to provide that type of screening due to their experience.  But, I believe what is first and foremost needed is a definition of the essential character traits that are being sought as well as those that would disqualify a job applicant from being hired. 

Ultimately this definition would need to be developed into a technical process used to screen job applicants.  I agree that a panel of seasoned locomotive engineers would provide multiple evaluations similar to a jury at a trial, but technical template would also be helpful similar to the way the law guides a jury at a trial.  Have you given thought to developing this technical template that would define and determine character traits of newly hired locomotive engineers?

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Posted by 243129 on Friday, August 10, 2018 8:04 AM

BaltACD

 

 
243129
 
BaltACD
 
243129
That is unfortunate, that rule could have saved two lives.Sad

How much single track DARK non-signalled territory have you operated on?   

Approximately 200 miles of branch lines.

 

CSX and the other Class 1's have thousands of miles of non-signalled DARK territory that are operated on daily basis.

 

And your point is?

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Posted by 243129 on Friday, August 10, 2018 8:14 AM

Euclid

 

 
243129
 
charlie hebdo

I read it.  Vague.  Are you trusting senior engineers to make a determination about the candidates' character traits?  There always problems with peers making those judgments, especially when they lack the training.

 

 

 

Who better to assess a candidate's character traits and acumen for the position of locomotive engineer than a seasoned locomotive engineer.

 

 

 

I believe these character traits are critical to the job and should be determined upon hiring.  I also believe that Amtrak is lacking this part of the screening.  Seasoned locomotive engineers may be able to provide that type of screening due to their experience.  But, I believe what is first and foremost needed is a definition of the essential character traits that are being sought as well as those that would disqualify a job applicant from being hired. 

Ultimately this definition would need to be developed into a technical process used to screen job applicants.  I agree that a panel of seasoned locomotive engineers would provide multiple evaluations similar to a jury at a trial, but technical template would also be helpful similar to the way the law guides a jury at a trial.  Have you given thought to developing this technical template that would define and determine character traits of newly hired locomotive engineers?

 

Hiring engineer candidates from within the system gives insight as to their work habits, character traits and acumen for the position. That has been stated in the link below with options for unsuitable candidates to return to their former or more suitable position.

http://cs.trains.com/trn/b/fred-frailey/archive/2015/08/11/the-making-of-engineers-and-conductors.aspx

 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, August 10, 2018 8:32 AM

Many jobs require some process beyond screening by a panel of potential cronies: FBI, CIA, some police forces, etc.   Putting it in the hands of the panel judging candidates who have already worked for the railroad could lead to favoritism.  Peer ratings are not the best way to examine character/personality issues.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, August 10, 2018 9:23 AM

243129
 
BaltACD
 
243129
 BaltACD 
243129
That is unfortunate, that rule could have saved two lives.Sad

How much single track DARK non-signalled territory have you operated on?   

Approximately 200 miles of branch lines. 

CSX and the other Class 1's have thousands of miles of non-signalled DARK territory that are operated on daily basis. 

And your point is?

Thousands of employees perform their duties properly day in and day out.

         

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Posted by Euclid on Friday, August 10, 2018 10:42 AM

charlie hebdo

Many jobs require some process beyond screening by a panel of potential cronies: FBI, CIA, some police forces, etc.   Putting it in the hands of the panel judging candidates who have already worked for the railroad could lead to favoritism.  Peer ratings are not the best way to examine character/personality issues.

 

That is part of my point.  So how should the screening be done?  What issues of character would it be looking for?  How would the screening find those issues?

If this could all be turned into a blueprint, that would be something tangible that might be presented to the concerned parties. 

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, August 10, 2018 8:55 PM

Euclid
 

That is part of my point.  So how should the screening be done?  What issues of character would it be looking for?  How would the screening find those issues?

If this could all be turned into a blueprint, that would be something tangible that might be presented to the concerned parties. 

 

 

And what happens if a "protected class" has a small representation of the proper character traits?

 

Ed

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Posted by 243129 on Friday, August 10, 2018 9:22 PM

BaltACD

 

 
243129
 
BaltACD
 
243129
 BaltACD 
243129
That is unfortunate, that rule could have saved two lives.Sad

How much single track DARK non-signalled territory have you operated on?   

Approximately 200 miles of branch lines. 

CSX and the other Class 1's have thousands of miles of non-signalled DARK territory that are operated on daily basis. 

And your point is?

 

Thousands of employees perform their duties properly day in and day out.

 

That is what they are supposed to do and paid to do.

I still do not understand what your point is.

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Posted by 243129 on Sunday, August 12, 2018 6:19 PM

Euclid

 

 
charlie hebdo

Many jobs require some process beyond screening by a panel of potential cronies: FBI, CIA, some police forces, etc.   Putting it in the hands of the panel judging candidates who have already worked for the railroad could lead to favoritism.  Peer ratings are not the best way to examine character/personality issues.

 

 

 

That is part of my point.  So how should the screening be done?  What issues of character would it be looking for?  How would the screening find those issues?

If this could all be turned into a blueprint, that would be something tangible that might be presented to the concerned parties. 

 

If you choose employees from 'in house' you already have insight in to their work habits and a leg up  on their psyche. Simulators are of little use other than familiarizing one with benign circumstances. How one reacts under pressure can only be determined under real time circmstances. This is accomplished by observation from veteran operations employees.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Monday, August 13, 2018 3:46 PM

243129
Simulators are of little use other than familiarizing one with benign circumstances. How one reacts under pressure can only be determined under real time circmstances.

I think you underestimate simulator training. In a good simulator with motion system you can act out types of dangerous situations and failures which you can't try on the road or might never encounter.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, August 13, 2018 3:56 PM

243129
Simulators are of little use other than familiarizing one with benign circumstances. How one reacts under pressure can only be determined under real time circumstances.

That's not at all the 'first best use' of simulators -- either in aerospace contexts, or in what I've seen of how railroads used the technology in its relative infancy.  (Which is not to say that many railroads or quasi-public entities actually do use the technology reasonably.)

It is incomprehensible to me that anyone would be checked out on any modern aircraft type, let alone one with high performance or a demanding envelope, without a great deal of simulator time where random combinations of failures are thrown at pilots to see how they will perform.  This actually made it into science fiction as the 'Kobayashi Maru' type of situation, where there is NO way you're supposed to save the day, and the actual 'test' is to see how you deal with that... ideally, effectively.  Practical railroad scenarios will not usually, perhaps never, encounter that level of induction of failures -- and there is another issue, inherent in all this discussion, whether the "testees" have the right professional discipline and attitude not to 'game' the testing, or blow it off as Bene Gesserit HR stupidity, instead of taking it to heart as the analogue of what they would have received from a proper engineer 'mentor' under the fireman-to-engineer professional development that certain unions supported and provided back in the day.

The problem that keeps rumbling in the background of the 501 accident, to me, is that the guy had something like 5 years running experience, if I remember correctly over the very area that had been 'improved' by WSDOT.  I am concerned that all too many 'in-house employees' might already reflect the slipshod characteristics that we're wanting to "test" for (and eliminate scrupulously to the greatest extent we can, in the earliest stages of recruiting or training).  You can't use most management people to do it, for what I think are obvious reasons; I almost tremble to think of the effect of using typical whiz-kid "employee testing" people to set the testing up, let alone administer it in any reasonable way.  So where do you find the 'cadre' that knows and can inspire the right attitude, and then give them adequate time and resources to achieve the attitude reliably as a Marines-like default response under fire, and keep from being snowed under by all the various distorting forces in the Amtrak political noosphere.

This is accomplished by observation from veteran operations employees.[/quote]

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 13, 2018 4:10 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

 
243129
Simulators are of little use other than familiarizing one with benign circumstances. How one reacts under pressure can only be determined under real time circmstances.

 

I think you underestimate simulator training. In a good simulator with motion system you can act out types of dangerous situations and failures which you can't try on the road or might never encounter.
Regards, Volker

 

Precisely. "You can act out types of dangerous situations and failures" but you cannot simulate fear,rising panic and the 'pucker factor'. You are ensconced in a machine and do not fear for your, your crew and the traveling public's safety. A veteran operations employee can assess a candidate's mettle by a period of observation in real time circumstances.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, August 13, 2018 4:19 PM

Simulators can be nearly as accurate as real life or as toy like as the manufacturer desires.  Show me the money.

Some professional racing drivers use 'high' level simulators to learn tracks that they have never previously competed at - so as to be able to 'hit the track running' in their real race cars.  It saves time and wear and tear on the real cars.

In the consumer range there is Iracing.com https://www.iracing.com/ There are a number of leagues where competitors race each other on the Internet supplied communication medium.

If the manufacture of the simulator puts in all the movement servos and sound cues that happen in real life and perform accurate geographical measurments and displays of the surroundings; a simulator can be nearly REAL.  If not it will be akin to the Microsoft Train game and thus a toy.

How a organization goes about utilizing simulators and grading users results on the simulators is a entire topic of discussion by itself.

 

         

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 13, 2018 4:42 PM

Overmod

Although not a fan of Chairman Mao I do agree with his statement that  "All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience".

Nothing but nothing beats real time training. Simulators might be fine for airline pilots but they are little more than an extravagance

 

 
243129
Simulators are of little use other than familiarizing one with benign circumstances. How one reacts under pressure can only be determined under real time circumstances.

 

That's not at all the 'first best use' of simulators -- either in aerospace contexts, or in what I've seen of how railroads used the technology in its relative infancy.  (Which is not to say that many railroads or quasi-public entities actually do use the technology reasonably.)

It is incomprehensible to me that anyone would be checked out on any modern aircraft type, let alone one with high performance or a demanding envelope, without a great deal of simulator time where random combinations of failures are thrown at pilots to see how they will perform.  This actually made it into science fiction as the 'Kobayashi Maru' type of situation, where there is NO way you're supposed to save the day, and the actual 'test' is to see how you deal with that... ideally, effectively.  Practical railroad scenarios will not usually, perhaps never, encounter that level of induction of failures -- and there is another issue, inherent in all this discussion, whether the "testees" have the right professional discipline and attitude not to 'game' the testing, or blow it off as Bene Gesserit HR stupidity, instead of taking it to heart as the analogue of what they would have received from a proper engineer 'mentor' under the fireman-to-engineer professional development that certain unions supported and provided back in the day.

The problem that keeps rumbling in the background of the 501 accident, to me, is that the guy had something like 5 years running experience, if I remember correctly over the very area that had been 'improved' by WSDOT.  I am concerned that all too many 'in-house employees' might already reflect the slipshod characteristics that we're wanting to "test" for (and eliminate scrupulously to the greatest extent we can, in the earliest stages of recruiting or training).  You can't use most management people to do it, for what I think are obvious reasons; I almost tremble to think of the effect of using typical whiz-kid "employee testing" people to set the testing up, let alone administer it in any reasonable way.  So where do you find the 'cadre' that knows and can inspire the right attitude, and then give them adequate time and resources to achieve the attitude reliably as a Marines-like default response under fire, and keep from being snowed under by all the various distorting forces in the Amtrak political noosphere.

This is accomplished by observation from veteran operations employees.

 

[/quote]

Your last sentence says it all.

Although not a fan of Chairman Mao I do agree with his statement in the dogma "On Practice".. All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience.

As I wrote in my piece 'The Making of Engineers and Conductors' on Fred Frailey's blog. Nothing beats real time on the job training. Simulators cannot simulate fear in a candidate, they only fear they might have is failure not bodily harm. The rules can be taught in a classroom but the implementation of them is best taught in the 'field' in real time situations.

The 501 disaster is a classic case of the unknowing teaching the unknowing and the gross incompetence displayed by Road Foreman Beatson and Training Supervisor Hines.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, August 13, 2018 4:43 PM

243129

 

 
VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

 
243129
Simulators are of little use other than familiarizing one with benign circumstances. How one reacts under pressure can only be determined under real time circmstances.

 

I think you underestimate simulator training. In a good simulator with motion system you can act out types of dangerous situations and failures which you can't try on the road or might never encounter.
Regards, Volker

 

 

 

Precisely. "You can act out types of dangerous situations and failures" but you cannot simulate fear,rising panic and the 'pucker factor'. You are ensconced in a machine and do not fear for your, your crew and the traveling public's safety. A veteran operations employee can assess a candidate's mettle by a period of observation in real time circumstances.

 

You overestimate the ability of a veteran operations employee to assess an already-employed candidate's "mettle" in the area of character traits for two reasons.  One, the possibility of favoritism or prejudice may exist and improperly influence the veteran's opinion.  Two, operations employees lack the education and training to evaluate crucial characteristics such as judgement, impulsiveness, vigilance, self-control or conscientiousness.

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 13, 2018 4:46 PM

BaltACD

Simulators can be nearly as accurate as real life or as toy like as the manufacturer desires.  

 

So how would they simulate fear and rising panic? In a simulator you do not fear for your safety.

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 13, 2018 4:59 PM

charlie hebdo

 

 
243129

 

 
VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

 
243129
Simulators are of little use other than familiarizing one with benign circumstances. How one reacts under pressure can only be determined under real time circmstances.

 

I think you underestimate simulator training. In a good simulator with motion system you can act out types of dangerous situations and failures which you can't try on the road or might never encounter.
Regards, Volker

 

 

 

Precisely. "You can act out types of dangerous situations and failures" but you cannot simulate fear,rising panic and the 'pucker factor'. You are ensconced in a machine and do not fear for your, your crew and the traveling public's safety. A veteran operations employee can assess a candidate's mettle by a period of observation in real time circumstances.

 

 

 

You overestimate the ability of a veteran operations employee to assess an already-employed candidate's "mettle" in the area of character traits for two reasons.  One, the possibility of favoritism or prejudice may exist and improperly influence the veteran's opinion.  Two, operations employees lack the education and training to evaluate crucial characteristics such as judgement, impulsiveness, vigilance, self-control or conscientiousness.

 

Favoritism and prejudice? A true railroad professional would be above such pettiness.

"operations employees lack the education and training to evaluate crucial characteristics such as judgement, impulsiveness, vigilance, self-control or conscientiousness."

That is pure B.S.

You who admit to no railroad operations experience expounding on the lack of education in operations employees. Veteran operations employees who have worked 'in the trenches' can better assess a trainee's acumen than a Dr.Phil like flunkie with a sheepskin from an Ivy League school.

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, August 13, 2018 5:04 PM

Simulators, when used properly, can allow trainees to deal with issues that can't normally be recreated in normal OJT.  That way when and if those situations pop up in real life, there is some experience in handling them, so hopefully there is minimal fear.  I know - it's a bit new fangled for some of the more veteran RRers, but technology is not to be scared of.

I'm sure that why airlines and other rail systems (Japan Rail for example) make use of them. 

 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 243129 on Monday, August 13, 2018 5:07 PM

Simulators are merely an aid, A very expensive and in my opinion unecessary.

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, August 13, 2018 5:08 PM

243129
You who admit to no railroad operations experience expounding on the lack of education in operations employees. Veteran operations employees who have worked 'in the trenches' can better assess a trainee's acumen than a Dr.Phil like flunkie with a sheepskin from an Ivy League school.

You attack Charlie for no experince in railroad ops, yet what experience do you have in evaluation or hiring of employees? Just because you ran a train does not make you a good judge of character or skill.  And we know you never had a role as RFE or in HR (where you'd be involved in those aspects).

But continue on with your pettiness and name calling.  

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, August 13, 2018 5:10 PM

243129

Simulators are merely an aid, A very expensive and in my opinion unecessary.

 

Spoken like a true Luddite.

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 13, 2018 5:13 PM

zugmann

 

 
243129
You who admit to no railroad operations experience expounding on the lack of education in operations employees. Veteran operations employees who have worked 'in the trenches' can better assess a trainee's acumen than a Dr.Phil like flunkie with a sheepskin from an Ivy League school.

 

You attack Charlie for no experince in railroad ops, yet what experience do you have in evaluation or hiring of employees? Just because you ran a train does not make you a good judge of character or skill.  And we know you never had a role as RFE or trainer (where you'd be involved in those aspects). 

But continue on with your pettiness and name calling.  

 

Attack? That is your spin. I was stating a fact.

I think my experience 'running a train' makes me  a very good judge of skill and character.

Pettiness and namecalling is your forte. Your history here and your Trump-like statements confirm that fact.

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 13, 2018 5:14 PM

zugmann

 

 
243129

Simulators are merely an aid, A very expensive and in my opinion unecessary.

 

 

 

Spoken like a true Luddite.

 

Thank you for confirming my observation of you.

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, August 13, 2018 5:15 PM

243129
Thank you for confirming my observation of you.

You're welcome. Thank you for showing us you're stuck on the New Haven in 1970.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Monday, August 13, 2018 5:58 PM

243129
Precisely. "You can act out types of dangerous situations and failures" but you cannot simulate fear,rising panic and the 'pucker factor'.

I never thought that fear is a good learning factor nor does it help to make the right decisions in critical situations. As Zugmann said, the simulator training helps to learn how to handle a critical situation in a safe environment. Does it happen on the road he already knows how to react and isn't led by fear.

BTW here is what I mean with simulator, the Deutsche Bahn ICE simulator: https://www.zdf.de/assets/teletext-dpa-image-10348~1920x1080?cb=1513524387134

243129
A veteran operations employee can assess a candidate's mettle by a period of observation in real time circumstances.

I really doubt it. What real time observations will you make with a newby? You have interviews and tests, but you can be sure the canditates come prepared. And than you need a lot psychology and some tricks to look behind a facade. Your merits as locomotive engineer wouldn't help much.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 13, 2018 6:36 PM

zugmann

 

 
243129
Thank you for confirming my observation of you.

 

You're welcome. Thank you for showing us you're stuck on the New Haven in 1970.

 

You are quite bothersome. Come back when you grow up. In the meantime you will be ignored.

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 13, 2018 6:45 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

 

 
243129
Precisely. "You can act out types of dangerous situations and failures" but you cannot simulate fear,rising panic and the 'pucker factor'.

 

I never thought that fear is a good learning factor nor does it help to make the right decisions in critical situations. As Zugmann said, the simulator training helps to learn how to handle a critical situation in a safe environment. Does it happen on the road he already knows how to react and isn't led by fear.

BTW here is what I mean with simulator, the Deutsche Bahn ICE simulator: https://www.zdf.de/assets/teletext-dpa-image-10348~1920x1080?cb=1513524387134

 

 
243129
A veteran operations employee can assess a candidate's mettle by a period of observation in real time circumstances.

 

I really doubt it. What real time observations will you make with a newby? You have interviews and tests, but you can be sure the canditates come prepared. And than you need a lot psychology and some tricks to look behind a facade. Your merits as locomotive engineer wouldn't help much.
Regards, Volker

 

Fear is to be overcome and that can only be done/observed in a real time situation.

My merits as a locomotive engineer will not help? Would you enlist the help of a proctologist for having your teeth cleaned?

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, August 13, 2018 6:53 PM

243129
You are quite bothersome. Come back when you grow up. In the meantime you will be ignored.

You keep saying that, but you still pay attention to me.  I think you like me Headphones.

 

PS. I never intend to grow up.  Like they say: growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional!

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