Poor hiring, vetting, supervision and training procedures.......

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, November 1, 2019 7:39 PM

243129
This particular case is the result of procedures indicated in the title of this thread.

Well, there is that, and I don't think anyone can argue that the things indicated in the thread title 'as amended' are not, in in important sense, "kaput" if they produce and then 'enable' someone with the personal and professional characteristics described.  (Or his largely undocumented and unsung counterpart on 1371).

It's one job of properly-implemented PTC to save these people, and the railroads that helped create them, from some of the fruits of their lack of 'right stuff'.  And I think it could be done 'reasonably well' as indicated, with the slow orders being de facto implemented in the signal indications, and in any automatic-train-control enforcement either through speed regulation or penalty braking short of the 'hazard' identified.

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Posted by 243129 on Friday, November 1, 2019 7:57 PM

Overmod

 

 
243129
This particular case is the result of procedures indicated in the title of this thread.

 

Well, there is that, and I don't think anyone can argue that the things indicated in the thread title 'as amended' are not, in in important sense, "kaput" if they produce and then 'enable' someone with the personal and professional characteristics described.  (Or his largely undocumented and unsung counterpart on 1371).

It's one job of properly-implemented PTC to save these people, and the railroads that helped create them, from some of the fruits of their lack of 'right stuff'.  And I think it could be done 'reasonably well' as indicated, with the slow orders being de facto implemented in the signal indications, and in any automatic-train-control enforcement either through speed regulation or penalty braking short of the 'hazard' identified.

 

Electronic help is fine, I have no problem with that assistance. The problem I have is that the 'basics' are not paid enough attention.

I once asked a conductor with about 5 years of service what she would do if her train suffered a burst air hose. Answer: "Oh we would just call somebody" and the sad part is they (the company) would send somebody!

 

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, November 1, 2019 8:19 PM

Quoting 243129 "I once asked a conductor with about 5 years of service what she would do if her train suffered a burst air hose. Answer: "Oh we would just call somebody" and the sad part is they (the company) would send somebody!"I hope she knew what an air hose is.ANd, I hope she never has to deal with one. Would she have the strength to deal with such a situation if the proper tools and replacement were available? Grantd, I have yet to see such a situation.

Johnny

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Posted by 243129 on Saturday, November 2, 2019 8:46 AM

Deggesty
Would she have the strength to deal with such a situation if the proper tools and replacement were available?

The tools and replacements are available onboard but how to use them is a different story. This is not exclusive to women. In the last 20 or so years of my career I experienced it all too frequently. Amtrak relied on their veteran resource to bail them out, that resource has dwindled and it shows. A burst air hose is now cause for a major delay.

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Posted by n012944 on Saturday, November 2, 2019 9:27 AM

243129

 

 
charlie hebdo
You'd have to show that a properly designed PTC-type system has a higher fail rate than the current human system that's out-of-date by your own admission due to inadequate personnel.

 

You are in the field and the system you depend on goes kaput, now what?

 

 

It is a safety system overlay.  Operations do not depend on it.

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Posted by n012944 on Saturday, November 2, 2019 9:29 AM

243129

Track #3 should have been removed from service not speed restricted.

 

So you have expertise as a track inspector now?

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Posted by 243129 on Saturday, November 2, 2019 9:44 AM

n012944
It is a safety system overlay. Operations do not depend on it.

Had you read the entire thread you would have seen that that has been discussed.

 

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Posted by 243129 on Saturday, November 2, 2019 9:50 AM

n012944

 

 
243129

Track #3 should have been removed from service not speed restricted.

 

 

 

So you have expertise as a track inspector now?

 

No I have expertise as a railroad engineer and when I see an unsafe condition that could be injurious to personnel and passengers I advocate the safe course should be taken. Had the track been removed from service the derailment and injuries would not have happened. Did you happen to look at the pictures?

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Posted by n012944 on Saturday, November 2, 2019 11:27 AM

243129

 

 
n012944

 

 
243129

Track #3 should have been removed from service not speed restricted.

 

 

 

So you have expertise as a track inspector now?

 

 

 

Had the track been removed from service the derailment and injuries would not have happened. 

 

 

Had the train complied with the slow order, the derailment and injuries would not have happened.  I guess you knew back then that your craft could not be trusted to  operate withen the rules.

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Posted by n012944 on Saturday, November 2, 2019 11:28 AM

243129

 

 
n012944
It is a safety system overlay. Operations do not depend on it.

 

Had you read the entire thread you would have seen that that has been discussed.

 

 

 

Great.  Your statement is still incorrect, and mine is correct.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, November 2, 2019 11:31 AM

243129
 
n012944 
243129

Track #3 should have been removed from service not speed restricted. 

So you have expertise as a track inspector now?

No I have expertise as a railroad engineer and when I see an unsafe condition that could be injurious to personnel and passengers I advocate the safe course should be taken. Had the track been removed from service the derailment and injuries would not have happened. Did you happen to look at the pictures?

Sorry Charlie - you and 'your boys' don't or won't comply with speed restrictions.

Those behind the throttle always think they know more about the operation of a railroad than those that don't - until they get themselves promoted into positions that give them a wider view of all the issues involved in any decision that has to be made.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, November 2, 2019 11:39 AM

Familiar with the territory and can resolve the argument.

I belive the New Haven was similar to the Boston and Maine, and yes, definitely, the track would have been taken out of service.

But in this case it would have meant bypassing a number of local stations, inconveniencing both those waiting on the platforms and those on the train bound for those stations.  That is obviously the reason the track was not taken out of service; but, instead, safety was to be provided by a slow order.

Can you accept that explanaition?

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Posted by n012944 on Saturday, November 2, 2019 11:44 AM

daveklepper

Familiar with the territory and can resolve the argument.

I belive the New Haven was similar to the Boston and Maine, and yes, definitely, the track would have been taken out of service.

But in this case it would have meant bypassing a number of local stations, inconveniencing both those waiting on the platforms and those on the train bound for those stations.  That is obviously the reason the track was not taken out of service; but, instead, safety was to be provided by a slow order.

Can you accept that explanaition?

 

 

No I can't, because I believe it to be incorrect.  The track inspector is putting his name on the restricting.  He/she should not care if the passengers are "inconvinced" as his/her concern should be safety.  

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, November 2, 2019 3:49 PM

n012944
No I can't, because I believe it to be incorrect.  The track inspector is putting his name on the restricting.  He/she should not care if the passengers are "inconvinced" as his/her concern should be safety.

I think we've had many discussions about organizations 'balancing' safety against other, perhaps more loudly asserted concerns.  It seemed implicit in the progression of concern over the 'track defect' that its severity was well understood; going from a 30 or 40mph slow order to a 10mph slow order on a 70mph railroad is a dramatic indication that a progressive situation is in effect; keeping the track in service is an observation that the substantial performance, organizational, and 'customer' concerns over taking it out of service are perceived as more severe than the default 'safest course'.

I think it is probable that the track would, in fact, have been taken out of service rather shortly after the 10mph slow order was issued.  What we can say is that the track inspector thought the track defect was 'safe enough to be traversed at 10mph until further notice' -- and I see little to contradict such an assessment, made at that time with appropriate concern "for other stakeholders" as we could euphemistically put it.

I'm not a track inspector, and I doubt n012944 is, so our opinion that the track 'should' have been closed rather than dramatically slow-ordered in that particular circumstance is worth comparatively little, other than to note somewhat obviously that there would have been no possibility of a wreck at any speed once the track had been closed.  My own personal opinion based on a knowledge of the mechanics of lateral track buckling would be to take the track out of service as soon as rapid progression had been observed.  But I don't have to worry about ERs from Metro-North, either.  And I don't think we 'should' add the particular track inspector to the ranks of the improperly hired, vetted, and supervised for making the choice as he did.  The real blame resides, as it did originally, on the type of person who could find themself ignoring a safety-critical warning with a trainload of passengers ... not dissimilar to the guy on 501 in Washington sinking the ship on its maiden voyage.  

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Posted by 243129 on Saturday, November 2, 2019 3:49 PM

n012944
Had the train complied with the slow order, the derailment and injuries would not have happened.

Yes, this is so. However they did not and that is the point in the title of this thread.

n012944
I guess you knew back then that your craft could not be trusted to operate withen the rules.

I shall ignore your confrontational postings........for now.

 

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Posted by 243129 on Saturday, November 2, 2019 4:10 PM

BaltACD
Sorry Charlie - you and 'your boys' don't or won't comply with speed restrictions.

Who is "Charlie" and how do you deduce that Charlie and his boys won't comply with speed restrictions?

BaltACD
Those behind the throttle always think they know more about the operation of a railroad than those that don't - until they get themselves promoted into positions that give them a wider view of all the issues involved in any decision that has to be made.

Let's get this straight we are talking about poor vetting, poor hiring, poor training and poor supervision procedures which no doubt contributed to this derailment. Now if you wish to be confrontational as your and no12944 posts suggest I am perfectly willing to engage.

This incident took place on a railroad of which I have firsthand knowledge of the territory and operations. Unlike you and your amigo I post on what I know from experience not on assumptions and generalities.

A track condition as severe as the one pictured in the NTSB report should require trains passing over the area to be visually monitored('walked' through the area) by MW personnel had they chosen not to remove the track from service.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, November 2, 2019 4:37 PM

.

Doubled.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, November 2, 2019 4:40 PM

243129
A track condition as severe as the one pictured in the NTSB report should require trains passing over the area to be visually monitored('walked' through the area) by MW personnel had they chosen not to remove the track from service.

In case anyone misses the salient point of this observation: when you have a track buckle of undetermined origin, that has progressed to "10mph severity", the chance of its buckling further under a train is almost certainly substantial.  That does imply that the 'safe course' would involve not only continuous monitoring by direct track inspection, but immediate communication between that track inspector and the crew(s) of any trains traversing the defect.

I don't have to be a track inspector myself to see the value of that, and the danger of assuming a slow order by itself is sufficient for that kind of situation.

Note that this raises a very real possibility that the track inspector may call for the track to be 'taken out of service' with the train halfway across the defect, if he sees the track move further.  And I think he assuredly would ... regardless of the number of passengers on the affected train ... if he thought the situation had become truly unsafe.

Again, this does not affect the current situation, in which it wouldn't have mattered if the defect had been monitored on-site or not.  The likelihood of any defect flagged as 10mph to be successfully negotiated by a 55mph MU train is vanishingly slight whether the defect moved further or not.  And it's the 55mph, not the appropriateness of the controlled speed, that's the issue here.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, November 2, 2019 11:33 PM

Worthy of being taken out of service - 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, November 2, 2019 11:51 PM

243129
Who is "Charlie"

The expression is from an old Star-Kist tuna commercial.  Charlie was their spokesperson, a tough old bird (for a fish) who for some unaccountable reason wanted to show up in Star-Kist tuna cans and used considerable ingenuity to try to get there ... to be caught trying every time and told "Sorry, Charlie...only the best-tasting tuna get to be Star-Kist".

One of the best commercial puns of all time came when GAS, which made an audio amplifier called Ampzilla, decided to increase their appeal by adding an FM receiver that would plug in.  Of course... they had to call it 'Charlie', because that wasn't the full name of the product, but you had to supply the three dreadful added syllables yourself.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, November 3, 2019 1:46 AM

N01:    I am giving you an explanation.  That does not mean that the decision was necessarily the right one.   I think, in retrospect, that supervision should have been sent to the area immediately, with the necesary flags, so the safety would not depend on the entineer's memory alone.  Or the stations bypssed with pasengers acommodated on trains in the opposite direction plus the necessary transfers, something that has been almost a routine on Metro North and the subways in reaction to problems for a long time.  In other words, I do agree with you.

But note, the same thinking applies to the Silver Star CSX wreck and the signal system de-activated well before PTS activation.

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Posted by n012944 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 4:58 AM

243129

 

 
n012944
Had the train complied with the slow order, the derailment and injuries would not have happened.

 

Yes, this is so. However they did not and that is the point in the title of this thread.

 

A dispatcher still has the ability to line into an out of service track.  If the acumen of todays railroader is as bad as you try to pass it off as, taking a track out of service is not the fool proof answer.

243129
n012944
I guess you knew back then that your craft could not be trusted to operate withen the rules.

 

I shall ignore your confrontational postings........for now.

 

Well, it was you that felt the need to use quotation marks around the word railroaders when talking about the current generation of employees.  If you do not like confrontational postings, don't post them.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, November 3, 2019 6:16 AM

n012944
A dispatcher still has the ability to line into an out of service track.  If the acumen of todays railroader is as bad as you try to pass it off as, taking a track out of service is not the fool proof answer.

But there is a key difference.  When a track is taken out of service, multiple people become involved: crossover switches locked, dispatcher advised ... no single point of failure through lack of attention is as likely as the overspeed in this accident.  And there are few common-mode errors that would allow a train to zip into a now-closed track that was the subject of a prior electronically-transmitted slow order, though a facing-point switch (from track 3 it could be nothing but) supposedly lined against it but 'left open through inattention' as at Cayce, at unrestricted speed, without someone, perhaps a fair number of someones, noticing and taking action 'in time'.

Had even the PTC overlay showing civil on cab signals been operating, there would have been a secondary reminder, perhaps even enforcement, backing up the line C the engineer was said to have been given.  It's possible that the whole relevant system under PTC wouldn't have caught it ... but it would have been far less likely with the multiple 'reinforcements'.

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Posted by 243129 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 7:53 AM

n012944
A dispatcher still has the ability to line into an out of service track. If the acumen of todays railroader is as bad as you try to pass it off as, taking a track out of service is not the fool proof answer.

A properly vetted, trained and supervised dispatcher would be less likely to let that occur. Refer to thread title.

n012944
Well, it was you that felt the need to use quotation marks around the word railroaders when talking about the current generation of employees. If you do not like confrontational postings, don't post them.

Do you work for a railroad? What is your craft? I use those quotation marks because I have experienced the results of Amtrak and Metro North's hiring, vetting and training procedures. It is not the individuals' fault it is the fault of the companies. Their procedures have contributed to the recent rash of tragedies.

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Posted by 243129 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 7:56 AM

Pre installation picture.

BaltACD

Worthy of being taken out of service - 

 

Worthy of being taken out of service.

<p>A bend in Metro North's track can be seen prior to the May 18 derailment near Rye N.Y. that injured 14 passengers and two crew members.</p>

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, November 3, 2019 8:03 AM

243129
 

Worthy of being taken out of service.

<p>A bend in Metro North's track can be seen prior to the May 18 derailment near Rye N.Y. that injured 14 passengers and two crew members.</p>

 

Wide guage is certainly worthy of being taken O/S.

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Posted by 243129 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 9:09 AM

BaltACD

 

 
243129
 

Worthy of being taken out of service.

<p>A bend in Metro North's track can be seen prior to the May 18 derailment near Rye N.Y. that injured 14 passengers and two crew members.</p>

 

 

Wide guage is certainly worthy of being taken O/S.

 

This was not.

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, November 3, 2019 9:22 AM

243129
 
BaltACD 
243129
 hy of being taken out of service.

<p>A bend in Metro North's track can be seen prior to the May 18 derailment near Rye N.Y. that injured 14 passengers and two crew members.</p>

  

Wide guage is certainly worthy of being taken O/S. 

This was not.

The left hand rail does not demonstrate the bend of the right hand rail.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, November 3, 2019 11:08 AM

BaltACD
The left hand rail does not demonstrate the bend of the right hand rail.

It's there if you look more carefully, especially around the shadow of the cat bridge.  It would be highly difficult to get that significant a gauge anomaly purely out of the spring clips holding the rail (which I see no evidence of) other than through breakage and physical separation of the concrete ties (again, which I see no real evidence of).

Somewhat more concerning is that the kink appears to extend back to the point of disappearance at the bottom of the photograph, so this picture may not show 'all of it'.  Do we know how long before the 'accident' this picture was taken?

The mode of buckling combined with the speed with which it was reported to have worsened clearly indicates to me that the track wouldn't have remained in service long after it was restricted to 10mph.

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Posted by rdamon on Sunday, November 3, 2019 11:27 AM

It looks like there is some deflection on the left hand side that is hard to see from this angle.

I had to look twice at your "Shadow of the Cat" comment Confused

 

Other shot

 

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