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Amtrak 501 Derail in Washington State

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 27, 2018 6:02 AM

Why am I not surprised.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, August 27, 2018 7:18 AM

Typically people unskilled at something  either avoid the topic or devalue it. Joe does both with statistics.

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 27, 2018 7:36 AM

charlie hebdo

Typically people unskilled at something  either avoid the topic or devalue it. Joe does both with statistics.

 

Typically you run when confronted for proof of the baseless allegations you have made.

Statistics are for the most part inaccurate barometers.

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 27, 2018 7:43 AM

243129

 

 
n012944

 

 
243129
 

 

 

I am reactive not proactive.

 

 

 

Keep telling yourself that, it isn't true, but whatever helps you sleep at night.

BTW

 I thought I was on your ignore list?

 

 

 

You don't have to be. I don't really pay much attention to your posts, there is nothing of substance in them.

 

Duh?

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Posted by Euclid on Monday, August 27, 2018 7:48 AM

In the case of the 501 wreck, human error appears to be merely the way in which the accident finally manifested, that is, unless one considers the failing Amtrak safety culture to be the collective error of many humans. 

In the NTSB report on the Chester wreck, they clearly cited the Amtrak safety culture as the cause.  In my opinion, that NTSB observation does not mean than the Amtrak safety culture simply made one mistake one day; a case of human error. 

Cultures act collectively as a widespread movement.  That collective action is axiomatically a trend by definition.  So the NTSB had cited a TREND in safety training and practices at Amtrak. 

What is being reported in the news about the employees being undertrained for the new route taken by 501 fits perfectly with the NTSB established citation of Amtrak’s poor safety culture being the cause of the Chester wreck. 

Therefore the problem with Amtrak safety culture was a trend a few years ago, and it still continues as a trend if what we are being told about the lack of training regarding the 501 trip is true.   

While it is the nature of trends to continue due to the inertia of their many inputs, it is possible for them to either begin or end abruptly if strong action is taken at the highest level of the bureaucracy.  Since there was no outward evidence of a deteriorating Amtrak safety culture only a few years ago, it seems that the current trend of Amtrak safety problems began abruptly.  So what would cause this?

One cause would be that Amtrak suddenly became safety incompetent throughout the organization.  Another potential cause would be that Amtrak’s evolving management suddenly encountered new outside ideas about cost cutting in training and how it could be done without affecting safety.  And so, from the top level, these new theories were imposed, and they have failed to meet the promises made by their promotors.    

Many times it has been stated here that statistics are not being relied on, and at the same time, detractors are accused of damning statistics.  It seems to me that the case for statistics is indeed very much being relied on as the absolute proof that Amtrak does not have a cultural safety problem. 

Yet, if this Amtrak safety culture deterioration is a trend that has just begun in the last couple years, the statistics will not show it because they cannot reflect the start of a new trend until enough time has passed to prove that there is a new trend.  So I would conclude that the current state of Amtrak safety culture is not shown in the statistics.  Instead, it is shown in the recent facts reported by the NTSB on the Chester wreck, and in the news about the 501 wreck. 

I also conclude that the use of statistics in this thread has been to strongly deny the role of a deteriorating Amtrak safety culture being the cause of the 501 wreck.  I think that statistics fail to support that conclusion.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, August 27, 2018 9:07 AM

 

 

 This is another indication displaying your total ignorance through your lack of training. 

 

243129:

Statistics are for the most part inaccurate barometers.

 
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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, August 27, 2018 9:15 AM

Euclid
One cause would be that Amtrak suddenly became safety incompetent throughout the organization.  Another potential cause would be that Amtrak’s evolving management suddenly encountered new outside ideas about cost cutting in training and how it could be done without affecting safety.  And so, from the top level, these new theories were imposed, and they have failed to meet the promises made by their promotors.  

Beyond sloganeering Amtrak has never had a safety culture.  You can't lose what you never had.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, August 27, 2018 9:27 AM

A few short notes. The Chester accident was a failure within MofW. So I doubt that the NTSB conclusions about training within MofW can be transferred 1:1 to the operating department. Two different division managers might have different safety goals. In the final report of #188's accident there is one recommendation for Amtrak: Incorporate strategies into your initial and recurrent training for operating crewmembers for recognizing and effectively managing multiple concurrent tasks in prolonged, atypical situations to sustain their attention on current and upcoming train operations. (R-16-37)

Statistics can get problematic when interpreted to ones liking. I wrote a few posts ago that with bad will one could conclude from the statistic that the safety record got better with the veteran engineer retiring. That the statistic doesn't provide. This relationship most likely is coincidental.

I can't remember that those citing the statistic have denied problems with Amtrak' training regarding the #501 accident because of the statistic. We said, IIRC, that the statistic might have led Amtrak's conclusion their safety measures are good enough and no unspecified input is needed.

The statistic doesn't tell how good or bad a safety system really is but that it bettered the situation. The accidents showed there is apparently still room for further gains.

Reading your last post you seem to have a quite selective reading.
Regards, Volker

 

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Posted by n012944 on Monday, August 27, 2018 9:43 AM

243129

 

 
243129

 

 
n012944

 

 
243129
 

 

 

I am reactive not proactive.

 

 

 

Keep telling yourself that, it isn't true, but whatever helps you sleep at night.

BTW

 I thought I was on your ignore list?

 

 

 

You don't have to be. I don't really pay much attention to your posts, there is nothing of substance in them.

 

 

 

Duh?

 

 

You said I was on it already.  Which is it, internet tough guy?  Again, you may say you don't pay attention to my posts, but yet you always reply to them.  As usual, your story doesn't add up.

 

243129

I am reactive not proactive.

 

So you fit right in at Amtrak.  

An "expensive model collector"

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 27, 2018 11:16 AM

Safety at Amtrak is 'window dressing'.

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, August 27, 2018 11:50 AM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

The Chester accident was a failure within MofW. So I doubt that the NTSB conclusions about training within MofW can be transferred 1:1 to the operating department. Two different division managers might have different safety goals.

 

 

Because a railroad is (supposed to be) a coordinated operating system, those two different managers should have been coordinating on whatever their safety goals are.  And THEIR boss should be making sure of it.  And/or doing it.

I think Euclid is right on this point.

 

Ed

 

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, August 27, 2018 12:20 PM

7j43k
I think Euclid is right on this point.

In the end he might be right. But I find it daring to conclude from a NTSB report about problems in Amtrak's MofW division that Amtrak's operating division suffers the same problems.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, August 27, 2018 12:56 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

 
7j43k
I think Euclid is right on this point.

 

In the end he might be right. But I find it daring to conclude from a NTSB report about problems in Amtrak's MofW division that Amtrak's operating division suffers the same problems.
Regards, Volker

 

501 does kind of hint at it.  And maybe whatever happened with that track switch in Virginia.

 

Ed

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, August 27, 2018 1:04 PM

7j43k
501 does kind of hint at it. And maybe whatever happened with that track switch in Virginia.

Which track switch accident in Virginia? I only remember an accident at Cayce SC, where a CSX locomotive crew left a main track switch leading an Amtrak train directly into the locomotives of a parked CSX train.

That was not Amtrak's fault. Amtrak, its crew and passengers were the victims.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by n012944 on Monday, August 27, 2018 1:09 PM

deleted

An "expensive model collector"

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, August 27, 2018 2:32 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

 
7j43k
501 does kind of hint at it. And maybe whatever happened with that track switch in Virginia.

 

Which track switch accident in Virginia? I only remember an accident at Cayce SC, where a CSX locomotive crew left a main track switch leading an Amtrak train directly into the locomotives of a parked CSX train.

That was not Amtrak's fault. Amtrak, its crew and passengers were the victims.
Regards, Volker

 

 

Right.  Not Amtrak. 

Ed

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 27, 2018 2:37 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

 
7j43k
I think Euclid is right on this point.

 

In the end he might be right. But I find it daring to conclude from a NTSB report about problems in Amtrak's MofW division that Amtrak's operating division suffers the same problems.
Regards, Volker

 

It is pervasive throughout Amtrak. It is called poor training, poor vetting, poor supervision. I speak from first-hand knowledge.

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, August 27, 2018 2:46 PM

243129

 

 
VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

 
7j43k
I think Euclid is right on this point.

 

In the end he might be right. But I find it daring to conclude from a NTSB report about problems in Amtrak's MofW division that Amtrak's operating division suffers the same problems.
Regards, Volker

 

 

 

It is pervasive throughout Amtrak. It is called poor training, poor vetting, poor supervision. I speak from first-hand knowledge.

 

 

Thanks for adding a new insight into the problem instead of repeating the same concept over and over.  And over.  

Oh, oh.  I was wrong about Cayce/Amtrak, and I was just wrong again.  Bad day, I guess.

 

Ed

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Posted by 243129 on Monday, August 27, 2018 3:01 PM

7j43k

 

 
243129

 

 
VOLKER LANDWEHR

 

 
7j43k
I think Euclid is right on this point.

 

In the end he might be right. But I find it daring to conclude from a NTSB report about problems in Amtrak's MofW division that Amtrak's operating division suffers the same problems.
Regards, Volker

 

 

 

It is pervasive throughout Amtrak. It is called poor training, poor vetting, poor supervision. I speak from first-hand knowledge.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for adding a new insight into the problem instead of repeating the same concept over and over.  And over.  

Oh, oh.  I was wrong about Cayce/Amtrak, and I was just wrong again.  Bad day, I guess.

 

Ed

 

There is no other insight.

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Posted by Jim200 on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 2:44 AM

Euclid

   The key point I would like to know is the derailment speed for that train entering the curve, and whether maximum braking starting upon the engineer's relization of the circumstances, would have prevented the derailment. 

I would like to know whether the brake application was mostly ineffective, as the engineer has stated, and if so, why?  

 

There is a lot of info in the locomotive event recorder graphs in the link below, but it takes time to understand the squiggly lines. Figure 2 shows the trip from Seattle versus time in 50 second increments, and shows that the engineer slowed from 70mph to 30mph in about 60 seconds and accelerated from 0.0mph to 77mph in about 140 seconds. It also shows that the engineer made several 10 psi reductions in brake pipe pressure, but the brake cylinder pressure remained at 0.0 psi. However, the speed shows that the train was braking, which would indicate problems in brake cylinder data.

Figure 3 shows that in the last 10 minutes and about 14 miles, the engineer made about 28 changes to the throttle as he was trying to maintain a top speed which varied from 76mph to 83mph with four times below 79mph and seven times above.

Figure 4 makes the data in the last 3 miles even easier to read. Near 1.5 miles from the end of data and the locomotive at 80mph, the engineer reduces throttle from T4 to T2 and it takes 7 seconds for the tractive effort to reduce. At 3/4 miles and 81mph the engineer reduces the throttle from T2 to Idle in four seconds, and it takes 8 seconds for the tractive effort to go to zero. Two seconds after Idle with the locomotive at 82mph, the engineer applies about 8 psi reduction in brake pipe, and one second later the brake cylinder pressure rises to 14 psi in 2 seconds. One second later the locomotive hits 83mph for 3 seconds and presumably the alerter sounds. The locomotive is now at 1/2 mile. 12 seconds later the locomotive slows to 80mph, but even with 1/4 mile to go, the engineer does not apparently know where he is. 

4 seconds later with a little more than 1/8 mile to go, the engineer recognizes the danger and reduces the brake pipe by an additional 11 psi over 5 seconds and the brake cylinder pressure rises to 48 psi. The locomotive remained at 80mph for about 1.5 seconds, but because the speed is not plotted in 0.1mph increments, it is difficult to determine exactly. The final speed recorded after 6 seconds of increased braking is 78mph. It is doubtful that emergency braking would have saved the day, but maybe somewhere there is data showing this.

 https://dms.ntsb.gov/public/61000-61499/61332/616699.pdfhttps://dms.ntsb.gov/public/61000-61499/61332/616699.pdf

(Apparently the NTSB reorganized their website and this link on the 501  locomotive event recorder doesn't work)

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 4:30 AM

You can download it from here: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/document.cfm?docID=464846&docketID=61332&mkey=96974

I haven't found a way to link the pdf directly.

Documents regarding 501 are now in this docket: https://t.co/E48qUFYYSq

Regards, Volker

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Posted by Euclid on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 7:49 AM

Jim200,

Thanks for providing that information.  So at a little more than 660 feet from the point of derailment in the curve, the train was traveling at 80 mph.  At that point the engineer made an 11 lb. reduction and traveled another 175 ft. before the speed began to drop from 80 mph.  So he was 485 ft. from the point of derailment in the curve when the train began slowing from 80 mph, toward the required speed of 30 mph.  

I wonder if an emergency application at 80 mph, 660 feet from the point of derailment, would have slowed enough to have prevented the derailment. 

I would like to know if Amtrak trained this engineer to use the service application that he did instead of using an emergency application, as he said in his interview. 

I would also like to know if the service application would have decelerated just as quickly as an emergency application, as the engineer claims he was taught by Amtrak. 

As I recall, initially, the NTSB said that the engineer reached for the independent brake and made an application, but never touched the automatic brake.  Was this report in error from misinterpreting what is shown on the video?

The engineer said that he did not feel the brake application he made take hold, and this raises the question about an equipment failure.  However, he was only a few seconds away from disaster.  Perhaps his perception that the braking did not take hold is just based on his distress in realizing that he had far too little braking available for the predicament he was in.

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Posted by 243129 on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 8:05 AM

"the engineer made several 10 psi reductions in brake pipe pressure, but the brake cylinder pressure remained at 0.0 psi. However, the speed shows that the train was braking, which would indicate problems in brake cylinder data."

Zero p.s.i. brake cylinder pressure would indicate that the engineer used the 'bail off' feature for whatever reason.

What I find most disturbing is that when he realized that the train was is in imminent danger he did not apply the brakes in emergency. If not doing so was part of his training that would be nothing short of criminal.

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 8:06 AM

My understanding, and I could be wrong, this was the engineer's first experience with the Charger type locomotive.  If it was the first experience, he has no knowledge base to draw up in how the locomtive and train will respond to control inputs.  Without experience, everything he experiences becomes a level of information overload.

So - the engineer had operated ONE Southbound training trip at the controls of a different locomotive than he was operating on the derailment train, a locomotive he had not operted previously.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by 243129 on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 8:16 AM

Euclid

Jim200,

Thanks for providing that information.  So at a little more than 660 feet from the point of derailment in the curve, the train was traveling at 80 mph.  At that point the engineer made an 11 lb. reduction and traveled another 175 ft. before the speed began to drop from 80 mph.  So he was 485 ft. from the point of derailment in the curve when the train began slowing from 80 mph, toward the required speed of 30 mph.  

A clear indication that he had no idea where he was.

I wonder if an emergency application at 80 mph, 660 feet from the point of derailment, would have slowed enough to have prevented the derailment. 

It should have been a natural reaction when he sensed the danger.

I would like to know if Amtrak trained this engineer to use the service application that he did instead of using an emergency application, as he said in his interview.

If they did I would consider them criminally responsible. 

I would also like to know if the service application would have decelerated just as quickly as an emergency application, as the engineer claims he was taught by Amtrak. 

No an emergency application 'dumps' the air, a service application gradually reduces air pressure.

As I recall, initially, the NTSB said that the engineer reached for the independent brake and made an application, but never touched the automatic brake.  Was this report in error from misinterpreting what is shown on the video?

The engineer said that he did not feel the brake application he made take hold, and this raises the question about an equipment failure.  However, he was only a few seconds away from disaster.  Perhaps his perception that the braking did not take hold is just based on his distress in realizing that he had far too little braking available for the predicament he was in.

 

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Posted by 243129 on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 8:18 AM

BaltACD

My understanding, and I could be wrong, this was the engineer's first experience with the Charger type locomotive.  If it was the first experience, he has no knowledge base to draw up in how the locomtive and train will respond to control inputs.  Without experience, everything he experiences becomes a level of information overload.

So - the engineer had operated ONE Southbound training trip at the controls of a different locomotive than he was operating on the derailment train, a locomotive he had not operted previously.

 

A clear indicator of poor training and poor supervision is it not?

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 10:40 AM

243129
 
BaltACD

My understanding, and I could be wrong, this was the engineer's first experience with the Charger type locomotive.  If it was the first experience, he has no knowledge base to draw up in how the locomtive and train will respond to control inputs.  Without experience, everything he experiences becomes a level of information overload.

So - the engineer had operated ONE Southbound training trip at the controls of a different locomotive than he was operating on the derailment train, a locomotive he had not operted previously. 

A clear indicator of poor training and poor supervision is it not?

Also clear evidence of political pressure as the Charger locomotive was WSDOT's 'baby' and their desire to have it on the inaugural run.

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Posted by 243129 on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 10:58 AM

BaltACD

 

 
243129
 
BaltACD

My understanding, and I could be wrong, this was the engineer's first experience with the Charger type locomotive.  If it was the first experience, he has no knowledge base to draw up in how the locomtive and train will respond to control inputs.  Without experience, everything he experiences becomes a level of information overload.

So - the engineer had operated ONE Southbound training trip at the controls of a different locomotive than he was operating on the derailment train, a locomotive he had not operted previously. 

A clear indicator of poor training and poor supervision is it not?

 

Also clear evidence of political pressure as the Charger locomotive was WSDOT's 'baby' and their desire to have it on the inaugural run.

 

Caving to political pressure without regard to safety. I would hope it would be but I highly doubt that will be brought out in the NTSB report.

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Posted by 243129 on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 11:41 AM

Damn phone!!#%÷×+\%

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 4:10 PM

243129

Damn phone!!#%÷×+\%

In the interest of proper training:

How to quote

Now you are qualified!

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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