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Amtrak 501 Derail in Washington State

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, January 28, 2021 7:56 AM

243129

 

 
BaltACD
I fully agree with your assessment of the 'training' provided to the incident engineer and the rest that participated.  They were not QUALIFIED on the route.

 

Hmmm.

 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 11:01 PM

Joe -- welcome back!

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Posted by 243129 on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 9:38 PM

BaltACD
I fully agree with your assessment of the 'training' provided to the incident engineer and the rest that participated.  They were not QUALIFIED on the route.

Hmmm.

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Posted by MMLDelete on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 11:30 PM

Overmod

 

 
BaltACD
If you have a TRULY QUALIFIED engineer even signs are not necessary.  However, I have my doubts how may TRULY QUALIFIED engineers even exist anymore.  A TRULY QUALIFIED engineer knows his territory like a blind man knows his living space and everything that is in it.

 

I thought I was over being incensed by that situation, but I come to find I am not.

 

Review the data, including that in the engineer's transcript, regarding the time and nature of the 'training' given by Amtrak and WSDOT.  Pay careful attention to the number of trips run under low-light conditions.

FULLY QUALIFIED by any meaningful railroader's definition does not come anywhere remotely near the slackness and failure of that operation.  I would say it's a wonder they could ever run a train safely down that stretch, except... oh wait, they didn't.

 

I couldn't agree more. What a debacle. What a disgrace.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 8:18 PM

Overmod
 
BaltACD
If you have a TRULY QUALIFIED engineer even signs are not necessary.  However, I have my doubts how may TRULY QUALIFIED engineers even exist anymore.  A TRULY QUALIFIED engineer knows his territory like a blind man knows his living space and everything that is in it. 

I thought I was over being incensed by that situation, but I come to find I am not. 

Review the data, including that in the engineer's transcript, regarding the time and nature of the 'training' given by Amtrak and WSDOT.  Pay careful attention to the number of trips run under low-light conditions.

FULLY QUALIFIED by any meaningful railroader's definition does not come anywhere remotely near the slackness and failure of that operation.  I would say it's a wonder they could ever run a train safely down that stretch, except... oh wait, they didn't.

I fully agree with your assessment of the 'training' provided to the incident engineer and the rest that participated.  They were not QUALIFIED on the route.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 3:38 PM

BaltACD
If you have a TRULY QUALIFIED engineer even signs are not necessary.  However, I have my doubts how may TRULY QUALIFIED engineers even exist anymore.  A TRULY QUALIFIED engineer knows his territory like a blind man knows his living space and everything that is in it.

I thought I was over being incensed by that situation, but I come to find I am not.

Review the data, including that in the engineer's transcript, regarding the time and nature of the 'training' given by Amtrak and WSDOT.  Pay careful attention to the number of trips run under low-light conditions.

FULLY QUALIFIED by any meaningful railroader's definition does not come anywhere remotely near the slackness and failure of that operation.  I would say it's a wonder they could ever run a train safely down that stretch, except... oh wait, they didn't.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 3:24 PM

rdamon
Signs are subject to vandalism and should not be the primary guide but coupled with PTC and proper training there should be at least one mechanism to maintain situation awareness.
I am sure it probably will not be needed in DuPont as the memorial markers will imprint the dangers of not reducing speed, but has there been any procedure changes that have been published since the incident?

If you have a TRULY QUALIFIED engineer even signs are not necessary.  However, I have my doubts how may TRULY QUALIFIED engineers even exist anymore.  A TRULY QUALIFIED engineer knows his territory like a blind man knows his living space and everything that is in it.

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Posted by rdamon on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 2:00 PM
Signs are subject to vandalism and should not be the primary guide but coupled with PTC and proper training there should be at least one mechanism to maintain situation awareness.
 
I am sure it probably will not be needed in DuPont as the memorial markers will imprint the dangers of not reducing speed, but has there been any procedure changes that have been published since the incident?
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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, January 18, 2021 6:01 PM

Overmod
 
BaltACD
Railroads don't use signalling to enforce speeds. 

But distant and home signals only very peripherally involve speed.  In this particular case the issue was adequate fixed warning at night of a very, very serious fixed obstruction, as dangerous as any drawbridge or crossing at grade.  In my extremely unhumble opinion, no one but morons terminate a 79mph stretch at a hard 35mph curve, over a well-trafficked highway, with only incidental signals.  (It could be argued, and I would in fact so argue, that merely having such a combination of fixed speeds is 'asking for it'. 

Signalling is used to show the condition of the track segment(s) ahead of the train. 

And you would argue, what?  That the condition of the track segment ahead of that train was undesirable to indicate clearly at night?

The engineer passed the FIXED Signals - which is what speed boards are.  in the 21st Century they are reflectorized and 'light up' in the beam of the headlight and if you are only halfway attentive they are hard to miss.  In fact, in urban areas it can be very difficult to discern illuminated wayside signals in the plethora of highway traffic lights and all the other light sources that exist in urban areas,  Part of being QUALIFIED on any particular territory is knowing all the traps one can fall into.  

Hundreds of similar operating conditions at various points on all railroads are safely operated over by hundreds of trains each day.  A curve is not a 'block condition' - it is not a train or a broken rail.

Personally, I don't think railroads are adequately signed.  If you decide to drive from Atlanta to Memphis you don't have to have prior qualifications - you just follow the signs.  By the same token, if a engineer is adequately trained on operations over a variety of geographical territories ranging from flatlands to mountainous with helpers and/or DPU opeations they should be able to safely operate a train A and any other place following signage that identifies upcoming operating conditions, grades, speed restrictions and all other conditions that require the engineer to take actions for the safety of his train.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, January 18, 2021 4:28 PM

OM: I think the valid point you are trying to ascertain is whether there is some sort of back up to a faulty PTC or a way to positively warn an engineer who is not exercising proper attention?   Human failures happen.  That's why mechanisms have been sought and used for years for mitigation. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 18, 2021 4:07 PM

BaltACD
Railroads don't use signalling to enforce speeds.

But distant and home signals only very peripherally involve speed.  In this particular case the issue was adequate fixed warning at night of a very, very serious fixed obstruction, as dangerous as any drawbridge or crossing at grade.  In my extremely unhumble opinion, no one but morons terminate a 79mph stretch at a hard 35mph curve, over a well-trafficked highway, with only incidental signals.  (It could be argued, and I would in fact so argue, that merely having such a combination of fixed speeds is 'asking for it'.

Signalling is used to show the condition of the track segment(s) ahead of the train.

And you would argue, what?  That the condition of the track segment ahead of that train was undesirable to indicate clearly at night?

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, January 18, 2021 2:34 PM

Overmod
The ominous thing to me is that I don't see evidence of the 'cultural change' that should have followed that wreck and the vast shortcomings in training, planning, and professional ethics it revealed.

That said, it has to be remembered that a simple pair of lighted signals in proper locations with proper aspects would very likely have prevented the accident, just as functional PTC as required by law would have.

Railroads don't use signalling to enforece speeds.  Signalling is used to show the condition of the track segment(s) ahead of the train.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 18, 2021 1:42 PM

The ominous thing to me is that I don't see evidence of the 'cultural change' that should have followed that wreck and the vast shortcomings in training, planning, and professional ethics it revealed.

That said, it has to be remembered that a simple pair of lighted signals in proper locations with proper aspects would very likely have prevented the accident, just as functional PTC as required by law would have.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, January 18, 2021 11:49 AM

If the 2017 engineer had situational awareness in the first place the incident would not have happened.  He did not have sufficient qualifications for the route and thought he did and did not exercise awareness of his surroundings.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 18, 2021 9:47 AM

As we read this, reports of the tests should be coming in.

Nosferatu Jr. did not particularly impress me as the 'face' of the revised safety and service effort.

I am particularly interested in the revised procedures in the last two miles to the 'dead man's curve' location.  They note that PTC will be fully in force, and they showed a brief cut of a couple of legacy speedboards as they noted something about better warning, but I'm interested in seeing if a proper distant and home indication has been provided in conjunction with the PTC and if proper alternative procedure is in place and tested for the times when -- not if -- the PTC is down.

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Posted by rdamon on Sunday, January 17, 2021 11:51 PM

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/tacoma/test-trains-at-point-defiance-bypass-3-years-after-deadly-derailment/281-82bd5723-8ac0-4223-ad06-40b1ecfd5042

Amtrak to test trains at Point Defiance Bypass this weekend, 3 years after deadly derailment

Amtrak will run test trains on January 16 and 17, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

 

 

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Posted by ns145 on Friday, February 8, 2019 3:56 PM

LithoniaOperator

Does anyone know approximately when the NTSB report will be released?

 

The final report is at least 2/3's complete.  Here is a recent update posted on the NTSB's website back on December 13, 2018: https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/pages/rrd18mr001.aspx 

 

The final report will be delivered to the Board in a public meeting to be held in 2019.

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Friday, February 8, 2019 12:32 PM

  We're getting close to getting this thread locked or deleted.

_____________ 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, February 8, 2019 10:15 AM

Euclid

What I speculate above has nothing to do with Individual #1.  Instead, it is related to the growing detachment from the concept that the public institutions work for us. 

 

Policies of appointees are obviously a function of the politics of the appointer. The current #1 merely follows in an acceleration of devaluing government as it once was, starting with #40's "Government IS the problem" notion.  #1's views were influenced by an anti-governmentalist,  deconstructionist advisor. 

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Posted by Euclid on Friday, February 8, 2019 9:48 AM

What I speculate above has nothing to do with Individual #1.  Instead, it is related to the growing detachment from the concept that the public institutions work for us. 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, February 8, 2019 8:46 AM

Most of the ~400 employees of the NTSB are civil servants but the five board of directors are appointed by the President and confirmed by the US Senate for five-year terms. The current chair was appointed by the current #1, originally named to the board by Bush 43. The vice chair and one other member were named by the current #1. There is one vacancy (no surprise there).  Whatever influence on policy the board has can probably be traced to the current #1.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, February 8, 2019 8:36 AM

Euclid
 
BaltACD
 
Euclid
I think are approaching a policy shift whereby no public accident reports will be issued because the information will be deemed too sensitive for public disclosure.  It will be considered to be proprietary business information.   

Along the lines of individual #1 not wanting to be investigated? 

I mean along the lines of the industry and the NTSB feeling that the public has no right to know what caused a wreck, and they they have no duty to inform the public about any of the details.  Also, the industry would prefer to not make the details public because it is bad publicity for them.

I think that at one time, the NTSB, being a public sector institution, had the duty to inform the public and that it helped justify their existance as a public sector instution.  The public is paying the bill, so they should receive the work product.  That kind of humble reasoning has gone out the window lately.

If the NTSB felt a strong obligation to inform the public, they would do so in a timely manner.

Along the lines of Individual #1 feeling anything he or his governmental agencies do should be hidden from public scrutiny?  That is not the US way.

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Posted by Euclid on Friday, February 8, 2019 6:02 AM

BaltACD
 
Euclid
I think are approaching a policy shift whereby no public accident reports will be issued because the information will be deemed too sensitive for public disclosure.  It will be considered to be proprietary business information.  

 

Along the lines of individual #1 not wanting to be investigated?

 

I mean along the lines of the industry and the NTSB feeling that the public has no right to know what caused a wreck, and they they have no duty to inform the public about any of the details.  Also, the industry would prefer to not make the details public because it is bad publicity for them.

I think that at one time, the NTSB, being a public sector institution, had the duty to inform the public and that it helped justify their existance as a public sector instution.  The public is paying the bill, so they should receive the work product.  That kind of humble reasoning has gone out the window lately.

If the NTSB felt a strong obligation to inform the public, they would do so in a timely manner.

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Posted by 243129 on Thursday, February 7, 2019 8:51 PM

BaltACD

 

 
Euclid
I think are approaching a policy shift whereby no public accident reports will be issued because the information will be deemed too sensitive for public disclosure.  It will be considered to be proprietary business information.  

 

Along the lines of individual #1 not wanting to be investigated?

 

+2

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, February 7, 2019 6:48 PM

charlie hebdo
BaltACD
Along the lines of individual #1 not wanting to be investigated?

+1

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, February 7, 2019 6:24 PM

BaltACD
Along the lines of individual #1 not wanting to be investigated?

+1

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, February 7, 2019 4:34 PM

Euclid
I think are approaching a policy shift whereby no public accident reports will be issued because the information will be deemed too sensitive for public disclosure.  It will be considered to be proprietary business information.  

Along the lines of individual #1 not wanting to be investigated?

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, February 7, 2019 11:03 AM

I think are approaching a policy shift whereby no public accident reports will be issued because the information will be deemed too sensitive for public disclosure.  It will be considered to be proprietary business information.  

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, February 4, 2019 10:38 AM
Never is good for them. Is never good for you? Ed
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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Thursday, January 3, 2019 10:00 PM

Does anyone know approximately when the NTSB report will be released?

Still in training.


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