Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby gp80mac » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:06 pm

east point wrote:Why can't the management responsible for not installing a $40,000 ATC restriction be held personally responsible including jail time ?


So you want someone - god only knows who (since many people make those decisions) to be jailed for NOT doing something that wasn't required by law in the first place?

Did I get that right?
Yep.....
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby Nasadowsk » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:11 pm

east point wrote:Why can't the management responsible for not installing a $40,000 ATC restriction be held personally responsible including jail time ?


More to the point - how the hell does the PE that signed off on the last signal upgrade to that area still have a license?

Then again, why the hell did the FRA let it slide for so long?

(Anecdotal on the last one - I once complained to a friend about his excessive driving. His response? "This car has 8 airbags in it, we're fine".)
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:48 pm

By the term Forced,Is DENIED a Medical card for any kind of "Safety Sensitive " Function type job,from loco engineer to a School Bus Driver,
due to a Medical Condition.
He has a condition.sleep apnea,that's an automatic NO Medical Card till he can prove it's under control by his Doctor(aka a waiver)
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby justalurker66 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:03 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:
east point wrote:Why can't the management responsible for not installing a $40,000 ATC restriction be held personally responsible including jail time ?

More to the point - how the hell does the PE that signed off on the last signal upgrade to that area still have a license?
Then again, why the hell did the FRA let it slide for so long?

The signalling system was within the standards required at the time of installation. The PTC deadline had not passed (it still has not) and there was no requirement at the time of the accident that trains be coded a lower speed when entering such a curve.

Yes, 20/20 hindsight the code would have been a good idea. But who would have thought that an engineer would speed up to 106 MPH one curve too early? A million railfans the day after the accident but how many people saw the lack of a code to be a problem on that curve the day before the accident?
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby justalurker66 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:08 pm

Backshophoss wrote:By the term Forced,Is DENIED a Medical card for any kind of "Safety Sensitive " Function type job,from loco engineer to a School Bus Driver,
due to a Medical Condition.
He has a condition.sleep apnea,that's an automatic NO Medical Card till he can prove it's under control by his Doctor(aka a waiver)

Are you replying to me? If so, please go back and read the thread. We were talking about Bostian, not Rockefeller. Where do you get a diagnosis of sleep apnea for Bostian?
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby rohr turbo » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:55 am

The smartphone in your pocket has the GPS, the map memory, and the computational power to detect overspeed conditions and sound an alarm, or better yet, completely control the throttle and brake to run a safe train. Spuyten Duyvil, Frankford, Chatsworth, Cascades could have been so simply avoided. And a computer would not negligently kill people nor sue for "failure to provide plaintiff with a safe environment to work in."

But we're not allowed to discuss this on railroad.net. :(
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:06 am

except any kind of electronic device besides a watch or pacemaker is prohibited by company and federal regulations.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:17 am

Nasadowsk wrote:More to the point - how the hell does the PE that signed off on the last signal upgrade to that area still have a license?

Then again, why the hell did the FRA let it slide for so long?

(Anecdotal on the last one - I once complained to a friend about his excessive driving. His response? "This car has 8 airbags in it, we're fine".)

If that PE did due diligence according to the state of the art, and had his/her recommendations reviewed & approved by Amtrak (or was overruled on the record) their licensure will be fine.

Sounds like your friend’s car had nine airbags :wink:
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:09 pm

east point wrote:Why can't the management responsible for not installing a $40,000 ATC restriction be held personally responsible including jail time ?

Because management can only spend the money it has. Amtrak was in the process of installing civil-speed restrictions in ACSES over the entire corridor, starting with the most urgent; the speed reduction westbound was 110 to 50--eastbound 80 to 50, so the westbound was done first. I believe they were going to do all the reductions from 110 first, and then those from lower speeds. Also, there are only so many people with the necessary knowledge and training to do the installation and testing, and they can't be everywhere at once.
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby MattW » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:29 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:except any kind of electronic device besides a watch or pacemaker is prohibited by company and federal regulations.

I'm pretty sure his point wasn't that engineers should use smartphones on duty, rather we have the computational power and technology to do it.

But my counterpoint to it is that designing a safety-critical system is far more complex than throwing together an App on a smartphone. I can't begin to count how many times Waze has just randomly lost GPS, or claims it's lost network connectivity, or done some other weird stuff that wouldn't fly on the railroad, and it's a professional app backed by a huge company, not a backyard start-up. What you're (rohr turbo) describing is basically the I-ETMS implementation of PTC. Wireless using GPS.
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby BandA » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:02 pm

If I was driving a school bus at 106MPH into a 50MPH curve, went off the road and killed at least one of the students, I would be charged with driving recklessly at a minimum.

As for Mr. Rockefeller in the other case, he probably didn't know he had sleep apnea, but he must have known he had a problem, must have known that he was tired and chose to continue.
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby ryanov » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:09 pm

Some of these comments are really really stupid and ignorant.

There is no comparable situation on a roadway. Cars don't have the same extremely long stopping distance, there are no roads (at least in the US at this point) where the speed limit is over 100mph, and there aren't roads where the speed drops in half without warning. I'd go into more detail, but everyone who's operated a car knows what I'm talking about. You don't need to be a locomotive engineer to figure that out, just be able to tie your shoes (or Google if you really can't puzzle that out on your own), so there's really no excuse for some of this stuff.

As far as prosecution of people who make mistakes go, we figured this out for air travel a long time ago. You do not prosecute people for human mistakes. It's asinine. There are only even a few cases worldwide so far as I know of people who have been charged for exercising bad judgment (mechanics that have caused crashes, pilots who have done unauthorized maneuvers, etc.). I really feel for Bostian. Again, it's very clear to basically everyone that he was a conscientious employee. If you plan your transportation system around humans never making mistakes, you're going to be burying lots of them.
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby airman00 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:34 pm

ryanov wrote:If you plan your transportation system around humans never making mistakes, you're going to be burying lots of them.


I agree with that last sentence. We (and by we I mean railroad management) need to understand that locomotive engineers are human beings and not robots or machines. I think there should be a mandatory 30-45 minute break between runs. Instead of Mr. Bostians “barely enough time to get a sandwich & coffee, let alone use the bathroom” before he had to go back out again. His previous run was stressful having been made without working cab signals, and then he only had 20 minutes till his next run?? (Or something like that)
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby ryanov » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:21 pm

It's a problem that still exists in nearly all modes of transportation. We know a lot about how humans perform when deprived of sleep, and then we set up all of these people to take hundreds of other people's lives in their hands doing almost exactly the opposite of what's right for the physiology. The Seattle commute for that regional pilot working for Colgan making less money than a bus driver, the extra list for engineers, etc. We all want our stuff cheap and then to trash people whose humanity gets the better of them at the wrong moment, apparently.
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Re: Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

Postby rohr turbo » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:07 am

ryanov wrote:There is no comparable situation on a roadway...everyone who's operated a car knows what I'm talking about.


Actually I disagree. Car drivers have to watch 4-8 nearby cars (on an interstate in traffic) that can swerve or brake at any moment and then immediate evasive action is necessary. Car drivers often don't have pre-knowledge of the road they're driving, but must still do so safely. Cars have to merge with others, judge whether they can stop at a yellow, look out for bikers/pedestrians, negotiate puddles/ice, etc. I'd think unexpected obstructions/debris are more common on a roadway than railway.

Cars have steering wheels -- locomotives don't!

Yes NEC locomotives go faster and engineer must memorize the route. But with no other vehicles to consider, that shouldn't be such a difficult tradeoff.

If I'm wrong, please explain.

Philadelphia accident was caused by a human's confusion of location and speed limit. This is why I argue that more automation would assist human, fallible engineers. (Eventually automation will replace the humans in such tasks, IMO.)
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