Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby Tadman » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:35 pm

Larry, you're absolutely right. I should've been a bit more clear in my analogy. I suggested a rail sim for the purposes of route familiarization whilst a flight sim for purposes of control/vehicle familiarity.

You're also right that they should've stopped if they didn't feel familiar enough with the territory, but there are two issues with that.

1. carriers have been known to pressure staff to do things. There is a lot of chatter about how this happens at MRL with vacation/sick days right now.

2. The old Mark Twain saying, "it's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble, it's what you think you know that you don't". If you feel you know the route, you don't have the sense to decline a run. This is why I suggest a hard-and-fast rule for amount of familiarization runs, in daylight, with limited others in the cab, or a sim.

Really, do you even need a full-on sim? I've done shipyard safety training where they play a video which pauses at important points and quizes me on safety choices at that point.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:39 pm

Tadman wrote:Really, do you even need a full-on sim? I've done shipyard safety training where they play a video which pauses at important points and quizes me on safety choices at that point.


I would think that getting a "butt feel" of the route is key. How long is it between points? Are there other visible queues? Is there some shake or vibration before you see something?

A full sim with all the shakes and shimmies may help here.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby Wayside » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:53 pm

From my experience (as an engineer and a supervisor of engineers), some people are more prone to distraction than are others. Having someone in the cab with the operator can sometimes induce extraneous chatter that pulls focus away from the scenario rolling past at 79 mph. Lose focus for a couple of minutes and you miss the wayside permanent speed sign and forget where you are. I'm not saying that is what happened in this case, since I wasn't there. But it would not surprise me if that is what happened.

Anyone ever see the excellent DRGW training film called "Trouble at Troublesome?"
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby justalurker66 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:00 pm

A shake and shimmy simulator would be expensive. But I do like the idea of having a simulator with a mock cab available (NICTD has one for both types of cabs that they run in northern Indiana). Any help with training would be good.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby Wayside » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:15 pm

Simulators (again in my experience) are excellent for running a trainee through interactive scenarios that train/test situational responses. They are not as good a tool for learning physical characteristics of the railroad. Full motion sims are so expensive to own and maintain as to make them a ridiculous choice. In my opinion, that is.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby 8th Notch » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:03 pm

Wayside wrote:Simulators (again in my experience) are excellent for running a trainee through interactive scenarios that train/test situational responses. They are not as good a tool for learning physical characteristics of the railroad. Full motion sims are so expensive to own and maintain as to make them a ridiculous choice. In my opinion, that is.


I 2nd that, a sim is only good for situational things and not learning a route. A sim is not going to include every physical characteristic of the route and not all engineers use the same points of reference. When it’s foggy out or snowing and you can’t see 20 feet in front of you is when you really find out how well you know your PC’s
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby east point » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:51 pm

Have to agree about simulators. Aircraft simulators do a very good job and are universally accepted especially those full motion ones. But most aircraft problems are audible or visual and not tactile.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby CLamb » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:05 am

Wayside wrote:Simulators (again in my experience) are excellent for running a trainee through interactive scenarios that train/test situational responses. They are not as good a tool for learning physical characteristics of the railroad. Full motion sims are so expensive to own and maintain as to make them a ridiculous choice. In my opinion, that is.


Has there been any research on which cues are needed in a simulator to make simulator training effective?
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby Wayside » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:37 am

CLamb wrote:Has there been any research on which cues are needed in a simulator to make simulator training effective?



Good candidate for a Google search.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby BlendedBreak » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:49 pm

too many asshats in wilmington to design a solid training program.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:07 pm

Looks like a short-lived member is owed an "I told you so": https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/28/us/amtra ... index.html

Workers say they warned Amtrak before deadly crash

Portland, Oregon (CNN)In the days before Amtrak 501 careened off the tracks last month in a deadly crash, engineers and conductors warned their supervisors that they did not feel adequately trained on the new route, according to more than a dozen sources.

Several train cars flew off an overpass, landing on Interstate 5 in the December 18 accident near DuPont, Washington, which left three dead and more than 100 injured. At the time, Amtrak 501 was making its inaugural journey of a new Seattle-to-Portland run called the Point Defiance Bypass route.
Engineers and conductors had safety concerns, citing rushed and "totally inadequate" training which left them feeling dangerously unprepared for the new route, according to multiple sources, including several directly involved in the training. Crew members traditionally train on new routes to familiarize themselves with the signs, terrain and other physical characteristics which vary from route to route.

Some training runs were performed at night, with as many as six or more crew members stuffed into cars with just three seats, which meant some trainees rode backwards, in the dark, the sources said. Engineers felt they did not get enough practice runs at the controls and could not properly see to familiarize themselves with the route.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby justalurker66 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:52 pm

A self fulfilling prophecy?

I understand that there is pressure not to refuse work, but I agree with the point raised last week. if the engineer(s) did not feel comfortable with the route why did they not have heightened awareness? "I know that there is a low speed curve coming up soon" should encourage the engineer to be more vigilant. Not less.

I am not saying that the engineer intentionally wrecked the train. Only that it seemed that this failure seemed to be unavoidable.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby electricron » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:44 pm

justalurker66 wrote:A self fulfilling prophecy?
I am not saying that the engineer intentionally wrecked the train. Only that it seemed that this failure seemed to be unavoidable.

I disagree, this derailment crash was not unavoidable. Steps by Amtrak, Sounder, BNSF, and the train engineer's union local could have been taken to minimize these risks.
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby David Benton » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:08 am

Have the toxicology results been mentioned/reported ?
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Re: Cascade Wreck 18 December 17

Postby justalurker66 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:28 am

electricron wrote:
justalurker66 wrote:A self fulfilling prophecy?
I am not saying that the engineer intentionally wrecked the train. Only that it seemed that this failure seemed to be unavoidable.

I disagree, this derailment crash was not unavoidable. Steps by Amtrak, Sounder, BNSF, and the train engineer's union local could have been taken to minimize these risks.

Attribute that to those who prophesied that there would be an accident. "Somebody is going to get hurt. See somebody got hurt. We were right."
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