UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Discussion about the Union Pacific operations past and present. Official site can be found here: UPRR.COM.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:37 pm

What bothers me is that the crew of the EB train crew had just barely gone on duty 2 hours before the wreck,
while the WB train crew,on duty for 5+ hours was alert and following the wayside signals,did that EB train crew
have proper rest before going on duty??
Backshophoss
 
Posts: 4574
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Semaphore Sam » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:27 pm

I was an airline/military pilot for 36 years...crew rest was always difficult, and many flights back then, and today, have been flown by very tired crew-members. Ways of dealing with this varied...get a lot of exercise at a hotel, booze, anything to try to get to sleep. Management traditionally was NOT sympathetic to crew having insomnia, or a noisy hotel environment, or much of anything else. Declaring fatigue marked one as a slacker. Our rest rules usually had us starting rest at a particular time, and then having a scheduled departure...if, after rest was over, we were on 'standby', this standby period was limited to 12 hours, when we would be returned to another period of mandatory rest. Is this the case in the railroad industry? My understanding is, that after a work shift, crews are put into rest, but, after the rest is over, you are on permanent standby until called out. This could result in some crew being awake 16-18 hours, putting head to pillow, and before sleep comes, being called out. Could someone confirm that this is the case? If so, people could be awake 27-30 hours, and still be on a legal turn; it is no wonder people fall asleep at the front end. Just askin'. Sam
Semaphore Sam
 
Posts: 177
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 7:04 am
Location: New Hampshire

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Silverliner II » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:48 am

Semaphore Sam wrote:Is this the case in the railroad industry? My understanding is, that after a work shift, crews are put into rest, but, after the rest is over, you are on permanent standby until called out. This could result in some crew being awake 16-18 hours, putting head to pillow, and before sleep comes, being called out. Could someone confirm that this is the case? If so, people could be awake 27-30 hours, and still be on a legal turn; it is no wonder people fall asleep at the front end. Just askin'. Sam

That pretty much sums it up. Many has been the time that I would have finished a job, gotten my mandatory rest, and then, due to say, a somewhat slow day, I have been awake for nearly 8 to 10 hours already when called to work. Or I've "laid in" for an entire day, then gone to sleep, only to be called out a half hour or less after my head hits the pillow.
"*BEEEEEP!!!* Three-Three! Three! No Alarms!"
(announcement from CN hotbox/dragging equipment detector, Milepost 33, track #3, Oakville Subdivision)
Silverliner II
 
Posts: 4298
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:04 am
Location: Somewhere near a Philly railroad line...

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Bart78 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:17 pm

http://newsok.com/ntsb-train-engineers- ... le/3853801


WASHINGTON — The head-on collision of two freight trains in the Oklahoma Panhandle last summer likely occurred because one train engineer had severe vision problems and couldn't read signals, National Transportation Safety Board staff said Tuesday.


Three crew members were killed in the crash.

The engineer operating the eastbound train had numerous eye conditions but was still allowed by Union Pacific to continue working, NTSB staff said at a hearing.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

This does not bode well for the UP. Given what I read over on the Employment forum here, I don't understand how this could occur or be allowed to continue. I look forward to reading other knowledgeable comments on this development.
Bart78
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:26 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby lirr42 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:19 pm

Bart78 wrote:This does not bode well for the UP. Given what I read over on the Employment forum here, I don't understand how this could occur or be allowed to continue. I look forward to reading other knowledgeable comments on this development.

Eyesight is a tricky thing...the only one who really knows how good or bad one's vision is is that person itself. I would expect that the engineer's vision was most likely fine at the time of hiring but most likely deteriorated over the years to the point where he couldn't read the signals.

I would assume engineers are subject to regular vision tests, but it can be very easy to get false readings out of them. I'm a pediatrician and I've seen kids as young as 8 or 9 who have memorized eye charts prior to coming in for their exam so they wouldn't be told they would have to get glasses. If the engineer was aware of his condition and he didn't want to lose his job because of it, it can definitely be possible that he worked very hard to get around the eye test.

Even the most random eye tests have a little bit of regularity to them, so it would be very tough for railroads (especially railroads who have thousands of employees and very few people to examine their eyes--and those people are rarely professional optometrists who can pick up on stuff like this) to prevent against this stuff.

Heck, over the last couple years I've even come to memorize every letter on the five eye charts I use, it makes it much easier when administering the tests.
User avatar
lirr42
 
Posts: 2726
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Montauk, NY (MP 115.8)

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby JimBoylan » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:24 pm

What does lack of color sense have to do with running through a switch set against the train?
JimBoylan
 
Posts: 3109
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:33 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby justalurker66 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:52 pm

JimBoylan wrote:What does lack of color sense have to do with running through a switch set against the train?

If you think a red signal is green you operate the train as if the signal is clear. Not exactly a good speed for watching for misaligned switches.
User avatar
justalurker66
 
Posts: 2086
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Freddy » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:07 pm

If his eyes were that bad I'd venture a guess and say he had cataracts, on both eyes. Maybe, maybe not.
Freddy
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:48 pm
Location: Walker Co. Alabama

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:48 am

While the full report RAR 13-02 is not yet available at the NTSB's site, the preliminary report, from which the news report linked by Mr. Bart was drawn, is available:

http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2013/go ... nopsis.pdf

If there ever was an instance to show why speculation regarding the cause of an incident should be avoided, it has to be this instant matter. No one here, and likely within the news media, and for that matter on the UP, were aware of the deficiency in the Engineer's vision. Inadequate crew rest does not appear to be a factor cited by the NTSB, although fatigue affects any body that has sleeping patterns abruptly changed. Former military and airline pilot Semaphore Sam certainly knows of this. The NTSB dismisses this matter with "insufficient evidence".

Naturally, it comes as no surprise that the Report gets like Polly The Parrot with regards to PTC; the problem of course is that as the "repetoire" of incidents, such as this, Red Oak, and of course Chatsworth, grows, the outcry will grow. This incident will likely cost UP "heap big wampum" that shippers will ultimately bear. But, other than passenger trains where we all know who will bear that costs, how will the cost to the freight industry be allocated amongst the stakeholders?
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gilbert B Norman
 
Posts: 12887
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Aurora Sub; MP 18.71)

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby slchub » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:39 pm

For what is it worth, we have an annual physical including ekg, vision and hearing in the booth at Amtrak for engineers.
slchub
 
Posts: 1577
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:08 pm
Location: Miami

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Gadfly » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:07 am

slchub wrote:For what is it worth, we have an annual physical including ekg, vision and hearing in the booth at Amtrak for engineers.


Do some companies not require crew to call signals to each other anymore? (Board CLEAR....response=CLEAR, or ADVANCE APPROACH, etc)
Gadfly
 
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:28 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Freddy » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:12 am

Gadfly wrote:
slchub wrote:For what is it worth, we have an annual physical including ekg, vision and hearing in the booth at Amtrak for engineers.


Do some companies not require crew to call signals to each other anymore? (Board CLEAR....response=CLEAR, or ADVANCE APPROACH, etc)

Or over the radio? Common practice, or used to be.
Freddy
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:48 pm
Location: Walker Co. Alabama

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Gadfly » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:25 am

Freddy wrote:
Gadfly wrote:
slchub wrote:For what is it worth, we have an annual physical including ekg, vision and hearing in the booth at Amtrak for engineers.


Do some companies not require crew to call signals to each other anymore? (Board CLEAR....response=CLEAR, or ADVANCE APPROACH, etc)

Or over the radio? Common practice, or used to be.



I used to hear it on my company radio all the time. If there's other crew aboard(?) the engine it seems ridiculous to leave it all up to one pair of eyes. Heck, if I was aboard (and rules qualified) I'd be WANTING to call signals, too! If the engineer runs a board with ME on there, I'm gonna get hit, too, if we go on the ground or have a "headlight meet"! :( Not cool! :(
Gadfly
 
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:28 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Bart78 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:11 pm

Many thanks to all who replied to my posting of the Oklahoman article but especially to Mr. Norman for providing the link to the report from the meeting. It certainly read like a PTC sales report that ignored the logistical realities of implementing this system. Of course, the UP safety system and medical review process were also highly criticized and for good cause, IMO. The info about the lack of data from the event recorder certainly shows a reasonable opportunity for improvement in the equipment, software, and survivability. Overall, I'd give the NTSB a thumbs-up with a small niggle on banging the drum so hard for "told ya' so" on PTC.
Bart78
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:26 pm

Re: UP Trains Collide in Goodwell, OK

Postby Zeke » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:49 am

Everybody takes it in the neck on this one. At least one guy escaped which is a good thing. An engineer has to know when its time to try for a disability claim. However many factors probably led to this guy trying to tough it out. He might be the type that the the railroad was his whole life and couldn't stand the idea of early retirement due to his vision loss, or the reduced earnings of a fixed income disability check could force him and his family into financial straits.
It is most likely as a matter of corporate policy the U.P. would offer to have him on the head end with a seeing eye dog before they would pay one red cent of his disability. Their other super aggressive tactic would be to fight this disability claim for years while the man sat home out of service with the $ 300 a week RRB unemployment check out of his bank account before it went in. Will the NTSB go there ? " Uhh-hh were interested in safety but we aint steppin on any political toes."
So lets do some typical railroad financial calculation. We can spend unlimited funds fighting the disability claim, mortally injure three of our T&E employees spend 14.8 million dollars cleaning up a massive spectacular wreck with the inherent bad publicity or pay him if he lives 25 years more around 700000 dollars in disability checks. Anybody who has put some time in on a Class One knows the answer.
User avatar
Zeke
 
Posts: 620
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 5:08 am

PreviousNext

Return to Union Pacific

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest