LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby mirrodie » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:50 am

MCL1981, thats an interesting point.

The better idea would be to have 2 engineers. In aviation, there are vast advantages to having 2 pilots in the cockpit. They work synergistically, with each sharing responsibilities in running the aircraft and employing crew source management.

A transportation consultant could devise a system were there are a pair of humans in the locomotive, not one operating and one "keeping company or supervising" but both engaged in the operation.

A concept and thought.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby rr503 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:53 am

Or you could automate the damn thing; remove the human factor all together.

I know it's an inconvenient truth for many here, but post-PTC, only a little has to be done to make engineers obsolete.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:11 am

yup but it shifts blame 100 % to railroad and that automation is not without fault.
after all its designed and maintained by humans, and can not always detect variables.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:14 am

mirrodie wrote:MCL1981, thats an interesting point.

The better idea would be to have 2 engineers. In aviation, there are vast advantages to having 2 pilots in the cockpit. They work synergistically, with each sharing responsibilities in running the aircraft and employing crew source management.

A transportation consultant could devise a system were there are a pair of humans in the locomotive, not one operating and one "keeping company or supervising" but both engaged in the operation.

A concept and thought.


somehow your thinking is flawed, freight trains run with 2 people in cab, and at low speed have all kind of mishaps.
I find having others in cab to be distracting, be it a RFE or a trainee.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby Kelly&Kelly » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:08 pm

By far the most common cause of railroad accidents is human error. In an industry where trains are controlled manually by engineers, human input and responsibility operates trains as technology adds a layer of protection. As the dependability of technology improves and the industry standardizes, it's natural to see more operational decisions turned over to automation. Most of the rail industry is in agreement that a level of dependability necessary to replace an engineman's judgement in critical areas has yet to be reached, thus the opposition to the flawed PTC proposals.

As the dependability of technology surpasses the dependability of human judgement, more faith will be placed in the machines. We see this with autonomous automobiles. Would you want to sit back and let your KIA decide to cut off an eighteen wheeler while you watch Harry Potter? Those clamoring for automated train control would be well served to consider this and understand the conservative actions of common carriers.

It's interesting in this Brooklyn case to note that ninety years ago the Flatbush Avenue station, as well as the entire Atlantic Avenue line was equipped with automatic train stops. Every signal, as well as the blocks in Brooklyn, were equipped with motorized "stop arms" that raised up adjacent to the rail when signals displayed stop. That arm engaged a brake valve on the old MP41 and MP54 equipment which applied the emergency brake if the train passed it. These were installed pursuant to New York City law, and are currently in use on the subway. They were removed in the 1960's and '70s. New York State claimed, as a government entity, it was exempt.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby 8th Notch » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:43 pm

mirrodie wrote:MCL1981, thats an interesting point.

The better idea would be to have 2 engineers. In aviation, there are vast advantages to having 2 pilots in the cockpit. They work synergistically, with each sharing responsibilities in running the aircraft and employing crew source management.

A transportation consultant could devise a system were there are a pair of humans in the locomotive, not one operating and one "keeping company or supervising" but both engaged in the operation.

A concept and thought.


3 engineers in the cab here (although 1 was a student.)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Bu ... derailment
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby mirrodie » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:23 pm

somehow your thinking is flawed, freight trains run with 2 people in cab, and at low speed have all kind of mishaps.
I find having others in cab to be distracting, be it a RFE or a trainee.


The best ideas start out rough. Perfect is not the enemy of the good. That said, somehow you missed the subtle difference and point I made:

In aircraft handling, both pilots are hands on, working as a team. The roles aren't to just have a 2nd body there nor supervision. The systems are such that both are actively helping fly.

Now, do you need 2 people in the cab to run a loco? No. But if the suggestion of 2 people in the cab is to be made, it would need to be economically feasible. You'd have to create a role for the 2nd person in the cab, a role that is hands on int of operation, in order for it to make sense.


As for full automation recommendations, while on paper, makes sense, ultimately humans program and fix them....both are ultimately prone to human invention. (Airbus and its automation and how humans have overrode their safety mechanisms, come to mind)
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby SwingMan » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:35 pm

I think an area that needs to be addressed is locomotive engineers on overnight shifts. How to properly monitor that locomotive engineers can get adequate rest and to predict possible issues (such as having an extra day off). Overnight shifts area part of railroading, especially on the LIRR. Remember, they are the only commuter railroad in the United States with 24 hour, 7 day a week operation.

That being said, having two qualified locomotive engineers on ALL jobs does not make a lick of sense. There are many jobs with perfectly normal hours and would, quite frankly, create more undesired situations.

It is certainly something that can be argued both ways, and there is nothing wrong with that.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby Datenail » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:46 pm

What is under consideration is assigning an additional conductor to the crew, so he/she can ride in the cab with the engineer on overnight and early am shifts. That persons only job would be to supervise the engineer by calling out signals and making sure they are traveling at proper speed, following rules, etc. Right now the trains conductor is supposed to ride up front at certain times but they are usually too busy for that and it was deemed that an addl conductor be assigned. This should start being implemented soon within a week or two. Having two engineers would be a waste of manpower and wouldnt solve the problem.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby freightguy » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:24 pm

If you want to see at great automation is just look at the Washington DC metro over the last 12 years. Though not fully automated they've had some serious incidents over that time frame. LIRR is pretty remarkable being they haven't had a passenger related crash death since the early 1950's. Metro North has had 10 in the past 3 years though nottte total fault of Railroad or their personnel.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby freightguy » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:26 pm

Sorry for lackluster grammar in previous post, but you get the hint.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby gamer4616 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:31 pm

According to the crew book:

The following Type 2 assignments have been identified as exceeding the fatigue threshold. The assignments for GO 203 Effective Nov. 14, 2016 that exceed the fatigue threshold are as follows:

CREW: 1,4,5,51,56,84,85,87,88,90,122,125,148,149,165,185,186,206,207,329,349,362,401,403
R&Y: HMP81, UB456, YE4, CE3


The incident in Atlantic Terminal involved one of the crews determined to exceed fatigue threshold. There are several jobs that I've worked that I would consider just as bad, that aren't on the list. Job 89 for example. You are 1AM to almost 9AM non-stop. What I would like to see is more of an effort to limit the amount of these jobs where you are non-stop in the middle of the night.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby Head-end View » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:31 pm

That kind of shift is a serious challenge in any line of work. I worked overnight shifts on and off for over twenty-five years as a fire dept. dispatcher and it was tough, but at least the level of activity ebbed and flowed; you weren't working continuously. But many times I was answering and dispatching calls feeling a little "hazy". There really is no satisfactory answer that I can see. We humans were not designed to be awake all night. It's contrary to nature. It can be hard to sleep during the day; you do the best you can. You drink a few cups of coffee during the night shift and don't forget to eat nourishing food in the course of the night. The body needs fuel to keep going. But it's still a losing battle. The very best of luck to all those who work night shifts.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby EM2000 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:26 am

Mirrrodie, you bring to light many excellent aviation points which this bureaucratic organization is stating to think it's learned (such as CRM being some new ground breaking concept). Having two Locomotive Engineer's on a crew as opposed to a Conductor, primarily a customer service representative, only makes sense.
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited out remarks targeted at members.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby mark777 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:11 am

I am glad that someone mentioned above Airbus and their technological aircrafts and how there have been accidents attributed by crews over-riding what has been built into these aircrafts. Those not familiar with this, in short, Airbus has added all the bells and whistles to their airplanes to "minimize" pilot error in the name of safety, yet there have been a few high profile crashes, (such as the Air France 447) which stalled and fell into the ocean on it's way back to France. Crew's heavy reliance on the new technology has cut back on their "hands on" experience which in turn made the crew become disoriented and incapable of proper problem solving in light of a computer malfunction. The crew's distrust of the computer as well as contradicting readings on their computer that was related to ice forming in the pilot's tube, caused confusion in the cockpit, and the pilot inadvertently stalled the airplane. The moral of the story? you can have every safety feature added to anything that moves, but you will never have perfection, for at the end of the day, the computers are built and maintained by humans who are not perfect. An over reliance on computers makes humans more complacent, with more reliance on the computer and less on their common sense or own experience. PTC will improve safety, but I guarantee you, it will not prevent all accidents. PTC will not prevent an accident with a pedestrian. PTC will not prevent collisions with vehicles that cross the tracks at the very last second like the one that occurred in Louisville with a UP train that was caught on camera. It will improve safety to a degree, but will not eliminate all scenarios.

As I mentioned on another forum, sleep apnea is the "New white Elephant in the room." I can't say for sure if this accident involves it, but unless a fault is found with the equipment, fatigue or sleep apnea will come into play. I already hear a commercial on 1010 wins today mentioning specifically Railroad and trucking employees should get screened for sleep apnea before (as we all know is coming), becomes the law. I just renewed my CDL and already sleep apnea is being mentioned when you take your DOT test. I'm not saying that sleep apnea should be over diagnosed, which it appears to at the moment. Fatigue needs to be addressed parallel to sleep apnea as they are not necessarily the same thing. Anyone who works or has worked overnights already knows how these schedules affect people and their sleeping habits.

Lastly, there is no reason why the conductor or any crew member can not be up front in the cab to assist the engineer in calling signals while entering critical areas of the RR such as terminals or sharp curves. Atlantic terminal, more specifically track 6 would be best with the brakeman opening the doors from the last open car that will platform where the toggle switch would be thrown. Announcements could also be done by the brakeman. The conductor could very well be in the cab with the engineer while the train enters the station. While maybe a distraction to some, having that additional person with an extra set of eyes can offer another level of protection while their hand is on the dump cord. You don't need an additional person in the cab full time. A simple redirecting of duties onboard would be suffice.
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