Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn Terminal

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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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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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby jonnhrr » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:24 am

freightguy wrote: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.


Washington Metro is an outlier, plenty of ATO systems have run for decades without major issues - Philadelphia/Camden PATCO line, London's Victoria and Central Lines, to name a couple that come to mind.

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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby puckhead » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:30 am

re: sleep apnea . last year i was tested for it. i'm by nature a restless sleeper and often fatigued. i'm 5'10, 170 lbs, never smoked, no health problems. my ENT doctor told me it was very unlikely i had apnea, but i thought what the heck and went for a test.

i went for the test, wired up like a marionette. it not an easy environment to sleep and i tossed and turned. i usually sleep on my back, and tried my side when i wasnt falling asleep. every time i went on my side, a voice over the speaker told me to sleep on my back. two days later i get a call telling me to come in to be fitted and tested for the mask/machine . boom, just like that. i asked what the diagnosis was ,and i was was told moderate apnea. i asked high side of moderate, low side of moderate? they just said moderate. i told them no thanks, i want to see the report. i didnt get it until i told them i was withholding the insurance check. 15 min later it was in my inbox. i read the time line and when i was on my back, the apnea was above above the baseline. on my side, it was non existent. i believe then wanted me on my back to bump up the numbers to justify the machine. the big money is in the machine. it requires another sleep test, and all sorts of calibration, maintenance, and also the cost of the machine. i'm quite sure i and the ins co was being scammed.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby MCL1981 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:07 pm

One engineer. Two engineers. Three engineers. A conductor or two. Beepers, alerters, cab signals, PTC. All are subject to failure. Sometimes you just have to accept that accidents and malfunctions happen. Rarely. But they do and will happen no matter what feel good BS you throw in front of it. The aviation industry has multiple people and multiple layers of automation. Guess what. None make air travel immune to accidents or malfunctions.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby SemperFidelis » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:53 pm

Ice formed in the pitot tube...not the "pilot's tube". Common autocorrect error.
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby flexliner » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:02 pm

Mirrodie, and others please see my thoughts on OSA over in the MN forum.

viewtopic.php?f=67&t=153599&start=885#p1411325

Puckhead you are 100% spot on. They were trying to sell you the CPAP. that is where the $$ is. Luckily from what you say your side RDI (respiratory disturbance index) is low so you can manage with sleeping on the side (sew a closed pocket on the back of your phone shirt with a tennis ball in it. Every time you turn on your back that ball will condition you to turn on your side........
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby Morisot » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:22 pm

LOL, flexliner --- for a minute I thought you said "they were trying to sell you the CRAP" ---
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby Head-end View » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:50 pm

Very good posts by mark777 and puckhead. In terms of realistic operating procedure, I think Mark's suggestion re: crew deployment and tasking is the most likely to happen and be successful. Mostly because it seems practical and it won't cost the railroad any $$$. No way you're going to see a second qualified engineer in the cab as the cost would be over-the-top and no way the railroad would pay for that.

Sounds like Puckhead and the other posters are calling it re: sleep-apnea being the current trendy buzzword/white elephant/moneymaking scam, etc. The commercial interests including those in the medical profession will latch onto anything like this that offers the chance to capitalize, that is make big money. The emperor had no clothes. :wink:

Some years back, wasn't there a similar "fad" regarding children being over-diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder?
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Re: LIRR Derailment - Atlantic Terminal track 6

Postby mark777 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:10 am

yes, sorry about the Pilot's tube, but it was around 3am. Unfortunately, yes, there can be an "over diagnosis" of sleep apnea, and if you add in the word "politics" to the mix, you see where this is going. I for one do suffer from some type of sleep disorder, where I can't fall asleep, yet one day, boom, it happened, and I got into an accident. I personally don't know the difference between Insomnia, Sleep apnea, and all other conditions. I was tested and came up moderate. Then came the CPAP, or in my opinion CRAP, because for me it did nothing but make matters worse. I got bloody noses, severe headaches, and simply put, I felt more anxious when the air would literally drown me. I paid nothing for it under my insurance, but needless to say, It went back. went for a dental implant. guess what, my insurance wont cover it because I have a moderate case of sleep apnea. I needed higher numbers for it to be covered. so what do I do now? I take prescription sleep medication until we find a solution. I sleep, but it isn't the fix. My guess now is that with all of these highly publicized accidents taking place due to sleep apnea, that I would hope that insurances will be forced to cover more options. so train crews, you have been warned. This is what to expect in your future. I hope you go through less issues than I did. Trucking industry will go in par with the rail industry, so if you have a CDL, get ready.
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