justalurker66 wrote:Other than not slowing for the curve where the accident occurred, is there any evidence of poor train handling? Did the engineer overshoot any stops? Did he go over speed prior to approaching the accident curve?
Based on the transcript, it seems that the engineer operated the train within expected standards until he failed to slow for the curve where the wreck occurred (a result of forgetting where he was, not being ignorant of how to operate that specific engine).
(The engineer interview also states that his training runs were in the new Charger locomotives.)
This exchange from the event recorder transcript is a bit worrisome to me:
6:17:22 ENG they’ve been changing so much, I still get lost sometimes down here if they send me down, like, main three down in, like, kelso or something [laughing]
6:17:34 QC what am I doing over here? [laughs]
6:17:37 ENG what do I do? what's the speed? I don’t know! [laughing]
6:17:51 ENG we stay on main one, and if that’s the case we don’t gotta worry about #
6:20:46 ENG this is all a learning experience I've never run this engine before
6:20:50 QC oh I thought you've run this
6:20:52 ENG I, yeah up and back over uh, the top there
6:20:56 QC oh ok
6:20:57 END you know I don't know what notch is going to maintain speed, you know its all a learning experience here
6:27:46 QC is that approach medium at orillia?
6:27:51 ENG uh, is this orillia? I think its orillia, I think its an intermediate
6:27:54 QC oh intermediate
6:27:55 ENG its an intermediate for us and its something over there. I think, uhh, its orillia over there? I get a little confused with the control points. what does your sheet say?
6:28:07 QC says its going to be orillia
6:28:11 ENG I think its orillia on those two tracks and then over here its intermediate
6:29:10 ENG this is orillia
Also, there was a brief overspeed condition a few miles before the curve, as read in the transcript of the interview with the engineer:
Q: Was there anything else going on with the engine while you were looking for that white sign, that landmark?
A: At some point -- and to be honest with you, I can't remember at which point this was. But at some point, either before 15.5 or right after 15.5, I noticed that the speedometer had crept up quickly and I had an overspeed alarm. And I had never seen an overspeed alarm on this locomotive before, obviously, and so I wasn't sure if I was in an alarm situation or a penalty situation. So I went -- I'm pretty sure I put the brake in suppression, which would -- what you need to do to get out of a penalty. And then I think I ascertained that I actually wasn't in a penalty and I believe I kicked the brakes back off. But that motion of going to suppression and back, it brought the train down to below 79.
Q: Do you remember -- you said you saw an alarm. Did you hear anything?
A: Yeah. Yeah, there was an audible alarm.
Q: There was an audible alarm. What did that audible alarm mean to you?
A: I didn't know.
A: There was a red light flashing on the speedometer that triggered to me that it was an overspeed alarm or a penalty.
Q: You didn't know --
A: Some of our locomotives will go to penalty without an alarm and other locomotives will give an alarm before going into a penalty, and I wasn't sure what it was.
Q: Okay. Do you remember what action you took to stop the audible alarm, if any, or did it just stop?
A: Generally the alarm will stop when the conditions of the overspeed are satisfied.