Amtrak Engine #8 Trashed

BNSF FAN Nov 30, 2007

  1. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    As someone who has trained Engineers for several years, I can say that there has been times Management has not listened to me and put someone I didn't feel was ready to be cut loose into the cab of a locomotive just to fill a position. This goes for Conductors too. Several times people right off the street were run through a class and put out in the field before they should have. Put an inexperenced Conductor with a poor performing Engineer and it's easy to have an accident or fatality. I know, I have witnessed it before and investigated incidents several times. Until railroads change their thinking, and put railroaders that care into management positions, this sort of thing will continue to happen.
     
  2. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

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    Engineer reportedly has failed "Restricting" signals on every signal test he has ever taken. Took signal and called it "Slow Approach" on the radio, and he and the relief engineer argued about it between the time he took it and shortly before the boo-boo.
     
  3. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

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    From what I have read, it is MY understanding that the relief hogger is the one who "spiked"
    it, but I guess not soon enough! Also from what my "inside sources"(inside the BNSF)tell me,
    the combined total of experience for both engineers is/was 7 months from certification.

    CT
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    This is a scary rumor. If any truth to it, I'd wonder how either were allowed to be out there.

    :(

    Boxcab E50
     
  5. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

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    I just want to add one more thing, and address this primarily to the working railroaders on the board, and that this is MY opinion only at this time.

    This is one more classic example of a calculated management decision. They are deliberately allowing inexperienced and poorly qualified crew members to operate trains
    without oversight. This is a calculated ploy of the carriers, ALL OF THEM, to justify automated operation of ALL trains in ALL facets of operation. They are using the method
    that "Detroit" uses, ie "acceptable risk". They will risk the lawsuits and damage claims
    to show the Gov't that human operation and/or oversight of railroad equipment is dangerous and that automated operation is inherently safer. Automated operation is the
    carriers ploy to remove themselves from culpability and responsibility for rail mishaps...
    "the computer failed", "the transmissions were garbled","the equipment suffered damage from debris tossed onto the tracks".
    Can you see where I am going with this?
    The carriers are serious about eliminating human operation of railroad equipment.
    Who is going to be the one to try to justify the loss of human lives,homes and businesses
    in "Small Town, America" when a computer operated HAZMAT carrying train derails,spills and explodes on their mainstreet?
    Remember the METRA train that derailed taking a switch at high speed and killing a couple of innocent commuters on the Rock Island District a couple of years ago here in
    Chicago? Sure, the hogger was found guilty, but WHY, in this day and age, on a modern
    HIGH SPEED, multiple main track,CTC equipped railroad, is it necessary to have a 10mph, heavily used crossover,in a section of track where the speed limit on the MT is greater
    than 50mph? Who made that decision? And METRA isn't the only guilty carrier, the BNSF
    has a couple of those low speed X-overs in high speed areas too!
    My point is that the carriers are just as culpable in many,if not most, of rail accidents.

    Rant over, Highball(but fer godssake know for sure what that signal is!)!

    CT
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2007
  6. Ed Pinkley#2

    Ed Pinkley#2 TrainBoard Member

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    One question I have since we have no Amtrak trains on our lines where I work. Are the Amtrak trains run by regular pool engineers or are they run by Amtrak employees qualified on the territory they run on? I am not sure of this. But if they are Amtrak employees then its a Government problem not a Carrier problem.
     
  7. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Amtrak employeed Engineers run Amtrak trains, qualified on the different territories they run on. They must pass the signal aspect test with 100% grade. Operating a train at Restricted Speed gets more people in trouble then any other speed violation. It's a shame too, as any railroader will tell you, it's one of the most important rules out there.
     
  8. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

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    Out here, we call 'em "Shake-N-Bakes".
     
  9. Ed Pinkley#2

    Ed Pinkley#2 TrainBoard Member

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    So now we can safely say that Amtrak employees are forced through the system also. I am not sure of other railroads but I know the NS will not hire engineers off the street anymore. You must go through conductor training and then be a marked up conductor before being considered for engine service.
     
  10. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    The UP does the same thing, as I understand it. It's nothing terribly new. My grandpa worked for forty-plus years for Union Pacific and he was CONSTANTLY making noise about safety violations, usually the result of either green crew-members in over their heads or management prerogatives over-riding safety rules or common sense.

    I remember being SHOCKED a few years ago when Union Pacific was actively recruiting in this area and I was sick of cleaning houses but not being able to afford one (that was my job at the time). I started applying online and only canned it after I thought about the on-call aspect and what that would do to my family life. Anyway, they said right on the application for "train service" positions that certain employees would be required to qualify for conductor or engineer positions either right before or right after two years of work (I can't remember which).

    I thought that that seemed a little insane, forcing people to qualify for things before they were really ready.

    I have had both types of learning (classroom and non-classroom) and I can say from my experience that there are certain things learned well in a classroom and that there are some other things that one just CANNOT learn well in a classroom.

    An analogy - when we moved into our house late last year, my kids thought playing on the stairs was THE THING to do. They were not yet four, and I tried closing the doors to the stairs and so on but they would just open them. I tried telling them it was dangerous and it was in one ear and out the other. I hit upon an idea one day and it has so far worked well. I took an apple (that had, admittedly, gotten a bit soft), and I had the girls come to the top of the wooden stairs with me and watch as I dropped the apple down the steps. It made a bit of a mess, and the apple got all screwed up and bruised, but I showed it to them and asked what that might do to a little girl falling and they both said variations of, "It would hurt a girl," and immediately the lesson took hold. I cleaned off the stairs and so far I have had two very careful girls.
     
  11. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    :tb-shocked::tb-shocked::tb-shocked: Sounds very appropriate.

    Boxcab E50
     

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