INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Jobs

Train Derailment

Train Derailment

(OP)
In Washington state, derailment killed 3 people and some still seriously injured. Part of the problem it seems is the design of the rail. From the BBC.

"A US passenger train that derailed, killing three people, was travelling at 80mph (130km/h) on a curve with a speed limit of 30mph, data from the train's rear engine indicates."

The rail was supposed to be a high speed rail and it seems really silly to have a 30mph curve on it.

link: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42408624

Dik

RE: Train Derailment

Latest word is that it was travelling at 128 km/h in a zone where the max is 48 km/h.

RE: Train Derailment

(OP)
Yup... but it seems silly that you would design a high speed rail with corners that were only suitable for 30mph. I wouldn't have expected that, and it was the 'maiden' run. The rail line was billed as a 'high speed line'.

Dik

RE: Train Derailment

30 mph was high speed in 1829.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Train Derailment

Dik,

A few years, I sat through a presentation at a conference about a "high speed rail" line in the planning phase between Des Moines, IA and Chicago (with future expansion to Omaha, NE). It was to go at 80 mph where it could, but wherever it went through a community (town, village, city), it still had to slow down to 30mph (or slower) since the plan was to use the existing freight track. So, calling it "high speed" is more of a marketing/branding angle, and not completely representative of operation. Without knowing ANYTHING about this event, I would guess the high speed train is utilizing existing track, and the operator (engineer?) of the train missed that they had to slow down.

At any rate, "high speed rail line" doesn't necessarily mean 80mph all the time, at least, not if it's using existing track.

RE: Train Derailment

It's not a high-speed rail. It's a shorter path than the other route. It's only the train that is designed for moderate speeds. "The train was running on track previously used for occasional freight and military transport," http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/19/us/amtrak-derailment..., so it's not a purpose built route for unrestricted high-speed rail.
(ETA - I was responding to dik)

RE: Train Derailment

For some reason yet unknown, the automated speed control safety ststem was not activated.

Also, the run may have been inaugural, but previous runs and testing had been made.
with no issues as far as has been reported.

The route has long been a controversial topic, being in the courts, too, over the years.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Train Derailment

(OP)
winelandv:

80 mph is not high speed for rails... Europe has several lines that are several times faster than that. If marketing is the reason for calling it 'high speed' then marketing is partly to blame. This was the initial run, and, the engineer may not have been sufficiently trained.

Dik

RE: Train Derailment

It was the initial run with passengers. It was not the first time an engineer ran the train down this route.

As for the design that included the need to drop to 30 MPH, the alignment had to cross from running parallel to one side of the highway to running on the other side. Unless it crosses at a shallow skew elevated above the highway for extended length of track, it has to zig and zag to get across.

I like to blame marketing for a lot of things. But this is a stretch.

RE: Train Derailment

Take a look at Google Earth for Dupont, WA and this area and you will see the railroad, an old alignment, is winding through some hilly area with several curves. No way for an 80 mph speed un0less the rails are banked to allow for it. That's very unlikely since the rail line also is used for freight. Reminds me of the passenger trains in Sweden and their twisty alignments. Instead of banking the curves, can you imagine they bank the position of the passenger cars on their trucks. Riding in the cars you get tilted back and forth as if the rails are banked. Aside from wearing the wheel flanges and rail edges it seems to work, but unlikely would work for an 80 mph speed on a 35 mph curve.

RE: Train Derailment

@dik, many railways (also in Europe) are very old. Some sections gets upgraded and then some dont. Its a matter of money.

RE: Train Derailment

@JohnRBaker, but why did they delay the implementation of a safety system? Because the industry asked for it to be delayed and threatened to stop service!

RE: Train Derailment

Perhaps, but then the auto industry objected to seat belts, air bags and emission controls, but they're all standard equipment now on every vehicle sold in America.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train Derailment

Train was going 81.1MPH at a 30MPH turn.

Two 30MPH speed limit signs, one 2 miles out, one close to the turn.

Train has been running that track for 6 weeks.

I believe an engineer is required to pass that track 8 times before passengers are allowed to travel with that engineer on that stretch of track.

Those engines have inward facing cameras that can be called up for realtime high res color video viewable at dispatch.

All new engines have cellphone detectors that alert dispatch of ANY cellphones that are ON in the cab and result in immediate response from dispatch.

The cars involved in the WA wreck are made in Spain and are very lightly built with two cars sharing three sets of axles. (That's why the wreck seemed to have lots of paired cars). They are built like motor coaches (buses) unlike normal heavy duty rail cars. They are not allowed in most states due to their not meeting federal guidelines. They are allowed in WA and 5 other states under special federal wavers.

They spent $180.7M to put that shortcut into service to save, (I believe), 15 minutes. Worth it?

The lead locomotive ended up more than 120 feet from the tracks.

All engineers are handed between one and about 8 sheets of paper showing all speed restrictions on the pending trip. There are often more than a dozen special speed restrictions on typical trips. Speed restrictions can be caused by things happening near tracks and weather.

The engines are extremely new and made by Siemens. They have had so many problems it's taken a year to actually start putting them into service. In some units the throttles work in reverse to the historic normal. (Can you imagine an airliner where the throttles work in reverse?) I have not been able to find out if these particular engine are the wacky reverse throttle types.

I believe there are seven complete trains for that particular run. Two are owned by the state of WA, two by Amtrak, and the last three I don't recall. The one that just went on the ground was owned by WA.

PTC Positive train control implementation has so far directly cost the rail companies approximately one billion dollars. It's been very hard to implement. (Note the changing pages of speed limits noted above.)

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Train Derailment

"The engines are extremely new and made by Siemens"

The P42 that was pushing was most definitely not built by Siemens, it's a GE product. I'm assuming you're referring to the cab car.

RE: Train Derailment

Interesting. https://www.talgo.com/en/projects/usa/serie_6_usa/

Looks like the series 6 tilting carriages used on this line, but the series 8 for the rest of the US system.

it will be interesting to see how many times the driver ACTUALLY ran the line in that direction. One warning sign 2 miles out doesn't sound enough to me, but I'm not a train driver or designer. Maybe a little more graduation in speed limits required.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Train Derailment

I was most impressed with the way the embankment seemed to have kept the engine upright after it left the track. The side of the engine looked severely smashed and there's a new notch in the embankment at the curve that seems to match.

I can see the hesitation about PTC. One looks at the fleet cost of implementation along with the track indicators for short-range communications and then factor in that it's a system that overrides the engineer and compare the current rates of failure of engineers while also considering that there will be new failure modes. I'm not certain that PTC is an overall best solution to the problem of engineer's operating problems.

One solution that I would have pushed for is a GPS/Cellular comms based location system that alerted the engineer, much like terrain and collision avoidance systems in aircraft typically do. This could have been deployed cheaply and without the headache of adding additional failure modes to train control. However, doing this as an interim solution would certainly have ended the push to full autonomous taking of control. The big advantage to an alerting system is that multiple systems could be deployed on a single train, allowing the conductors to intervene if required. The disadvantage is that there is no good autonomous way to detect which of any parallel tracks a train is on, so mis-tracked trains could still be a problem.

RE: Train Derailment

I can very nearly imagine the recommendations from the report now - some rehash of:

"Having regard, therefore, to all the circumstances of this serious accident and to the criticism, to which my attention was particularly drawn, that both drivers concerned, though running approximately on time, may have been exceeding a speed reasonably justified by visibility conditions, I recommend that the Company should take early steps to reach decisions, with a view to applying Warning Control to high speed services on their Trunk Routes."

(Extract from Report by Lt.-Colonel A. H. L. Mount, C.B., C.B.E. on the Collision between two Passenger Trains which occurred on 10th December, 1937, at CASTLECARY on the London and North Eastern Railway, HMSO, 1938).

So why does this issue keep coming up without ever really getting implemented very enthusiastically or thoroughly? On the one hand, the systems are expensive and the proportion of rail accidents they might have any influence on is genuinely low. On the other hand, the accidents they do prevent tend to be the catastrophic ones that grab world headlines.

A.

RE: Train Derailment

"They spent $180.7M to put that shortcut into service to save, (I believe), 15 minutes. Worth it?"

The re-route also put the train across a lot more level crossings, increasing pedestrian/auto risks. And, for passengers, takes you down the "scenicponder" I-5 corridor, rather than along the shoreline of Puget Sound. Pretty much a crappy decision all around. I think there was also a feeling that the high clay banks along the shoreline put the trains at risk due to mudslides (as happens fairly regularly a bit farther north between Seattle and Everett). Lots of politics leading up to the change.

RE: Train Derailment

Is 30+ years of successful operation long enough to declare a system mature and dependable?
SkyTrain
Mass transportation system
SkyTrain is the metropolitan rail system of Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. SkyTrain has 79.6 km of track and uses fully automated trains on grade-separated tracks running on underground ... Wikipedia
Average speed: 45 km/h
Began operation: December 11, 1985
Daily ridership: 454,600 (December 2016)
Annual ridership: 137.4 million (2016)
Top speed: 80 km/h (50 mph) (Expo and Millennium Lines); 80 km/h (50 mph) (Canada Line)
Did you know: SkyTrain is the ninth-busiest North American rapid transit system by annual ridership (137,380,000)

Much of the system uses Linear Induction Motors with regeneration.
As the trains pull into the stations, it is easy to hear when the LIM regeneration cuts off and the mechanical brakes apply.
The distance to stop from the point that regeneration ends: About 3 to 5 feet.
Full automation is available for anyone who wants to use it.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Train Derailment

So a train running on it's dedicated tracks without possibility of traffic conflict is safer? You don't say. I bet the Disney World Monorail also has a pretty good safety record as well.

It looks like Sky Train also pulls about $0.5 Billion from outside taxes to support it on top of fares and advertising sales. This means they cost Canada about $5 per rider. That might be a good deal, but it's not a universal solution. And it's not entirely without fatalities.

https://www.straight.com/life/458271/skytrain-deat...

And yes, many, but not all Skytrain deaths are probably suicide, but they still look at the money before deciding on measures to mitigate it.

RE: Train Derailment

FROM OUT OF LEFT ,ER I MEAN RIGHT FIELD: It appears that some on the far-Right would like you to believe that it was members of a left-leaning anti-fascism group who sabotaged the AMTRAK train in Washington:

http://www.newsweek.com/antifa-falsely-linked-amtr...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train Derailment

John, remember that the very act of linking your posts to lunatic news actually encourages it - even if your goal is to laugh at it.
The number click-throughs that Newsweek will get from the link on a high traffic website like Eng-Tips will only serve to validate that muck-raking. Your ridicule is not a factor in their web stats or their advertising revenue.

STF

RE: Train Derailment

"They spent $180.7M to put that shortcut into service to save, (I believe), 15 minutes. Worth it?"

A bit more context: On the old path Amtrak shared the rails with freight trains, so there were often highly unpredictable delays. Being on time 7 out of 8 times and two hours late the 8th averages out to 15 minutes of delay. When I was regularly commuting along this route, the train's reputation of highly variable arrival times discouraged me from going by train.

RE: Train Derailment

I'm a big believer in the concept that sunlight is an effective disinfectant. Besides, the article from 'Newsweek' is critical of and goes to great length to undermine the premise that it was some sort of plot by a Left=leaning faction of society, as was being promoted by these far-Right wackos.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train Derailment

Quote (SparWeb)

John, remember that the very act of linking your posts to lunatic news actually encourages it - even if your goal is to laugh at it.
The number click-throughs that Newsweek will get from the link on a high traffic website like Eng-Tips will only serve to validate that muck-raking. Your ridicule is not a factor in their web stats or their advertising revenue.

What is it I'm missing about Newsweek's reporting that was supposed to make it so awful? It's not as if John linked to the actual conspiracy drivel.

RE: Train Derailment

quote: On the old path Amtrak shared the rails with freight trains, so there were often highly unpredictable delays.

ditto... I recently took the Via-Rail Canadian from Toronto across Canada to Vancouver. From what I saw and experienced, the amount of east bound rail freight originating from Vancouver and I would imagine the northwestern ports in general, being the closest to the Asian Pacific, is staggering, with significant delays to passenger rail.

Passenger rail traffic is last in priority on shared freight rails, due to track ownership, ecomonics, and that the freight trains are far too long in length to fit on just about all sidings. After getting into Vancouver proper, it was a 2 1/2 hour delay to get past the freight assembly yards (and east bound freight) to the passenger station just a few miles ahead.

RE: Train Derailment

DanEE, "...the amount of east bound rail freight....is staggering..."

On average, the number of east-bound and west-bound freight rail cars should be very nearly identical. Otherwise the rail cars would tend to pile up at one end.

You would have passed more east-bound traffic since you were heading west. smile!!

RE: Train Derailment

I saw a report many years ago, before Vietnam, that The Port of Vancouver handled over half of the tonnage on the entire West Coast, from Mexico to Alaska.
The percentage may have slipped somewhat, but it still carries a lot of tonnage and a lot of it is bound for eastern markets.
And as far as west bound traffic, there is a lot of grain heading west.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Train Derailment

Pretty good <> Perfect. Didn't derail.

RE: Train Derailment

First point, the locomotive engineer failed to slow to the 40 mph speed limit at Mounts Road. The train probably would not have derailed had he done so. The second error was the failure to slow to 30 mph speed limit for the curve approximately 1/4 mile after Mounts Road. The speed limits are shown in the brochure and with signage on the railroad route.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/20790BB4-7A4E...

"Upgrades tracks and improves existing connection to BNSF Railway main line so trains can travel up to 40 mph from Nisqually to Mounts Road and 79 mph from Mounts Road to Bridgeport Way."



The locomotive engineer announced an over-speed condition approximately 6 seconds (or 650 feet) before the crash.

The locomotive engineer should engage legal counsel as he will probably face manslaughter charges.

RE: Train Derailment

In the many dozens of mainstream news reports on this, and the many interviews on radio programs about the overspeed, it is noteworthy to see that the local "politicians" and "officials" are really straining to NOT "blame the operator" - although I see nothing but "operator error" in running too fast.

ALL these "officials" are so very willing to mention "not installing the speed regulators" .... Odd attitude.

RE: Train Derailment

It used to be a challenge commuting by car into Vancouver on the Lougheed Highway. There were a couple of level crossings in Burnaby.
Inbound freight trains would have to wait for clearance to enter the freight yards.
There was a limit to the amount of time a train could sit stationery blocking a level crossing. If the time was exceeded, the train crew was supposed to break the train and clear the crossing.
Rather than break the train, the train would proceed at about 2 MPH and block the crossings for a very long time.
Now the track through Burnaby alongside the Highway is built on very soft ground. You could see the rails subside as each loaded truck passed by.
Came the day that the grain cars of a slow moving freight train started to rock and a harmonic frequency must have been found. The rocking progressed until a large number of grain cars were laying on the ground beside the tracks.
After that, the scheduling was revised so that trains could waste time further away from the city without inconveniencing commuters.
Too slow may also be a problem.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Train Derailment

Quote:

...to see that the local "politicians" and "officials" are really straining to NOT "blame the operator" ... I see nothing but "operator error" in running too fast...
I'm watching this trend too.
Remind yourself who was at fault during the many Toyota "stuck accelerator" accidents a decade ago.
The company paid the fine. All the people who explained why the car probably wasn't at fault were ignored.
Anybody demonstrating how the subject vehicle engines couldn't overpower the brakes were called company shils, and ignored.
I'm wondering if this is going to be a similar case. My local media has already imagined a link between this derailment and a local city transit train accident in Calgary.
Nobody was hurt, but a locomotive had to be scrapped. It left the tracks, clearly due to operator error, any yet still the city transit system had to install magnetic brakes to stop trains overrunning the end of the tracks.

STF

RE: Train Derailment

Does this mean they can stop putting up guard rails on mountain roads and high bridges? It would be nice to have an unobstructed view.

The fines were mostly for not reporting incidents to the feds. It's tougher to manage safety if the maker is hiding safety related information.

The crash and burn Toyota had another driver report the same problem days before to the dealership. He also was unable to stop the car with the brakes while in gear. I have no idea how a cop would not know to use neutral, but that should not be required by having a car configured to create the problem. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-report-lo...

It's also the case that drivers will tend not to initially put full force effort into the brakes at the outset, so the brakes rapidly heat, glaze, and fade, unlike the behavior of those 'proving' some contention about how the brakes, under different usage, could work. Flight-sim pilots were often able to successfully pilot a plane under the circumstances that brought a DC-10 down in Chicago, but only after they were fully informed as to the exact defect and given a chance to plan a response, time and information the original crew did not have.

RE: Train Derailment

I have wondered why the Toyota driver could not just turn the ignition off. In every car that I have ever driven it was possible to turn off the ignition at any time even if it was not possible to turn the key further to lock the steering or to remove the key.
Were we seeing a Darwin Award competition?

Talking about Flight-sim attempts. I understand that Boeing set up a simulation of the Gimli Glider in their flight simulator and the first three attempts by Boeing test pilots ended in simulated crashes.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Train Derailment

Gillian Glider - last I’d heard it had never been successful repeated in a simulator.

RE: Train Derailment

The Toyota had push-button start. When the car is in motion it requires holding the button for several seconds to shut the engine off, obviously to prevent the result of a kid playing with the buttons while driving. There is no key in the dash. It was a loaner replacement, so the driver had never used the car before.

(edit to clarify)

RE: Train Derailment

Thanks for the explanation Dave.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Train Derailment

IMO the way cars have adopted keyless engine start should not have been allowed. Keyless - No problem. But it should have been done using a rotary selector switch with the same positions as a normal key switch and located in the same place in the vehicle. Or, done the way motorcycles and race cars do it - a pushbutton for starting, but also in conjunction with the big red button for shutting it down in a hurry. But, we digress ...

RE: Train Derailment

I think the biggest problem for Toyota, aside from a heart-wrenching 911 call recording playing over and over and the photographed aftermath of an incinerated and pulverized family with no instant explanation, was Toyota had been 'quietly' dealing with a couple of driveability issues related to the throttle.

One problem was the formation of tin whiskers in one pedal sensor which caused the throttle response to be non-linear - from the idle position to part throttle the ECU didn't see a resistance change and when the whisker lost contact it looked to the ECU like a sudden throttle input; not WOT, just dead-band and then a bit of voom, which startled drivers. Depending on how the whisker was positioned the symptoms would be irregular and testing with a typical ohm-meter could be enough to damage the whisker such that the pedal tests OK only for the symptoms to return.

There was also a pedal design issue. In an 'old-fashioned' car there is some sticktion due to the throttle linkage and cable so that a driver's foot could vary pressure slightly without moving the pedal. In drive-by-wire, there is just a pedal return spring and slight variations in pressure result in variations in throttle which results in slight surge/sag of power. So they added a friction source to produce sticktion and, in some cases, this meant that the return spring didn't have enough force to ensure the pedal returned all the way to idle when released.

When the accident happened it resulted in every leaf being turned over to explain why the family was incinerated so it came to light that some of this had not been divulged.

The 'trapped' pedal concept was advanced by Toyota both because that's what really caused the crash, the wrong floor mat was identified early on as a most-probable cause and, I think, to provide a simple to implement fix. It was also a dodge as there would have been hundreds of videos of pedals trapped by floor mats on YouTube. As far as I can tell, there was only one video, where a guy wadded a floor mat and shoved it between the foot well wall and the pedal.

The other source of trouble for Toyota was the lack of an obvious fault in the ECU that would explain the non-existent ECU related problems, leading to investigations into the software development practices at Toyota. These investigations lacked any demonstrations of realistic failure modes. I suspect it's true the ECU software wasn't made with significant fault tolerance in mind, but no one demonstrated any actual faults to be tolerant of. This led to the grand-standing of an expert and further unsubstantiated guesses increasing the speculation that there was something to hide. And let's not forget the driver who falsely claimed an out-of-control condition that seemed to be an extortion attempt that also implicated every Toyota, even those with entirely different ECUs.

In contrast is the VW ECU/Diesel lie, where independent software and hardware investigators were able to identify the place in the software and verify by bench test and testing in the vehicle that they had been programmed to cheat the federal emissions testing. Anyone could duplicate the observations/reproduce the results - they could look at the inputs and the state of the outputs.

In spite of the obvious value in confirming such a flaw in the Toyota ECUs I don't recall seeing anyone demonstrate a clear runaway causing condition.

Out of it all, one feature that eventually did make it into the software was a check to give priority to the brake input such that some amount of brake application would cause the ECU to ignore the throttle input and set the engine back to idle. This is a handy change to make, but I doubt that it makes much difference except in the case that the pedal is physically restrained, which doesn't seem to happen often, and maybe only ever happened on the one car. (Though articles claim there was a prior problem with all-weather mats, it seems so unlikely to be true; all the cell phones and no one put up a video showing their runaway death-traps)

The majority cause of unexpected acceleration is the same as always - pressing on the accelerator when intending to press the brake and then being startled by the sudden motion and pressing harder on the 'brake,' which just makes the control loop worse. Some (most?) of this has been dealt with by interlocking the shift out of Park with application of the brake, so that the car can't move from Park without the driver pressing the brake.

One thing that seems ignored is that the pedal problem is a side effect of cost reduction. Originally most accelerator pedals were hinged at the floor, which was advantageous to the placement of the pull-cable housing mount in the firewall. With the hinge at the bottom the worst a floor mat could do is run up the pedal and provide slight pressure with little moment arm. It required some time to install the pedal in that location.

The 'electronic' pedal meant that it could be integrated into the dash assembly and fit before installing the dash into the car as one unit. This exposes the end of the pedal to bypass the edge of the floor mat. If the user is able to push the pedal into the carpeting, an oversized mat edge can ride up and prevent its return, applying its load at the point of maximum leverage. An all-weather mat makes this worse by being significantly stiffer than the carpet mat and might as well be a wedge.

I expect one reason few people noticed this, aside from not having the wrong mats, is that it requires a very high level of pedal force. In the accident vehicle there was a report that the car seemed to have trouble keeping speed and then suddenly shot forward in traffic. If the mat was blocking the pedal travel, preventing ordinary application, and the driver got frustrated and stamped as hard as he could to overcome the obstruction, it would fit the observation. Why the driver just didn't put the transmission in neutral is a question - maybe he did and the sound frightened him, believing the engine would explode. (Hint everyone - Let the engine manage itself, especially if it's a loaner.)

RE: Train Derailment

3D dave,
Whilst this is off the subject of the train de-railment I would point out that the guy killed in Santee was not "Just a cop", he was a California Highway patrol officer , these guys/gals get extensive car handling training including skidpan work. I also used to commute to work on that road. At the time of the accident , the road was unfinished with a Tee junction at the end of a high speed downgrade into a road work area The area across the other side of the tee was a river valley with large boulders in it. I am sure given his training, if there was a way of stopping the car that he knew about ,he would have done so. Anyway this is off the subject of train de-railments.
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Train Derailment

Two things before we get back on the rails.

I believe that particular model of Toyota would not go into neutral above a certain RPM threshold.

And regarding the testing that showed that brakes could overcome an engine, it was only if they were firmly and constantly applied without releasing them. In the case of sudden acceleration on the highway, cockpit resource management becomes a lot more challenging. Your first instinct is not to stand on the brakes. It’s to try to get the car below 80 MPH while you troubleshoot. So you ride the brake a bit maybe. Try not to hit the cars in front of you. Release the brake to clear the accelerator with your foot. Reapply. Ride it some more. Try to turn it off. Etc.

At that point the brakes have soaked up so much heat it’s game over. Especially in “family cars” pushing 300 HP but without the brakes to match (have to keep that weight down for MPG). That was what happened to that patrol officer. No doubt.

RE: Train Derailment

Spartan5 - if that was true it would have been documented. The exact same car was brought to a stop a few days earlier due to the same problem by a driver who shifted it into neutral and pulled over. He dislodged the floor mat and reported it to the dealership when he dropped the car off. I'm not sure there's an advantage to forcing the transmission to remain engaged; the ECU can look after the motor to keep it from detonating while unloaded. There's at least one comment that the US DOT requires that vehicles always be able to shift to neutral, though the I didn't find a rule to that effect.

The fact that the Officer Saylor did't succeed using that let the start that some huge programming problem prevented it from happening and therefore starting rumors that there had to be a coverup.

Bershire - A different driver of the exact same car had the exact same problem and brought the car to safe halt. Training cannot make up for panic and I doubt that any skidpad training included WOT latching on. I expect the additional burden of having his immediate family in the car also added to the cognitive load, causing him to exclude more survivable alternatives to heading off an embankment, such as grinding along a guard rail or sliding into a ditch.

The question for the train derailment is that certain systems can offset operator error and without looking at how operators get into good or terrible situations, allows for future problems. This train was run with a single engineer so any mistake made had no co-pilot to alert him or take action. This driver wasn't able to observe what made previous runs on the refreshed line successful, such as noting the positions and indications on speed control signs.

Had the conductor been given a device that plotted the location, speed limit, and current speed and sounded an alarm for over-speed, the conductor could have accessed the emergency brake or radioed the engineer and stopped the train on the way to the curve.

Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that the railroad enthusiasts weren't aware of the impending situation; it's a new route and they would certainly be interested as to exactly where they were and could know what the track speeds should be. Perhaps they had too much confidence in the system to recognize the danger.

I expect the immediate cause is the engineer was explaining something to the conductor-trainee and they just failed to notice what was happening outside the cab due to the distraction. I would not be surprised if it was the engineer's first run on the route.

RE: Train Derailment

Sometimes the problem is just that driving a train is so boring that people lose track of where they are. There's a tendency to shout at drivers after they've had accidents like this in the hope of encouraging their colleagues to be more careful in future, but it never really works very well. Human beings are vulnerable to lapses of concentration under conditions of low arousal - engineering in an independent layer of protection may feel like an expensive way of solving the problem but it really is "low hanging fruit" compared to the futility of trying to bully a driver (who is already quite motivated to not kill him/herself and a trainload of passengers) into hours of unbroken concentration.

Some interesting parallels with a recent tram crash in the UK.

A.

RE: Train Derailment

Do locomotives still have so-called 'dead-man switches' to assure that the engineer is actually 'driving' the train at all times? I would think that something like that would be mandatory with a single-man cab.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train Derailment

3DDave - Not sure where I saw that, but it must have seemed reputable or I might not have logged it. Perhaps it's wrong. More than likely, as I said, it boiled down to cockpit resource management (CRM) in an unfamiliar vehicle.

Take a look at this shift gate and tell me where neutral is. Now imagine trying to figure that out at 110 MPH in traffic with everyone in the car freaking out.

Another thing to consider with regards to braking, is that at wide open throttle you only get a few pumps on the pedal before the boost is gone and you're left with manual braking. Though it was clearly documented in this lexus that the brakes were thoroughly cooked. Sad story all around. Especially considering that the officer was made out by some to be at fault due to his perceived incompetence.

I guess the moral of the story, perhaps as we may even find in this train wreck, is that all of this complexity we are building into things (push button start, trick automatic transmissions, POWER!) is causing CRM issues.

RE: Train Derailment

The problem with the car "OFF" "rotary" switch as implemented in the US was exaggerated by the design of the OFF rotary switch was right between three OTHER rotary control switches, all of sear-identical size, height, diameter, and "feel". The AC fan Off-speed selection rotary knob, the radio On-Volume control rotary knob, the transmission Reverse-Neutral-Drive-Low selection control rotary knob, and the engine Start-Off rotary selection knob.

But.

If you "turn off" the wrong knob, the engine does NOT turn off but the transmission IS locked into its last (drive or reverse) position. If you turn "off" the transmission selection, it changed to the Reverse position, and - again - the engine does NOT turn off. The Key fob is a remote control sensor - The Key does NOT have to be pulled from the key slot at any time. So, getting out of the car seat (with the key now in your pocket) means nothing: The engine is still running, and the transmissio is still in "Drive". The radio is Off though.

RE: Train Derailment

^ I'm missing some context. Which specific vehicle are you talking about here?

Very few vehicles use a rotary switch for a keyless-ignition system and the few that I know of that do, have that switch in the same place as where a normal rotary key switch would be (which IMO is the right way to do it). Very few vehicles also use a rotary switch for transmission selection (certain late model Chryslers and Jaguars are the only ones I can think of) and the ones that do, don't also use a rotary switch for keyless-ignition, nevermind having such a switch similarly arranged as the ignition switch ... and they're not shaped similarly to the HVAC controls. So, you must be referring to a specific make, model, year that I haven't seen. What is it?

RE: Train Derailment

The locomotive I road in a few years back still had a so-called 'dead-man switch' alertness monitor. It monitored control inputs, then started a flashing light and a buzzer if too much time elapsed without operator input. At 80 MPH, a train can travel quite a distance before a monitor would take any action. I don't recall the exact timing, but it seemed more like minutes than seconds.

RE: Train Derailment

The problem with such a switch is precisely how much input is really required? A 10-mile stretch of straight track should require no inputs for 7 minutes. Such as system cannot adequately capture the variation of track length and turns. The positive train control that was supposed to have been completed in 2015 would be far superior to any sort of dead man switch.

Even an Arduino coupled with a GPS and a detailed track program could have prevented such an accident by warning the operator that the speed was excessive for that portion of the track, as well as the previous portion, since the operator probably needed to have slowed down well in advance of the slow section.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Train Derailment

I can't help thinking that a tech school class could probably design a good reliable safety system for a couple of thousand dollars in hardware.
Is this reasonable or an I blowing smoke?

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Train Derailment

Given that your normal average GPS knows what speed limits are, it really shouldn't be all that hard.

GPS is not infallible, but it knows when it's not getting a signal, and a good many places where it won't have a signal (e.g. tunnels) are predictable in advance, which means you can do something about it.

Even without a GPS signal, the path of a train is governed by the tracks that it's running on, which is known, and the distance that it has covered along those tracks can be established by wheel sensors on non-driving wheels to eliminate the possibility of wheelspin. That ought to provide enough coverage for the periods where it doesn't have a GPS signal or where the signal is ambiguous.

For that matter, the distance-since-trip-start (or since a known "reset" location - a station, a track switch) could be the primary control with GPS only used to refine the position accuracy. "31.7 km into this trip, reset maximum speed to 70 km/h, then 33.2 km into this trip, reset maximum speed to 120 km/h, then 55.4 km into this trip, download next instruction set depending on which position the track switch sends the train down", that sort of thing.

I'm sure someone can toss enough FMEA darts at this to find theoretical holes that this strategy doesn't cover, but compare it to what the current system provides ... nothing.

RE: Train Derailment

Quote (3DDave)

Flight-sim pilots were often able to successfully pilot a plane under the circumstances that brought a DC-10 down in Chicago, but only after they were fully informed as to the exact defect and given a chance to plan a response, time and information the original crew did not have.
For those who haven't seen Sully yet... same situation. The board swore up and down multiple sims showed he could have landed at one of several airports. Once they reset the time limit to more appropriately reflect what would likely happen in the cockpit, none of the sim pilots could make it.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Train Derailment

To continue the digression just a bit, I had not heard of the Gimli Glider incident (accident?).

What an amazing feat of piloting. Other than running out of fuel in the first place :)

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Train Derailment

OK, so a GPS/INS + Arduino could be had for around $150 from Sparkfun, and triple redundancy would be slightly more than triple to account for the voting hardware. I would think that the existing train routing software already has the speed limits database, and the programmed route information could easily include the limits along with the GPS coordinates of the track segments.

Existing route planners from other industries can already autonomously program flight paths and speeds for UAVs well enough to avoid enemy radars; adapting them to plan a train route shouldn't be that complicated.

The biggest issue, of course, is a fundamental lack of desire. The rail companies neither want to spend the money or even to do the job in the first place. That's the only rational explanation for an already 3-yr slip in implementation of positive train control. Any time safety equipment is demanded by the public or the government, companies resist, until they're back up against a wall. Then, the implementation is PDQ, and the companies laud all their safety features, after the fact.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Train Derailment

Great piloting and an amazing coincidence.
In the cockpit were two pilots who had the combined experience and skill set to land successfully.
One pilot had glider experience and the other had first hand experience flying out of the Gimli airport.
What are the odds that those two pilots would be in the cockpit on that flight?

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Train Derailment

Waross,
Some years ago the two pilots who did this were guest speakers at a Soaring Society of America convention , It was a very interesting story they told among other things they mentioned , The aircraft's fuel gauges were inoperative because of an electronic fault indicated on the instrument panel and airplane logs. They relied only on the quantity put on board which of course was done in pounds instead of kilos so they thought they were getting more fuel than they really did.
But again there was a comedy of errors prior to their taking off which later resulted in the two pilots and three maintenance workers getting suspended.
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Train Derailment

So often the case. Several seeming unrelated minor problems add up to one big problem. Turned out OK that time, too often does not.

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Train Derailment

The last chance to avoid failure was they did not floatstick after fueling to confirm what they thought was on board was actually on board. Failing to repeat the measurement they relied on to determine fuel need was a critical step that would have exposed the calculation flaw. Additionally, they probably failed to close the loop with the fuelers about the range they expected out of the amount put on board. There is no way the plane would be twice as efficient as anything else in the air.

RE: Train Derailment

Regarding: The biggest issue, of course, is a fundamental lack of desire. The rail companies neither want to spend the money or even to do the job in the first place. That's the only rational explanation for an already 3-yr slip in implementation of positive train control. Any time safety equipment is demanded by the public or the government, companies resist, until they're back up against a wall. Then, the implementation is PDQ, and the companies laud all their safety features, after the fact.

Ronald Batory — President Trump’s nominee to lead the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) — will be pushing for the controversial self-regulatory approach to safety known as “performance-based regulations,” according to his July 26 statement for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/09/27/federal-rail...

The engineers at VW took advantage of the performance-based regulations when they installed modifications to get around the diesel emissions regulations.

RE: Train Derailment

Quote (IRStuff)

The biggest issue, of course, is a fundamental lack of desire

Are you sure it's not something more human, such as the threat to job security, or the reduction of the driver's responsibility to the point of uselessness?
When comparing rail safety records, one should ask: What do they do in Japan?
North America's rail system is pretty sad compared to the Shinkansen.
"In 2011, 27 shinkansen trains were skimming the country the afternoon of March 11 when a 9.0 megaquake struck... There were no fatalities or injuries."

There is no way a human could make the split-second decisions needed to minutely control a 300 KPH train all day every day. Automation of rail transport has already been solved. A 130kph train is trivial in comparison.

STF

RE: Train Derailment

SparWeb has it exactly. Follow the money from the unions to the politicians. Should be an easy connect-the-dots exercise.

RE: Train Derailment

"Are you sure it's not something more human, such as the threat to job security, or the reduction of the driver's responsibility to the point of uselessness?"

Since when has that really stopped any company from executing a corporate desire? It certainly didn't stop the fireman and conductor from disappearing. It certainly hasn't stopped the airlines from reducing cockpit crews from 4 to 2. And when have the unions successfully won anything in the last 20 years? Does anyone really believe that the unions can buy more politicians than the railroads?

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Train Derailment

Japan spends a lot for national pride on a fairly narrow scope project. It didn't translate well into their nuclear program though and they don't ship enough tonnage by rail to be more than a round off error to US rail. Not having to contend with freight trains makes passenger trains a lot easier. I guess if a country wants to be really good at something they are going to spend a ton of money to do so.

Anyway - the 2015 article has some 2017 followup https://www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2017/12/has-... It's not dead, but it's not a source of pride to a lot of Texans.

RE: Train Derailment

Quote (waross)

I can't help thinking that a tech school class could probably design a good reliable safety system for a couple of thousand dollars in hardware.
Is this reasonable or an I blowing smoke?

As others point out, this is all about cost. The technology has been around a long time. There is nothing to "invent", only the implementation. The standards have been all hashed out and every manufacturer of equipment has solutions available.

The New York underground system had positive train control when built in 1904. It was centrally dispatched, with remote controlled switches and automatic signals. A mechanical trip rising from besides the track indicated clear, restricted or stop. Passing restricted too fast or passing stop would apply the air brake to emergency.

The London Underground started automated train control in 1964. It uses wayside coils to indicate target speed by a number of different frequencies. The operator only controls the doors and issues a "go" command and after that the central control system sets speed and onboard controls regulate the speed including the final stop in place.

Quote (SparWeb)

Are you sure it's not something more human, such as the threat to job security, or the reduction of the driver's responsibility to the point of uselessness?

As you point out, there are plenty of examples of automated systems. They still have an operator though. Automated systems don't do well with unexpected disruptions like objects on the tracks, people blocking doors, etc..

Quote (SparWeb)

OK, so a GPS/INS + Arduino could be had for around $150 from Sparkfun, and triple redundancy would be slightly more than triple to account for the voting hardware. I would think that the existing train routing software already has the speed limits database, and the programmed route information could easily include the limits along with the GPS coordinates of the track segments.

Rail equipment isn't a since fair project. I know for certain you've never designed anything that goes onboard rail equipment if you think COTS will work without a bunch of modifications. Rail is BRUTAL for vibration and impact.

That said, the real cost isn't in the moving equipment, it is in the wayside equipment, communications and software. Far more often the problem isn't a train going too fast for the location, it is unauthorized movement - going against switches and / or running into another train. For that you've got to communicate who's got authority, where everyone is, etc..

All of the technology is developed and agreed upon in the US. It is a matter of spending the money to put it in.

RE: Train Derailment

A tidbit. Last year I put an LTE Ethernet router into a railcar to provide me with a link into the system controller. Just for the heck of it I "checked the box" to add GPS to the router. I installed the complex antenna on a flat deck already existing on the car's left side roof, about over the rail on that side.

I can VPN into the router and ask it for it's immediate GPS location. If I copy that location and paste it into Google Maps then switch to satellite mode and zoom in, with out exception, I can always tell which way the car is pointing just by that two foot offset of the antenna. I was quite amazed when I realized that.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Train Derailment

Hi MatthewDB,
Please be careful when quoting others. It makes for confusing reading for everyone else, when you don't cut-and-paste correctly.
Now that that's been taken care of, I want to add that I understand IRStuff when IRStuff wrote the following:

Quote (IRStuff)

OK, so a GPS/INS + Arduino could be had for around $150 from Sparkfun, and triple redundancy would be slightly more than triple to account for the voting hardware. I would think that the existing train routing software already has the speed limits database, and the programmed route information could easily include the limits along with the GPS coordinates of the track segments.

I believe IRStuff was NOT making an engineering design recommendation about how to automate a rail system. My reading of IRStuff's comment was more to place some ridicule on an industry that has fallen woefully behind in providing its operators with electronic assistance, when every other transport system has done similar things for their operators. You clearly understand the mechanism of doing this in the rail system better than I do, and perhaps better than IRStuff (I won't speak for them) but didn't notice the implied scorn, for not an industry that has not widely implemented it decades ago, when it became possible.

STF

RE: Train Derailment

It's not a matter of cost, it's a matter of cost NOW. One would think that millions of dollars of freight would be offset by a $60k (finished/hardened/qualified) system, but the aggregate cost is that multiplied by thousands of engines, so no one wants to spend the money after the fact (BTDT). Nevertheless, it seems that the freight companies won't even broach the subject with inexpensive COTS demo programs, because that'll just make it harder for them to refuse to implement the full Monte.

When such a system is incorporated into new engines, the cost would be less than half, and no one would even blink an eye if the cost of a new engine were $20k higher, since that would simply get amortized over the freight costs over the lifetime of the engine. Engine additions are much easier to justify, compared to trading between bullets and safety equipment in military. That's been an ongoing losing proposition for at least 20 years. Military helos are routinely lost due to self-induced brownouts caused by the downwash; the technology exists to deal with that, but the aggregate cost constantly makes such systems fall below the budget line.

While rail transport environment is harsh, it's nowhere close to impossible, and nowhere close to military truck transport or naval 901D shock. Anything that a human bottom can handle for 8 hrs is benign, by definition. And note that I was describing a simple warning system, which isn't even close to positive control, and does not require interaction with any other part of the engine, other than power and external antenna.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Train Derailment

So, rail guys, here's a question for you. There are a number of lines thru my city that are posted that the engines may be unmanned, remote controlled or some such wording. How they doing that?

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Train Derailment

Unmanned is easy enough, however controlled, local or remote, I'm not sure.

RE: Train Derailment

I believe they are radio controlled with an observer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_control_locom... The caution is that people would think that the lack of a person in the cab means the locomotive won't move and therefore increase the odds for a collision by dodging around crossing-arms, for example.

RE: Train Derailment

Quote (SnTMan)

So, rail guys, here's a question for you. There are a number of lines thru my city that are posted that the engines may be unmanned, remote controlled or some such wording. How they doing that?

They are locally controlled via radio from a console worn in a harness. They are mainly used to allow for one man operation in switching service. Most of the time the operator will be in the cab, but when it comes time to back up, make a couple, throw a switch and set it back, etc... the operator will dismount and run the train from the ground. They are always operating with the end of the train in the direction of movement visible.

RE: Train Derailment

MatthewDB, yeah that makes sense, where I am most used to seeing them is near a yard. Thx :)

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Train Derailment

I expect a preliminary report in under 6 months.

RE: Train Derailment

Some info and tidbits:
The train is a Talgo manufactured train which has been is service for many years by Amtrak. They are rather odd looking, with an engine on both ends, higher than the cars in between. The passenger cars share wheel trucks, single axle between cars.

A train on the alternate, older route alongside Puget Sound suffered a derailment last July. There is a lift bridge on that route and the train failed to stop for a bridge opening. There is an old (1920's or older) vertical lift bridge over Steilacoom creek on the Western track which I suspect was involved (news website didn't say).

The old Western route follows the shore of Puget Sound and enters a long tunnel with a quite tight turn on the West side of Tacoma, under Point Defiance Park. It is a picturesque route, but subject to mud slides from the high bluffs along the Sound.

A lot of construction has been going on over the last couple of years on the new route. The tracks were regraded and reinstalled with new concrete ties. I believe the commuter "Sounder" trains will be sharing this track, but only as far as South Tacoma in the near future - maybe about 5 miles North of the accident site.

The bridge where it happened is the span over Interstate 5 South bound lanes. The East pier used to be a favorite site for the WA State Patrol to hide out and catch speeders on the downgrade. Haven't seen them there lately?

RE: Train Derailment

I think the Talgo sets use a locomotive on one end, the other end is a control car / HEP car, but not a locomotive. In this case, it seems to have been a GE unit pushing the train, but I understand the plan was to use EMD locomotives painted to match.

RE: Train Derailment

Quote (bimr)

The locomotive engineer should engage legal counsel as he will probably face manslaughter charges.

The engineer is in a union, and will be represented at no cost of his own.

Train derailments are under the jurisdiction of the NTSB, and get treated in a very similar way as commercial plane accidents... So I'd bet the NTSB/Union reps/Lawyers were on board within about 10 minutes of the accident.

RE: Train Derailment

In a recent 'Railway Age' magazine, I saw an article about how bad Amtrak's safety culture is; it was based on the inquiry into the accident in NJ (I think) where a train hit a work crew. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

RE: Train Derailment

Quote (bimr)

“performance-based regulations”
Is that the same logic that decides a stoplight will only be installed after the second child is killed by a speeding motorist, after years of pleading by neighbourhood parents?

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts."

RE: Train Derailment

Quote:

Is that the same logic that decides a stoplight will only be installed after the second child is killed by a speeding motorist, after years of pleading by neighbourhood parents?

No.

Around here, it takes three fatalities to get a stoplight.

Local rules will vary, and will not be recorded in a place where just any citizen has access.



Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Train Derailment


Quote (jgKRI's (Mechanical))

The engineer is in a union, and will be represented at no cost of his own.

Train derailments are under the jurisdiction of the NTSB, and get treated in a very similar way as commercial plane accidents... So I'd bet the NTSB/Union reps/Lawyers were on board within about 10 minutes of the accident.

Not necessarily. The locomotive engineer would have to be in the union and the union contract would have to include liability coverage, both of which are unknown

Here is an example:

http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6609767-74/trai...

RE: Train Derailment


Quote (ironic metallurgist (Materials))

Is that the same logic that decides a stoplight will only be installed after the second child is killed by a speeding motorist, after years of pleading by neighbourhood parents?

Perhaps a better terminology would be "Tombstone Engineering".

RE: Train Derailment

Quote (bimr)

Perhaps a better terminology would be "Tombstone Engineering".

The downside to that is far to often, the wrong thing is done after a death. It's a natural reaction to "we must do something" after someone is killed. Particularly when the dead person is politically connected, or related to someone politically corrected.

A good example is when a pedestrian is killed by someone turning right on a red. We're not going to ban right turns on red, so they will ban it at only that one intersection, even if there is nothing there that makes that one intersection particularly dangerous.

RE: Train Derailment

Quote (bimr)


Amtrak's engineers are fully unionized. I expect them to circle the wagons for this guy, whether he deserves their protection or not.

RE: Train Derailment

ALL Americans have a right to legal consul, PERIOD! It's NOT an issue of whether he deserves it or not, it's a Constitutional right. As for who provides it, that's totally irrelevant. In fact, if he was not a member of a union and he was being charged with a criminal offense and he was not able to afford his own legal representation, the state would be obligated to provide him consul at no cost to himself.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Train Derailment

I would hope the union helps ensure he gets treated to the rights he has.

That's kinda the point of a union.

RE: Train Derailment

Quote (jgKRI (Mechanical))

Amtrak's engineers are fully unionized. I expect them to circle the wagons for this guy, whether he deserves their protection or not.

Is the following from a similar incident an example of "circle the wagons"?

"The executive director of the Rail Employees Union now says 46-year-old engineer William Rockefeller, who was injured in crash, has said he caught himself "nodding off" at the controls."

http://www.texomashomepage.com/news/national-news/...

http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/03/us/new-york-train-cr...

To surmise that a union will obstruct an investigation seems to be somewhat cynical.

RE: Train Derailment

If y'all read my post as implying that the engineer in this accident will unduly avoid any consequences because of his union membership... that's not what I meant.

RE: Train Derailment

Quote (CNN article)

Late Tuesday, the NTSB said the rail union has been kicked out of its investigation of the derailment for violating confidentiality rules.
Oops...

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Train Derailment

Ouch.

RE: Train Derailment

Happens all the time:

"UPS, union ousted from inquiry into crash of one of carrier service’s cargo planes"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcom...

All take a vow of silence until the NTSB delivers its final report on the accident. So secret is the process that for some portions of the inquest the partners gather in a secure section of the NTSB building that is equipped with a unique computer system that allows no communication outside the room. Partners at those sessions take notes on color-coded paper that is collected before they leave the room.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Resources


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close