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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:19 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1247
Baldwin feeder wrote:
Ron Travis wrote:

And how could he not know he was lost?



The engineer is a human and all humans make mistakes. Even some automated systems can misinterpret data and take incorrect actions.


Yes, not knowing you are lost amounts to making a mistake. This would be like blindfolding a person, and asking them if they can see. If they answer yes, they are making a mistake.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2167
Location: Northern Illinois
Ron Travis wrote:
Baldwin feeder wrote:
Ron Travis wrote:

And how could he not know he was lost?



The engineer is a human and all humans make mistakes. Even some automated systems can misinterpret data and take incorrect actions.


Yes, not knowing you are lost amounts to making a mistake. This would be like blindfolding a person, and asking them if they can see. If they answer yes, they are making a mistake.


Yes, a mistake. From the engineer's perspective (the only person that really matters) he wasn't lost because he knew the curve was coming up, and as soon as he came to MP 18 he would initiate a brake reduction. Hadn't occurred to him that he was already past MP 18, and he hadn't committed enough details to memory in the one student trip in that direction to realize otherwise. Lack of adequate training; one student trip was obviously not enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:44 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1247
Dennis Storzek wrote:
Ron Travis wrote:
Baldwin feeder wrote:


The engineer is a human and all humans make mistakes. Even some automated systems can misinterpret data and take incorrect actions.


Yes, not knowing you are lost amounts to making a mistake. This would be like blindfolding a person, and asking them if they can see. If they answer yes, they are making a mistake.


Yes, a mistake. From the engineer's perspective (the only person that really matters) he wasn't lost because he knew the curve was coming up, and as soon as he came to MP 18 he would initiate a brake reduction. Hadn't occurred to him that he was already past MP 18, and he hadn't committed enough details to memory in the one student trip in that direction to realize otherwise. Lack of adequate training; one student trip was obviously not enough.


He knew where the curve was, but he was lost during the 2.8 miles preceding it. Apparently, he only confirmed his location at each milepost according to the mile number. Other than reading each milepost, he may have been lost most of the trip. In this case, he somehow overlooked the most critical milepost of all.

Overall, this seems like an incredibly dangerous way to operate. And yet he told the NTSB that he would not have gotten behind the throttle if he had any reservations about his readiness to operate the train. He may not have had any reservations, but it seems to me that he should have had some reservations.

The problem with spotting mileposts is that you are lost the entire way between them. Under his circumstance of having no memorization of route features, it would have been essential to count the distance between mileposts by the odometer. Then he would have known where milepost 18 was even if he had not seen it yet, or not seen it when passing it.

I don’t see how any of this can be blamed on him not being adequately trained for the route. He should have learned all this long before he traveled this new route.


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