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 Post subject: Re: Philadelphia/ Port Richmond Wreck
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 5:35 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

Just as a side comment. MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) was put into operation in the 1970s (oddly enough following the major interurban routes from the 1940s).

The system can be fully automated with a human overseer just in case of override needs. I think it was tested that way before opening to the public. The Unions got made and said you can not remove the train drivers.

The unions won.

Could this sort of think have happened here? Could a move to automate the NEC cause Union issues?

Food for thought.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Philadelphia/ Port Richmond Wreck
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 1:09 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 726
Location: Tucson, Arizona
J3a-614 wrote:


Why don't we just reinstall all that stuff, and expand it? Why do we have to reinvent the wheel, relying on computers and wireless communications that are potentially disruptable? Is there a cost problem, one greater than the modern PTC solution?


At the risk of going off topic, it's all about the money and contracts. Most contracts now require the contractor to guarantee the workmanship and materials used. Here in Tucson, we were supposed to have a switch to connect our car barn to the Sun Link maintenance lead and the City decided to remove the new switch from the design because of cost. We had four single point turnouts that could have been used but the contractors refused to use them (even if refurbished) as they didn't want to be on the hook if there was a later issue with the material.

_________________
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


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 Post subject: Re: Philadelphia/ Port Richmond Wreck
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 3:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:48 pm
Posts: 23
Some figures as an aid to understanding how the train reached slightly over 100 mph in a bit less than 3.7 miles from its previous stop:

According to the Siemens website, the ACS-64 develops a maximum tractive effort of 72,000 lb., and the short-term horsepower rating is 6,400 kilowatts, or about 8,580 horsepower. Assuming that is drawbar horsepower, the locomotive still develops about 19,300 lb tractive effort at 100 mph.


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 Post subject: Re: Philadelphia/ Port Richmond Wreck
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 4:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1734
Why don't we just reinstall all that stuff, and expand it? Why do we have to reinvent the wheel, relying on computers and wireless communications that are potentially disruptable? Is there a cost problem, one greater than the modern PTC solution?


Oh that's easy.

New is ALWAYS better.

Electronics and computers always work, and never err, malfunction or break.

The expensive, top-down project is always going to lead us to Nirvana.



Too bad Amtrak blew that wad of cash on that POS, the HHP-8, instead of having this curve guarded in both directions.


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 Post subject: Re: Philadelphia/ Port Richmond Wreck
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 6:00 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Quote:
Electronics and computers always work, and never err, malfunction or break.


Remember the ohmygod reaction about chads in the 2000 election?

How can anyone think that anything (computers etc) can be perfect when man is not?

Computers are like guns and knives and wheels - tools - imperfect tools.

Gad!

If I recall the second (only to cancer) cause of death in the US is traffic accidents. Where's the outrage there. In Georgia there are about 2 per day - 670-odd per year. Where's the outrage?

You only get outraged if it is something outside the normal I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Philadelphia/ Port Richmond Wreck
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 11:57 pm 

Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 11:27 am
Posts: 420
Location: Switching the Coach Yard
Idiot proofing only works until they come up with a new and improved idiot....

ETA


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 Post subject: Re: Philadelphia/ Port Richmond Wreck
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 12:45 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Don't have links handy, but there are some interesting new developments in the case.

One is the character of the engineer. While some here might describe him as a "foamer," he was also well looked upon by friends who viewed his character quite highly. He supposedly had some discussions in social media about PTC in which he considered it an important safety addition. He has no known problems with booze or drugs, and his cell phone was off and stowed in his travel bag as it should have been.

There is also the question of the behavior of the train. Running in an area with a speed restriction of 80 mph, the train accelerated from 70 mph to over 100 mph rather than decelerating to 50 mph. Given the history of the engineer, some of his friends say something must have happened to him.

A newer report from a radio station has the FBI involved, examining the windshield of the locomotive in question. There are reports of other trains in the same general area that may have been struck by something, such as large rocks or perhaps a shot of some kind. If this turns out to be true, and if similar evidence is found on this locomotive, we then have the possibility that the wreck was caused by vandalism that injured the engineer.

All this is speculation at this point;we still have to wait for the safety people to find the real cause, if it can be found.


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 Post subject: Re: Philadelphia/ Port Richmond Wreck
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 1:00 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Dougvv wrote:
If I recall the second (only to cancer) cause of death in the US is traffic accidents. Where's the outrage there. In Georgia there are about 2 per day - 670-odd per year. Where's the outrage?

You only get outraged if it is something outside the normal I guess.


Currently, we average about 33,000 automotive deaths of one sort or another per year in this country. It's about 90 per day, or a bit under four per hour.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mo ... S._by_year

We kill the entire loss of life in this one incident in two two hours and seven minutes. This averages out from that 90 per day, to 630 per week, to 2,750 per month! How many of us live in a town or community with a population of 2,750 people or less?

For comparison, San Juan County in Colorado has about 680 people, of whom 650 live in Silverton. In a bit over one week we kill the entire population of the outer terminus of the Durango & Silverton.

Grand Canyon Village, Arizona, at the end of the Grand Canyon Scenic, has a population of about 2,000. We kill that place off in less three and a a half weeks. The town of Williams, the other end of Grand Canyon Scenic, has about 6,000 people; it takes about two months and one week to wipe it out.

Cass, West Virginia, has 52 people. Its life would be measured in hours.

This goes on day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year--and no one bats an eyelash.

But if it's a train or an airliner---

Am I the only one who thinks we're looking at the wrong things? Am I the only one who thinks we have to deal with a double standard that's stacked very high against us, and not just in the area of safety?


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 Post subject: Re: Philadelphia/ Port Richmond Wreck
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 6:00 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
omar wrote:
Unfortunately, sad events like this will turn our rail system into an expensive "horizontal elevator".

Why not? It's already happened to airplanes. Modern airflight is bookkeeping, programming the right things into the right computers and pushing a button. Airbuses are also sometimes vertical elevators too.


Dougvv wrote:
Just as a side comment. MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) was put into operation in the 1970s (oddly enough following the major interurban routes from the 1940s).

The system can be fully automated with a human overseer just in case of override needs. I think it was tested that way before opening to the public. The Unions got made and said you can not remove the train drivers.

BART and WMATA also adopted a PTC-like system that is so refined that it can run the trains on automatic. This is a closed-loop in house system with no need to interoperate. In these systems you have human and computer. One acts, the other observes.

Here's the thing. As an actor computers are perfect or terrible, in extremes... humans err more often but more moderately. However when it comes to watching, humans are too distracted and expecting... and computers are the unblinking eye.

Task automation assigns each the roles they are worst at. Computer monitoring of human action puts roles where they work best. WMATA got an object lesson in that. Airbus has also had some trouble with pilots becoming accustomed to being protected by the automation.


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 Post subject: Re: Philadelphia/ Port Richmond Wreck
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 3:08 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
!!@#$%^&*&^**&$@

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/05/18/ ... ed-speeds/

No discussion of things like the employee timetable or track classifications. . .

https://scontent-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot ... e=55BF77DD


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 Post subject: Re: Philadelphia/ Port Richmond Wreck
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 4:32 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

I had just gotten back in my car here in Atlanta (not near the wreck) and heard a part of a news story about a circle of broken glass on the windshield. They reported (right or wrong) that is might not be a bullet - no hole. If the engineer saw something coming towards the window, he might have ducked and moved the throttle with no time to recover.

FWIW.

Doug vV


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