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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:08 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:52 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
dinwitty wrote:
If the mods want to make a new forum area and call it news and put it there, fine, but I doubt it would get the views there.


Already done. It's the Railfanning section of RyPN. I don't doubt that there a macabre fascination with the "what if's" and "who done what and when" speculation that occurs whever some tragic event like this occurs. And it's clear that there are some very perceptive and knowledgeable people on this forum. But bottom line, I personally feel that this sort of discussion, unless it has relevance to those of us in the preservation "business," belongs in the railfanning section, that's all.

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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:41 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 929
Quote:
"But bottom line, I personally feel that this sort of discussion, unless it has relevance to those of us in the preservation "business," belongs in the railfanning section, that's all."


You are correct. And probably, sooner rather than later, it will be moved there.

Unfortunately, the way the RyPN site is currently set up, there is no way to get to the 'Railfanning' section except by menu navigation from a limited number of pages, I think by intent. So it is more convenient to have the discussion in Interchange until the discussion becomes less interesting to such a wide range of posters.

Now, if you were forced to read every post made to the topic ... or if you had bandwidth complaints that cost you time and money every time a new post updated the list ... I would be far more sympathetic. I 'came around' in fact on the April Fool's subject, since I agree that the chance for humor being mistaken for serious preservation could impair the perception of RyPN as the professional resource it is. But it does appear that a significant number of RyPN contributors think, democratically, that this is a subject fit to discuss here for the brief time it will appear.

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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:04 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 468
Chris Salmonson wrote:
Not sure what this thread has to do with Railway Preservation.

A year or two from now, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will release their findings. Those findings will cause FRA, Amtrak and other entities to make changes that will likely impact PV operators and heritage railways -- so that's what this thread has to do with preservation, IMHO!


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:30 pm
Posts: 213
Jim Vaitkunas wrote:
But bottom line, I personally feel that this sort of discussion, unless it has relevance to those of us in the preservation "business," belongs in the railfanning section, that's all.


Hear, hear, Jim. I second that.
Moderators, please move this thread to Railfanning. Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3088
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Something else to read.

http://amp.kiro7.com/news/south-sound-n ... /668115816


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3088
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
I do think this does have some tying in to preservation. Sadly, this sort of thing is part of what makes railroad managements hostile to passenger operations, and even more to mainline excursions. We do have an interest in this on that account.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3088
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
PaulWWoodring wrote:
Imagine the engineer of #765 or #4449 losing "situational awareness" on a high-speed excursion. That's what it has to do with this. Not likely, but this was an equally high-visibility event. I'm amazed there wasn't a Road Foreman in the cab. Actually, I think on a lot of railroads the RFE would have been running, the regular engineer would have been in the left-hand seat, and there would not have been a trainee anywhere around. I can tell you, as a former engineer, I would not have had any problem with that scenario had I been the engineer of record for such a trip. Takes a lot of pressure off.


This, and the comments that the crew may have been unfamiliar with the locomotive (though the video of the cab doesn't look too unusual compared to other modern units), suggests to me the possibility that maybe we have made locomotive cabs, for lack of better words, too comfortable. I've had the experience of a new car that felt so different, so quiet and smooth compared to the very old one it replaced, it was easy to drive too fast with it.

More recently, I had to get a new car, and for economy reasons, got one with a manual transmission. That has helped me become more alert at driving, helped me stay more alert because the car itself requires more attention. I can't help but think we may be overcomputerizing and oversimplifying things to where our operational capacities are declining.

It's not just railroading. This has come up in aircraft accident investigations as well.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/air-franc ... t-to-blame

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/busines ... -447-crash

Quote:
Imagine the engineer of #765 or #4449 losing "situational awareness" on a high-speed excursion. That's what it has to do with this.


I have to agree with that based what steam is like to run. . .no chance of having the machine do too much for you there!!


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8459
Location: Baltimore, MD
Chris Webster wrote:
A year or two from now, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will release their findings. Those findings MAY cause the FRA, Amtrak and other entities to make changes that will likely impact PV operators and heritage railways -- so that's what this thread has to do with preservation, IMHO!

Fixed that for you.

A gentle reminder that: 1) the actual cause of this accident--or, in NTSB parlance, the "probable cause"--has yet to be determined, and that it's still possible (although a remote chance) that this accident may not, in fact, result in NTSB "recommendations" that will impact the industry and/or preservationists; and 2) the NTSB only issues "recommendations" that in fact have no force of implementation or law, and the FRA, major rail companies, Amtrak, AAR, etc. are under no obligation to respond to said recommendations.

Having said that, however, I entirely concede that it's not only possible, but almost likely, that the aftermath of this accident will result in proactive measures, perhaps even Draconian and punitively expensive, against passenger operators, be it increased standards applied by railroads against private equipment (think AAPRRCO or Levin's PRR E8 duo or MILW 261) or Congress legislating against the industry as a whole.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:21 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 7:17 pm
Posts: 545
Location: Ballard, WA
Monday Morning Quarterbacking on an unfortunate accident that we were not party to hardly pertains to Railway Preservation, especially when it involves a brand new locomotive operating in a brand new service. We have no right to choose who was right nor wrong, nor speculate what may have caused the accident.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:45 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 929
Quote:
"We have no right to choose who was right nor wrong, nor speculate what may have caused the accident."


And you are, specifically, who to tell us what we are and aren't qualified to do?

Perhaps a less insulting or condescending tone would get you a bit further, but as it is, you just look foolish, especially when you use bad grammar. Do you think that technical discussions involve morality, or that what we're discussing is all mere "speculation" without informed knowledge of things like physics or railroad rules, or apportioning the blame early?

If you don't like the thread, don't read it. It'll be moved to Railfanning before very long anyway. But stop pretending you have any objective 'right' to close it down; that's a job for moderators, not folks like you.

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Last edited by Overmod on Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:47 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1234
Chris Salmonson wrote:
Monday Morning Quarterbacking on an unfortunate accident that we were not party to hardly pertains to Railway Preservation, especially when it involves a brand new locomotive operating in a brand new service. We have no right to choose who was right nor wrong, nor speculate what may have caused the accident.


In my opinion people have every right to speculate on the cause of an accident such as this. The public is somewhat invested in public passenger trains, and they put their trust in the system to keep them safe. Many of them understand that system and want to know why it fails.

Much of railroad preservation replicates this same type of bond with the public. Many people in all fields of railroad interest, including preservation, are keenly interested in learning what went wrong in these cases. They go wherever they can to get information. A forum like this with knowledgeable people stands out as a good reference compared to any of the news media.

This quest for understanding the cause does not disrespect those who are directly involved. It does not influence the investigation of the NTSB. The topic is not completely unrelated to this forum, as some seem to believe. The NTSB understands the public's need to know and they are perfectly willing to not require the public to wait until they complete their investigation to learn some of the basic details. They would not be providing daily updates and discovery of new facts if they did not want any discussion or speculation to take place.

Speculation is nothing more than an exercise in logic to come up with a plausible scenario that fits the known facts as they become available. It is a natural response by anyone looking at the case with curiosity.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:53 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 747
Location: Tucson, Arizona
J3a-614 wrote:


More recently, I had to get a new car, and for economy reasons, got one with a manual transmission. That has helped me become more alert at driving, helped me stay more alert because the car itself requires more attention. I can't help but think we may be overcomputerizing and oversimplifying things to where our operational capacities are declining.

It's not just railroading. This has come up in aircraft accident investigations as well.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/air-franc ... t-to-blame

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/busines ... -447-crash

Quote:
Imagine the engineer of #765 or #4449 losing "situational awareness" on a high-speed excursion. That's what it has to do with this.


I have to agree with that based what steam is like to run. . .no chance of having the machine do too much for you there!!


The problem with dependence on automation or computers goes even further. In the legal arena, many courts are now going to electronic case files. In some cases, such as with my court, that means that some case files are now partially or entirely electronic. While it makes document retrieval more convenient, it also means that if the computer system has an outage, the documents cannot be viewed or processed. For the majority of the cases, that's just an inconvenience as we can retrieve the physical file. However, for civil cases filed by attorneys within the last couple of years, some of the cases are now entirely electronic-no hard file exists.

This creates a great deal of additional complication-used to be that you filed your case over the counter. Now, in our county you have to file every civil case document electronically (including the opening documents) whereas in the other county that does electronic filing, your opening documents must be physically filed over the counter and all following documents filed electronically. Only certain clerks have access to the electronic filing system and only two have the authority to make decisions regarding issues affecting the system-myself and the department supervisor. Using the system requires additional technical training and the system routinely develops technical issues which affect the ability of users to use the system-if a process fails to synch, the users who are filing documents cannot view the filed documents or the image links get incorrectly linked.

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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2154
as we go here, the details we have is we have an operational line that seems to be rushed to get it operational to meet getting federal funds deadline. This creates a crush on training crews to be properly trained. We have the engineer who may have missed a speed limit sign somehow, gets an overspeed indication 6 seconds before the the derail, applies or tries to apply brakes, by then its too late. The detail an object on the track lingers which may say if the train could have actually survived the curve or be thrashed off by the object, or the engine simply tipped over by the speed on the curve.

Was a simulator created for this line for training?


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:22 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1234
dinwitty wrote:
We have the engineer who may have missed a speed limit sign somehow, gets an overspeed indication 6 seconds before the the derail, applies or tries to apply brakes, by then its too late.


We don't really know that it was too late to apply the brakes for the curve. It has been estimated by some that the that the time available for braking after the overspeed indication was enough time to slow the train sufficiently to avoid derailing on the curve.

The overspeed indication had nothing to do with need to reduce speed for the curve. It only required slowing from approx. 80 mph to 79 mph. The engineer knew that, and so that is what he applied braking to accomplish.

And as he braked from 80 mph to 79 mph, he was already well past the point where he should have begun braking from 80 mph to 30 mph.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak Derailment in Washington State
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:49 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:46 pm
Posts: 65
dinwitty, there was no federal funds deadline to begin operations. The program had a September 30, 2017 deadline (end of the federal fiscal year) to disburse grant funds.

dinwitty wrote:
as we go here, the details we have is we have an operational line that seems to be rushed to get it operational to meet getting federal funds deadline. This creates a crush on training crews to be properly trained. We have the engineer who may have missed a speed limit sign somehow, gets an overspeed indication 6 seconds before the the derail, applies or tries to apply brakes, by then its too late. The detail an object on the track lingers which may say if the train could have actually survived the curve or be thrashed off by the object, or the engine simply tipped over by the speed on the curve.

Was a simulator created for this line for training?


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