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Canadian Railroads > CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy


Date: 02/04/20 13:55
CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: Marcus

CBC News has posted two new stories on the anniversary of the tragic runaway on the Field Hill,
which killed three CP employees.

One article includes video of the accident scene,
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/video-derailment-canadian-pacific-railway-field-1.5449758

A second article includes quotations and video of grieving family members,
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/cp-rail-crash-anniversary-families-urge-witnesses-1.5448086

CBC has doggedly pursued this story,
tracking down witnesses, a CP police officer, a TSB investigator,
even ambushing the CP CEO at a conference in San Diego.

They have also kept ongoing contact with grieving family members,
publishing many statements and video interviews.
CBC even sponsored a televised luncheon to bring family members together on camera.
For professional journalists dealing with grieving families,
where is the line between reporting and exploiting ?



Date: 02/04/20 14:19
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: PHall

CBC does seem to have an agenda here. Isn't that a problem when you're the "Public" broadcaster?



Date: 02/04/20 14:28
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: 4489

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CBC does seem to have an agenda here. Isn't that a
> problem when you're the "Public" broadcaster?

The CBC is always accused of having an agenda on most of it's stories.  And these accusations come from all political leanings!



Date: 02/04/20 15:16
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: MP403

The job of a journalist is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.



Date: 02/04/20 15:21
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: xcnsnake

Lots of unanswered questions. As anyone who has worked (or works) for a RR knows, $hit runs downhill, often onto the lowest ranking employees. In my opinion the way these outfits work these days is if they could’ve thrown the train crew(s) under the bus for something they did or didn't do that night, they would’ve by now…

So, who said what to whom, and when, what direction was given, when and by whom? Was there a "breakdown in communication"? Was someone misinformed? Was the crew subject to the "are you refusing duty" routine? Why was the train not secured with sufficent handbrakes once the first crew had to plug it?  There are specific train handling guidelines for this territory that state in part: “If operating conditions dictate (e.g. abnormal braking conditions such as weather and poor braking train) that the application of hand brakes is necessary to secure the train while recharging, then apply handbrake and retaining valves as follows: apply a hand brake on every car; set retaining valves to the high pressure position on at least 65% of the cars; and do not release hand brakes until the entire train air brake system is fully charged and a brake pipe reduction has been made to prevent movement while hand brakes are being released.  Note: If there is doubt or uncertainty regarding the continued movement of the train, then contact the RTC and request to speak directly to a Road Manager."

This train apparently had issues on the road as far back as the Red Deer Sub. And with temps in excess of -20C surely that would qualify as “abnormal conditions", no?

Let's hear the tapes.

Oh, don't forget about another incident involving CP somewhat recently: "CP Rail manager guilty in case of train left on B.C. mountainside without handbrakes"
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/cp-rail-bc-mountain-train-1.4758601

File that one under: "past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior."

On the mountain territory that I work, with grades much less severe than the Field hill, when we get a light going westbound at a certain location after having stopped for a meet (usually stopping with DB and a minimum brake and then a few more pounds to clean it up) once we kick it off we are on the move in seconds, now think of that on a descending grade over 3x the severity.



Edited 14 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/20 18:22 by xcnsnake.



Date: 02/04/20 16:01
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: railsmith

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CBC does seem to have an agenda here. Isn't that a
> problem when you're the "Public" broadcaster?

CBC thinks it "owns" this story and wants to wring as much coverage out of it as possible, having put considerable reporting resources into it. If it patiently waits for the TSB report, which will be released publicly to the media and public all at the same time on some future date of the TSB's choosing, CBC will not have an advantage over its media competition and all of them will be reporting the outcome at the same time. Thus, no scoop for CBC.



Date: 02/04/20 20:51
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: thehighwayman

MP403 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The job of a journalist is to comfort the
> afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

Say what????

As a former journalist, I take strong objection to that comment ... or were you being sarcastic?

I must point out that journalists today, especially broadcast journalists, are not nearly as well trained as we were in the past.
True journalism does not take sides ... nor does it try to comfort ... or afflict!
As Sgt Joe Friday always said ... "just the facts."

 

Will MacKenzie
Dundas, ON



Date: 02/04/20 21:41
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: BobB

This is a well-known phrase, as least in the United States, applied both to journalists and to churches.  It originated over a hundred years ago with a humorist's column and a different meaning, https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2014/today-in-media-history-mr-dooley-the-job-of-the-newspaper-is-to-comfort-the-afflicted-and-afflict-the-comfortable/  but it soon came to take on the meaning thehighwayman gave it so that its original context got lost   For example,  https://jerz.setonhill.edu/blog/2017/08/15/comfort-the-afflicted/   Those who use it tend to see it as an expression of a noble calling that brings the powerful to account.


thehighwayman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> MP403 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The job of a journalist is to comfort the
> > afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
>
> Say what????
>
> As a former journalist, I take strong objection to
> that comment ... or were you being sarcastic?
>
> I must point out that journalists today,
> especially broadcast journalists, are not nearly
> as well trained as we were in the past.
> True journalism does not take sides ... nor does
> it try to comfort ... or afflict!
> As Sgt Joe Friday always said ... "just the
> facts."
>
>  



Date: 02/05/20 05:49
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: Lackawanna484

Letting powerful companies and any government work things out in the back room doesn't always work out well.

Posted from Android



Date: 02/05/20 08:22
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: eminence_grise

CTV and Global are strangely quiet on this one. 



Date: 02/05/20 08:48
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: thehighwayman

eminence_grise Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CTV and Global are strangely quiet on this one. 

They are well aware of CBC's "investigative" journalism.  The "quotes" are to indicate extreme sarcasm!!!

 

Will MacKenzie
Dundas, ON



Date: 02/05/20 14:27
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: DeadheadFRED

A sad story, As a 43 year brakeman and conductor on the BNSF sometimes working between Seattle WA and Wenatchee or between Auburn WA and Yakima WA. both routes have 2% grades I guess I would consider myself lucky. Never involved in a runaway, never had to stop on the grades and tie the train down or never had to set a retainer.
Three questions
1. Why did the first crew not set any handbrakes? To me if it was an hours of service issue and the engine was the only place to stay warm. Handbrakes would have been a must as a safety issue for myself and crew members.
2. Why did they not jump off once they saw what was happening. True jumping off a moving train in poor weather conditions is very dangerous. They must have known down hill no brakes things were only get worse.
3. I have never read anything about the first crew as to who,what,where,when and why they did or didn't do. Common sense would tell me what action needed to be taken. Talking to some official who is sitting in a warm office a couple of hundred miles away with his tennis shoes propped up on the desk and waiting for his coffee to cool down is not the person I would want to ask for advise.

Billegoat
RETIRED
Skykomish WA.
 



Date: 02/05/20 14:44
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: railsmith

DeadheadFRED Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Three questions
> 1. Why did the first crew not set any handbrakes?
> To me if it was an hours of service issue and the
> engine was the only place to stay warm. Handbrakes
> would have been a must as a safety issue for
> myself and crew members.
> 2. Why did they not jump off once they saw what
> was happening. True jumping off a moving train in
> poor weather conditions is very dangerous. They
> must have known down hill no brakes things were
> only get worse.
> 3. I have never read anything about the first crew
> as to who,what,where,when and why they did or
> didn't do. Common sense would tell me what action
> needed to be taken. Talking to some official who
> is sitting in a warm office a couple of hundred
> miles away with his tennis shoes propped up on the
> desk and waiting for his coffee to cool down is
> not the person I would want to ask for advise.

Questions 1 and 3 should be answered by the TSB report.



Date: 02/05/20 17:59
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: eminence_grise

I'm so glad another poster expressed his emotions as to what happened, as a former CP operating employee I am emotional about this event and distrust senior management to do the right thing by the deceased crewmembers. CP was a good place to work and we took pride in supplying our services. We were also careful to mind what we said. Forty years ago, we experienced a corporate lawyer who made it very clear of what he thought of us, and by extension, that is what the railway executive thought of their staff.



Date: 02/05/20 19:06
Re: CBC posts new articles on Anniversary of Field Hill tragedy
Author: wyeth

eminence_grise Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm so glad another poster expressed his emotions
> as to what happened, as a former CP operating
> employee I am emotional about this event and
> distrust senior management to do the right thing
> by the deceased crewmembers.

These were my thoughts on this too.  I feel so bad for the families that lost three good railroaders, and people, in this tragic accident.  If the media wants to keep this story alive, and keep pushing to learn the facts behind it - I say good job!  Keeping this tragedy front and center might go a long way to help prevent another tragedy like this from happening again (though it sounds like there have already been some close calls up there since this horrid accident).

I too am a "railroader", and know only way too well on how the carriers will "throw one under the bus", or intimidate those to not follow the rules because it slows the operations down, etc.  If anything, after all this PSR BS that is pushing assets, and people, to the point of failure, it seems ever more important that employees, and the public in general, hold the rail carriers "feet to the fire" when it comes to safety (and with this not being just a corporate buzzword).



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