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Railroaders' Nostalgia > How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day


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Date: 11/23/19 18:41
How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

When the Road Foreman and Trainmaster have to pull the "STOP - OBSTRUCTION" sign out from under your locomotive after an efficiency test where you should have been running at restricted speed.

Is your job insurance policy active and current?




Date: 11/23/19 19:05
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: trainjunkie

Ouch. Decert.



Date: 11/23/19 19:48
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: Trainhand

OOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPPPS



Date: 11/24/19 04:27
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: dcfbalcoS1

         Simple, they put the sign to close to where you intended to stop.



Date: 11/24/19 05:26
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: alco244

hope the manager was holding it



Date: 11/24/19 06:46
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: patd3985

"That'll Do"



Date: 11/24/19 09:43
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: santafe199

Oof... that’s a nightmare I was able to avoid my whole career. Bad day, indeed...

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/24/19 15:49
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: Englewood

Looks like just a hard coupling...............................
Should be able to bang the dents out and keep going............

Serious question now.   What discipline does the conductor get?
I imagine inward facing cameras make the usual excuses ( I was in the toilet,
inspecting the units for bells ringing, updating paperwork, etc.)  hard to put over.



Date: 11/24/19 20:41
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: 3rdswitch

Definately a bad day.
JB



Date: 11/24/19 21:01
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: ExSPCondr

If its a class 1, the conductor will get the same as the engineer.  The only exception would be if the conductor was back in the train doing switching.

All of the excuses about being in the rest room, or back working on a trailing unit don't work any more, due to event recorders and cameras.  Any unit not loading will show no current on its event recorder.

Just before I retired, a crew left Elko with a Red Flag still on the lead unit due to the fuel truck connected to the second or third unit.  When the driver heard the engineer whistle off, he pulled the hose, and no fuel was spilled.  The driver got to the roundhouse foreman on duty who called the dispatcher to stop the train.

When the trainmaster and the RH foreman got to the engine, there was no red flag, but they did find it the next morning about a mile West of Elko in the bushes!
G



Date: 11/25/19 00:02
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: aronco

Before I left Santa Fe in the 90's, FRA was requiring a lot more efficiency tests from every supervisor.  When you are occupied with "desk" work such as in the high tower at Barstow, it required real attention to get my 200 tests a month.  One day, we had the dispatcher hold the signal on an Eastbound train leaving the yard, and then give the train permission to pass the signal as provided by the rules, which meant inspect every switch and move at reduced ( restricted) speed to the next signal.  We were about 500 feet past the signal and around a curve, where we placed at Red Temporary stop such as they might encounter in approaching a work zone.  Well, this crew was moving a little faster than they should be and they were unable to stop short of the red flag, passing it perhaps 50 feet or so.  As we approached the engine both the road foreman and I got a very sick feeling as we looked up at the cab, we could see the blue flag "men working" sign that had been left there in the yard.  Needless to say, the crew had overlooked the blue flag.  They were off work for about 6 months. 

Norm .

Norman Orfall
Helendale, CA
TIOGA PASS, a private railcar



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/19 00:02 by aronco.



Date: 11/25/19 06:08
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: PCCRNSEngr

One day a crew with two CR E8's departed Enola enroute to Reading to pick up the OCS passed the Westend Yard Office and the Yardmaster spotted a blue flag still hanging on the units. Called over to the Harrisburg Fuel Pad to have it removed since the units were stopping there to be fueled.



Date: 11/25/19 08:04
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: 4451Puff

While riding an upscale tourist-dinner train a few years back (I won’t name names, but there was wine served with the meal, & the train was traversing the Napa Valley) I stepped out onto the rear open platform about 10 miles out, & Lo & behold, hanging right below one of the marker lamps was a blue “men at work” sign. I was on a dinner date with my wife-to-be and didn’t want to be “that guy” to the trains staff or operating crew, so I didn’t mention it to anyone. Besides, that many miles out, whatever happened would’ve happened by that point anyway. As a patron, the service was excellent though.

Desmond Praetzel, “4451 Puff”
 



Date: 11/26/19 12:32
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: Englewood

In an enlightened world such instances would be teachable moments instead of "vacations without pay".
Restricted speed is one of the most difficult things for some people to comprehend.  It is not 15 or 20 mph
and the safe speed can change in a moments notice whenever the sight line changes.  I don't know how
much emphasis is placed on operating at Restricted Speed when in the simulator but since these are the
only kind of accidents PTC will not protect you from it seems that lots of time should be spent on it.

Enlightened management would know the potential bad spots and test there quite often.  When someone crunches
a sign it should be used as a teachable moment.  Sit the hogger down with road foreman and union rep and go over
the downloads.  Emphasize that the testing is not done to stop an employees income but to avoid accidents.  Have the
engineer talk over his experience with other engineers to explain how he "trapped" himself.  All with the understanding that
there are no second chances with future Restricted Speed violations.

I believe the FRA engineer license regulation would probably have to be changed to allow the above.  In addition the
railroads want to get rid of everybody they can.

And the railroads should do all they can do to avoid having engineers operate at Restricted Speed.  But that might cost
money.

All a "pipe dream".........................



Date: 11/26/19 18:25
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: Trainhand

The way you solve the issue of getting by an obstruction on restricted speed is to run no more than 5 mph. The 15 or 20 mph in restricted speed is the max. If it is foggy or raining very hard, stop and do not move. No one has ever been run off stopped or running too slow. I still remember 1973 I was a new fireman, went by an approach signal, the engineer asked about the next signal, I confidently replied you can go by at 20 mph. The engineer said what if a cab is a half car by the signal? I sheepishly answered oh. We got to the signal about to stop, a cab was abou 1&1/2 cars by the signal. I never forgot that lesson in 40 years.



Date: 11/26/19 20:12
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: TAW

Trainhand Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The
> engineer said what if a cab is a half car by the
> signal? I sheepishly answered oh. We got to the
> signal about to stop, a cab was abou 1&1/2 cars by
> the signal. I never forgot that lesson in 40
> years.

I know of two wrecks that involved cars left on the main track in dark territory...less than a carlength inside of yard limits.

TAW



Date: 11/27/19 06:02
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: Englewood

Trainhand Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The way you solve the issue of getting by an
> obstruction on restricted speed is to run no more
> than 5 mph. The 15 or 20 mph in restricted speed
> is the max. If it is foggy or raining very hard,
> stop and do not move. No one has ever been run off
> stopped or running too slow. I still remember 1973
> I was a new fireman, went by an approach signal,
> the engineer asked about the next signal, I
> confidently replied you can go by at 20 mph. The
> engineer said what if a cab is a half car by the
> signal? I sheepishly answered oh. We got to the
> signal about to stop, a cab was abou 1&1/2 cars by
> the signal. I never forgot that lesson in 40
> years.

I thoroughly agree with Trainhand's application of Restricted Speed.
Fortunately you had experience as a fireman working with a variety
of old head engineers for an extended period of time.

Today's engineer's in the shake and bake environment do not have the
luxury of absorbing all that knowledge.  They hired on two years ago, became
conductors and now are engineers.  Not fair to put them in the seat with little
experience and then go hunting for them.  Road Foreman should also be called on
the carpet when his people fail.  Too much time in the office looking at downloads
for technical violations of ever changing rules.  Not enough time out riding with
engineers.



Date: 11/27/19 10:58
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: Trainhand

I agree with Englewood. I had the privilege of firing for masters. I tried to learn from them everything I could. During the 80's I would fir some and run some.  It seemed like every engineer that retired took his job with him. After running a good bit and getting cut back to firing, I came to realize who was good and who wasn't. I think that's when I became ever how good an engineer I was. And as an engineer I would have trainees who knew more than I and were always on that 15mph bs for restricting speed, and they never could get it thru their heads that that was maximum. They wanted to do fancy running on approach signals. I tried to explain the records were set with steam engines before their father was born and if you ran that fast now CSX would run you so far off the rr you couldn't cross it on a public crossing. Occasionally it would sink in, mostly it didn't.



Date: 12/01/19 01:55
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: BurtNorton

The incident isn't de-certifiable as its not a fixed signal., red flag,  or red signal.  Any good local chairman should be able to get the charges reduced.  A lot of shortlines are using this kind of test to conduct stop tests while ensuring they can still keep running if their locomotive engineers "fail"  the test  .  



Date: 12/01/19 18:55
Re: How To Know When You're Having a Bad Day
Author: justalurker66

Englewood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In an enlightened world such instances would be teachable moments instead of "vacations without pay".

Sometimes the penalty can be the best instructor.

In a perfect world every engineer would see "restricted" as "able to stop in half sight distance". The concept being that if two opposing movements were both operating "restricted" they would see each other and stop without collision (assuming both engineers were doing their job). Stopping short of a broken rail, misalligned switch or obstruction would not prevent a head on collision. If one has zero visibility one has zero train movement. I agree that the concept of "restricting" being 15/20 MPH needs to be banished from the mind. The speed limit kept as a maximum AFTER the engineer understands that the real speed limit is being able to stop the train short of a problem.

Approach is proceed prepared to stop at the next signal - not prepared to blow past at 20 MPH. If one is prepared to stop and the next signal turns out to be restricting it is easier to roll through at restricted speed (prepared to stop in half sight distance) than to stop when unprepared.

In a perfect world engineers wouldn't violate restricted speed, either in real situations or test situations. With no one violating the rules the railroads could ease off on testing. But as long as there are engineers that break the rules there needs to be testing. With the hope that an engineer that doesn't understand the difference between "stop short of problem" and "15/20 MPH" is caught in a test - not in an incident.



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