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Date: 06/20/22 07:23
One Man Crew
Author: co614

The Class 1's are determined to implement one man crew operation in all PTC equipped territory and seem ready to take a strike to achieve it. It's a logical next step towards fully autonomous trains which are clearly the long term future.  The near term tug of war will be interesting to watch.

   IMHO-Ross Rowland 



Date: 06/20/22 07:55
Re: One Man Crew
Author: nsrlink

The "next step" is a PEB.


.....these poor railroads.  Man, they could make real some money if they didn't have to have all these sorry, stupid employees working for them.  I hope the shareholders can make it, having to pay two people to be on a train.



Date: 06/20/22 08:08
Re: One Man Crew
Author: NS19K

co614 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Class 1's are determined to implement one man
> crew operation in all PTC equipped territory and
> seem ready to take a strike to achieve it. It's a
> logical next step towards fully autonomous trains
> which are clearly the long term future.  The near
> term tug of war will be interesting to watch.
>
>    IMHO-Ross Rowland 

It's sad to see a man previously respected for his work in rail preservation become a such CORRUPT cheerleader for the demise of an entire industry. Ross clealy has become senile is his old age and has resorted to trolling a message board full of railroaders, past and present hoping for them give up their retirement and income for the benefit of the owner class. There's gonna come a point when advocates for such a demise will be dragged from their beds, brought to the street, and made to atone for their crimes against regular people. I'd hate to see that happen to Ross if he continues down this narrative. It may not matter, he doesn't have much time left anyway.



Date: 06/20/22 08:26
Re: One Man Crew
Author: co614

NS19K I had no idea you were such a fan.  I'm only reflecting the facts at issue. The industry was forced to invest billions of dollars into a technology it didn't want by a Congress desperate to "do something" after the horrific tragedy in California caused by a distracted engineer abusing his cell phone technology. 

   Now that they've been forced to install it why not use it to its full potential. Quite obvious that between PTC and the OEM supplied locomotive operating software the tools are there to implement auitonomous operations with only minor further investment/effort. When you look at the line item savings that will result you'll understand why it's now only a question of when, not if.

    Guess I better see if that beautiful redhead I saw in the gym this morning wants to go to supper as NS19K says I don't have any time to waste. 

    Onward & upward.  Thanks, Ross Rowland 



Date: 06/20/22 08:58
Re: One Man Crew
Author: nsrlink

It's not that simple.  The monster trains THEY are hell-bent on running break down more often.  Block crossings more often.  Have more enroute work to do.
The poor guy alone in the cab... ...if he has an emergency or crossing accident?  Doesn't matter, it's all about the bottom line. He's just a liability and a number anyway; that's the cost of doing bizNS until they can get to no man crews.

How about think of PTC / TO /EM as additional layers of safety, not replacements for professionals?  The Trip Sodomizer & Energy Management systems aren't as smart as the railroads would have people believe.

People will argue, well Amtrak does it.  Not exactly.  There is a conductor on there in the train.  If the run is over (is it 8hrs now?) there are two people in the cab.
Two pilots are in a plane despite all the whizz-bang stuff they have on planes that fly themselves.


I think we're back to the early 1900s when the corporate class, the robber barrons and big industry ruled over the working class.  This is not really sustainable; eventually, hopefully, the working class will have had enough & things will change in their favor.  If everyone is out of a job due to technology, who's gonna be able to buy all this crap anyway?



Date: 06/20/22 09:23
Re: One Man Crew
Author: NS19K

nsrlink Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> I think we're back to the early 1900s when the
> corporate class, the robber barrons and big
> industry ruled over the working class.  This is
> not really sustainable; eventually, hopefully, the
> working class will have had enough & things will
> change in their favor.  If everyone is out of a
> job due to technology, who's gonna be able to buy
> all this crap anyway?

Think of the economy as a game of musical chairs. During the first 100 years of the Industrial Revolution, technological improvements added more "chairs" or jobs for more people. It was the largest single improvement in quality of life humanity has ever seen. More people had more opportunities to have a seat at the economic table. What we have now though is the owner/capital class REMOVING chairs from the economy and running out the back door with the proceeds. It's no accident that the vast majority of Americans now make less than $50K a year in wages even though profits extracted from them have increased exponentially. Eventually the house of cards will fall, but by that time the Ross Rowlands's of the world will either have fled the country to do damage elsewhere or have passed on leaving the youth of the country to pick up the mess.



Date: 06/20/22 09:25
Re: One Man Crew
Author: Drknow

One thing Mr. Rowland and I do agree with is the PTC/ Chatsworth issue. The carriers didn’t want a gazillion dollars non existing tech shoved up their Wazoo by the government. I opined as a union member that we should work WITH the carriers to tell the “Gubment” we can take care of this ourselves.

I was told by the Old Head hierarchy that the Brotherhoods were going to support the NTSB/FRA and we were gonna sock it to the Carriers.

I then opinionated that the Carriers were going to want their pound of flesh for PTC or whatever. I was looked upon as a know nothing Philistine and dismissed as not being cut in.

The thing is, PTC/Robo engineer really doesn’t do everything right and can’t do what the IT people say it will 100 percent.

In all actuality PTC is a insanely expensive and overwrought cab signal system that was sold as political hay.

Regards.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/20/22 09:39
Re: One Man Crew
Author: Lackawanna484

Being able to look at a situation, and say, this is what I think will happen is a lot different than advocating it. Too many people wear blinders, hoping for a world that is long gone.

As Ross observes, the railroads have spent BILLIONS on PTC, etc. They are going to get a return on their investment.

Step back and look at the bigger picture. A union decertifier headed the Labor Department. The big rails own DC. Even in a Democratic administration.

Capital has the advantage in this game, and it's time for labor to cut a deal. The east coast dockworkers got lifetime employment, early retirement, etc to allow containers.

Posted from Android



Date: 06/20/22 10:10
Re: One Man Crew
Author: JOHNY5ALIVE

I totally agree with DrKnow’s statement, I have been saying this for a couple of years now. The majority of railroad employees, specifically craft T&E employees, have a very short memory and/or try to change the narrative to fit their agenda. PTC was basically forced and implemented by the Unions because in their own words it would have prevented the accident/crash and help with fatigue issues. Now that the unions got PTC implemented and the damage has been done now the railroads are evil monsters…. If the unions had any substance about them and their future they would be working for protections for existing employees…. Oh and would you guys please stop comparing airplanes to trains! That is like comparing apples to oranges. Planes go up and down, right and left, and have a lot of other things to contend with that trains don’t. Trains only move forwards and backwards that is a fact. A conductor on a short distance Amtrak train is a far cry than a freight conductor on a road train again that is like comparing apples to oranges. A Amtrak conductor really has no oversight on what the engineer is doing or not doing….I haven’t seen anybody fight over the need for two man crews on thousands of commuters trains that are operated daily. I haven’t seen anybody state how unsafe it is for completely unmanned commuter trains operated at many airports in the country. There are already autonomous cars, delivery robots on the road. Get your head out of the sand, take your emotion out of the situation and look at the facts. And I might add the railroads would probably run shorter and different trains plans with one man crews than there are running now.

Technology has changed and caused the railroad industry to evolve several times in the past. The diesel locomotive, the advent of the computer, the use and implementation of the radio, the EOT, DP power (unmanned helpers), cell phones, tablets, the use drones now, autonomous geometry cars, the elimination of redundant hump yards, radio switches, remote control locomotives, and etc…. Nobody is arguing how unsafe remote control operations are anymore…. Because they are not. Look at what the computer has done to eliminate crew callers in the last couple of years. Now we have automatic car inspection stations…

The clerk strike of the 70’s didn’t prevent the mass elimination of clerks. The last PEB didn’t protect the brakeman… I agree with Ross though it will be interesting to see how all this plays out. Technology will keep advancing forward and you can’t stop it.



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/22 10:40 by JOHNY5ALIVE.



Date: 06/20/22 10:41
Re: One Man Crew
Author: grlhughes

co614 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Class 1's are determined to implement one man
> crew operation in all PTC equipped territory and
> seem ready to take a strike to achieve it. It's a
> logical next step towards fully autonomous trains
> which are clearly the long term future.  The near
> term tug of war will be interesting to watch.
>
>    IMHO-Ross Rowland 

Let's worry about getting the C&O 614 back up to where it was previously stored on the Reading and Northern. You could be running right now with the 2102 on a doubleheader trip.
Upwards not backwards indeed.

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/22 10:42 by grlhughes.



Date: 06/20/22 11:23
Re: One Man Crew
Author: ctillnc

Three things are inevitable: autonomous long-haul trucks, single-man crew on trains, and single pilot on domestic airlines. The only questions are when.
 



Date: 06/20/22 11:41
Re: One Man Crew
Author: pdt

Oh, Mr Rowland.....

Are u just betting against yourself.  Figuring that if u say its gonna happen, it wont?

The techy geeks dream about a world run by robots.  MAybe just to cover their lack of social skills.  IDK.  The experts (if u ever listen to them) say that there will be no fully autonomous cars, just driver assisted.  
And you look at an automous 2 mile passenger train system on a closed course, and then extrapolate it to running 15000 ton trains over mountains?  What are u smoking.

And u havent even begun to think about lawyers.   Whats going to happen when an autonomous train kills someone?  if it were one of my relatives, Id sue the railorad back to the stone age.  The Geeks haven even begun to think of how that will look on a balance sheet.   And they Lawyers, when the think about that...change jobs in a hurry. 

Have we all forgotten Megantic that quickly.  Cheap ass company in chicago trying to run a rr on the super cheap.  40 ppl killed, and the company goes into bankruptcy and disolves.   Did they ever get the CEO on criminal charges.  I hope so.

The only autonomous freight trains there will be in my lifetime, will be on closed circuit tracks on relatively level ground.

Even the 1 man crew is just a really bad "money 1st, operations 2nd" approach to running a RR, typical of the lawyers and geeks trying to run a RR .   There will just be more meltdown and trains left tied down on main tracks, and the industry will spriral downward out of control, with the last breath being the Brass going to their friends in the Govt and asking for a handout based on lies and BS.   And the govt will be too stupid and timid to break up the class1s, who are in the "too big to fail" category.  At least they think they are...

Its too bad that running an honest business, or even being honest, is seen as foolhardy in this country.   I dont want humanity to implode, but it certainly looks like we are going the way of the Roman Empire.   Just look at all the war and fighting and destruction movies that are made. This is what we are aspiring to?    pretty sad.

IMHO, but i bet my predictions are better than all the predictions that we would be driving self driving cars by now.  One of the podcasts 1 listen to...they rattled off all the predictions from the last 10 years ...itrs laughable.

 



Date: 06/20/22 18:40
Re: One Man Crew
Author: JETRR

NS19K Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Think of the economy as a game of musical chairs.
> During the first 100 years of the Industrial
> Revolution, technological improvements added more
> "chairs" or jobs for more people. It was the
> largest single improvement in quality of life
> humanity has ever seen. More people had more
> opportunities to have a seat at the economic
> table. What we have now though is the
> owner/capital class REMOVING chairs from the
> economy and running out the back door with the
> proceeds. It's no accident that the vast majority
> of Americans now make less than $50K a year in
> wages even though profits extracted from them have
> increased exponentially. 

Forty years ago, as I was starting my career in engineering, I read a trade magazine story predicting a major need for automation to fill the empty chairs left by the retiring boomers in combination with a lower birth rate here in the U.S. So here we are, our corporate MBA schooled leaders have been asleep at the wheel, ill prerpared for the mass exodus of retirees in combination with a declining population. There are few, if any, futurists left in the corporate world. 



Date: 06/20/22 19:18
Re: One Man Crew
Author: callum_out

It wouldn't matter if you ran a 4 man crew in your airplane if it crashed every trip. Is your autonomous train going to blow right by
the hot axle detector and ignore it, or the dragger that's screaming numbers at you? Or at least half your trains are no longer able
to make their district in 12 hours? None, I repeat none, of this is crew related. As I said in a previous post, get the whole bunch
of the pencil pushers plus their inept shareholders out on the road for a month and let them see what's really happening!

Out 



Date: 06/20/22 19:20
Re: One Man Crew
Author: TheButcherofBena

Utilizing PTC as a safety overlay makes sense, as long as the system functions properly.  Relying solely on PTC to operate trains is a dangerous proposition. Like most engineers, I have personally experienced glitches and upon contacting the PTC "help desk" time and time again the final and only solution is to shut down the system and file a report.  I've experienced the same with ETMS as well.  I've also experienced malfunctions that would have resulted in overspeed had I not been present to intervene.  Just like the technology, I am not infallible and the presence of an experienced Conductor helped keep me from making mistakes.  If you care about safety, any discussion about unmanned trains makes no sense unless or until,  the technology is perfected.  



Date: 06/20/22 19:53
Re: One Man Crew
Author: portlander

Drknow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> One thing Mr. Rowland and I do agree with is the
> PTC/ Chatsworth issue. The carriers didn’t want
> a gazillion dollars non existing tech shoved up
> their Wazoo by the government. I opined as a union
> member that we should work WITH the carriers to
> tell the “Gubment” we can take care of this
> ourselves.
>
> I was told by the Old Head hierarchy that the
> Brotherhoods were going to support the NTSB/FRA
> and we were gonna sock it to the Carriers.
>
> I then opinionated that the Carriers were going to
> want their pound of flesh for PTC or whatever. I
> was looked upon as a know nothing Philistine and
> dismissed as not being cut in.
>
> The thing is, PTC/Robo engineer really doesn’t
> do everything right and can’t do what the IT
> people say it will 100 percent.
>
> In all actuality PTC is a insanely expensive and
> overwrought cab signal system that was sold as
> political hay.
>
> Regards.
>
> Posted from iPhone

"Shoved up their wazoo" may be a little disingenuous. The railroads had an insane amount of time and warning to get something in place and they did nothing.



Date: 06/20/22 23:48
Re: One Man Crew
Author: Texican65

Mr. Rowland,

Remember this…when all the trainmen, enginemen, and yard men are gone…nobody will be paying into your railroad retirement anymore. You’re not as safe as you think you are going into retirement. It would be wise to advocate for RR’s to retain as many working hands as possible.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/21/22 04:20
Re: One Man Crew
Author: Drknow

I don’t absolve the Carriers in this whole debacle, but PTC was political grandstanding plain and simple. There are cab signal systems that have been around almost 100 years that achieve basically what PTC is trying to accomplish, and not every piece of RR needs PTC or cabs to begin with.

IMHO one man in the cab is a bad idea on so many levels, and in so many cases the Carriers have cut off brakemen on so many workers and then wonder why jobs don’t get over the road and die. All that is ever seen by the Carriers is cut, cut, cut….Ad Infinitum. But I digress.

Regards.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/21/22 05:03
Re: One Man Crew
Author: JPB

WSJ had an interesting article in the June 18 edition "Self Driving Big Rigs Are Coming. Is America Ready?"

Here are a few provocative excerpts:

"...Highways in Southwestern states, where the weather is generally good, are where autonomous trucking companies are currently testing their systems, carrying real loads for actual clients like FedEx and UPS, albeit with safety drivers behind the wheel in case the AI systems make a mistake—which they still do."
"...TuSimple also aims to have a fully autonomous commercial-trucking service operating in the U.S. by the end of 2023, says CEO Xiaodi Hou. In the meantime, the company also plans to begin delivering freight for Union Pacific with fully autonomous trucks, says a company spokesman..."

"...As self-driving trucks become more capable, and can perform most of the driving on long trips throughout most of America, they could ultimately threaten nearly all long-haul trucking jobs, he adds. Many in the automated-trucking industry claim that these job losses will be more than offset by the creation of new jobs, as self-driving trucks make trucking so much cheaper and faster that more freight shifts to it, at the expense of rail and even airfreight..."

Net: Class 1 RRs may have no choice but to move toward 1 man crews on road freights to remain competitive in the next few years.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/self-driving-big-rigs-are-coming-is-america-ready-11655524823?mod=Searchresults_pos2&page=1



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/22 07:45 by JPB.



Date: 06/21/22 05:45
Re: One Man Crew
Author: Lackawanna484

Several Wall Street analysts have opined recently that they expect the truckers to take positive market share from railroads.

For what it's worth...

Posted from Android



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