Transportation Safety 3

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David S
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Message 1751185 - Posted: 23 Dec 2015, 3:03:49 UTC

The old thread hadn't autolocked, but it was near 900 posts, so I'll start a new one.

And here's a good start that does not involve trains. Normalization of deviance.
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Message 1751272 - Posted: 23 Dec 2015, 13:49:23 UTC

Very interesting story David. In flight test we call this "learning to ignore what doesn't kill you right away". Humans are just too flexible, they will quickly adapt to anything that doesn't offer an immediate dissuader. You skip check lists, you ignore buzzers and lights, and if you are still alive it is so much easier to repeat the action the next time. The most dangerous part on any aircraft is the sloppy link between the control stick and the throttle.

The automation and drone crowds, BTW, supports this theory 100%. Computers don't have this problem.

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Message 1751274 - Posted: 23 Dec 2015, 14:26:54 UTC

The most dangerous part on any aircraft is the sloppy link between the control stick and the throttle.

In cars the most dangerous part is the nut behind the steering wheel.
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Message 1751277 - Posted: 23 Dec 2015, 14:35:13 UTC

I've had experience of a crash like that. It happened about 1/2 a mile from where we lived, assisted in bringing survivors to shore. Northern waters are still very cold in July.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan-Air_Flight_0034
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Message 1751362 - Posted: 23 Dec 2015, 20:40:14 UTC

This link actually came to my attention via the museum volunteers Facebook group. The same kind of mentality can easily happen on railroads, all the more with the trained amateurs that most of us are.

One of the guys who trained me on the streetcar gave me his checklist for it. (I added an item.) I wrote my own list for being coach conductor. Need someone to go over it and see if I missed anything. The thing I worry most about as conductor is that I'm forgetting something important.
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Message 1751366 - Posted: 23 Dec 2015, 20:52:59 UTC - in response to Message 1751362.  

My immediate reaction was that it applied to much more than just transportation. To be continued and expanded in the BOINC/Politics thread.
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Message 1751385 - Posted: 23 Dec 2015, 22:10:29 UTC

You're right Richard. There is a HUGE debate going on in Canada about doctors (especially surgeons) being required to use check lists by hospital management. Quite a few doctors argue that this somehow cheapens their careers. The fact that it occasionally saves lives appears to be of secondary importance to them.

I run into this mentality quite regularly when investigating machinery accidents. I've come to call these people "too cool for rules". I often hose their remains out of the works before starting my investigation.

(Feel free to move this post to Politics if needed. I never go there any more.)

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Message 1752211 - Posted: 29 Dec 2015, 6:27:48 UTC

2 killed in crash involving Metra train in southwest suburb; 3 others injured
HOMETOWN, Ill. —Authorities say two people have now died as a result of a crash involving a car and a Metra train.

Metra confirms a 20-year-old woman and a 18-year-old woman died after a Metra train struck a car near 87th Street and Pulaski in Hometown, Illinois Monday afternoon.

A 3-year-old boy was also injured and authorities say he was not restrained inside the vehicle at the time of the crash. The boy suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

A 20-year-old man was also injured and taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Two 17-year-olds, a boy and a girl, were also injured and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Officials say no passengers on the train were injured.


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Message 1752287 - Posted: 29 Dec 2015, 16:00:45 UTC - in response to Message 1752211.  

2 killed in crash involving Metra train in southwest suburb; 3 others injured
HOMETOWN, Ill. —Authorities say two people have now died as a result of a crash involving a car and a Metra train.

Metra confirms a 20-year-old woman and a 18-year-old woman died after a Metra train struck a car near 87th Street and Pulaski in Hometown, Illinois Monday afternoon.

A 3-year-old boy was also injured and authorities say he was not restrained inside the vehicle at the time of the crash. The boy suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

A 20-year-old man was also injured and taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Two 17-year-olds, a boy and a girl, were also injured and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Officials say no passengers on the train were injured.

Ordinarily, I'd say something about people being stupid about trains, but given the weather yesterday I won't. Still, not having the kid in a proper child seat is stupid.
David
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Message 1752546 - Posted: 30 Dec 2015, 21:08:58 UTC

Five "adults" plus a kid. I'd guess the kid was on one of the adults laps and became a canonball.
So sad for all the families concerned.
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Message 1755273 - Posted: 10 Jan 2016, 8:20:59 UTC
Last modified: 10 Jan 2016, 8:21:11 UTC

Most of the time this thread is about accidents.


However there is another side to "safety" - arriving safely at one's destination, as this lady has done http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35271182

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Message 1755436 - Posted: 10 Jan 2016, 20:30:24 UTC - in response to Message 1755273.  

Good for her. Bet that was some trip :-)
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Message 1755820 - Posted: 12 Jan 2016, 15:10:22 UTC

Now I've heard them all :-)

"Strong sunshine" delays trains
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Message 1755835 - Posted: 12 Jan 2016, 16:08:27 UTC - in response to Message 1755820.  

Now I've heard them all :-)

"Strong sunshine" delays trains

Our morning traffic reports sometimes have sunshine delays, when it's lined up just right for drivers on one expressway or another.

I have also heard of train crews not being able to see signals because of the sun either right on it or right behind it. There have even been a few wrecks because of it.
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Message 1755837 - Posted: 12 Jan 2016, 16:27:50 UTC - in response to Message 1755835.  

TBH it can be a problem.
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Message 1756490 - Posted: 15 Jan 2016, 7:12:19 UTC

The news story makes it sound like it was the trains fault for hitting the truck.

Truck driver dead after passenger train, 18-wheeler collide in Mesquite

The driver of a rock hauler died Thursday afternoon when his vehicle was hit by a passenger train in Mesquite.

The collision occurred on tracks by Scyene Road near the Mesquite Metro Airport.

All of the 44 passengers on the Amtrak train were reportedly OK and did not suffer any serious injuries.

Truck driver dead after passenger train, 18-wheeler collide in Mesquite
It was not immediately known what caused the 18-wheeler to be on the tracks as the train was moving by.


Sky4 showed the first three cars of the train were charred on the outside, but not heavily damaged. There were also spots where small grassfires appeared to have broken out due to the collision.


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Message 1757394 - Posted: 19 Jan 2016, 3:18:53 UTC

Amtrak 383 hit a BNSF welding truck Saturday night in the next town east of me.

I downloaded the audio archive recordings from my Broadcastify feed. I clearly hear 383's engineer say he was crossing over from 1 to 2 with a diverging clear signal, and hit the truck, which was in the foul.

I don't really want to speculate on fault here, but two obvious possibilities spring to mind: either the dispatcher gave the welders improper authority, or the welders violated the limits of their authority. Beyond that, I will wait for the investigation's conclusion. There may be other explanations I haven't thought of. I haven't listened to all the audio yet, so I don't know if it will offer me any additional clues (like the dispatcher issuing the track authority to the welders, but that could have been done by phone).
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Message 1757414 - Posted: 19 Jan 2016, 4:54:08 UTC - in response to Message 1757394.  
Last modified: 19 Jan 2016, 4:58:16 UTC

Amtrak 383 hit a BNSF welding truck Saturday night in the next town east of me.

I downloaded the audio archive recordings from my Broadcastify feed. I clearly hear 383's engineer say he was crossing over from 1 to 2 with a diverging clear signal, and hit the truck, which was in the foul.

I don't really want to speculate on fault here, but two obvious possibilities spring to mind: either the dispatcher gave the welders improper authority, or the welders violated the limits of their authority. Beyond that, I will wait for the investigation's conclusion. There may be other explanations I haven't thought of. I haven't listened to all the audio yet, so I don't know if it will offer me any additional clues (like the dispatcher issuing the track authority to the welders, but that could have been done by phone).

Several other possibilities exist. Dispatcher giving Amtrak improper authority. Welders or Amtrak violating a time constraint. Read-back error. (the dispatcher not hearing the clearance read back being different than his order) Signage error, or vandalism, mile marker or foul point. Signal error showing the switch alignment incorrectly. Of course there is also deliberate act.

Dispatch errors might be compounded by a shift change, with different dispatchers giving conflicting orders, although in this day and age I would like to think BNSF has a computer program looking over the orders for obvious conflicts. Slips of paper can get lost or overlooked.

All speculation of course.
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Message 1757547 - Posted: 20 Jan 2016, 1:48:10 UTC - in response to Message 1757414.  

Amtrak 383 hit a BNSF welding truck Saturday night in the next town east of me.

I downloaded the audio archive recordings from my Broadcastify feed. I clearly hear 383's engineer say he was crossing over from 1 to 2 with a diverging clear signal, and hit the truck, which was in the foul.

I don't really want to speculate on fault here, but two obvious possibilities spring to mind: either the dispatcher gave the welders improper authority, or the welders violated the limits of their authority. Beyond that, I will wait for the investigation's conclusion. There may be other explanations I haven't thought of. I haven't listened to all the audio yet, so I don't know if it will offer me any additional clues (like the dispatcher issuing the track authority to the welders, but that could have been done by phone).

Several other possibilities exist. Dispatcher giving Amtrak improper authority. Welders or Amtrak violating a time constraint. Read-back error. (the dispatcher not hearing the clearance read back being different than his order) Signage error, or vandalism, mile marker or foul point. Signal error showing the switch alignment incorrectly. Of course there is also deliberate act.

Dispatch errors might be compounded by a shift change, with different dispatchers giving conflicting orders, although in this day and age I would like to think BNSF has a computer program looking over the orders for obvious conflicts. Slips of paper can get lost or overlooked.

All speculation of course.

Amtrak's authority was conveyed by the diverging clear signal he (said he) had. The investigators will of course have access to the video camera in the cab, which would easily show if the engineer was lying about the signal. Assuming he was not lying, the signal corresponded to the switch position.

I doubt there was a dispatcher shift change near that time. I think the shift is 3-11, and the dispatcher I heard on the recording was different than the one I heard live while I was driving home after 11. (I suppose the one on duty could have been relieved after the crash.)

Given the time, weather conditions, and amount of other rail traffic at the time, vandalism is also unlikely.

Welders violating a time limit is a possibility, as is a read-back error. I need to listen to more of the audio files. (Presumably, the investigators will listen to the dispatcher's audio recordings, although if they come and ask me, I will provide mine (but they'd be more likely to subpoena them directly from broadcastify.com).)
David
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Message 1757555 - Posted: 20 Jan 2016, 2:33:40 UTC - in response to Message 1757547.  

Amtrak's authority was conveyed by the diverging clear signal he (said he) had. The investigators will of course have access to the video camera in the cab, which would easily show if the engineer was lying about the signal. Assuming he was not lying, the signal corresponded to the switch position.
Assuming the welders didn't upset something in the signaling system ...

Given the time, weather conditions, and amount of other rail traffic at the time, vandalism is also unlikely.
How often is it checked for? By that I mean if someone stole a milepost sign how fast would it get discovered and replaced? And if so did it get replaced at the proper spot!

Welders violating a time limit is a possibility, as is a read-back error. I need to listen to more of the audio files. (Presumably, the investigators will listen to the dispatcher's audio recordings, although if they come and ask me, I will provide mine (but they'd be more likely to subpoena them directly from broadcastify.com).)
Doesn't BNSF record? Does the cab recording include radio traffic? If orders are given by telephone, are they recorded? Only reason for them to look to a third party for the radio traffic is if the recordings don't match, to see if there was interference or equipment failure.

There is a lot to an investigation. You must not assume even the obvious. You have to verify every fact and that every item is functioning as expected.
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