Discussion in 'Fallen Flags' started by r_i_straw, May 31, 2007.
Whoa. Anyone killed?
If I rememeber right, those locomotives and well cars were buried onsite...too grissely to even haul away!
IIRC,we were told by staff at N.A.R.S. that an angle cock was closed
or mostly closed, thus giving rise to the rumor of possible sabotage.
It was due to the failure of the brakes to restrain the train.
Again, this is what we were told in class.
Think your confusing the '94 one w/ the '96 one. The latter one is where foamers were accused of closing an angle cock. BuNSnifF used that as an excuse to create Fort Summit & close the road thru Summit. There was a problem w/ an angle cock recognized back east some where but it was never corrected. Also there was no testing of the Freds nor could the engineer communicate w/ the Fred.If the accident report link can be found will post it.
Yes , you are right, it was the 1996 incident!
BTW Cajon, Did you see my post about the "cornfield meet" out west
on some "dark" territory? This was pre BN-ATSF merger. Killed both crews, only survivor was a 'bo riding the blind.
Cant remember where that was. Do you know?
Major diff between the 94 and 96 incidents, is that after the 94 one, it was determined that 2 way EOTs should be used, as they would have prevented the exact scenario that occured. The RR's were lukewarm to it and other findings at the time, which included the proper procedures for airtests, etc. HAd the train in 96 incident had the 2 way eot working as it should, i.e., armed, the crew members that died would be alive today.....so the lesson here, and the question, at the same time....is why does it take blood to get anything done on a RR????
I wish I had the answer to that, but just hazarding a guess here...I'd
be willing to bet that it has something to do with the adversarial relationship between railroad management and labor. The carriers parsimony in wanting to reduce costs and labor's recalcitrance to adapt
to new technology. This is as far as I want to take this since it is a slippery slope to a domino effect. There are far too many reasons on both sides, both valid and invalid. I suspect that any and all reasons
that some might proffer as to "why", will have some validity.
Suffice it to say, that the engineer, on the UP coal train, in the 1994 incident, is a member of this board......
For reason(s)such as you have just stated, I choose not to get too deep into the subject. Having been a rank & file operating railroader,and still a dues paying member[retired category], I have my
own views and prejudices. However in "another life" in another industry,
I was a member of management(facility manager) and I have been able
to see things from that side of the fence. I also have been able to reconize and witness excesses and transgressions on "both sides of the fence" ( I apologize for my platterful of platitudes). That is why I dont
want to be too judgemental, even though I often break my own rule.
What bothers me most is that people die,or are maimed or in some way
scarred for life due to rail accidents.
A former CEO of the BNSF had an axiom, which he had posted almost
everywhere on the system, "...All accidents are preventable..."
Now there is a great deal of truth in that, but that fails to exonerate
the carrier or its minions from blame. What comfort is there to a switchman who reaches for a grabiron on a car in the dark of a railyard
only to have it give way,the bolts or sheet metal having rusted away, causing that switchman to fall and injure himself,even fatally. Why are
crewmembers of a derailed train held accountable when a worn flange
on a wheel picks a switch and causes a hazmat leak? Were those accidents preventable? Who was at fault? The mechanic who didn't discover and/or correct the rusted grabiron, or the companies policy, or
FRA statute,determines when that repair must take place. Who is culpable for the thin flange? The trackgang who didn't discover and/or
correct marginal switch points? The carman who performed the brake test and didn't see the thin flange? The company and/or FRA statute
determining when the wheel set must be replaced.
Who is dead or injured from these incidents? Who is initially held culpable?
Do you see where I am going with this? This is why I dont want to be
the judge. I have "red tagged" loco's with FRA violations, I have
reported defects on freight cars,over the radio,so there were others
who heard it and it was recorded. Follow the rules and work safely.
That applies to both labor and management. If you work for a carrier
that "empowers" you to take necessary action to prevent or correct
a possible action, then DO it. If you are threatened with insubordination,bite the bullet,make the carrier prove you were wrong.
On the other hand, forget about taking the couple hours of "spot time"
if you get the work done quickly. The carrier pays you to work(and a decent wage,at that!)NOT sleep. Make sure those switch points are
totally closed. Lock the locks when they are unattended, dont just leave them hanging in the hasp. The company is in business to make
money, not satisfy your personal needs.
These are my philosophies. Enough has been said.
If my grandad was still around he'd applaud you. He was a former AT&SF Hog Head, Barstow, CA.
Well-said, CT; not everything is as it seems. I like that last sentence quoted above. Whether or not supervision and management likes it, nobody can fault you on doing your job correctly. And you have a clear conscience to boot!
Accidents on the RR are usually either major or minor, health wise and dollar wise. You only hear about the major accidents that make it to the newspapers. Major accidents usually result in the loss of life. Even minor accidents can result in significant trauma at the very least. It is the nature of the business.
Thank You! I guess your grandad was your inspiration/mentor for your
rail hobby. My father was mine. My dad was a locomotive fireman when he was a young buck,even before he married my mother.My dad always liked trains and it rubbed off on me! His father was a loco.engineer and railroad inventor. He died long before I was born.