Author Topic: Train derailment & navigation not used....?  (Read 684 times)

Offline Hoofer

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Train derailment & navigation not used....?
« on: January 01, 2018, 06:00:53 AM »
http://thehill.com/opinion/technology/366833-the-more-we-learn-about-amtrak-derailment-the-stranger-it-gets
Quote
As a retired National Transportation Safety Board railroad and rapid transit accident investigator, the more I hear about the Dec. 18 derailment of Washington state Sound Transit Cascades Train 501, the stranger it gets. Confirmed "facts" seem to be very few so far.

It went off the tracks on a curve rated for much slower than the train was moving.... right?
I've missed a speed limit sign occasionally, but usually I'll notice everyone else going slower, unlike a train, there's nobody else on the tracks.
How do they KNOW where they are - seriously, HOW do they KNOW where they are?

Quote
The derailment occurred on the first day of higher-speed service. The propriety of conducting such training on the inaugural run of the service is debatable. Railroad union hearsay alleges that the two locomotive engineers lost track of where they were because much — if not all — previous route qualification training had taken place at night when busy freight railroad traffic could accommodate the luxury of a non-revenue passenger train on multiple training runs. As a result, on the maiden run the two engineers had difficulty associating daytime landmarks with their ever-changing location.

To a large extent, this is the main tool engineers use to track their location. The environment’s physical characteristics are crucial to knowing one’s location, just like when we drive our cars. However, there are additional aids available depending on the train control systems in place.

WHAT!?!?!?    As heavily regulated as Railroad is, if I read this correctly, they're NOT using GPS, signalling devices along the tracks indicating speed changes, or some other landmark besides those tiny little signs planted every so often along the tracks....?   Is this article suggesting the Engineers use 1800's technology for navigation (their eyes) - in spite of the new, abundant & cheap technology?   What am I missing here - please fill me in, 'cause this guy is not very reassuring for passenger train travel.
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

Offline supsalemgr

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Re: Train derailment & navigation not used....?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 06:23:53 AM »
http://thehill.com/opinion/technology/366833-the-more-we-learn-about-amtrak-derailment-the-stranger-it-gets
It went off the tracks on a curve rated for much slower than the train was moving.... right?
I've missed a speed limit sign occasionally, but usually I'll notice everyone else going slower, unlike a train, there's nobody else on the tracks.
How do they KNOW where they are - seriously, HOW do they KNOW where they are?

WHAT!?!?!?    As heavily regulated as Railroad is, if I read this correctly, they're NOT using GPS, signalling devices along the tracks indicating speed changes, or some other landmark besides those tiny little signs planted every so often along the tracks....?   Is this article suggesting the Engineers use 1800's technology for navigation (their eyes) - in spite of the new, abundant & cheap technology?   What am I missing here - please fill me in, 'cause this guy is not very reassuring for passenger train travel.

I will try to make this simple. Amtrak is supposed to a private entity. However, any shortfalls are made up by you and me. The "private" in Amtrak is a distraction. It is another government subsidized boondoggle.
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Offline Hoofer

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Re: Train derailment & navigation not used....?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 06:45:52 AM »
I will try to make this simple. Amtrak is supposed to a private entity. However, any shortfalls are made up by you and me. The "private" in Amtrak is a distraction. It is another government subsidized boondoggle.

Surely you've been to OBX and have taken a Ferry between Ocracoke and Hatteras.   As far back as 15 years ago, they were using GPS, radar and/or navigation devices to keep track of where they are in the channel.  Oh, there's also the bouys - equivalent to the 1800's technology, little sign posts on the RxR tracks.   The Ferries have nice monitors, and even a real time GPS tracking feed into the lounge, it looks similar to Garmin's 20yr old navigation tool, which I've been using on my boat.

This ought to be a no-brainer - but... as you said, "It is a government subsidized boondongle", we can probably expect more of the same - after a lengthy investigation, expert recommendations, technical jargon disguising the phrase, "they were speeding Casey!", and a politician blaming our "crumbling infrastructure" on Trump.  ...sigh...
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

Offline Solar

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Re: Train derailment & navigation not used....?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 07:08:43 AM »
Surely you've been to OBX and have taken a Ferry between Ocracoke and Hatteras.   As far back as 15 years ago, they were using GPS, radar and/or navigation devices to keep track of where they are in the channel.  Oh, there's also the bouys - equivalent to the 1800's technology, little sign posts on the RxR tracks.   The Ferries have nice monitors, and even a real time GPS tracking feed into the lounge, it looks similar to Garmin's 20yr old navigation tool, which I've been using on my boat.

This ought to be a no-brainer - but... as you said, "It is a government subsidized boondongle", we can probably expect more of the same - after a lengthy investigation, expert recommendations, technical jargon disguising the phrase, "they were speeding Casey!", and a politician blaming our "crumbling infrastructure" on Trump.  ...sigh...
Almost all high-end tractors sold today come with GPS programming, where you set the coordinates and pattern, start it, and forget it.
Go back home and sit and watch its progress via a laptop while you eat breakfast and sip coffee.

Fact is, there was a party going on and no one was doing their job, including turning on autopilot, where the computer takes over in the event the engineer is distracted.
You can be assured we'll never hear the truth, it looks like they're already trying to cover it up, and it is all based on money.
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Offline Hoofer

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Re: Train derailment & navigation not used....?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 08:34:33 AM »
I would not be a bit surprised if someone postulates, "Our system was hacked".   Which is becoming the latest catch-all phrase for incompetence & failure among Democratic leadership.
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

 

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