When Railroaders Ran the Railroad,

Re: When Railroaders Ran the Railroad,

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:33 pm

wsherrick wrote:
So no decision is too be made because somebody might be liable for it. Modern thinking at it's best. People remain stranded, supplies and aid not delivered, 100's of men sitting at home not being paid. All because somebody doesn't want to take the responsibility. That's about where it stands in this era. The political mindset, of CYA and let somebody else take the lead/culpability and of course no one does.


You just summed up my generation in 2 sentences. Well said.
SMITTY
 
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Re: When Railroaders Ran the Railroad,

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:23 pm

I worked on the Long Island Railroad, in fact cleaning up the mess after 911, but the switches are all powered and while you can take them off power, how are you going to throw the switch when it is 2 feet under water? What happens if phantom power is going into that water from the 3rd rail...are you going to risk losing a mans life over a train run?

I am not saying the tracks cannot be run over in some places, but like my old Supervisor told me, "This is not 1985 anymore, we can only operate in the here and now." What he was saying was, it is a different era and such as it is now. It just is not worth it to run on tracks in these circumstances. As a former Safety Coordinator for the railroad, I would have shut the tracks down myself in these conditions. We still have too many people die on the rail every year...best to back up, call it what it is...a disaster...and wait until conditions improve before running trains.

In 1950 train wrecks caused 144 fatalities alone; 2 on the Long Island Railroad and one on the Pennsylvania Railroad. They might have been running trains in crazy stuff, but they were also killing people doing it. It is too bad, both my Grandmother and Grandfather worked for the LIRR back then and I knew they worked hard and were real railroaders. I retired from railroading myself now, but I am no more/no less a railroader then they were. Just a different era.

wsherrick wrote:
NoSmoke wrote:Considering the fact that these transit rail lines in New York City utilize electric third rail for motivation, flooding would be a huge concern I would think. I do not think it would really matter if Tropical Storm happened today, or 80 years ago back in the steam era, these lines were electrified even then and flooding would have prevented their use.


The subways are 3rd rail, as is the Long Island Railroad, however, the Long Island Railroad has plenty of Diesel power. New Jersey Transit is more than a commuter railroad, it is a regional railroad that operates in three states. We have mostly diesel power. The men of yesteryear made, decisions, made provision and did the job no matter what it took.
NoSmoke
 
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Re: When Railroaders Ran the Railroad,

PostBy: Davian On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:33 pm

Rick 386 wrote:
wsherrick wrote:
Even if we had steam locomotives today. They would not be running. It was the defiance of our Grandfathers and their sense of duty that kept things moving. I started on steam and I was exposed to the last of the steam era men. They were a different breed. If they had assessed the situation of my railroad today. The trains would be running, period. We would be running on train orders and timetable with qualified operators at each interlocking to report rear markers safely by. Now, they sit wringing their hands because the signals are dark.
By the way a modern diesel can not operate with more than 3 inches of water over the rail, but; that's not the point.



Not trying to downplay their work ethic or sense of responsibility one tiny bit.

Another thing to consider is without electric they cannot monitor the movenment of the trains without their little digital display and laptop, God forbid if someone had to manually keep track of where they were going..... I really don't think anyone has the mental capacity or wherewithal to do it today.



Rick


I mean sure, the accident rate is far, far, far lower today than it was 50-100 years ago but those fancy gadgets are completely overrated. Head-on collisions between trains just build character.
Davian
 
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Re: When Railroaders Ran the Railroad,

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:36 pm

NoSmoke wrote:I worked on the Long Island Railroad, in fact cleaning up the mess after 911, but the switches are all powered and while you can take them off power, how are you going to throw the switch when it is 2 feet under water? What happens if phantom power is going into that water from the 3rd rail...are you going to risk losing a mans life over a train run?

I am not saying the tracks cannot be run over in some places, but like my old Supervisor told me, "This is not 1985 anymore, we can only operate in the here and now." What he was saying was, it is a different era and such as it is now. It just is not worth it to run on tracks in these circumstances. As a former Safety Coordinator for the railroad, I would have shut the tracks down myself in these conditions. We still have too many people die on the rail every year...best to back up, call it what it is...a disaster...and wait until conditions improve before running trains.

In 1950 train wrecks caused 144 fatalities alone; 2 on the Long Island Railroad and one on the Pennsylvania Railroad. They might have been running trains in crazy stuff, but they were also killing people doing it. It is too bad, both my Grandmother and Grandfather worked for the LIRR back then and I knew they worked hard and were real railroaders. I retired from railroading myself now, but I am no more/no less a railroader then they were. Just a different era.

wsherrick wrote:
NoSmoke wrote:Considering the fact that these transit rail lines in New York City utilize electric third rail for motivation, flooding would be a huge concern I would think. I do not think it would really matter if Tropical Storm happened today, or 80 years ago back in the steam era, these lines were electrified even then and flooding would have prevented their use.


The subways are 3rd rail, as is the Long Island Railroad, however, the Long Island Railroad has plenty of Diesel power. New Jersey Transit is more than a commuter railroad, it is a regional railroad that operates in three states. We have mostly diesel power. The men of yesteryear made, decisions, made provision and did the job no matter what it took.


Now people get killed because engineers are texting on their cell phones, running stop signals. You will never remove the total risk of an accident. If you look at the statistics, even with those horrible wrecks; traveling by rail has been the safest mode of transportation by far. I know all about the history of train wrecks, and operational mistakes that caused some of them. That does not negate my point one little bit. When I started on the Southern in the mid 70's on the Steam Program. That system was run on Automatic Block and train orders. Just like it had been for a 100 years. It worked. I've leaned out the cab and snatched up orders on fly. We weren't having wrecks every other day. Railroading today is bogged down with so many rules, special instructions and restrictions that it is almost impossible to have any flexibility to move.
In any case there are rules to operate under these situations, If you worked for the railroad in an operational capacity you are familiar with DCS rules. That's running under train orders or as they say these days, " Form D." You may not be able to run track speed, or have full capacity, but; you can run the railroad and do it safely.
So bringing up some historic accidents does not belay my argument. What will you say the next time there is a major accident? Many accidents occur now because people are TOO dependent on cab signal systems and other automated protections. Again, you will never eliminate the risk of an accident or a derailment.
wsherrick
 
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Re: When Railroaders Ran the Railroad,

PostBy: gaw On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:25 pm

Now you see why the country went from train to truck to transport stuff when it absolutely, positively has to be there.
gaw
 
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Re: When Railroaders Ran the Railroad,

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:53 pm

Davian wrote:
Rick 386 wrote:
wsherrick wrote:
Even if we had steam locomotives today. They would not be running. It was the defiance of our Grandfathers and their sense of duty that kept things moving. I started on steam and I was exposed to the last of the steam era men. They were a different breed. If they had assessed the situation of my railroad today. The trains would be running, period. We would be running on train orders and timetable with qualified operators at each interlocking to report rear markers safely by. Now, they sit wringing their hands because the signals are dark.
By the way a modern diesel can not operate with more than 3 inches of water over the rail, but; that's not the point.



Not trying to downplay their work ethic or sense of responsibility one tiny bit.

Another thing to consider is without electric they cannot monitor the movenment of the trains without their little digital display and laptop, God forbid if someone had to manually keep track of where they were going..... I really don't think anyone has the mental capacity or wherewithal to do it today.



Rick


No

I mean sure, the accident rate is far, far, far lower today than it was 50-100 years ago but those fancy gadgets are completely overrated. Head-on collisions between trains just build character.


Where do you get your statistics from? Show me on a per capita basis that your statement is true.
wsherrick
 
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Re: When Railroaders Ran the Railroad,

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:54 pm

gaw wrote:Now you see why the country went from train to truck to transport stuff when it absolutely, positively has to be there.
wsherrick
 
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Re: When Railroaders Ran the Railroad,

PostBy: Davian On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:29 pm

Where do you get your statistics from? Show me on a per capita basis that your statement is true.


I did a quick google search of railroad employee fatality rates and got the following numbers for American railroad employees from the years 1901 and 2002:

1901: 250 fatalities per 100,000 employees
2002: 8 fatalities per 100,000 employees

I would surmise that far upgraded safety standards and equipment are a large part of that. FWIW, from the numbers I saw, a railroad employee in 2002 was still twice as likely to die on the job than the average private sector employee.
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Re: When Railroaders Ran the Railroad,

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:46 pm

Davian wrote:
Where do you get your statistics from? Show me on a per capita basis that your statement is true.


I did a quick google search of railroad employee fatality rates and got the following numbers for American railroad employees from the years 1901 and 2002:

1901: 250 fatalities per 100,000 employees
2002: 8 fatalities per 100,000 employees

I would surmise that far upgraded safety standards and equipment are a large part of that. FWIW, from the numbers I saw, a railroad employee in 2002 was still twice as likely to die on the job than the average private sector employee.


Yep, trains are dangerous for those that work on them, always has been always will be. Railroads for passengers has been the safest form of transportation throughout the entire Twentieth Century.
wsherrick
 
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Re: When Railroaders Ran the Railroad,

PostBy: Davian On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:49 pm

wsherrick wrote:
Davian wrote:
Where do you get your statistics from? Show me on a per capita basis that your statement is true.


I did a quick google search of railroad employee fatality rates and got the following numbers for American railroad employees from the years 1901 and 2002:

1901: 250 fatalities per 100,000 employees
2002: 8 fatalities per 100,000 employees

I would surmise that far upgraded safety standards and equipment are a large part of that. FWIW, from the numbers I saw, a railroad employee in 2002 was still twice as likely to die on the job than the average private sector employee.


Yep, trains are dangerous for those that work on them, always has been always will be. Railroads for passengers has been the safest form of transportation throughout the entire Twentieth Century.


I completely agree. Trains are far, far safer for passengers than pretty much any other form of transportation.
Davian
 
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