Remote Control Platform

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Postby ACLfan2 » Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:04 pm

Yeah, Mr. GOLDEN ARM, some true-blue Biblical scripture must have seeped into that "heathern" mind (as you said). The LORD GOD ALMIGHTY does work in mysterious and wonderful ways!! Imagine, a heathern quoting Biblical scripture! Wow!
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Postby fire5506 » Sun Sep 03, 2006 7:46 pm

May I ask that the squabbling stop and we get back to discussing "Florida East Coast".

Thank You
Richard Looking at MP 242 while working for the FEC RWY
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Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:50 pm

fire5506 wrote:May I ask that the squabbling stop and we get back to discussing "Florida East Coast".

Thank You


I thought that was MY job, to determine that.............As a Ft. Pierce resident, myself (livin life, on the island....), you really wouldn't step on your neighbors toes, would ya? :P
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Re: Remote Control Platform

Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:03 pm

sorry, feuji. this has NOTHING to do, with portable loading ramps or vehicles.
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Re: Remote Control Platform

Postby RedLantern » Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:28 pm

RCPs take jobs away, sure, but the Diesel locomotive took away the job of the Fireman. Air brakes took away the jobs of the brakemen that used to have to run on the roofs of the cars. The FRED took away the job of the brakeman in the caboose. The automatic crossing protection system took away the job of the crossing tender.

My point being, welcome to real life.
Trains aren't dangerous, it's lack of common sense that's dangerous.
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Re: Remote Control Platform

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:10 am

RedLantern wrote:RCPs take jobs away, sure, but the Diesel locomotive took away the job of the Fireman. Air brakes took away the jobs of the brakemen that used to have to run on the roofs of the cars. The FRED took away the job of the brakeman in the caboose. The automatic crossing protection system took away the job of the crossing tender.

My point being, welcome to real life.


Diesel electric locomotives saved money and were safer, air brakes made for a much safer railroad. Cabooses did not add
to safe operations and in fact increased dangerous injuries especially before radios. Radios, too, made operations much
more efficient and safer.
Remote controlled locomotives on the other hand did not really save money and made railroad operations much more
dangerous. There has been an effort to downplay and even cover up the problems that these things have created over the
past few years of their use. Deaths, injuries, damages and delays don't seem to matter to the railroads, remote controlled
locomotives or else, come hell or high water.
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Re: Remote Control Platform

Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:42 pm

RedLantern wrote:RCPs take jobs away, sure, but the Diesel locomotive took away the job of the Fireman. Air brakes took away the jobs of the brakemen that used to have to run on the roofs of the cars. The FRED took away the job of the brakeman in the caboose. The automatic crossing protection system took away the job of the crossing tender.

My point being, welcome to real life.


hmmm..... diesel locomotives began appearing in earnest, in the mid 1930's. firemen lasted until 1982, or thereabouts. some 50 years, after diesels arrived. the diesels made operations safer, and cheaper, due to reduced maintenance and operating costs.

airbrakes arrived in the late 1870's, and were in full use, by the turn of the century. brakemen were in full use, across the systems, until halloween, 1985. thats almost 105 years, give or take a year after airbrakes were mandated. airbrakes enabled safer operations, longer and heavier trains, and higher operating speeds, saving lives and money.

the caboose was manned by the conductor, not the brakeman. the conductor still works today, but rides up front. they came off the trains, after the halloween 1985 agreements took effect. the EOT made the operation safer,more efficient and removed the hazards/costs of the hack. it saved lives, and money.

few crossings were protected by crossing tenders. most were protected by "passive systems". automation of the crossing system, allowed for active protection to be placed anywhere/everywhere, saving lives, and money, and allowing for safer operations.

remote platforms have no money savings attached to them. they are not "regulated", by the FRA, and the accidents, and deaths they cause are not recorded as RCP incidents, but merely as SOFA accidents. they produce less work, in an 8 hour shift, than a conventional crew, and have a higher rate of incident/accidents, than a conventional crew. more dangerous, more money, less production. i think this is quite clear, what is an "innovative" step, and what is a regressive one....
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Re: Remote Control Platform

Postby BobLI » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:58 am

As one who is not active in the rail industry, what is a SOFA accident? Somr different kind of reporting nomenclature so the platform use does not get blamed?
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Re: Remote Control Platform

Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:04 pm

Switching Operations Fatality Analysis, or SOFA, is an industry accounting of deaths attributed to "switching" incidents. This is a bit of a misnomer, as anyone who reads these things, will wonder why mainline crew deaths, are attributed to "switching operations". The categories used to be more defined, with categories for different types of operations, and different levels of fault findings. someone decided it was easier to lump everything into "switching operations" and "other". As i mentioned, you might see a conductor on a road train stepping off to make a crew change, getting killed in the middle of nowhere, and then appear as a statistic in a SOFA report.

We're still unsure, how or why the "team" members of the SOFA committee came to be, who decided what was and wasn't going to make the cut. Used to be, if a crew made a blind shove and someone was killed, it was a mystery. Now, it's an "event" in a report, with possible contributory factors shown, after a narrative of the events of the accident. (the crew always seem to be blamed) You can go online, possibly to the ASLRRA website, and look up SOFA reports, if this kinda stuff interests you. Remote accidents are rarely shown as remote accidents. They tend to show up as "a switching crew". With firsthand knowledge of some accidents resulting in death, and seeing the SOFA reports, there's no doubt, about the numbers being under-reported, for whatever reasons. If you look closely, the vast majority of deaths occur, because a trainman has entered the tracks, and was hit by his own train/equipment, opposite end of the locomotive. :(
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Re: Remote Control Platform

Postby RedLantern » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:26 am

ffalknerr77 wrote:I never before heard a remote control platform i don't believe that railway improves its technology, Remote controlled locomotives on the other hand made railroad operations much more dangerous.


A Remote Control Platform is basically a car that connects through MU to an existing locomotive, that way they don't have to retrofit locomotives to be remote controlled, they just connect them to the "RCP" which takes over the control.

The way I see it, remote controlled operations could have their place, like say at a coal power plant where they have to move the train one car at a time for the rotary dumper. They shouldn't be used for yard switching and definitely shouldn't be used for road freights.

That being said, like it or not, they are getting more and more popular. You can point out every flaw in the design, and every safety issue they cause, but the fact of the matter is that Human Resources sees what used to take 2 or 3 people being done by one and sees a cost savings there in the form of how many checks they have to write.

They are only going to get more popular with the railroads (not necessarily the railroaders though) and it's a fact that everybody has to live with. After they cause a few more deaths, the design will likely be improved over time. The scary part is that this could be just the beginning, where you have a 3 man crew being replaced by one man who's not on the train, it could eventually get to the point where even that man is replaced by a computer. Somewhere down the line, it could even get to the point that all yard switching in major yards is carried out entirely by the yardmaster as if he was playing with an HO set. The entire switching yard could be completely unmanned, with hydraulics to uncouple the cars, computer controlled locomotives to move them around, and motorized switches at every switch. Aside from uncoupling the cars, all the other technology is already in place.

Look at the automated people-mover trains in many cities, you have trains running 24/7 carrying passengers, and these trains have no engineers, and in only a few of the systems do they even have a conductor or attendant on board the train. Surely you don't think the higher-ups at many of the larger freight operations haven't given these systems some thought for road freights?

The point I'm getting at is, go ahead and complain all you want about remote control operations, say that they're worthless and dangerous all you want, the fact of the matter is that they're not going to disappear, and new ones are set up every day. I say, rather than focusing your anger on something that's here to stay, try focusing some of that thought on ways that the systems might be improved for safety. Bitching and moaning about how much you don't like RCPs won't save any lives, but suggesting ways that these operations might go a little safer just might save hundreds if not thousands.
Trains aren't dangerous, it's lack of common sense that's dangerous.
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Re: Remote Control Platform

Postby SooLineRob » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:16 pm

RedLantern wrote:
...I say, rather than focusing your anger on something that's here to stay, try focusing some of that thought on ways that the systems might be improved for safety. Bitching and moaning about how much you don't like RCPs won't save any lives, but suggesting ways that these operations might go a little safer just might save hundreds if not thousands.


Ummm ... nevermind.
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