Engineer Spike wrote:I have heard that the emergency valve on the fireman's side does not record to the event recorder. If you are going to come up short, put on a service application, then have someone pull the lever. This way if you are asked, you can say that it must have been a kicker.
Newer event recorders, like those on most modern locomotives will record which valve in the locomotive was used. You can simply look behind the conductors valve and see the wire coming from it. That is for the event recorder and to trigger the EOTD to dump on locomotives so equipped. Most railroads want to know who dumped the train first so they can tell who was paying attention and in the case of a rule violation such as an overspeed, there is no disputing who complied with the rules about dumping the train when the engineer loses control. That is why even when an issue arises that requires you to dump the train because of something ahead (Signal, Improperly lined switch, person, obstruction, etc) the Conductor should dump his valve too. This was there is no disputing that the Conductor was paying attention.
As for older locomotives, any road forman worth his salt can tell where the Emergency application came from. Remember, older recorders monitor the Brake Pipe and Equalizing reservoir pressure
, not handle positions on the valve. There is no way to record the physical position of a 26 or 24 type brake valve handle. Brake pipe pressure always follows equalizing reservoir pressure except in emergency. They can tell where the emergency application came from by simply looking at the time differential. If you go to full service and then the Conductor valve is pulled, that air is being vented from the same line that goes to the engineer brake valve. So the drop will be instantaneous. The huge spike of pressure loss will give it away. And that is if you only have one loco. If you have multiple units? It's even easier. Because the lead unit will show the loss of brake pipe pressure before the trailing units do. So it would be impossible to blame a kicker in the train. A kicker in the train would show the trailing loco's dumping before the lead loco.