• NJT HOBOKEN TERMINAL ACCIDENT THREAD

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: lensovet, Kaback9, nick11a

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  by time
 
Technology already exists that can "read" a person's responses while driving and make audible sounds or vibrate the steering wheel if it thinks the driver is falling asleep. Perhaps the rail equivalent would be relatively low cost, compared to a catastrophic event. It could read the facial movements and position of the engineers head and shoulders, their arm movements, and pressure applied to the throttle/break, pass the data through an algorithm, and determine if it is consistent with someone falling asleep. It could then emit loud beeps that sound different from anything current systems produce, and/or vibrate the seat in a way that is not pleasant. If the engineer fails to acknowledge the beeps or vibrations, emergency brakes applied.
  by justalurker66
 
8th Notch wrote:I'm wondering if the NTSB will go back over previous trips to see how he normally ran approaching the terminal. I'm willing to bet inward facing cameras will be one of the many recommendations from the NTSB.
The NTSB can make the recommendation ... then wait for the next accident to complain that their recommendation has not been followed (and repeat for the next 40 years). Congress can pass a law and the FRA can write regulations. The NTSB can only recommend - and fight a PR battle when their recommendations are not followed. ("I told you so.")
mmi16 wrote:As agenda driven as the NTSB has become, I have no fear that inward facing cameras will be among their recommendations. That being said - how would a inward facing camera have PREVENTED this incident. NTSB recommendations need to be about PREVENTING accidents from happening in the future, not doing their investigative work for them.
I suppose they could complain that the railroads were not properly supervising their employees. Single operator cabs where there isn't even a conductor present to make sure that the engineer is doing their job. Two person cabs where the employees cover for each other. The claim could be that better supervision would prevent accidents ... and even if the claim isn't 100% logical the claim can be made.

The camera would be a deterrent to any bad behavior. Without any proof of bad behavior (phoning, texting, reading, unauthorized people in the cab, etc) there would be nothing to deter.
  by ThirdRail7
 
NJT has some equipment that has inward facing cameras. I know some of the ALP-45s have them. However, inward facing cameras mean nothing unless you plan to have them monitored constantly. Even the random inspections of inward camera footage won't mean much unless questionable behavior occurs at the exact moment.

Another person in the cab doesn't seem to be a reasonable deterrent since freight trains typically have two people in the cab. We've seen they are not immune to violations and/or collisions.

Even though it hasn't been brought up, I see a "sleep apnea test for all T&E crews" war cry on the horizon.
  by DutchRailnut
 
since entire event only took 38 seconds (2/3 of one minute), I doubt sleep apnea was a factor, I would more lean towards distraction in cab, or sun shining in his face.
it is very easy to loose situational awareness if your talking to someone or simply gather your stuff towards end of run.
  by Ken W2KB
 
justalurker66 wrote:8 MPH isn't "too slow" ... and the engineer reported the last speed he saw was the limit, 10 MPH. Giving a packed train (so packed that the conductor could not collect all fares) a little boost when approaching a stop (800ft from the bumper?) at the speed limit would not be expected behavior.
I doubt that the train was packed approaching Hoboken. A four car train has over 400 seats and room for at least 100 more standees and all news reports I've seen stated that about 108 passengers were injured. Only one-fifth were injured? I strongly suspect that a large majority of passengers got off at Secaucus Junction to change to a NEC train. There is insufficient time to collect all tickets from there to Hoboken. The news media reports are almost certainly quoting the situation before Secaucus, and completely misunderstand the conductor's statement.
  by Ken W2KB
 
ThirdRail7 wrote: However, inward facing cameras mean nothing unless you plan to have them monitored constantly. Even the random inspections of inward camera footage won't mean much unless questionable behavior occurs at the exact moment. .
Same logic would apply to random drug and alcohol tests. Do you think they are also ineffective?
  by trainbrain
 
Ken W2KB wrote:I strongly suspect that a large majority of passengers got off at Secaucus Junction to change to a NEC train. misunderstand the conductor's statement.
I read somewhere that for the Port Jervis Line, about 1/3rd of the weekday ridership transfers to a NEC train at Secaucus and the remaining 2/3rds stays on all the way to Hoboken. Not sure if it's the same on the PVL.
  by Tommy Meehan
 
mmi16 wrote:...While the engineer had only been ON DUTY approximately 2 hours - what time did he begin his day at home to enable him to get to his ON DUTY point on time. What time did he arrive HOME from his previous trip to actually begin resting. In his previous tour of duty did he have a 4+ hour respite to extend his Hours Of Service allowed time? What was the time he was relieved from duty from his prior trip.

So many questions, to this point, so few answers.
In these kinds of accidents the NTSB usually reviews the engineer's activities and sleep periods for several days prior to the event. That information may not be available to the general public until the formal investigation report is released, probably sometime next year.
DutchRailnut wrote:since entire event only took 38 seconds (2/3 of one minute), I doubt sleep apnea was a factor, I would more lean towards distraction in cab, or sun shining in his face. it is very easy to loose situational awareness if your talking to someone or simply gather your stuff towards end of run.
Distraction doesn't really explain the decision to advance the throttle from Idle to Run 4 as the train came into the platform track, does it? That's more like someone turning into their driveway and then hitting the gas! :wink:
  by ThirdRail7
 
Ken W2KB wrote:
ThirdRail7 wrote: However, inward facing cameras mean nothing unless you plan to have them monitored constantly. Even the random inspections of inward camera footage won't mean much unless questionable behavior occurs at the exact moment. .
Same logic would apply to random drug and alcohol tests. Do you think they are also ineffective?
Yes and your question is exactly what I mean. A random D&A test means very little unless the behavior is caught around the time of the test. As for a deterrent, while they hopefully give people pause, people still fail the tests. Just because you happened to catch them this time, how many times did you miss them in the past?
  by Backshophoss
 
The threat of Drug/Alcohol testing at ANY time should give pause,having been subject to that for 14+ years, and for
CDL drivers,the theshold to fail a breath test is 1/2 of any regular car driver, if the state level is .08,the CDL level IS .04!
Depending on the alcohol content, 1 to 1.5 cans of beer will get you to .04 and taken out of service.
A lack of a regular sleep cycle can create a condition in the brain that is like what the .04 BAC level induces.

However there're some OTC meds and the infamous "'Poppy seeds" off of burger buns that can create false positives,
the split samples allow a second test to be done,but to a finer standard then the regular test,fail that 2nd sample test
and your done.
Believe RR crews are allowed Blood tests instead of breath/urine tests,that is not a option for CDL holders.
  by justalurker66
 
Ken W2KB wrote:The news media reports are almost certainly quoting the situation before Secaucus, and completely misunderstand the conductor's statement.
Not news media but the official preliminary report from the NTSB.
  by Tommy Meehan
 
There's a couple of issues here that interest me. First, several of the riders on 1614 (a train I have ridden a number of times), said they were short one coach and had been short all week. Having been a commuter I find that very credible. Some commuters know what's going on. If the consist is short a car they know it. They know how many cars a given train is usually assigned. As a commuter that's valuable information to have because it means your commute is going to be more crowded than normal. It means maybe you sit closer to a door than normal, maybe take an aisle seat, make a mental note to get up before the train stops, all so you can get off the train a little quicker (the goal being, of course, to get to your job on time).

The second issue is with inward facing cameras. The goal here is to have supervisors review the tapes and try to identify engineers who have trouble staying awake and alert before they get in trouble. The feeling being that engineers are human and they can fall asleep or become unresponsive. I'm sure it's not a big problem as far as the numbers go, but when it happens the consequences can be huge. I can't forget that the engineer in the Frankford Jct. overspeed derailment posted on TrainOrders.com (under his own name for a while) and he supported PTC and other safety enhancements. He criticized the rail industry for being so slow to adopt some of the systems and said most engineers would welcome them. I always wonder if maybe he felt that way because he had the occasional problem staying fully alert. To me that is completely understandable. They're people not machines.
  by GSC
 
As Backshophoss said above, a driver with a CDL license is only given a .04 level when a regular licensed driver (a D class) can "enjoy" a .08 level. The CDL rule applies to any situation - driving a car, motorcycle, etc., no matter what or when you drive. Get caught and you lose your entire license, every endorsement.

I've maintained my A-class CDL for years, even though I haven't driven 18-wheelers for a long time. I do drive a school bus, and am much more subject to the urine test at any given time. I also drive a 12-pass taxi, over 8 seats for hire, which requires a CDL.

I have no choice but to behave myself behind the wheel, stay alert, keep my eyes open at all times.

Good thing, too. People on the road are insane.
  by STrRedWolf
 
You also got to keep up to date on the CDL itself as well as the medical workup for the CDL. MTA Maryland actually got a hook with their "DMV" aka "MVA" to monitor in-state CDL (and regular licenses). Every day, MTA would get a dump of license records from MVA's system, parse it down, and check for policy violations. 6 or more points on the CDL got the operator yanked from service (for non-ops, no state vehicle driving), and if you were just suspended, MTA knew the next day. (Heh... that was one of the systems I worked on there. Glad I got it off of a SCO Unixware server...)
  by Ken W2KB
 
justalurker66 wrote:Not news media but the official preliminary report from the NTSB.
NTSB quoted it. NTSB is not at the interpretive stage as yet, it only reports certain data it has acquired including the statement. Interpretation will come eventually. Competent reporters would have investigated further to determine how many were on the train just before and after Hoboken, including if there were any that were not injured.
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