• Outcome of 2/20 near miss in Syracuse

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by JoeS
I was thinking about starting a thread to discuss this, to see if anyone had heard what the outcome was. Now, I guess we know.

It's interesting that he only got suspended for passing a signal the first time.

  by SimTrains
FELL A SLEEP???? The guy is lucky that the only thing that happened to him was that he was fired! Also, this wasn't the first time that he is guilt of falling asleep? Isn't there supposed to be a conductor in the cab as well? Was he alone? Here is the working link:


  by roee
SimTrains wrote:...Isn't there supposed to be a conductor in the cab as well?
Why would there be a conductor in the cab? I believe that mostly on Amtraks the engineer is alone in the cab, as the conductor is working the train.

  by n2xjk
The article says the event recorder indicates responses to the alerter and throttle adjustments at the signals. That's more than I can do when I am asleep....

  by clearblock
Roee is correct that on most Amtrak runs the Engineer is alone in the cab. That is why you will hear the Dispatcher ask Amtrak to confirm that they are stopped to copy a Form D. NORAC rule 165b forbids an employee operating the controls of a moving train from copying a Form D and there is no one else in the cab to copy it.

  by roadster
Amtrak trains generally run with just the engineer in the cab, the conductor is tending to their duties with the passengers. The Syracuse newspaper, The "Post Standard" of 4/2/04 also mentioned that the alerter placed the train into penalty brake aplication when the engineer did not respond to it's alert within the aloted time.

  by O-6-O
The TVH-5 report does not make sense to me. "blew horn at 2 grade
crossings". That would be; asleep passing signal [email protected] mp 276
awake for Bolivar RD. crossing
asleep for STOP SIGNAL @ interlocking
awake for detector and grade [email protected]
Kirkville Rd. mp-280
asleep passing signal @ mp-282 stopping
400 ft short of disaster.

To quote the TV show Tool Time; "I don't think so Tim"


  by roadster
I have seen this before. It's common problem for train crews, longhaul truckers and people who drive for long periods. It's not "sleep" per say but a fringe where one nods for a few seconds. If you have ever driven on a long trip and get that feeling of "heavy lids" and head nods. Attention is serverly reduced but still alert enough to handle those routine task like blowing for the crossings, but may not have reqonized the RED signal as his. I am not condoning the engineers condition only confirming that this does happen. This issue of having enough rest before being required to return to work has been an issue with the Unions ,Carriers, and Federal Agencies for a long time. The trucking Induistry just had it's rules changed in favor of longer rest periods this past January. This past winter on several occasions, I was working 12 or more hours (including deadheads which are counted as rest) return home for 3-4 hrours and back at work. Example: I take a train from Rochester NY to Buffalo NY, get off my train after 12hrs on duty at Buffalo and wait at the terminal for 1-2 hrs for a cab to take us back to Rochester NY. (My rest actually started when relieved of train service) Now a 2 hr Cab ride to Rochester, then about a 1/2 hr drive home. About 4 1/2 hours of my rest has been spent getting home. The Railroad can call me back on duty in 3 1/2 hrs. 3 hrs at home 1/2 hr drive back to work. Even when receiving a max. 10 hr rest after 12 hrs of duty that still only equals 5 hrs at home in a bed. :(
I personally would like to see a required 10 hrs rest after each work period.

  by SimTrains
Maybe some of you engineers can answer me this: What does the horn sound like from inside the cab? Sometimes it is definging to me just standing along the tracks. It would sure jolt me right up if I was dozing off. Maybe the cabs are insulated really good though? What do you guys think?

  by JBlaisdell
Has anyone considered that the engineer may actually be guilty of something worse than falling asleep? Maybe that was an excuse most beneficial to both him and Amtrak. It also quiets any question of why Amtrak has only one person in the cab by resolving the issue quickly.

I'd like to see the freight lines require a second person, either Amtrak's or theirs. If Amtrak wants just a motorman in the cab on the Corridor, where cab-signal control exists anyway, fine. But it is an entirely different situation with greater risks in other territories with freight trains to boot!

  by nessman
I've had a few cab rides, done a "rent-a-locomotive" deal for an hour - all in first generation deisels. From that perspective, it sounds just like a loud train horn - but without the doppler effect.

I guess the newer stuff is a lot quieter inside the cab with the horn mounted back aways and better soundproofing in the cab.

  by Aji-tater
Roadster, you are there doing the work and represented by a union, so I'm certainly not calling you a liar. But I don't understand your claim that your rest begins at Buffalo when you get off the train. Time waiting for the taxi, and your ride back to Rochester in your example, according to the regulations is "limbo time" - neither on nor off duty. Your rest should begin when you mark off at your point of release - Rochester - and you should then have 10 hours rest since you were over 12 hours since reporting for duty. How do they support the claim you are on your rest while waiting for the taxi? This scenario is carefully spelled out in the regulations and gives examples almost exactly the way you describe it - except they claim your rest would not start till you are back at Rochester. Sounds like you are getting the raw end of a rule violation - where's your union?

  by roadster
this has occured several times this winter when we were handling numerous roadreliefs, and each train has a separate slip. after arriving at Buffalo on the last train, we have to call for a deadhead slip from the caller who ties up the slip untill our next duty when we can complete the slip fully. Since we arrive at Buffalo and can not complete the slip ourselves untill we return to our home terminal, and by the time we return to Rochester, we have exceeded the hours of service and can not legally somplete the slips, we must call the crew caller and they tie up the deadhead. The rest starts when the caller ties up the train slip in Buffalo and starts the deadhead. I will raise this with my union rep. now that you have made me aware of that issue.

  by roadster
to: JBlasidell, The Syracuse newspaper "Post-Standard" 4/3/04 reported that the FRA in their press release that the required drug and alcohol tests administered to the engineer were negative. I don't have the link. It also stated that this engineer had a prior incident of sleeping and passing a red signal at Penn Station last spring.
to: Simtrains, The new wide cab engines are very quiet inside. I like to have the window open just a bit to hear the horn so I know it's working. I have not been inside the new Amtrak engines but believe their are as well insulated. Older conventional cab engines with horns mounted on the cab are deafening.