• Rail Safety/Courtesy the UTU

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by BlackDog
Sure the railroads can't "outrun the facts", but they certainly do a wonderful job of ignoring them. They do an even better job of dismissing solutions from the troops in the field.

  by LCJ
I'm not looking to start a firestorm here, but...

Just as AAR public relations material is often short on realism, "reporting" from the union's perspective is not necessarily objective in many cases.

For both sides of this issue there are agendas being pushed. A skilled writer can bend and mold "facts" to support just about any interest.

The actual facts about safety are somewhere in between, methinks. Railroad employees are not all blameless victims of corporate greed -- and, at times, the carriers may actually value financial objectives above prudent accident prevention.

At least that's been my experience, having come at the issue from both perspectives in my career.

  by Delta
I wouldn't automatically take any union's press release at face value, either. They often use safety as a shield for their underlying concerns regarding job security. However, as someone in the trenches here, I can tell you that operating crews are being pushed harder, farther, and expected to do more than at any time in recent history. Fatigue is a rampant problem. We are rushing newhires through programs measured in weeks and then expecting them to survive as a conductor, possibly with an engineer with only a year of two of total railroad experience himself, or run a remote control switch engine by himself. This folks, is a recipe for disaster and the statistics are bearing that out.

  by jg greenwood
It's a fact that the unions blow their share of smoke. This is also a fact: I just finished a 15'25" tour. If today wasn't my scheduled day off I would be second out with the strong possibility my phone would be going-off 8-hours after tying up. Smoke and mirror's aside, the truth lies somewhere in between the union's/carrier's hyperbole.

My work day also consists of every shift being in excess of 15 hours, currently. The FNG's I get every day, are supposed to be "mentored" by me, somehow, while I am running the train, and they are switching on the ground. One day on the railroad? SURE, kid, you are qualified to go alone with me, on the CSX mainline, and switch in their yard. The only thing sadder than this, is their penchant for inquiring about a student card, about 2 weeks into the new job (SIGH!!!) Yeah, sure, my job is entirely safe, and getting safer by the day................................... :(

  by Cowford
I don't think many would dispute fatigue as a critical issue. I for one would never want to live that lifestyle. but a question- and it's not meant as anti-union or -employee: what can railroads... and concerned T&E employees... do when efforts to enforce longer rest periods are torpedoed by those who want to get back on the road to make more money regardless?

  by Delta
For starters they could stop denying people time off, lighten up on availability policies, allow people to book more rest between runs, etc.