Where I worked, I saw crew size go from 3 men to 2 men to 1 man thanks to remote locos. There's one big advantage to using remotes....lower payroll expense.There was one other advantages over 3 man crews before the use of walkie talkies, and that's not having the need to keep in postition to relay signals. We might of atleast kept the 2 man remote crews if the crews didn't take turns running the remote while the other man read the paper, slept, etc. Why they didn't realize that management was watching what was going on is beyond me. Another problem was that the manager in charghe of the railroad had all of the grabirons and steps removed from all of the company cars making it impossible to ride the cars so now you have 1 man trying to switch cars, throw switches, carry a walkie talkie, wear the remote box,
and provide point protection. a job that once took 20 minutes now tool 30-60 minutes if done safely. What often happens is that eventually, the operator gets so exhausted, that he or she starts taking shortcuts to save time and work. When switching cars, it was often necessary to constantly go back and forth over road crossings which had no gates. Three of the crossings had flashing lights, but it's common for vehichles to try to beat the train across the road. Especially at shift change. It was impossible to switch cars and at the same time watch the head end of the train. All we could do was put on the bell and blow the horn and hope nobody crossed the road ahead of the train. From the ground, you couldn't watch both sides of the roadway. The view is blocked by the gondolas, hoppers, etc.
The remotes often go into emergency, and if you're riding a car when they do, you better be holding on tight or you could be thrown off the car.
There were many mechanical or electrical problems with remotes too. I had one engine that when the switch was put in the first notch, it took off at full speed. Another engine ran away out of control and hit a MOW track car, flipping it and landing on a worker causing severe physical damage.
I'd have to say no thanks to remotes. Not all new inventions are an improvement over the old way of doing things.