All posts in April 2011

Restricted Speed

Restricted Speed is the hot topic on the railroad. Due to an increase in rear end collisions, special attention is being focused on crews knowing the requirements of restricted speed. There has been 3 accidents on the UPRR where crews were operating at restricted speed and one rear end collision accident still under investigation, with fatalities, on the BNSF. As one handout about restricted speed states “If your answer is 20MPH, you realy don’t understand restricted speed. The key sentence in this rule is movement must be made at a speed that allows stopping within half the range of vision short of : Basically anything. In some cases restricted speed may only be 1 or 2 mph”. Depending on weather, time of day or night, grade,

Cell Phones and Accidents

Cell phones and accidents have become a hot topic recently on Class One Railroads. The FRA appears to be stepping up their effort to enforce the no cell phone use, except for railroad business, for TE&Y crew members. A reliable source told me that in the event of an accident, for example, a rear end collision, where one train coupled into the rear of another while operating at restricted speed, the FRA will not limit the pulling of crew members cell phone records to the crew at fault. The FRA will also pull the cell phone records of the train ahead and behind the accident and also any passing train or trains in the vicinity to see if any other crews where in violation. This guilt by proximity approach should serve as a wake up call to all crew members. Fines for violation could go as high $25, 000, not to mention TE&Y employees could be terminated if the FRA deems a risk to public safety. Is the use of cell phones worth your career and the career of a crew member?

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