Re: New on Jan 4 NTSB update re: Amtrak 501-Not Much New?
Date: 01-10-2018 - 02:09
Dr Zarkoff Wrote:
>> That's an apples and oranges comparison because
>> the signs themselves are not what train crews use
>> to govern their speed.
> Funny you should say this because I did this very
> thing for over 35 years, mostly as reminders
> without having to bore myself to tears counting
> MPs (provided they weren't missing).
I probably could have worded that better. I was trying to make the distinction between driving a car on the highway, where signs are the only practical means of knowing the speed limit vs. the railroad, where the timetable and being qualified on the territory come into play.
Now, to open a can of worms...
BOB2 alluded to it above. The NTSB confirmed that an advance T30/P30 speed board was posted two miles out. There's a lot of talk about the conductor making a qualifying trip, but isn't that a moot point since route familiarity isn't required for proper interpretation of that sign? Additionally, route qualified or not, Amtrak doesn't require conductors to memorize any permanent speed restrictions, right? Last I heard, being route qualified as an Amtrak conductor was nothing at all like an engineer getting qualified. One or two trips on the head end, and that was it.
I assume the qualifying conductor was rules qualified though, so under those circumstances, what would be expected of him after passing the advance T30/P30 sign? Would he be able to argue that proper rules compliance on his part was impossible being unfamiliar with the route?