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PC: Re: More on long hood forward
- Subject: PC: Re: More on long hood forward
- From: "Bill K" <pontiac@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 13:23:17 -0400
I hope they plan an exception to this for locals and shortlines and so
forth, unsignalled track also. Otherwise it would cripple small roads,
making them need 2 engines where one would do the job....
Bill's Syracuse rail page
Updated with pictures!
: From: Walter B. Turner <lnrr -AT- juno.com>
: To: penn-central -AT- smellycat.com
: Subject: PC: More on long hood forward
: Date: Thursday, May 07, 1998 9:21 AM
: Norfolk Southern tragedy sparks
: locomotive operating debate
: In the wake of the March 25 fatal collision between Norfolk
: Southern and Conrail trains in Butler, Ind., the Brotherhood of
: Locomotive Engineers has asked the Federal Railroad
: Administration to bar railroads from running locomotives long-hood
: The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the
: collision, in which NS Detroit-Kansas City RoadRailer 255
: apparently went through a red stop signal before slicing through a
: Conrail double-stack train that was crossing the Butler diamond
: eastbound on the former New York Central main line. One NS
: crewman, Howard L. Rose of Peru, Ind., was killed as the 88-car
: NS train's diesels, SD50 6508 and SD40-2 1640, struck and crashed
: through the moving Conrail train at about the sixth car.
: In making its April 14 request of the FRA, the BLE claims that a
: contributing factor in the crash was that the NS lead unit was
: running long-hood forward. "This dangerous situation places the
: engineer on the left side of the cab, the side of the locomotive
: opposite trackside signals," the BLE said in a press release.
: "Most signal systems are designed to be observed from the right
: side of the locomotive," BLE President Clarence Monin said. "The
: momentary loss of view of a signal as it is obstructed by the body of
: the locomotive could result in loss of information essential to the
: safe operation of the train. Railroad rules require continuous
: observance of the signal as you approach it."
: But in NS SD50's like the one involved in the Butler accident, the
: control stand is on the right side of the locomotive when it's
: long-hood forward. Does that--and the fact that many NS
: locomotives set to operate long-hood forward have the control stand
: on the right--change the BLE's position?
: "It doesn't matter whether it's on the right or the left--running
: long-hood forward still disturbs the visibility," says John Tolman, a
: BLE special representative who confirmed that the student engineer
: at the throttle of NS 255 was, indeed, on the right side of the cab.
: Tolman did credit NS, however, for switching to short-hood
: operation on its more recent locomotive orders.
: Citing the ongoing NTSB investigation, NS spokesman Rick Harris
: declined to comment on the BLE's rulemaking request. NS and its
: predecessor roads, Norfolk & Western and Southern Railway,
: traditionally ran their locomotives long-hood forward since the end
: of the steam era. Most NS diesels built since 1990, though, are set
: to operate short-hood forward.
: At one time, the railroads considered running long-hood forward a
: safety advantage in the event of a grade-crossing accident. The
: more metal between the cab and the collision, the better off the
: crew would be. Some crews prefer running long-hood forward for
: that reason. But long-hood forward operation also means that the
: crew is riding behind the locomotive's fuel tank. Tolman cited a
: 1991 NTSB study of 29 accidents that involved the derailment of 83
: locomotives. Of those, 55 experienced fuel-tank damage, and 25
: experienced fires.
: Under the BLE proposal, trains would not be allowed to operate
: with the lead unit in the long-nose forward position over a distance
: of 5 miles or greater or when a locomotive engineer is at the
: controls of a train for more than one hour. The FRA says it is
: reviewing the BLE request.--Bill Stephens
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