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PC: Re: More on long hood forward

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
: From:
: http://www.kalmbach.com/trains/trains.html
:     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
:     forward.
:     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
: running
:     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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