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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 11:11 AM   #81
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The problem here is that the regulations are too detailed. The regulations should start by holding the company to blame for any damage it causes, then go on to explain what goals the company needs to achieve to operate safely.

If you have 50 rules for parking a loco, then that is all the company needs to follow.
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 11:35 AM   #82
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BigDL....
Why do you think work/rest rules played any part in this?

To my knowledge that has never been brought up as a potential contributing cause by anybody.

And when the engineer was awakened by the explosions, he ran to the site (questions have arisen if and where he helped), but from what people have stated who know him, is that he would have made sure the train was secure after the loco fire was extinguished if someone had contacted him.

Burkhardt and Co. is in trouble in many respects not the least being the company's insurers.
Their rates are going to skyrocket especially if any blame for this is assigned to MM&A.
The TSB doesn't assign blame so I assume this will end up in the courts eventually.
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 11:37 AM   #83
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so much for less regulations and assuming corporations will' do the right thing'.



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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 12:27 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krs View Post
BigDL....
Why do you think work/rest rules played any part in this?

To my knowledge that has never been brought up as a potential contributing cause by anybody.

And when the engineer was awakened by the explosions, he ran to the site (questions have arisen if and where he helped), but from what people have stated who know him, is that he would have made sure the train was secure after the loco fire was extinguished if someone had contacted him.

Burkhardt and Co. is in trouble in many respects not the least being the company's insurers.
Their rates are going to skyrocket especially if any blame for this is assigned to MM&A.
The TSB doesn't assign blame so I assume this will end up in the courts eventually.
The short answer is I don't know this as a fact.

I worked for CN as a "Crew Dispatcher" and was responsible for scheduling Operating Employees to crew various assignments. I have over 12 experience at this job.

MMA's is an old CPR line and may have been part of the old Dominion Atlantic Railway. That's what is was called at it's terminus in Nova Scotia. I have no idea of the terminals along this line.

I would assume the MMA line would have a series of terminals (crew change points) alone its line. A locomotive engineer would go to work at his home terminal, operate the train to an objective terminal, he would pick another train heading back to his home terminal, returning home on it.

The news reports indicated that the train was left on the main line "in the woods" not a siding, not a terminal. It was likely left where it would not block driveways, streets or roads.

News reports say the Engine that was belching smoke or having problems before the engineer "parked it." Perhaps these engine problems slowed the progress and speed of the train to cause the Mandatory Rules to come into play. Which I suspect but I do not know as I never saw or heard this from any media reports.

When I heard the train was tied up on line and the Engineer taxied to a motel, I said "mando" or mandatory rest.

The engineer according to news reports was due to go back to this train, to operate it (to its objective terminal?) again.

A taxi picked him up in Nantes (probably next or close to the road) to drive him to a motel in Lac Mégantic "a place of rest" ( a place of rest as mentioned in the rules) a phrase I heard or read in media reports.

So based on that information I strongly suspect that the Mandatory work/rest rules come into play here.

Now what I have seen of Mr Burkhardt, I am also thinking the Mandatory maximums might be the minimum protection for workers and the public but again I don't know that.
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 01:33 PM   #85
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OPK, I understand your reasoning.

I read in the media that there was a crew change planned and a different crew was supposed to continue with that train in the morning.
Actually made me wonder why a new crew wouldn't pick up the train immediately and continue the journey - after all, "time is money"
But then again - the media reports are often wrong or misleading.

And, again from the media, the train was parked on the main line, not the siding where it would normally be parked, because there was another train parked on the siding already. Had it been parked on the siding and started to roll, it would probably have derailed at the turnout which would normally be set for the main line.
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Old Jul 24th, 2013, 07:51 PM   #86
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So it turns out my idea of mandatory rest may not be correct. After some searching, of all places, I found this information on a web site concerning Christian Life.

The author says he(?) is railway buff.

So it turns out that Nantes was the "crew change terminal" and this was the plan of the MM&A.

Quote:
Until last weekend, few Canadians outside La Belle Province had probably ever heard of the town of Lac-Mégantic. Now, in the aftermath of a huge disaster, we all have.

Lac-Mégantic is best known among Quebeckers as part of their picturesque cottage country, in the Québecois version of Ontario’s Muskoka. As a railway buff, I’ve known about the town because it had traditionally been a crew change point – once for the Canadian Pacific’s International of Maine Division; now the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway uses a spot a few miles to the northwest to change from Canadian crews to American crews (and vice-versa) for the cross-border journey.
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After all, trains of all sorts have been rolling through the town for a very long time. Many trains have tied down at Nantes (the spot where crew changes now take place) without incident. Whatever or whoever caused this catastrophe, one lesson we all can take from it is that one simple error in judgment, or one seemingly small prank, can have a ripple effect that has the potential to alter many people’s lives.
A lesson from Lac-Mégantic « Passionately His

So my hypothesis is blown apart for a "parked in the woods" scenario.

It did struck my ear when I heard the phrase "a place of rest" it seemed odd to hear those words in a news story and I associated those words with the Mandatory Rest Rules.
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 01:00 AM   #87
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In Lac-Megantic: Hundreds of Millions in Damages as Rail Company Pleads Poverty
Critics: Who is accountable to towns, families and ecosystems following 'unnatural fossil fuel disasters'?

..the private rail company responsible for the disaster has an insurance policy that will only cover a small fraction of the cost of cleanup.

In another example of an industry privatizing the profit yet socializing the cost, this revelation follows the news that the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MM&A) company filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, leaving the town, the victims' families, and the local ecosystem shouldered with the burden of this 'unnatural disaster.'

* * *

Edward Jazlowiecki, a U.S. lawyer representing a number of Lac-Mégantic families, optimistically points out that MM&A's parent company Rail World Group—which is ironically headed by the same man who chairs MM&A, Edward Burkhardt—"has assets all over the country."

Though, as LaSala notes, "Thanks to the power of lobbying, parent companies are usually protected. Companies are often able to act as judge and jury regarding who is eligible to receive damages, as in the case of Enbridge and the Kalamazoo spill."
(CommonDreams)
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 03:08 AM   #88
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Blame the government for its crony capitalism here. These arrangements, including limited damages for businesses, have their blessing.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 01:31 PM   #89
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Inside the oil-shipping free-for-all that brought disaster to Lac-Mégantic

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An investigation into the disaster and its causes.
  • Part 1: Last moments of Musi-Café (ebook free for subscribers)
  • Now: How a flawed pipeline on wheels brought disaster
  • Tuesday: The oil was known to be deadly
  • Wednesday: Why railways can do as they please in Canada
  • Complete coverage of Lac-Mégantic.

Long before disaster struck, the 5,900 residents of Lac-Mégantic had grown accustomed to the sight of large oil tankers rolling through their small, tightly knit community in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.
(Read the full story at the Globe & Mail)
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Old Dec 3rd, 2013, 12:40 PM   #90
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Runaway trains almost triple the reported rate, CBC investigation finds

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Two Decembers ago, a train rolled uncontrolled for 24 kilometres, reaching a speed of 100 kilometres an hour before eventually coming to a stop near the eastern Quebec town of Sept-Iles.

Five months earlier, 33 CN cars escaped from a yard near Edmonton and travelled more than five kilometres onto a line carrying residues of gasoline, diesel fuel and sulphuric acid in their tanks.

Cases like these — referred to technically as runaway rolling stock — happen on average 35 times a year, far more often than previously thought, CBC News has learned after examining a railway database kept by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).
Quote:
the majority of runaway train cases remain unreported publicly because they are categorized instead as derailments or collisions — without any indication that the train was rolling away uncontrolled at the time.
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Oftentimes, the cars don’t collide with other trains, derail or cause deaths, but they raise questions about the ability to secure railway cars in place.

But only nine of the 459 runaway-related occurrences — or about two per cent — have been fully investigated by the TSB, the independent agency charged with finding ways to make the rail industry safer.
(CBC)
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