MTA Entraps Train Operators With Non-Working Speedometers

1920px-R68_unused_full_cabI remember when I spoke to RTO VP Eric Loegel back in January and he was telling me it’s nothing the union can do regarding the MTA putting cameras in our operating cabs because the National Transportation Safety Board recommended it after an accident on another railroad.

He said the MTA don’t want no problems with the NTSB so they basically implement everything that the NTSB recommends — even it’s not on our railroad. I then told Loegel if that’s the case, we have to find out what the NTSB recommends that’s beneficial to us that the MTA doesn’t do and hold them accountable — he agreed.

Something just didn’t sit right with me where T/O’s have to take a guesstimate on their exact speed, but Supervision are allowed to use radar guns — to me that gives management an unfair advantage, especially when levying discipline in speed related incidents.

The whole “feel” of the train originated from the 3 points of power from the master controller (switching, series & parallel). Each point power gives a minimum and maximum amount of power within that point. For example: The Series position gives you speeds between 10 – 20 mph, with no specific way to actually gage the numbers in between without a working speedometer. Not to mention your exact speed also depends on the grade of the track.

Upon Progressive Action doing extensive research regarding this topic we found following a rear end train collision at the 103 street station in 1989, the NTSB recommended the following to the MTA…

– “Provide speed indicators on each car in service on the system to allow train operators the ability to properly determine speed ”. (see attached picture).

The NTSB see fit that all train cars in service should have speedometers — but why the MTA hasn’t followed this specific recommendation? Maybe because they benefit from the fines levied on employees through “entrapment”.

The MTA have become one of the most hypocritical and vile agencies I’ve ever worked at. They pick and choose what rules to implement and or ignore depending on how it benefits them. They will spend all this money training you for the job and then spend the next 25 years vehemently trying to fire you. For some reason all liability is unfairly put on the shoulders of train crews and we are held to the highest degree of the MTA law or be severely punished — while managers escape unscathed. There’s no in between with them.

I think the RTO leadership should hold the MTA accountable for not following the NTSB recommendations regarding these non functioning speedometers and start taking trains OOS if they aren’t working. It’s a obvious safety issue that the NTSB feel should be implemented for both the safety of passengers and employees.

What will the Local 100 leadership do to address this hypocritical issue on what the MTA implement and what they don’t implement? The ball is now in Local 100 court, all the proof is provided!

NTSB 103 Street Collision in 1989

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