Railroads: Human Performance

"Human Performance"

Two weeks after the Amtrak-Conrail collision outside Baltimore that claimed 16 lives, investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration had yet to find an equipment failure that would account for the tragedy. Instead, said FRA Administrator John Riley, the probe was focusing on the "human performance" of the train crews -- and the evidence was disturbing.

For starters, both trains were speeding: the Amtrak passenger train was 23 miles over its limit of 105 m.p.h., and the Conrail freight locomotives were traveling at 62 to 65 m.p.h., although a signal had warned the crew to slow down to 30.

Blood and urine...

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