prototype drivers knowledge question

In the UK train drivers must spend time 'learning road' and then sign to confirm that they know the route(s). They are then allowed to drive
trains on that route without any other person in the cab.
Does the same apply to route knowledge in the US/Canada. Do they till have a 'second man' in the cab or do are trains driven with just one man?
--
Mike Hughes
A Taxi driver licensed for London and Brighton
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American roads require at least 2 persons in the cab for safety reasons. If the person running the loco has some problem for some reason, the second person can, at the least, take over the train and get it to a safe location. As an assist to the engineer (what you call a driver), there is also a deadman's pedal which requires that the engineer to occasionally touch a control to insure that he's still aware. The deadman's pedal will stop the train by applying the brakes and turn the throttle to the idle position.
-- Why do penguins walk so far to get to their nesting grounds?
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"Bob May"

The deadman's pedal is easily the most easily defeated "safety" device in the railway world. It's easily defeated by simply putting a heavy object, like a brake shoe, on the pedal. The deadman's pedal didn't prevent the Hinton accident where the head crew is assumed to have fallen asleep and over ran signals and ran head on into a Via passenger train, killing many.
-- Cheers
Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
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wrote:

Not any more. now you have to prove that you are alive and awake at periodic intervals. The old style pedals were going away 35 years ago when I was driving trains. I don't think they are even allowed in the EUA any more. I'll have to check and see tomorrow.
Froggy,
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Froggy@thepond.?.com.invalid writes

Saw this happen for real about 18 odd years ago. I'd managed to get a ride in the loco out of Vancouver on a VIA rail train (I was going to Hinton). The first thing that the driver (engineer) did was to force the deadman's pedal down using his red and yellow flags - they were just the right height to jam under the shelving above it! What's more this was after the Hinton crash as the two drivers were talking about it as they did this.
The tales of disaster didn't just stop there however as they were both recounting tales of accidents at various points along the line :-0

That's happened for nearly all (or is that now all) trains the UK. The driver must take his foot off the device within 10 seconds of a tone sounding otherwise the brakes will come on.
--
Mike Hughes
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wrote:

The last ones I used were integrated into the locomotive's control system such that if you changed the throttle setting, rang the bell, sounded the horn, or any of several other functions that only a live and conscious driver could perform, the system did not react. If more than fifteen seconds elapsed between events, a pair of lights would alternately flash for ten seconds. If the driver did not respond by either moving one of the locomotive controls or pressing a reset button, an alarm would sound for an additional ten seconds, after which time the throttle setting would be automatically reduced to zero and the brakes applied. Once the mechanism timed out, there was no way to override it. You had to wait until the train stopped completely, reset the brakes the same as you would have to for an emergency application, and then restart the train. I never knew of anyone devising a way to override the system. For about 99% of the time it was invisible to the user anyway, so it was not a problem or source of annoyance.
Froggy,
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Mike Hughes wrote:

Engineers, or "Drivers" operating trains on foreign lines in the US used to take "pilots" from the foreign road along for guidance. This happened when the usual route on the home road was inoperable for some reason and a detour on a neighboring road was required. I have read of at least one occurance of a train getting lost in the complicated trackwork around Chicago's South Side when there was no pilot aboard. --Chas.
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That's what I had in mind as, having been listening to some radio messages between dispatchers and crews, there is often a message giving speeds over sections. I believe that the signalling also informs drivers what speed to proceed at (different types for different railroads so local knowledge would be required here, but most have a similar meaning from what I'd read).
In the UK the new driver must, after receiving his initial training (no pun in tended) go out 'learning' roads so that he can then run trains on his own. With the greater emphasis on passenger trains than goods there are more trains run with just a driver. In fact there are now several trains running in Driver Only Operation (DOO) mode. The driver has to check that all passengers are safely on board by using CCTV cameras placed so that he can view them from the cab of his train. It's all down to cost cutting which is all fine until something happens and there is no one qualified to look after the safety of the train (but that's another story)
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Mike Hughes
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