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Old 02-26-2010, 11:02 PM   #91
ZenGum
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Investigative journalism is very nearly dead.
Most readers want easily digestible answers so they know who to blame; doesn't matter if they're correct. Managers want profit - more stories from fewer staff - so journalists have become churnalists - recycling press releases and web stories. And that is before we even get into sinister conflict of interest/mass-manipulation/distraction issues.

Oooh look look! Brangelina may be breaking up!

Frankly, for this issue at least, I'd trust the cellar investigative team more than I'd trust even the WaPo.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:25 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tw View Post
Meanwhile glatt did the reporter's job. Kudos.
glatt did an excellent job of figuring out why the operator of that train couldn't possibly stop in time under manual control.

But that is not the meat of this investigation, which is why the automatic controls don't work, haven't worked for quite a while, and they've been unable to fix them.

Insulting the general public as stupid, because the don't understand the technical details, is unfair and just mean spirited.
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:39 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Insulting the general public as stupid, because the don't understand the technical details, is unfair and just mean spirited.
I am saying the public is so intelligent as to need those numbers. You are saying people are so dumb that their eyes glaze over. So deny everyone the critical facts.

Numbers and facts (ie bobbing) are so critical so that the 1% can further inform the other curious minority. How to keep everyone dumb? Deny facts so that the 1% or 5% cannot inform the rest. So that extremists can control the stage with their emotional tirades.

How to create extremists. Don't provide facts and numbers. Then 70% of Americans will believe Saddam had WMDs and attacked the WTC. Learn from history. Stop calling Americans too dumb to understand numbers.

We should be talking about who is guilty of murder - now that the safety board provided numbers the reporter could not bother to provide.
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:46 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
glatt did an excellent job of figuring out why the operator of that train couldn't possibly stop in time under manual control.
Was never able to discover when the train fully braked so aggressively as to blue rails. But why that braking did not continue in the second half of the stopping efforts. Did the train operator stop breaking or ease off the brakes during the second half of that deceleration? Could not find an answer for why rails suffered bluing and skid marks only in the first half; not in the second half.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:26 AM   #95
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That is a damn good question. I wonder if the investigation will even address it.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:24 AM   #96
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My understanding from what little I've read about the bakes is that when the train is in automatic mode, driven by the computer, you apply the brakes by hitting the panic button. The brakes then go on with full force and don't come off. It's an all or nothing emergency brake.

Gradual braking can only be done if the train is in manual mode and the driver is actually driving.

During the crash, this train was in automatic mode.

There's something strange going on if the skid marks stop and then continue again.
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:53 PM   #97
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There's something strange going on if the skid marks stop and then continue again.
Your picture shows the same thing. The bluing of steel rails are marked where it started and stopped. I can think of maybe five different reasons for this. For example, the braking system adjusts for maximum braking after first locking the wheels. Or the operator ran for her life (which is not supported by anything in witness testimony or in the operator's body). Or it is normal for bluing to stop once the wheels get so hot. Or ...

It simply remains a curious question. I saw nothing that explains that behavior.

Most curious is testimony of one 'sandaled' passenger sitting in the middle of the first car. He saw the front start collapsing. He ran. Whereby the floor and carpeting picked him up that placed him in the back of the car up in the ceiling. He was unhurt. And the guy sitting across from him who did not run also walked away unhurt. Another curiosity.

The investigation is done. Reason why this crash happened was even traced to oscillations from a push pull amplifier. Feedback that occurred only when installers increased output power. And explains why this problem also caused bobbing on other adjacent tracks five days before nine people were murdered.

So much information that I may have missed it: why rail 'bluing' is only in the first half of that crash.

BTW, also interesting is a train operator who literally disobeyed Central command (OCC) instructions to stop in Silver Springs. Who proceeded to the next station anyway. Attitude among Metro employees was (apparently) that bad. The train that nearly harmed investigators because it passed at full speed instead of a required 10 MPH - and was reported by the Washington Post. Both he and his supervisor were reprimanded for being that irresponsible. But it does not say what happened to them - how they were punished or retrained. Or if they were only doing what management encouraged.

Information in that safety investigation implies repeatedly why 40% of all rail fatalities occur on the Metro system. We should be discussing murder charges in Metro management.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:35 PM   #98
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Documented are safety problems (bobbing) that existed for years without resolution. That a repair crew even left the offending signals bobbing five days before the fatal crash. Another report demonstrates why these are not accidents. Why 85% of all problems are directly traceable to top management. From the Washington Post of 5 Mar 2010:
Quote:
FTA delivers scathing report on safety of D.C. Metro
The sternly worded report ... was the first in-depth look at Metro's safety program ... It revealed deep-rooted deficiencies at the transit agency and its independent oversight committee, highlighting vulnerabilities in the systems that are supposed to safeguard passengers and workers, he said.

The report excoriates Metro executives and the independent safety monitors at the Tri-State Oversight Committee, citing failures that include:

Metro has no process to ensure that safety problems are identified in a timely fashion. Top leaders don't receive regular reports about safety issues. The safety office has been marginalized within the agency, lacks access to key data about subway operations and has been left out of decision-making.

As a result of those problems, the report says, the safety office has allowed known hazards to remain uncorrected for years.
That's sufficient for Daily News (tabloid) readers. For others who learn the whys before knowing anything, useful facts are buried at the end of the article:
Quote:
Federal auditors found systematic failings in the way Metro identifies and prevents safety problems. Metro has no process or "single point of responsibility" to guarantee that hazards are spotted quickly. The agency has no database for long-term tracking of safety issues. When auditors asked for a list of the "top 10" safety concerns, they were told that Metro had no such list.

Top Metro executives also make critical decisions about operations without analyzing potential hazards, auditors found. Nor is there effective coordination among key operating departments -- such as rail operations, track maintenance and engineering -- to find and manage maintenance-related safety issues, Rogoff said.

The FTA report said Metro's safety office "is not 'plugged-in' to critical conversations, decision-making meetings and reporting systems that provide information on hazards and potential safety concerns throughout the agency." Critical documents, reports and decisions are not shared with the safety office, the report says.

Auditors also said that since 2007, when Catoe took over, four people have been in charge of safety. The department has been reorganized six times in five years, losing personnel and technical expertise. One-fourth of the 41 staff positions allocated to safety remain vacant. Safety, the report said, "has insufficient resources to keep up with a growing backlog of accident and incident investigations."
We see this when business school graduates do what is taught in those schools. "A good manager can manage any business." We should be discussing murder charges. The business school mentality – it was only an accident.

View back 6 months to earlier posts. How long ago were the symptoms screaming 'failure at the highest levels of management'? How criminally negligent are those failures now that facts have arrived? It is classic business school attitude - there is plenty of blame to go around. Nonsense. We should be talking murder charges. It was not an accident.
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:44 PM   #99
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If it's not intentional, it's an accident. Even preventable accidents, are accidents.
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:55 PM   #100
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If it's not intentional, it's an accident. Even preventable accidents, are accidents.
Which works with business school concepts. And is contrary to the well proven concepts taught by W E Deming. This is no accident. Management had to intentionally pervert all well understood and required safety functions to make death possible. Alienate safety functions which, on spread sheets, means reduced costs.

Those technicians ended their shift reporting that the interlock was bobbing - on both rails. For five days, nobody did anything. No management system even existed to detect what the employees knew. That was an accident? Only if you are from a business school where failure is an option. Where human life is measured in dollars. And where technical knowledge of the business is something dirty to avoid.

They did not even have a list of their top ten greatest safety problems. Typical of management that is only concerned with spread sheets. And that is trained to call it an accident so that Deming's concepts can be ignored.

It was no accident. Deaths directly traceable to overt and intentional negligence at the highest levels of Metro management. Quoted reports make that obvious. They did not do their jobs – for years. They even subverted safety functions - for years. So people died - uselessly.

We are waiting for their defense: there is plenty of blame to go around. Blame others. Maybe we should blame the victims for their own death?
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:55 PM   #101
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Damn straight. Anyone fool enough to ride the Washington subway knows what they are letting themself in for. We should make those bleeding heart whingers pay for the cost of the inquiry! I mean, there wouldn't have been any deaths at all if they hadn't got on that train. Simple.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:55 AM   #102
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You're joking, but it's actually true. The riders are paying for all of this. Ridership has gone down since the accident and since the economy has taken a hit, and as a result, Metrorail has raised fares to cover the budget gap. Once the lawsuits from the victims have gone through, and they have received their millions of dollars, Metrorail will be out even more money, and fares will be raised again. The riders are the customers, and we will pay for it all.

Metro used to be a world class transit agency, but it's looking more an more like it was ruined by one person. Catoe.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:53 PM   #103
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Cato? Washington est delenda and all that?
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:15 PM   #104
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The Washington subway system is still being run in manual mode, and this time, it looks like it prevented an accident. The details aren't clear, but it looks like a couple days ago the signaling system allowed two trains to get too close to each other. One was about to rear end a stopped train in a station and the driver engaged the emergency brake to prevent a crash. Some speed control system appeared to be malfunctioning and let the second train enter the station too fast.



This sucks.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:22 PM   #105
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For crying out loud, hasn't tw got that fixed yet?
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