Jump to content




Photo

Ward of CSX says one man crew across the board is inevitable


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,614 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 18 January 2017 - 03:55 PM

http://trn.trains.co...one-person-crew




There's going to be autonomous vehicles out there. There's no question. The only question is when and how much they will be deployed, Ward says. With CSX planning to deploy positive train control by 2020, one does have to question why there has to be two people in the crew.

Longer term, that something were going to have to address, Ward adds, saying that he expects challenging negotiations with labor unions about the issue.

But he says one-person crews are inevitable. Its just a question of when.


Specially if driverless trucks start happening in a big way, I don't see why even a one man crew would be required. Persons will be needed to recover from significant screwups, but for normal operation?

Maybe railroads will become major user of helicopters to get crew out to locations where they are needed in a hurry. :)


Edited by jis, 19 January 2017 - 12:58 PM.


#2 caravanman

caravanman

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,899 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nottingham, England.
  • Interests:Open minded travel, in which the journey is often as interesting as the destination...

Posted 18 January 2017 - 05:03 PM

When you look at the sheer size of USA freight trains, the huge tonnage moved in one train, does the cost of a couple of crew men's wages make any big dent in the revenues?

 

With all these driverless moves, it seems as if we humans are becoming less important. Almost  like drones, slaves to the queen bee of big business.

 

(No, I haven't been drinking, yet!).   :)

 

Ed. 


Edited by caravanman, 18 January 2017 - 05:03 PM.


#3 cirdan

cirdan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,923 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 January 2017 - 04:34 AM

Personnel costs are one of the big advantages railroads have over trucks. Today a truck needs somebody behind the wheel all the time that its moving.

 

If a train can carry the payload of N trucks, for large N the personnel cost per truck equivalent goes towards zero.

 

Now if you bring in driverless trucks, that leverage is suddenly lost. Even if trains go totally driverless, this is going to be a huge challenge for railroads.

 

In some cases railroads are also faster than trucks, but only because they are comparing to single-crew trucks for which the driver needs to stop for breaks and needs to stop to sleep.

 

Driverless trucks would pulverize that advantage.

 

When it comes to door to door timings, I can see huge chunks of railroad business being at risk here.



#4 Shortline

Shortline

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,026 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:All over the United States

Posted 19 January 2017 - 12:24 PM

Not only that, but eventually, probably within my lifetime on some routes, there will be no crew members on board at all. The technology is here now, and rapidly advancing. It's already in use in Australia with some success. I was able to see a demo of the software a year ago, was incredible. US Railroads are already adopting some of that technology to assist the engineer in efficiently running the train, for maximum economy. It's not a large leap, to make it autonomous. Grade crossing upgrades are a large part of the challenge to implement, as of course are the labor unions who understandably oppose this kind of technology. But I bet several routes in the US will be engineer-less within 15-20 years. I'd be very surprised if it doesn't happen that quick.


Broadway Limited, Ann Rutledge, Misouri Mule, Misouri River Runner, San Diegan, Surfliner, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited, Crescent, Texas Eagle, Blue Water, Wolverine, Pennsylvanian, 3 Rivers, Hiawatha, Heartland Flyer, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Lake Shore Limited, Capitol Limited, Northeast Regional, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Downeaster, City of New Orleans, City of New Orleans via Pullan Rail Journeys.


#5 cirdan

cirdan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,923 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:06 PM

Absolutely. Driverless cars from people like Tesla can cope in unknown and unexpected environemnts.

 

On a railroad, going automatic should be much easier as the route is known and you can teach your computer exactly what to expect. The computer would continuously compare what the forward-facing camera is showing with what it has been taught and anything unexpected would be analyzed and the reacted to appropriately. This could be a trespasser on the line, a fallen tree, a broken down vehicle, a landslide ...

 

Goping unstaffed also has other advantages. One of the reasons railroad run very long trains is due to staffing costs. Without these costs you can run shorter trains more frequently. This would give customers more choice and make operations more flexible. Maybe you can even get autonomous dmu-style vehicles that automatically combine to trains but then split up again and run to their final destinations.



#6 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,614 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:10 PM

Out in Dubai I saw completely crewless operation of their Metro system and was very impressed. What impressed me most is that the trains accelerate and decelerate smoothly and stop exactly at the right spot without jerking to a stop like WMATA does for example, and the doors are always perfectly aligned with the platform screen doors. All stations have platform screen doors irrespective of whether they are underground on ground or elevated, and all platforms are air conditioned.

 

All photo copyrights duly acknowledged....

 

A Red line train departing the Mall of the Emirates station which is said to be one of the busiest on the system ...

 

dubai-metro-3.jpg

 

Station platform with a train at the platform at Dubai Mall, the stations serving the Dubai Mall area including the world's tallest building the Burj Khalifa.

dubai-metro-train-station-at-the-dubai-m



#7 Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,932 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Америка
  • Interests:Travel by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Posted 19 January 2017 - 01:42 PM

I can't wait for the first antonymous hazmat haul to be hacked and cracked into beyond envelope operations.

We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#8 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,614 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 19 January 2017 - 02:50 PM

It does open up all sorts of interesting opportunities, doesn't it? It will surely be interesting to see how they secure such operations, In principle trucks would be even more dangerous than trains when it come to what you can achieve through a hijack.



#9 tp49

tp49

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,772 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 19 January 2017 - 06:43 PM

Besides the Duabi metro, which by the way is the only metro I've ever taken that has a "first class" section, IIRC the Vancouver Sky Train is also driverless.

 

One of my concerns using driverless freights would be use through grade crossings and the liability issues and potential for increasases in lawsuits.



#10 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,614 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 19 January 2017 - 10:39 PM

Yeah it has the Gold Car and then it has something called the Family Car neither of which I got to ride.

#11 Shortline

Shortline

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,026 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:All over the United States

Posted 19 January 2017 - 10:41 PM

I can't wait for the first antonymous hazmat haul to be hacked and cracked into beyond envelope operations.


You'look just have to wait a while. Until then, we can simply enjoy the regular everyday Human Error operating beyond envelope incidents.

Edited by Shortline, 19 January 2017 - 10:45 PM.

Broadway Limited, Ann Rutledge, Misouri Mule, Misouri River Runner, San Diegan, Surfliner, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited, Crescent, Texas Eagle, Blue Water, Wolverine, Pennsylvanian, 3 Rivers, Hiawatha, Heartland Flyer, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Lake Shore Limited, Capitol Limited, Northeast Regional, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Downeaster, City of New Orleans, City of New Orleans via Pullan Rail Journeys.


#12 neroden

neroden

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,030 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Ithaca, NY
  • Interests:Please feel free to moderate my posts

Posted 05 February 2017 - 12:35 AM

Specially if driverless trucks start happening in a big way, I don't see why even a one man crew would be required. Persons will be needed to recover from significant screwups, but for normal operation?

First of all, there will still almost certainly be a person on every truck, even if they aren't driving them. Same applies to trains...

Look at London's Docklands Light Rail. No drivers, but they do have "train captains", or guards (UK parlance) -- basically conductors. Makes people much more comfortable and increases safety, even though all the "train captains" do is sit around reading novels 90% of the time.

They're like security guards, who also spend most of their time doing absolutely nothing, and are still valuable.

The important thing to realize: the one man crew on the freight train will be the conductor. Not the engineer. Nobody needs to drive the train, but someone needs to report incidents, signal failures, suspicious things to the dispatcher; somebody needs to uncouple and couple defective cars; etc. etc. Somebody needs to deter vandalism against active trains. Somebody needs to call the police when necessary and the fire department when necessary. It'll make sense to have a conductor.

At a freight yard nobody has to be on the trains because the guy making the moves by remote control can do the conductor's "troubleshooting" role. But that's not feasible "on the road".

Anyway, with the antiquated union structure in the US, this is going to be a mess for the freight railroads. BLET/UTU conflict will probably make things more complicated.

Edited by neroden, 05 February 2017 - 12:46 AM.

--Nathanael--

Please feel free to moderate my posts.

#13 neroden

neroden

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,030 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Ithaca, NY
  • Interests:Please feel free to moderate my posts

Posted 05 February 2017 - 12:38 AM

Absolutely. Driverless cars from people like Tesla can cope in unknown and unexpected environemnts.

No, they can't. Common fantasy. I've studied this extensively enough to say with absolutely definitive certainly, that's what they *can't* do. Most of the work is about training them to handle as many environments as possible.
--Nathanael--

Please feel free to moderate my posts.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users