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Dont ever call a locomotive engineer a motorman. That is for subways!

Unless you are in India, where the folks who operate EMUs are generally called Motormen.

 

Other than that, the people who operate engines are called Loco Pilots and Loco Pilot Assistants (LP and LPA for short) in India. In general there are two LP/LPA in the cab for all long distance trains in India. Also in general, only one Motorman in the cab on suburban EMUs.

 

 

Whereas in Britain a pilot is a locomotive that is typically used only within a given station, especially for the purposes of preparing and switching passenger cars. In steam days it would typically have been an older locomotive retired from front line duties, and could in case of a dire locomotive shortage be sent out onto the main line agiain .

 

 

In U. S. railroading, the term "pilot" referring to a member of the engine crew (the very front of a locomotive can also be called a 'pilot') is used in much the same way as a nautical pilot who guides a crew unfamiliar with a waterway in and out of harbor. Say you have an Amtrak train such as the California Zephyr and/or Southwest Chief, which normally operate in and out of Chicago on the ex-Burlington line to Galesburg through Naperville and Princeton. The Amtrak crew, which is qualified to operate the P42 locomotive, is also qualified to operate over that line which the train normally uses every day. Now, suppose that there is an accident or major track work which renders that line unusable and the decision is made to operate over the ex-Santa Fe line through Joliet. Amtrak has engineers who are all qualified to operate the P42s, but they are not familiar with that line. BNSF has many engineers who are familiar with that line; location of crossings, speed restrictions, and so forth; but most likely none of them are qualified to operate an Amtrak P42. So, what would happen is that Amtrak would request BNSF to supply a "pilot engineer" who would ride in the cab with the Amtrak engineer; the Amtrak engineer would operate the controls of the locomotive while the BNSF engineer would advise the Amtrak engineer about the locations of signal, grades, curves, grade crossings, and so forth until the Amtrak train was ready to re-enter its normal operating territory at (or near) Galesburg.

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Question about Qualifying: Once an Amtrak Engineer ( and Conductors) has worked an unfamiliar Route with a Pilot, are they now Qualified for that Route or does a Train or Road Master have to Qualify and Sign off on for the Engineer to be Qualified?

 

For example, when the Texas Eagles are rerouted each year on the old East Texas Mopac Route( now UP)due to Trackwork, the FTW-MHLConductors are qualified on this Route,( Crew change is in Hearne)but does a UP Pilot have to ride with the FTW-MHL Amtrak Engineer since this is a Daily Route for several weeks???

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Question about Qualifying: Once an Amtrak Engineer ( and Conductors) has worked an unfamiliar Route with a Pilot, are they now Qualified for that Route or does a Train or Road Master have to Qualify and Sign off on for the Engineer to be Qualified?

 

For example, when the Texas Eagles are rerouted each year on the old East Texas Mopac Route( now UP)due to Trackwork, the FTW-MHLConductors are qualified on this Route,( Crew change is in Hearne)but does a UP Pilot have to ride with the FTW-MHL Amtrak Engineer since this is a Daily Route for several weeks???

 

The qualification requirements vary by route. One trip with a pilot would not be sufficient to qualify an engineer over a new territory. Typically there is a minimum number of trips, plus a written exam, plus a ride-along with a road foreman to qualify on a new territory.

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What about light rail? I've often wondered whether the driver is called an engineer on those?

 

Not sure.... but I do know that while NYC Transit Subway operators are motormen/women/people... whatever, PATH train operators are, in fact, Engineers and have clothing/shirts that say "engineer" on them.

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What about light rail? I've often wondered whether the driver is called an engineer on those?

 

Not sure.... but I do know that while NYC Transit Subway operators are motormen/women/people... whatever, PATH train operators are, in fact, Engineers and have clothing/shirts that say "engineer" on them.

 

The consequences of trying to short circuit that process were quite apparent in the Cascades crash. I am actually surprised that someone is not taking Amtrak and WashDOT to the cleaners on that one.

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Yes, I used to hear that about PATH, that they are termed engineers. I believe that is because the trackage from Jersey City to Newark is over former Pennsylvania Railroad trackage and going back some years ago the cars bore PRR markings. I also recall conductors collecting tickets out of Newark, and then there was some quirky arrangement where a ten cent refund, or some small amount, was refunded st a ticket office at Journal Square.

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PATH is also implementing PTC like all main line railroads since they fall under FRA jurisdiction.

Edited by jis

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Back in the day, I worked for British Rail, and although only a "secondman", was often responsible for solo operation of the Liverpool Street "pilot" or switching engine. One had to know all the signals, points, etc, etc, for all the 18 platforms. Diesel engines in my day, don't think I would have had the stamina to shovel coal. :D

 

Drivers learing new routes would ride along in the cabs of trains, observing the signals, etc. Most would have had several years experience over routes as drivers assistants (secondmen) before becoming drivers.

 

One had to sign to the effect that you "knew the road" to know track speeds, signals, etc, for each route that your depot worked over.

 

Happy days!

 

Ed.

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PATH is also implementing PTC like all main line railroads since they fall under FRA jurisdiction.

The Staten Island Railway is also under FRA regulation's, but I don't know about PTC or whatever control system they currently use. I believe their R-44 subway cars have some mechanical modifications that differentiate them from their NYCTA version's. And their crew's are in railroad union's, not the subway union.

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Question about Qualifying: Once an Amtrak Engineer ( and Conductors) has worked an unfamiliar Route with a Pilot, are they now Qualified for that Route or does a Train or Road Master have to Qualify and Sign off on for the Engineer to be Qualified?

 

For example, when the Texas Eagles are rerouted each year on the old East Texas Mopac Route( now UP)due to Trackwork, the FTW-MHLConductors are qualified on this Route,( Crew change is in Hearne)but does a UP Pilot have to ride with the FTW-MHL Amtrak Engineer since this is a Daily Route for several weeks???

 

The qualification requirements vary by route. One trip with a pilot would not be sufficient to qualify an engineer over a new territory. Typically there is a minimum number of trips, plus a written exam, plus a ride-along with a road foreman to qualify on a new territory.

 

Agreed!

The most extreme case of this that I am aware of, was when Amtrak took over the Train and Engine crews in the mid-eighties. I knew one former BN engineer, that used to operate the CZ between Denver and Lincoln, bid on a Denver to Grand Junction assignment. The D&RGW made him 'qualify' for several month's, before they certified him, and he had about 15 or more years of experience. Mountain railroading is a whole lot different than the plains... :)

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PATH is also implementing PTC like all main line railroads since they fall under FRA jurisdiction.

The Staten Island Railway is also under FRA regulation's, but I don't know about PTC or whatever control system they currently use. I believe their R-44 subway cars have some mechanical modifications that differentiate them from their NYCTA version's. And their crew's are in railroad union's, not the subway union.

Yup.

 

According to Wikipedia:

Rolling stock consists of modified R44 subway-type cars with headlight dimmers, electric windshield defrosters, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)-compliant cab signals and horns, FRA regulation 223-required shatterproof glazing, and exterior-mounted grab rails near the side doors. The cars were built in early 1973, at the end of the R44 order of subway cars for New York City Transit, and were the last cars built by the St. Louis Car Company.

Edited by cpotisch

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Must say I am surprised that this discussion has moved forth to a second page without any reference to the Amtrak title for the position that operates trains - Passenger Engineer.

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PATH is also implementing PTC like all main line railroads since they fall under FRA jurisdiction.

The Staten Island Railway is also under FRA regulation's, but I don't know about PTC or whatever control system they currently use. I believe their R-44 subway cars have some mechanical modifications that differentiate them from their NYCTA version's. And their crew's are in railroad union's, not the subway union.
I thought the bustitution on SIRT that caused the Gathering itinerary to change was partly to facilitate PTC work. But I could be wrong.

 

Over the weekend there were outages on the PATH 33rd St. line for the same reason too.

 

Just like H&M’s (and PATH’s) past shared trackage with PRR put them under FRA jurisdiction, SIRT’s connection via SIRR to LV and Jersey Central put them under FRA jurisdiction.

Edited by jis

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When I visited the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, I learned that the strict hierarchy on board American trains was inherited from the steamboats and ocean liners in the 19th Century. I find that an interesting fact.

 

In Dutch the locomotive engineer is called ‘machinist’. In Swedish he/she is ‘lokförare’. The conductor in Dutch is ‘conducteur’ and in Swedish ‘tågvärd’ (literally, ‘train host’).

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