Inexperience a factor again in remote control wreck
A serious remote control-related train wreck took place at the General Motors plant in Shreveport, La., on July 23, just one week after the technology was implemented at that location.
Remote control operations were initiated on the Union Pacific-run rail line at the plant in mid-July, and on July 23, a loading ramp at the plant was struck by a railcar being moved by a remote control locomotive.
The impact of the crash pushed the rail loading ramp 14 feet south into the parking lot where it hit yard van number 335. The accident, which occurred at 11:40 a.m., destroyed track number two at the plant's rail yard.
The crew, whom were both newly certified remote control operators, came on duty at 8:01 a.m. One of the crew members was only certified as a remote control operator on July 18, five days before the accident.
"This accident demonstrates what the BLET has been saying all along," said BLET National President Don M. Hahs. "Remote control is being implemented without its operators being properly trained or experienced. It is a dangerous technology being placed in the hands of employees without the years of knowledge or experience to properly use it."