Inexperience a factor again in RCO crash

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.

Both crew members were newly certified remote control operators. 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 we have said all along," said BLET President Don Hahs. "Remote control is being implemented without its operators being properly trained or experienced. It is a dangerous technology when placed in the hands of employees without experience."



© 2005 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen