How Are Trains Getting Into So Many Accidents?
I love a good train ride, hundreds of thousands of pounds of steel gently coasting along two 4 inch rails. Inertia carrying the momentum of its weight to the point it takes miles to begin a stop. These things are quite literally guided on tracks to your next destination. I honest can’t understand the continual failure behind these modern marvels.
There is a phenomenal book by Matthew Syed called Black Box Thinking. Where he discusses the line of thinking in the airline industry. That has lead to a drastic reduction in air disasters over the years. You rarely ever hear of a plane crash, let alone two in quick succession. It’s because in that industry, every incident or failure is painstakingly scrutinized in an effort to limit or altogether eliminate those air disasters in the future. Yet so few industries adopt this line of thinking, no one wants to except blame. But it is so necessary for becoming better in all areas of your field. Especially so when innocent lives are on the line. When you are a bureaucracy like Amtrak I imagine it’s not easy to pin point where these cracks that are causing the dam to break are.
Is Amtrak looking to put itself out of business? They are a bureaucratic government entity, which I believe I once read, has consistently loss money year over year. A good way to shut down a business would be to have multiple crashes with a few months of each other. Are they hiring inexperienced train conductors who are bound to fail at some point? That is definitely an area you don’t want to fail in, when others lives are on the line. You should have so much training in the beginning, that you get those learning curve failures out of the way before you ever have another passenger. I seems like they might be opening the door to a liquidation event. It would make sense to outsiders to now privatize and sell off the assets to the highest bidder and essentially giving the corporate buyer a near monopoly on cross country passenger trains.
How is it we live in a day and age where cars can nearly safely drive themselves with all the obstacles faced on the road at any given time of day. Planes can fly themselves. And yet we haven’t built an auto pilot for a train? All it would have to do, is simply guide itself along at the right speed. Heck, their guidance system is already firmly nailed into the earth.
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