Norel Pride | Chicago Reader

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Re: “My friend Brandon Bostian, the Amtrak 188 engineer

As a forty-year railroad career veteran former operating officer, conductor and engineer I would like to offer an opinion. The engineer bears the greatest responsibility and the conductor is only slightly less culpable. But along with these two (who should have already been charged with manslaughter and depraved indifference). These two and the Metro North crew in the other accident should be awaiting trial. You'll notice I said crew it's a two person (or more) crew on these trains they work together as a team. Also remote but part of the crew are their operating officers. These Trainmasters and Road Foremen bear some of the responsibility employees would not so grossly have violated the operating unless they felt there was a culture of tolerance for this type of sloppy performance. On a more personal note much has been made of the engineer's brillance. I would not hire a person with his education or his perceived brillance into an operating position. It has been my experience that the smarter they are the quicker they become bored with the job and want everything to run their way. I don't want the smartest guy in the room. I want the person who knows what a great job they have and wants only to earn a great living and go home safely at the end of the run. The "Union" will offer the view that we need two people in the operating compartment. This was not their position when they sold off the so called fireman and the second engineer. I believe a second person in the cab is a reasonable safety accomodation. Thanks for reading if you disagree don't bother me as I am already far too disagreeable!

8 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Norel Pride on 07/03/2015 at 11:18 AM

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