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Training on the railroad

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Posted: Friday, October 19, 2012 2:00 pm

Area law enforcement and first responders took part Thursday in the area’s first mock train crash which organizers said had multiple goals.

Claude Maher Sr., Operation Lifesaver Louis-iana executive director, said his organization mostly provides free presentations to students, drivers, law enforcement and first responders, but said they try to stage a train crash at least once a year.

The exercise came to New Iberia, in part, because of Michael Murphy, the Genesee & Wyoming Inc. southern region director of safety.

Murphy said there is a real issue with train accidents in the area.

“The amount we have is much higher than it should be,” he said of area train accidents.

So he talked to the regional safety manager William Jacobs about doing something to raise awareness in the area.

Operation Lifesaver was able to coordinate the drill, bringing in the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, State Police, New Iberia Fire Department and Acadian Ambulance.

The scene was set at the Louisiana and Delta Railroad maintenance yard on St. Mary Street.

The “accident” involved a sugar cane cart, a freight train and a vehicle. Emergency responders had to check on the conductor and engineer and the driver of the vehicle as well as a person injured in the accident who was a stowaway on the train.

Maher said stowaways are relatively common on freight trains. He said they decided to use the sugar cane cart in light of the season when 500,000 loads of sugar cane will be hauled through the region.

The drills, he said, serve to raise awareness to the public and train law enforcement and first responders.

There were several people on site in orange and red hats with whistles who were tasked with observing the drill to see what went right and what went wrong.

Had any responder put himself or herself in real, immediate danger, these observers would have blown their whistles and shut down the drill, Maher said.

Agencies who took part in the drill will be briefed today on what they need to improve.

Louisiana State Police Trooper Stephen Hammons, Troop I public information officer, said the drill was an opportunity for all agencies involved to build their knowledge for future crashes.

“Commonly when we respond to a train crash, we haven’t trained on it, so everything is very fluid,” he said. “Now by being able to train, we’ll have opportunity to go back on that training and hopefully correct any mistakes, if there are any. That way in the event there is a live train crash, we’re able to minimize mistakes and make corrections.”

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  • Missouri posted at 4:24 pm on Fri, Oct 19, 2012.

    Missouri Posts: 3

    Things a REAL railroad Operation Lifesaver (OL) group would ask!
    1. Why are all OL directors handpuppets of the railroad or government only giving lip service safety messages?
    2. Why nothing is ever mentioned by OL that would cost the railroads a penny on the obviously missing safety equipment and track maintenance work?
    3. Where are the crossing safety signals for the trains going too fast with no brakes or steering at 1,000s of crossings?
    4. Where are the track video monitors for the trains going too fast with no brakes or steering to get the train stopped IN TIME?
    5. Why aren't railroads paying at least half for crossing signals because it's their trains going too fast with no brakes or steering while paying the so-called RR directors millions a year.
    6. Why the crossing humps trapping big trucks aren't required to be removed?
    7. Why the crossing surfaces aren't wider where if a vehicle fish tails on slick road and is trapped at the edge of the crossing surface trap?
    8. Why the train cabs aren't required to be lit up like a Christmas tree with emergency vehicle light bars? LOOK AND SEE!
    9. Why the front of trains aren't required to have air bags or something to soften impacts?
    10. Why trains don't have better braking systems? OLIs message now shows train brakes obviously suck.
    11. Why there are no bidding invitations on the obviously overcharged crossing projects the tax-payers pay the railroads for. $10,000 just to get the equipment to the sight. TRUCKED IN.
    12. Why trains are allowed to run in the fog?
    13. Why the crossings aren't lit up so drivers can see the black rail cars across the tracks at night?
    14. Why railroads remove and steal signals we paid for on closed re-worked crossings?
    15. Why $$$millions$$$ of the rail safety budget we pay in is wasted on needless reworks at crossings preventing signals where needed?
    16. Why the railroad isn't required to de-ice crossings before they roll the trains?
    17. Why the railroad isn't required to raise their overpasses so big trucks can get under them? The railroad wants to double stack and our road overpasses are too low---no problem WE PAY MILLIONS.
    18. Why drug/alcohol tests aren't done on rail crews at crossing/pedestrian collisions?
    19. Why railroads are allowed to get off with the train black box , signal black box (if crossing signals are present), and cab video at crossing/pedestrian collisions?
    20. Why the fact is hidden that trains kill a few thousand people in 100 million train miles when regular drivers have like ONE death?
    21.Why Amtrak passengers aren't required to look at the despicable shape of the crossings before they board the trains?
    22.Why train horns aren't blown at private crossings till the last second freezing drivers?
    23.Why the railroads track lights can't be at a crossing?
    24.Why railroads need track lights and civilians don't?
    WAITING FOR OLI/OLI.CA response.

  • Missouri posted at 4:24 pm on Fri, Oct 19, 2012.

    Missouri Posts: 3

    So how much is the railroad being paid for this jury tampering dog and pony show?


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