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TTC103

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  1. If 'rear-cabbing' refers to a degraded mode procedure for when the controls in the front cab can't be used, that is not what I am referring to. In that situation, the act of manipulating the controls to move the train takes place in the rear, but the employee at the front is solely responsible for determining if it is safe to move forward. Rear-cabbing is a two-man procedure because the TTC does not permit staff to perform the operator's safety risk assessment from anywhere but the front of the train. Yes, both operators were trained on how to perform the 'operator' and 'guard' positions, but there is a requirement for employees to perform those roles from specific locations on the train. If you take line 2, for example, you will always see the operator in the cab at the front, because employees are only allowed to perform the operator's duties from that location on the train. Someone who performs these duties from the third car is committing a safety violation, because they were never trained on how to safely drive a train from that position. This is also the rationale for why bus and streetcar operators are not allowed to reverse without a spotter: if you can't see where you are going, you can't determine if it is safe to move. We both agree that the driver was relying on the guard to determine if it was safe to move forward. The union claims that the driver was so reliant on the guard's risk assessment that operating without a guard poses an imminent threat to life. The problem with this is the northbound operator is now moving the train based on the safety assessment of an unqualified person. The southbound operator's qualification to drive trains is conditional on him/her being in the front cab, so he/she was not authorized to decide if the northbound move is safe. This is a serious health and safety violation. As an example, imagine that a bus operator is talking to an deadheading operator while operating their bus. While the deadheading operator is not responsible for the safe operation of the bus they are on, they are always free to notify the operator in the seat if they see something unsafe. If the deadheading operator fails to notice the unsafe situation, and that results in a near-fatal incident, we would not normally blame them because they do not have any safety responsibilities related to that vehicle's operation. If the operator in the seat were to accuse the deadheading operator of causing the incident by failing to notice the unsafe situation, it would be reasonable for management to terminate the operator in the seat because they they chose not to perform their responsibilities. If there were some informal agreement that the deadheading operator would perform some safety-critical tasks for the operator in the seat, management would also be justified in disciplining that operator, because they are only qualified to do that when in the seat.
  2. No safety incident ever has one singular cause, but is the culmination of multiple factors that all occurred simultaneously. From my perspective (based on the reports publicly available and the Union's claims about the incident), I assess the following factors as having caused the near miss: 1) The pocket track at Osgoode is very short (making it impractical to make the South move without unwanted brake interventions), so the TTC chose not to install the CBTC ATP system on the pocket track. This necessitated Manual operation for the north move. 2) The signaller gave instructions to both operators simultaneously, and was busy rerouting other trains in the area. This forced the northbound operator to perform the northbound move without any external supervision, which deviation from the rulebook (whether a mistake or conscious violation) could result in an unsafe situation. 3) The southbound operator stopped short of the proper stopping position, which meant that the northbound operator could not view the signal in the pocket track that he needed to see to determine if it was safe to proceed. 4) The northbound operator erroneously believed it was safe to proceed. This was influenced by numerous factors: i) The driver saw the switch in the pocket track move after the train cleared it, which he though was his route being set up ii) The driver believed that Automatic train stop was active in the pocket, which was caused in part by the signaller using language specific to that system (favourable signal), and seeing the trip arm in the driven position. iii) The driver believed that the route information displayed in the cab was a movement authority. ATU Local 113's description of the incident also highlights another factor, which was not mentioned in any TTC reports released to the public. iv) The northbound operator allowed an unauthorized person (the southbound operator) to control the train during the northbound move. While the southbound operator was trained on how to drive a train, they were only taught how to do this from the cab at the front of the train, so he/she was not authorized to determine if it was safe to make the northbound move. While the northbound move took place, the northbound operator was on the phone with the southbound operator during the move, who was monitoring the rear of the train. While the southbound operator is always allowed to notify the northbound operator if they see an unsafe situation, the northbound operator is not permitted to use the southbound operator's observation to determine if it is safe to move. Based on the statement of Carlos Santos, acting as President of the Union: “The near-crash at Osgoode highlights the crucial safety role played by the guard — the crew member located at the back of each train who is able to see dangerous situations that the driver cannot see,” the northbound operator based his decision to move the train in part on the safety risk assessment of the southbound operator, which is not permitted. 5) The route set up for train 114 did not have adequate flank protection. Switch 5A is normally in set in the direction of the northbound track when no route is set up, so there is a risk that a train exiting the pocket without authority will foul the northbound mainline. To mitigate this risk, the route occupied by run 114 should have included the section of track between switch 5A and 7A in addition to the northbound mainline. If this had been done, the act of run 123 leaving the pocket would have resulted in a brake intervention on train 114. This is the 'exported hazard' mentioned in the TSE Report. I call these five factors 'causes' because they all were necessary for the near-miss to occur. My view is that the northbound operator committed misconduct by letting the southbound operator decide if it was safe to move the train north, and the southbound operator knowingly performed a safety risk assessment he/she was not authorized to make. While the TTC clearly failed to take adequate measures to prevent the incident, the operators' explanation for their actions during the northbound move do not pass the common-sense test. I would think it is obvious that trains must be driven from the front. The case against the operators on run 123 is interesting, because their actions straddled the line between safety-conscious behaviour (stopping unsafe work) and gross misconduct (letting an unauthorized person drive a commission vehicle). I don't think the TTC acted unreasonably against either of them: when the incident occurred, the TTC was under the impression that the northbound operator made a mistake, and the southbound operator (as a bystander) acted to stop an unsafe situation. Under this interpretation of events, neither employee did anything wrong. This is the position taken by the TSE report, which does not address the role of the southbound operator in the erroneous decision to proceed (if the southbound operator had a responsibility to determine if the northbound move was safe, their factors contributing to their mistake, and the rulebook section outlining their responsibilities as guard would have been included). The claim by the union that the incident showed that OPTO is unsafe (implying that the southbound operator had a responsibility to determine if the northbound move was safe from the rear cab) would have been the first time that the TTC would have been aware of misconduct related to the incident. I can understand that there may have been some confusion about responsibilities (given both employees are trained on how to drive), but their continued refusal to follow basic health & safety rules gives management no choice but to take disciplinary action.
  3. You realize the TTC ordered Alstom to design the Osgoode Interlocking without proper flank protection, which resulting in a near-fatal incident? The proper route set up involves occupying the section of track between the equilateral switch in the pocket and the trailing switch, so that fouling results in the MA being revoked. A systematic and structured migration would have been one where TTC listened to the signalling engineers at Alstom that told them the route set up was not safe. The reality is that nearly every installation of Alstom CBTC does not have wayside signals, as all safety-critical information is communicated from radio to train. Some of these were GoA2 Applications, like the migration of the Amsterdam Metro, and GoA4 applications in Lille, Lausanne, Hong Kong and Singapore. These systems work using a traffic management system which contains the paths for each train and their order at interlocking locations, with is used to set and release routes, and are designed to function without any external input, obviating the need for the switch position to be communicated to the driver. This isn't marketing wank: it's how the system is designed to work. I recognize that migrating to a signalling system that doesn't show the route is large change for drivers on the broad gauge lines, but this is how the system is designed to work, and is how signalling works in all of Continental Europe. I understand that this is not something they are used to, but it does not mean that the system is defective. Instead of blaming Alstom for not providing something they don't offer, the TTC should work with Alstom to develop procedures for rescheduling, rerouting and reordering trains in the event of a disruption to ensure that supervisory staff understand how to properly do this. I feel like this issue is a good example of why things cost so much for the TTC. I'm sure that Alstom has proposed changes to how the TTC reschedules trains to ensure that trains are always correctly routed, but the TTC and its workers seem to think they understand the problem better than the Alstom's safety engineers, who almost certainly have dealt with this issue before for clients operating driverless trains. If you constantly ignore the advice of experts, and then turn around and blame them after something goes wrong, they might not want to work for you anymore, or they will start charging extra to offset the cost of working with a difficult customer.
  4. It's an Automatic Train Operation System that operates over a speed-based signalling system. It's supposed to perform route-setting without any human input, so there is no need to show route.
  5. Route setting is automatic, based on the train ID (which identifies the path). There is no human involvement in route setting outside of degraded operations scenarios. There are documented cases of ATS systems misrouting trains in other migrations. On the migration of the Hong Kong East Rail Line to CBTC (by Siemens), there were issues where late communication of a switch being released (from ATP to ATS) resulted in the ATS not having enough time to safely request the new route. I am not sure if that is the case here, but the solution is to ensure that trains are properly identified by the ATS, and that the system is provisioning enough time to safely set up a new route. The Alstom Urbalis ATP system is a cab signaling system with continuous transmission between train and signaling system, so there is no need for any wayside equipment other than track-clear detection at interlocking locations and to measure the train's length after cab set up. Adding wayside route signaling increases costs with zero benefit to operations. It also reduces driver awareness as to which mode they are operating in, which was one of the causes of the Osgoode near-miss. Replacing the signals with TVM or ETCS boards to mark EoA locations is cheaper and safer.
  6. My point was that the TTC accepted the Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) system from Alstom in its current state, where it occasionally misroutes trains, giving rise to the issues you mention. The system is supposed to be capable of GoA4, where there is no driver to notice if the train is being misrouted. The solution you propose (giving the driver route information), while eliminating the issue of passengers being carried into the yard, does not fixed the core issue (that the ATS system cannot reliably identify the route the train needs), and results in less reliable service. Every time a train is incorrectly routed, the driver has to stop the train, and call the signaller to get the proper route set before proceeding. While route cancelling is faster with CBTC compared to Automatic Train Stop, this action results in less reliable travel times, which reduces Line 1's realizable capacity. Given the importance of Line 1 to the TTC, and the need for increased capacity, it is critical that the ATS system function properly. Then again, the TTC is a notoriously difficult customer, and management has a history of ignoring vendors' advice.
  7. The TTC should not have accepted an Auto Route Setting system that regularly misroutes trains. Other agencies wouldn’t tolerate this from a vendor. Or maybe the TTC isn’t properly assigning train IDs. Do the misroutes into the yard occur to trains following on runs into the yard/storage track (as intended). If that’s the case, the ATS system isn’t properly spacing trains, causing the switch to lock to the wrong route. If not, it’s probably the TTC failing to update train IDs when performing real-time rescheduling. In either case, the solution is to fix the underlying cause of the misrouting, not to add wayside signals with route info.
  8. The CBTC system does communicate the route to the vehicle: the 'communications' consist of route info (civil speed limits, grades, and any temporary speed restrictions) and the vehicle's End of Authority). This info is used by the train to compute a brake curve, which is the ATP system supervises, intervening if there is a violation. The train in turn communicates the position of its front end, speed and integrity information to the system, which is used to detect the train (for the purpose of generating movement authorities and setting/cancelling routes at interlockings) It's honestly shocking how poorly the TTC trains its staff on safety. The trains speed dropping to 30km/h is not a 'bug', but happens because the route information (which includes speed limits) is communicated to the train, and is used to calculate the braking curve. Your comment about 'an experienced operator who is paying attention' suggests that management does not teach it's staff how the safety-critical protection system works, and staff are instead learning while in revenue service.
  9. Are you referring to the portion of the CBTC system that verifies that the train is properly berthed?
  10. I do agree that the TTC relies too much on degraded mode working in regular operations. I understand why RM was needed for the SB move, but there was no reason for the train to be in RM on the NB move. In a system without wayside signals, that move would have had to be done under the direction of the signaler. The fact that the NB driver had to look for a wayside signal opened up the possibility that Auto Train Stop was active, so the decision to use wayside signals did cause the incident.
  11. But you admit that the wayside is not safety-critical (though it can have safety implications), so a simple rule book change would resolve the issue with a 500ft train. the only issue I could see is with position of the trackside train detection at reverse points (which are used to determine train length), which could affect blocking times leaving terminals.
  12. The gap fillers on the type V are fast enough to not extend dwell time. They extend out while the door opens. If you want to reduce dwell time, you could Attach a light curtain to the back side of the entrance doors, for faster and fail-safe trap protection. Eliminates the need for the driver to check for trapped objects before moving the vehicles, so you can move as soon as you get interlock. Also significantly less likely to suffer a dangerous failure than a human. Again, the wayside signals are not safety critical unless your train cannot receive a movement authority from the signaling system. The TTC could rip them out tomorrow with no safety impacts to regular service. They also decrease driver awareness as to which system (CBTC or Auto Train Stop) is working, which resulted in a near-miss two years ago.
  13. The gaps aren’t a problem: the TTC can procure trains with gap fillers (like the Type V in Vienna, or any modern suburban train). Line 1 is/will be entirely cab signaled, so drivers of revenue trains don’t have to look at the wayside signals in any situation. The only vehicles that need to see them are non-communicating work trains. Edit: I just realized that TTC rulebook requires driving on sight when not communicating in a CBTC area.
  14. Pls delete my account
  15. Do the LRVs for Eglinton have elevator style trap protection or are they going to force staff to manually check for trapped objects?
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