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The double-decker bus travelled through a barrier at the crossing in the Canadian capital and smashed into the four-carriage train, as passengers begged the driver to stop, according to witnesses.
Tanner Trepaniere, who was sitting on the top deck, said he and other passengers could see the train bearing down on them as they approached the crossing, in the city's rural outskirts. In the first part of this series, I introduced the O-train and how it works as a transit line.
The O-Train was built as an evaluation project for light right technologies, to test whether it would make sense to build it all over the city.
Naturally, these projects are not directly comparable, but generally one should expect cheaper projects to get less riders, so that the ratios work out to be at least in the same order of magnitude. Several of the items appear pretty cheap, compared to other projects throughout North America – for example the reconstruction of one commuter rail station near Montreal cost 20$ million by itself. The vehicle acquisition is another item on the budget that appears pretty low – around 5$ Million for three trains.
Basically the trains were a lease for the two year pilot project, and had to be paid off when the project continued. It is still a pretty decent deal considering how small the order was, and how quickly the trains were delivered. It should be expected that the operating cost of the O-train are not very favorable compared to buses. It certainly helps that the ridership is pretty high given the scope and line length of the project.
Nevertheless there are cost-effectiveness measures on the operations side that are interesting and unique.
An engineer whose speeding commuter train ran off the rails along a curve, killing four people, experienced a hypnosis-like "daze" and nodded at the controls just before the wreck, and by the time he caught himself it was too late, people representing him said Tuesday. Attorney Jeffrey Chartier accompanied engineer William Rockefeller to his interview with National Transportation Safety Board investigators and described the account Rockefeller gave.
Rockefeller "basically nodded," said Anthony Bottalico, leader of the rail employees union, relating what he said the engineer told him.
Federal investigators said late Tuesday they had removed Bottalico's union, the Association of Commuter Rail Employees, as a participant in the investigation over a breach of confidentiality after he publicly discussed information related to it. Separately, however, two law enforcement officials said the engineer told police at the scene that his mind was wandering before he realized the train was in trouble and by then it was too late to do anything about it. The officials, who were briefed on the engineer's comments, weren't authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity. Rockefeller, who was operating the train from the front car, was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and was released.
NTSB member Earl Weener repeated that it was too soon to say whether the accident was caused by human error.
Alcohol tests on the train's crew members were negative, and investigators were awaiting the results of drug tests, the NTSB official said. Weener didn't address specifically what the engineer was doing in the hours before his shift started but said part of the investigation will be creating a 72-hour timeline of his activities. The New York Police Department is conducting its own investigation, with help from the Bronx district attorney's office, in the event the derailment becomes a criminal case. Steven Harrod, a University of Dayton professor who studies transportation, said that trains typically don't have a speed or cruise control but a power control, and once it's set a train can pick up speed on its own because of the terrain.
In case of an engineer becoming incapacitated, the train's front car was equipped with a "dead man's pedal" that must be depressed or else the train will automatically slow down. Trains also can have alarms, sometimes called alerters, which sound if the operators' controls haven't been moved within a certain timeframe.
Regardless, "neither of those two methodologies is truly a fail-safe approach," said Grady Cothen, a former Federal Railroad Administration safety official.

Rockefeller, 46, has worked for the railroad for 15 years and has been an engineer for 10, according to Weener.
McLendon said he was stunned when he heard about the crash, shortly after opening his mail to find a Christmas card from Rockefeller and his wife. Bruno Lizzul, an MTA machinist who met Rockefeller when they both worked at Grand Central around 2000, described the engineer as honest, hardworking and helpful a€” so much so that he took it upon himself to show up and help Lizzul renovate his home ahead of a baby's arrival. A rail crew works at the scene of the fatal Metro-North train derailment on December 2, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
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Stop!', because they could see the train coming down the track,” said Mr Trepaniere. Of course, most people will follow the sun, and head towards a beachside escape from the cold of winter. The project was realized pretty quickly and cheaply: After a yearlong study the pilot project was approved in September 1999, and public service started on October 15, 2001. But the O-train is a bit of an out-lier, even compared to the initial segments of the Calgary C-Train, which is considered one of the most cost effective transit projects in North America (by attracting a lot of riders to the relatively low cost rail lines).
Each of them is equivalent to a bit less than two 85 ft passenger cars as they are used in North America on mainlines. This makes sense, given that the O-train started as a 2-year evaluation project, and it could’ve been discontinued after that.
Ironically, the diesel-electric version would be more appropriate for the O-train with its short interstation distances, Ottawa probably uses the diesel-mechanic Talents in its most rapid transit-like application. The contract was with CP (Canadian Pacific Railway), who owned the infrastructure, as a public private partnership.
By the end of 2005, 380K$ of those incentive payments had accumulated (it seems that CP waived about 200$K of those when the city purchased the line in 2005). Nevertheless, the operating cost per passenger was higher than for buses during the initial years: during the first years, only about 30% of the cost was covered by ticket fares, compared to about 55% for the OC Transpo system as a whole. For one, the O-train was the first federally regulated railway using single man operation (i.e. For a rail project, especially one of this small scale, it seems to have been very cost-effective. Chartier said the engineer experienced a nod or "a daze," almost like road fatigue, and he compared it to the phenomenon sometimes called highway hypnosis.
They wouldn't comment on Rockefeller's level of alertness around the time of the Sunday morning wreck in the Bronx.
One of the officials said Rockefeller described himself as being "in a daze" before the wreck.
Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday the engineer could be faulted for the train's speed if nothing else.
Congress has ordered commuter and freight railroads to install technology called positive train control a€” which uses electronics to monitor trains' positions and speed and stop derailments and other problems a€” by the end of 2015.
He lives in a well-kept house on a modest rural road in Germantown, 64 kilometres south of Albany.
Officials expect 98 per cent of service to be restored to the affected line Wednesday, Cuomo said. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever.
Workers used cranes to place passenger cars back on the tracks as they worked to clear the wreckage where four people were killed and dozens more injured the day before.

23, 2014 after a recent trip to West Africa, setting off fresh fears about the spread of the deadly disease. The initial budget of 16$ Million had grown to about 21$ Million by the time the train started running. It certainly helps that the platforms are only 35m long, and built very simply with identical design, with an asphalt or concrete surface and bus-style shelters. And while the budget lists the vehicle acquisition as 5 million, a closer look reveals that they did in fact cost three times as much.
But it results in an unfair comparisons with other projects that use the full capital cost of the vehicles involved, and so that fact should be kept in mind. Presumably this explains the similarity with the DB trains, and some of the German signs that exist on the train. CP provided the corridor, upgraded the infrastructure, built the stations, and provided the maintenance facility. This seems like another way in which the capital budget was kept a bit lower, possibly at the expense of future capital costs (or operating costs, depending on how the accounting is done). Once the total cost for the vehicles and and corridor are included in the capital cost estimation, the total cost is around 40$million, double the initial capital budget, but still pretty low.
The fact that this is such a short line, with relatively few riders per km compared to actual rapid transit lines, and a tiny vehicle fleet doesn’t help, in terms of economies of scale.
However, the costs may not be quite as low as they appear at first sight – one has to be careful to not count the start-up costs for the evaluation project as the capital costs of the transit line. He powered down, he put the train in emergency, but that was six seconds prior to derailment," Bottalico said.
But the Metro-North train that derailed didn't have such a system, according to Marjorie Anders, a spokeswoman for Metro-North's parent, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.
Thousands of commuters Monday had to find alternate ways into New York City as Metro North’s Hudson line remained suspended in the area of the crash.
So grab a cup of hot tea and put on your heavy jacket, then check out these five great winter destinations. The partnership also included Bombardier for trains, their maintenance and the signalling system. On the other hand, this may have also provided an actual incentive for CP to make the line attractive for users. Plus, with three trains, two of which are always operating, at most two thirds of the fleet is operating. Additionally, the drivers where actually taken out of the pool of OC Transpo bus drivers, instead of hired locomotive engineers. The lease included the provision to purchase the corridor for around 11$million at the end of the contract.
Additionally, the project seems to have been designed with the desire to keep capital costs low, so costs may have shifted to the operations side. This large reserve pool means that there is never a shortage of drivers, contributing to the service reliability of more than 99% (compared to 70% for the overall system).
This is an interesting approach not only to reduce the costs of reliably providing vehicle operators, it also addressed the concerns of the labor union, which saw the rail line as a threat to their members’ livelihoods. We'll also examine the data from the locomotive event recorder, similar to a black box on an aircraft, which documents what controls were being used at the time of the crash." The incident comes only two months after a burning runaway train carrying shale oil crashed into a small town in Canada's Lac-Megantic, killing more than 50 people.

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