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I have information that the B.N.S.F will attempt to implement one man train operations in there next contract. Has anyone heard any news from there unions. "I fear that the unions are sticking the heads in the sand". I urge all Brothers to ask Questions and Challenge there Local & General Chairman to answer all issues such as Senority Protection post 85, New York Doc,Crew Consist,Productivity pay.

Norm Echtinaw

New Member
I have a hard time envisioning that without having some form of support close by. Just for discussion let's assume a bad order car about the 75th one in a 100 car coal drag and the engineer has to set it out. Stop train; walk back 75 cars; uncouple and set brakes on 1/3 of the remaining cars behind the BO. Walk back to the engine, go to next spur or siding, back the BO into it and set brakes, then walk back to the engine. Take consist back to the remaining cars, couple, take another long hike, release brakes, hike again and proceed.

I see at the very least an hour of walking and more time to set out. Engineer just died on the law and from the walking is too tired to continue.

Did the company save any money if the main was OOS all that time? I feel it would be penny wise and pound foolish.


Roving conductors or utility person in a truck to help. One person to cover a territory. Of course locals would still have crews.


BNSF One Man Trains

Brother: Norm, Stop for a second and envision Utility Men covering a A territory .Remote-control boxes on Trains, Dispatchers blocking track. Not to mention Corporate Greed, Union Busting Politicians.BNSF owner Warren Buffett a Corporate Raider. Respectfully Hammer.

Ballard Beaver

ballard beaver
in europe they have one man crews; or at least in spain; then again the trains are only 25 cars long and the crew (engineer) dies after 6 or 8 hours.
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Apples and oranges, my friend; there's not much point in comparing U.S. and European railway practices, much less emulating the Europeans.


New Member
I recall in Australia they recently implemented automated trains with no crew. These were 100+ car freight trains not some automated subway system.


Cane Train Chaser
Automated trains are in the Rio Tinto system in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. They haven't been implement as yet though, with trials re-commencing soon.

However, all iron ore trains in the Pilbara are operated as driver only. BHP operates Distributed Power trains of 200+ cars using SD70ACe, CM40-8 & AC6000.

Rio Tinto is head end only using C44-9W/ES44DC. Also converting to ECP braking.

Fortescue Mining is head end and ECP braking. Uses C44-9W and SD70ACe locos.

All of these trains are several kilometres long and generally run in the middle of no where. Crews work 12 hour shifts. With the exception of Fortescue, I'm pretty sure all run an Automatic Train Protection system of one sort or another. Fortescue currently uses Train Order authorities, converting to CTC in the near future I believe.

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
I recall a PR video produced by BNSF which was on the company website for a while. The railroad was introducing a new computer/track detection/train operating system which some employees feared was the first step towards one man engine crews. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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