Do trains have back-up beepers?

Jeffrey reported from the Providence Line at 7:36 a.m.

Here's a first. The engineer forgot to stop at route 128 and we rode backwards for five miles to go back. Get the guy a coffee.



    Free tagging: 


    And I thought I had it bad

    And I thought I had it bad when a train blew past Melrose Highlands due to slippery rail. IIRC, it slid one mile past the station, with sparks trailing behind the locomotive as it tried its hardest to ground to an immediate halt. They had to back it up very slowly.

    It left the handful of us on the platform stunned and confused.



    You can easily go right past it if you forget that the station is on your schedule. Some trains likely skip over that stop.


    128 is a major station, I'm

    128 is a major station, I'm surprised that there's any train which skips it. OTOH, there is that mid-day Acela that doesn't stop in New Haven.


    Train 806 runs from 5:58 am

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    Train 806 runs from 5:58 am to 7:45 am. Train 808 runs from 6:37 to 8:16. There's no way the same engineer could run both.

    Bells not beepers

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    They typically turn their bells on when backing up.

    Maybe this guy needs a bell to wake him up!

    (Granted - maybe he just walked to the other end and ran it "forward" from the other cab? The bells could be really annoying for 5 miles on top of it being a safety issue)


    Someone has to be on the

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    Someone has to be on the leading end whenever a train is backing up, usually the conductor, in constant radio contact with the engineer, and proceeding at restricted speed.

    The engineer likely did not walk back to the cab car, because I believe he would have then needed to do a new brake test, among other things which take time (~15 mins or more).

    And, as anyone who rides commuter rail regularly, especially in the fall and winter, should know, missing stops happens every now and then.


    Brake tests

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    FRA requires a minimum of 5 minutes for a test.

    I'm impressed that he got the OK to back up that far. Things like that almost never happen.

    MBCR in the twitter account

    MBCR in the twitter account took notice and said the train only lost 3 minutes of time. If correct, 5 miles is a bit of an exaggeration. Or the engineer understated his time lost (I think that's harder to pull off considering it would continue to show down to the next stations). ...Or he reversed at 100 miles per hour. Now that's speed.


    must be hyperbole

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    At 5 miles from the station, you would probably be between Cummins Highway and Blakemore Street in Roslindale.


    More like half a mile, I'd say

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    I was near the front of that train and I'm pretty sure we were just past the Neponset marsh when we started backing up. Still an add thing to happen. I've been on trains that have overshot by a few dozen feet, but never one where the engineer forgot to stop!