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01:25 PM on 08/02/2013
Don't passenger trains in Spain run on some sort of time schedule? Shouldn't SOMEBODY have noticed that this particular driver always showed up at his stops quite a bit earlier than scheduled and ask WHY? It appears this wasn't the first time he was speeding, and I'm quite sure he didn't slow the train down to 1/2 speed after speeding so he would stay on schedule, so how come it took the deaths of 79 people to catch this guy? It appears he isn't the only one in the Spanish railway system to not be paying attention!
02:52 PM on 08/02/2013
You can arrive early but you can't leave early. On a cross country trip there are many engineers. They give you much slack so that you are always leaving late except at the final destination that you don't leave anyway, and the people are joyous about being on time, or a little early. I have ridden the trains in Europe and it seems the same, except they run on a tighter schedule.
12:31 AM on 08/05/2013
Interesting. I didn't know that. My experience with trains was in Japan and they were always tightly scheduled. thanks for the info.
04:06 PM on 08/02/2013
Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves try in Vain
01:20 PM on 08/02/2013
The engineer was unbelievably negligent and irresponsible for his actions leading up to the accident. However, I do have to give him credit for fully accepting responsibility for the accident --- in contrast to that cruise ship captain.
Beating the Conundrum
01:13 PM on 08/02/2013
Any vehicle that is transporting that many people should be required to have more than one person in the control cabin. In this day of electronic security, there surely should be computerized back-up to form a fail-safe system. I do not get that the train engineer in Spain was stunting, as was the Italian cruise ship captain. He is clearly remorseful and stunned by his odious error and will accept the punishment he will surely receive. Now it is the job of the transport authorities to come up with security that truly protects the innocent and helpless passengers.
04:01 PM on 08/02/2013
Part of the "fail-safe" system sould be the providing of every facility to prevent a crash i.e. banked curves to accommodate run away trains in the event of the train driver having a stroke or hear attack.
01:12 PM on 08/02/2013
Oh my god, the curve, the curve, the curve! I'm not gonna make it!.. How about, Oh my god! Jail, jail, jail, I'm not gonna make it!! Twice as fast for a seasoned operator stupid! with 3 audible alarms!
your opinion is as valid as mine
01:04 PM on 08/02/2013
Greatest example of it "all comes down to human error'. Government can pass new laws and regulations, business can create protocols and rules, bottom line is: If the operator, employee does not obey or follow the rules , regulations they are all a moot point.
03:52 PM on 08/02/2013
Perhaps we should look at the security tape of the prior 24 hours; what activity was there on that curve. Something on that curve caused that train to defy G force.
05:03 PM on 08/02/2013
An unbanked track and too much speed will do that, and he admittedly was going far too fast and didn't brake until much too late.
12:59 PM on 08/02/2013
Given the amount of computerized monitoring and alarms, they could easily build in automated brake protocols if the human operator fails to respond.
Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves try in Vain
01:18 PM on 08/02/2013
Systems like that are available. A system like that is in the process of being retrofitted on spanish train lines. Unfortunately ironic, they had retrofitted only up to a few kilometers short of the curve where the accident took place.
03:49 PM on 08/02/2013
So the "failsafe" failed?
Carol Harvey
01:47 PM on 08/02/2013
He had seversal brakes that he applied and they all cut the speed down to 55 mph by the time they hit the wall so lack of automated brakes and computerized alarms gadgets etc would not have over ridden human negligence. There is no safe way to brake at 119 mph. Had he been going the speed limit he would have come to stop if needed. Instead he went so fast there was no way he could have stopped A case of not following the rules and negligence, of deciding to go twice the speed limit. This is on him, not the mechanics of the train
02:00 PM on 08/02/2013
My point was that the computer system they use already gathers the info needed to _add_ automatic intervention when several automated alarms go unheeded by the human operator.
12:35 PM on 08/02/2013
This man seems like a thrill seeker. Unfortunately he killed 79 people to satisfy his lust for THRILLS.
03:45 PM on 08/02/2013
How can he be seeking thills talking on the phone, not paying attention to warnings and having his attention diverted.
02:03 AM on 09/17/2013
Yes, he should have been paying srict attention to warnings. Humans don't always obey the rules, there minds wonder. Thats why there are engineering standards to protect the public from this human faaailure. The curve should have been banked, an engineering design failure ... awww failure of a human engineer or budget. It is cheaper to build non-banked turns with warnings to reduce speed. During the conceptual design phase of the railway a decision was made; bank or no bank.
12:24 PM on 08/02/2013
They don't have like a warning beep that activates when the train crosses a point where the curb is up ahead to signal the driver to slow down??? They may want to look into that. People get distracted, especially when they are sitting on a train "driving" it for hours on end. I just assumed trains had that sort of set up....
Reason, always. Faith, never.
12:52 PM on 08/02/2013
There were three audible warnings prior to the curve. He either ignored them, ignored them, or ignored them.
03:42 PM on 08/02/2013
Look again at the video, that train may have flipped at 55 MPH. It flipped to the opposite direction of G force.
Carol Harvey
01:53 PM on 08/02/2013
Of course they had a warning; three of them. He was on the phone. Besides the safety of the train is not dependent on warnings etc; it is dependent on the operator following the rules and going the speed. He went 119 mph, double the 55 mph he was supposed to be going. Hads he been going 55 he could have slowed down and taken the curve with no problem. Trains run thru there all the time with no mishaps so it is no mystery why it happened.
03:17 PM on 08/02/2013
Did you just write "Hads he" hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
03:39 PM on 08/02/2013
Look again at the video, the train flipped the wrong way.
Don't blame me, I voted for Romney
12:15 PM on 08/02/2013
In reading some of the below comments, I find that again as the old saying goes...."the truth never catches up to the lie"....this guy was on the phone because his dispatcher CALLED HIM!!!!! He was distracted by it and failed to realize he was going into the curb, doesn't excuse him, but certainly mitigates it some. Secondly, the Facebook picture was taken by him while someone else was driving the train. He and his train company run a HIGH SPEED system,,,they are proud to provide the service and were displaying that pride, not bragging recklessly. I'm becoming so sick of lo-info jerks making up lies and inuendoes, and electing amatuers to position of authority...that's right, you know who I mean!
12:12 PM on 08/02/2013
I'm wondering why there wasn't alarms sounding long before he came to the turn. You'd think that there would be sensors that monitor the trains speed, and track its distance to dangerous curves. He should have been applying the brakes a few miles back to slow the trains speed down enough, so why not have an automated system that sounds an alarm, then applies the brake by itself if the driver fails to do so?
12:06 PM on 08/02/2013
I can't believe that those trains don't have some type electonic over ride mechanism just in case the driver effs up.
12:33 PM on 08/02/2013
Bet they come up with one now!
12:05 PM on 08/02/2013
On a lighter note, I looked at the photo and thought, Oh no... Robert Downey Jr. is in trouble again.
Reason, always. Faith, never.
12:53 PM on 08/02/2013
That's not even funny.
01:49 PM on 08/02/2013
Yes it is !
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17th Airborne..a tribute to my Father
09:19 AM on 08/02/2013
I read where he was on his cell phone.....THERE is the explanation if that is true

I had a teenage girl travel across three lanes of traffic the other day and almost T-boned me......she was on her pretty pink cell phone!
11:47 AM on 08/02/2013
You can put death penalty on using cell phone and driving at the same time, people still use it and drive because people are ADDICTED to it. The ONLY way to stop that is to invent a cell phone that does not work when it detects the ground motion in front of of a steering wheel. (Yes, passengers can still use it.)
Don't blame me, I voted for Romney
12:08 PM on 08/02/2013
His use of the phone was in answer to being called by a dispatcher....he didn't initiate the call, he was distracted by it.
07:59 AM on 08/02/2013
Maybe because he was speeding, on the phone, not paying attention, and irresponsible. Could be.
08:30 AM on 08/02/2013
You think so?I was thinking they just made that curve and forgot to put a speedlimit.Human error?NO, humans don't mare errors.
09:25 AM on 08/02/2013
Yes I think so. So you think this guy never drove a train before on these tracks? The guy bragged on the internet about speeding. This was not his first time driving.
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06:57 AM on 08/02/2013
I see that he has gray hair, suggesting that he is getting up there in age. One possibility is that he had a TIA (temporary ischemic attack), or mini-stroke. He could have lost awareness temporarily, and thus been unable to respond to his surroundings, without actually passing out.
The result of a TIA is difficult to see with an MRI, as opposed to the internal bleeding of a larger stroke. A loss of awareness and memory might be consistent with a TIA.

Another reason why passenger trains need to have both an engineer and backup, automatic safety devices; if the safety devices detect a grossly unsafe condition, they can kick in to save lives.
08:01 AM on 08/02/2013
Another possibility is that he was irresponsible and didn't pay attention to what he was doing. There is no excuse, he thought speeding was a joke. Well the joke is on the people who died and the fact that he will be spending the next few decades in prison.
Mimi Champlin
Five times out of six, you'll find that
11:45 AM on 08/02/2013
However it happened, it's a tragedy for so many.
11:27 AM on 08/02/2013
He's 52 years old.
12:36 PM on 08/02/2013