model train set on track

Operator Fatigue

e*Train Issue: Apr 2018   |   Posted in:

By April Primo Spring 2018 

HOMETOWN, CA—after surveying the dozen railcars and cargo of Lincoln Logs strewn haphazardly across the grass mat, investigators concluded Friday that a massive toy train derailment was the result of operator fatigue.

“From what we’ve been able to determine, the person at the controls had been at it for more than nine hours without a break, and tragically, he attempted to take a sharp turn at speeds of up to three miles per hour,” said the investigating officer. The report added that even with the operator’s decades of experience, the cumulative exhaustion after several long days in a row of driving trains had put immense strain on hand-eye coordination.

“By the time the operator noticed his loss of focus and tried to brake by grabbing the caboose, it was already too late. We’re lucky this didn’t happen as the train passed by the adjacent trackside buildings or else we would be dealing with an even worse disaster right now.”

In addition, the report noted, Postive Train Control was not installed, nor were any rules in place regarding how long the operator could play with trains. “We’ve noted in a number of crashes of this nature that operators lose all sense of time and place in their zeal to push the trains to their maximum. This sometimes even happens when there are no witnesses to be impressed.”

The crash was the rail line’s worst disaster since the same operator plowed through a barrier and took out an entire marching band in 2011, an incident in which funny business was suspected to have played a role.

Editor’s Note: Something like this ever happen to you? Nah, never, especially not on April first! Thanks to Mark Boyd for providing us with a bit of inspiration.