Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fatal crashes are tough on train crews

Watch this news report on a train crash in Saskatchewan, Canada, that left four young people dead and the train crew traumatized. It's a problem you don't hear much about.

John Tolman, now vice president for the Teamsters Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, spoke to the Associated Press a few years back about the problem:
...the average train engineer will see three suicides during a career of 25 years. A commuter rail engineer will see as many as 20. 
''Where you're frequently interacting with passengers -- with platforms, grade crossings -- that's where the suicides and the close calls are," Tolman said. 
Engineers are traumatized when they hit a person, something they can't prevent because trains can't stop on a dime, Tolman said. Engineers and trainmen experience post-traumatic stress disorder afterward, he said.