Engineers Abandoning Locomotive Controls

Brothers and Sisters,

It has been brought to our attention that some engineers are leaving their position to go work on the second unit or leaving your controls unattended while using the restroom, even if on the lead unit.  An engineer in KCMO injured his finger while returning from the second unit and he received a personal injury returning from the second unit.  

The UP has dismissed the engineer and the conductor.; the engineer for abandoning his position and the conductor for getting behind the controls of the locomotive. 

We should all be aware that the cameras are running and watching your every move.  The FRA has now gotten involved and we were told the crew could be getting personal fines.

If one of our engineers has to leave that seat for whatever reason; even going to the restroom. They need to be aware that they are violating FRA regulations if they do not stop the train. 

Please inform all your Members to stop the locomotive if they have to leave the controls; for any reason.  If you are asked why you had to stop; just be honest and say you had to use the restroom, work on the locomotive, etc.  

Never go to the trailing units while the train is moving, as that is dangerous, and the possibility of getting injured and/or fired if something happens while performing these types of tasks are extremely high. 

This is simple: just stop the train, if you need to leave the controls of your locomotive unattended. 

I have talked to the SMART-TD General Chairman Joey Cornelius and he is also instructing his Members to stop the train if they need to abandon their position. 

Ronnie Rhodes