David Schanoes

David Schanoes

David Schanoes is Principal of Ten90 Solutions LLC, a consulting firm he established upon retiring from MTA Metro-North Railroad in 2008. David began his railroad career in 1972 with the Chicago & North Western, as a brakeman in Chicago. He came to New York 1977, working for Conrail’s New Jersey Division. David joined Metro-North in 1985. He has spent his entire career in the operating division, working his way up from brakeman to conductor, block operator, dispatcher, supervisor of train operations, trainmaster, superintendent, and deputy chief of field operations. “Better railroading is ten percent planning plus ninety percent execution,” he says. “It’s simple math. Yet, we also know, or should know, that technology is no substitute for supervision, and supervision that doesn’t utilize technology isn’t going to do the job. That's not so simple.”

Thursday, 23 April 2015 09:30

DOT “suggests” and FRA “recommends”

The U.S. Department of Transportation circulated a press release detailing actions taken to “address some of the issues identified in recent train accidents involving crude oil and ethanol shipped by rail.”
I never get tired of explaining the simple mathematics that govern safe train operations. The more thorough our grasp of the simple mathematics of time, distance, velocity, acceleration, coefficient of friction, etc., the more sophisticated, deeper, more inclusive becomes our knowledge of what we must do to achieve safe train operations, and the more robust is our calculation for the intersection of safety and performance.
Thursday, 05 February 2015 20:53

The right equipment is not perfect equipment

After the most recent tragedy, and tragedy it is, on MTA Metro-North Railroad, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) were interviewed by telephone.
Monday, 03 November 2014 13:15

NTSB, Metro-North, and politicians, Part 3

Let’s continue with my comments from Part 1 and Part 2 on the Oct. 28, 2014 National Transportation Safety Board press conference regarding NTSB’s determination of the causes of five accidents on Metro-North Railway (MNR). To reiterate, I’m going through the video second by second just so I can set the record straight, or at least correct some of the more egregious errors presented as facts by NSTB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart, and Senators Schumer, Blumenthal, and Murphy.
Friday, 31 October 2014 05:51

Why NTSB got it wrong

I forced myself to review every miserable second of the Oct. 28, 2014 NTSB press conference regarding NTSB’s determination of the causes of five accidents on Metro-North Railway (MNR), for a couple of reasons: 1) I couldn’t believe what was being said; and  2) I couldn’t believe what was being said. I mean, come on: FRA as a “lawless, rogue agency”?

I never thought I would find myself in the position of defending the Federal Railroad Administration, at least from anyone other than the Ayn Rand-Alan Greenspan-Phil Gramm-Rush Limbaugh types out there, but life is a funny thing.

Sunday, 14 September 2014 21:05

So, you want to know my opinion?

Somebody asked me my opinion, and you know how dangerous that can be...
Thursday, 17 April 2014 13:18

Dear NTSB . . . . .

The National Transportation Safety Board recently released an open letter to MTA Metro-North Railroad containing its initial safety recommendations derived from the ongoing investigation into the Dec. 1, 2013 derailment of train 8808, which killed four passengers and injured 59.
When we investigate accidents and injuries, when we analyze failures of any sort on any railroad, we are searching for a root cause—that determining factor, or factors, that drive the accident from a potential condition to a manifest event.
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