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Meitetsu loading of ballast on siding


bikkuri bahn

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bikkuri bahn

Loading scene at a siding at Yahagibashi Station, on the Meitetsu main line.

Edited by bikkuri bahn
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That would make a great trackside "industry" scene, without requiring very much real estate at all.

 

For a while I thought the truck driver was banging his head on the wheel because he couldn't get the truck positioned just right - he's being waved back, but keeps rolling forward.  Easily understood with manual shift, and not wanting to overshoot the end of the ramp !

 

Quite similar to U.S. "truck dump" coal loading in PA and WV, and no doubt some other states, although they make it easier on the truck driver.

 

Are the suits there because management doesn't trust the blue collar guys, or are they just the train drivers?

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They are some new looking Hoki 800s.  Surprized not one person look upwards at the live wires once.

 

I was just gluing the number plates to my Hoki 800s today, thinking they need some white paint on the rails and steps also.

Edited by katoftw
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bikkuri bahn

Are the suits there because management doesn't trust the blue collar guys, or are they just the train drivers?

 

The truck drivers are not railway affiliated- probably contractors for whatever gravel supplier Meitetsu does business with.  Railway staff are needed to supervise and maintain safety, as well as take responsibility should there be an accident.

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Well maintained HoKi80 types and in a good state since they are only used sparsely, only a few are owned by Meitetsu (IIRC only nine), and thus in good condition. 

 

Are the suits there because management doesn't trust the blue collar guys, or are they just the train drivers?

 

These are not Meitetsu employees, but private employees from Hokusō Transport Ltd. from Kushiro in Hokkaido and are probably not allowed to operate on their own. The guy in the suit controls the train's movement during loading procedures.

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The truck drivers are not railway affiliated- probably contractors for whatever gravel supplier Meitetsu does business with.  Railway staff are needed to supervise and maintain safety, as well as take responsibility should there be an accident.

 

I didn't mean the drivers, but the guy directing the driver(s) backing up.

 

Maybe his pay grade doesn't allow him to direct train movement.

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I didn't mean the drivers, but the guy directing the driver(s) backing up.

 

Maybe his pay grade doesn't allow him to direct train movement.

He cannot direct train movements because he is not a railway employee.

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He cannot direct train movements because he is not a railway employee.

 

In that case, why is he allowed to work inside the ballast wagon?

 

Seems like a potential liability issue.

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bikkuri bahn

They're probably the other drivers, helping with the loading.  The railway employee is there to supervise and take responsibility for them- Japan is not as litiguous as anglo-saxon countries with their byzantine work rules.

 

I also like the last scene at 13:00, at Chiryu Station, with it's classic umbrella platform roofing.  These will be torn down once the station is elevated into another lookalike concrete block.

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I was talking about the fellow in work clothes who goes into the first hopper they load to rake the ballast out, so there is room to add the rest that's in the truck.  Since he is taking orders from one of the train drivers, I took it that he worked for the railroad - but is perhaps employed by the company contracted to deliver the ballast.

 

Japanese train operations seem so formal - almost militaristic, that I hadn't thought a non-railroad employee would be allowed inside the ballast car.

 

I took him to be a railroad employee who would be involved in distributing the ballast at the destination site.

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Regardless of employer and liability, the interaction between the railway employees and the truck guys is quite amusing to watch. :P

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Besides the badly built loading ramp (a good one would have a truck sized flat area after the ramp, so backing up to the cars can be done safely) and the way too formal railway uniform, this seems like a normal loading operation. It looks like they sent two drivers from the railway side (for the two locos) and there are 4 drivers (with rakes) for the 4 trucks from the ballast supplier. The ballast cars look new, but they are different types with different ages, just repainted and well maintained. Personally i'm only surprised that the ballast train drivers didn't wear work uniforms with high visibility vests as in europe. (they get the vests in case one of them has to go outside and help with loading or shunting)

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We had some videos of ballast operations like this a couple of years back with a couple of different ballast ramps like this used. I think one did have the full flat dumping area for easier unloading.

 

The formal rr behavior is not so militaristic as it is both cultural (more general formality than other places) and also a form of shisa kanko like operator hand signals where formal gestures and language are used together while doing a task to involve more brain pathways and reduce error. It's a proven method. Then you have the odd thing that at time in some work situations workers are allowed to be in situations like the gravel raker there that you would not have in other countries as much. So there are odd things that can come together in japan at interfaces like this, especially at the crossing of a trucking company and a rr! I think the legality and reasoning is that the trucking company is responsible for the dumping of the gravel and if their guy gets hurt in that process that that companies problem not the rr. The rr just wants to make sure the car is in the right place and gets its fill of gravel. Not quite the same process as in the us.

 

Jeff

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Jeff - I wanted to make clear that my using the term "militaristic" was in no way generated from this video. Probably what drove it most was what I read about the Amagasaki crash, including the hazing and other behaviors by management that could arguably be described as the indirect causes of the crash.

 

 

> "a form of shisa kanko like operator hand signals where formal gestures and language are used together"

 

Cyclists have been doing that for years - you yell "hole", and point down to the pothole so the riders behind you know where it is, and can avoid it.

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Charles,

 

Sorry,mjust going on what you posted above, but even the hazing and punishment I wouldn't call militaristic so much. We get the same stuff in collage frats and bands here (as well as many corporate environments I've witnessed here, play the game or be crushed) and I would not call that militaristic, myself, but different interpretation maybe. I would say it's a more controlled and ordered society influence where some things are forced into place by some of these behaviors at times. With some things like having good procedures and rules that are well followed the orderly society can adapt to better for the exceptional safety record that japan rail has overall, than say the American culture. There are lots of intricate things to japanese culture that are hard to totally get outside the culture and without a lot direct experience. But with all that japan can have its inconsistencies just like most places, so it's hard to put hard labels/definitions on all these things.

 

I feel have a good feeling for Japanese culture with a few visits and having spent a lot of time with issei and nisei friends my whole life, but don't even think I really understand it well. It's hard as the bits and pieces you see from the outside can be just a skin of things or just picked up externally as they look odd from the outside. So it can be a puzzling culture from the Outside at times!

 

Shisa kanko is actually more of a process of using many forms of behavior and senses to reinforce things in even a single user's brain. By verbalizing, hearing, pointing, and seeing your pointing it just reinforces that what you are doing is what you should be doing at the moment. It's been around a long time and done with things where a missed step could be a disaster. Also helps show others that you are interacting with them and what you are focused on when more than one person involved (like your bike analogy). It really does work, I've used it on our club layout for point settings during operations and I dont think ive ever missed a point setting doing it,mwhere as if I just wing it I sometimes do! I know I must look silly pointing down the train path checking points to visitors! But hey I'm following Japanese rr traditions!

 

Jeff

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Hah. If railway operations are militaristic, the SDF operations must look robotic and inhumane. It is indeed a cultural phenomenon. Things look strict from the outside, but when you get into it, it are just safety precautions, discipline (mostly just superficial), and laying responsibility on the operators (be it humans or companies). The human operator bears the reputation of the company and him/herself, which is very important in Japanese culture, rather than swiping it under the carpet of legal responsibility and hiding behind that phenomenon which is prevalent in certain western cultures. This puts a heavier load on the person with the responsibility of safety, but that is how things work here and in return everybody gets a sense of security. In return things usually work out, operations go smoothly, and accidents are minimal.

 

In regard to high-visibility jackets: from what I see, there are only high-visibility vest in high-risk areas, for example where there is a lot of traffic and public close by. IIRC there are no general safety standards that are dictated by the government, but are rather regulated by companies themselves (correct me if I'm wrong). From different construction sites in the neighbourhood, done by different companies, the employees wear different safety gear.

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In that case, why is he allowed to work inside the ballast wagon?

 

Seems like a potential liability issue.

Because the railway employee instructed him to do so.  Can quite easily see the conversation and hand gesturing.

 

America has a very different liability system to the rest of the sane world.

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