Fatigue & sleepiness: Complex bedfellows


Do you know how to drive a train? If you don’t you probably believe that you have a fair idea of what it’s all about. Forget what you know, or think you know. Trains are heavy and fast but they feel and handle like driving on ice so they take a long time to stop. The braking distances for a typical piece of track are unlike anything you will have experienced before. With that in mind, imagine you were driving with a bit of dew, or grease, or millipede over the track. You would lose traction and slip everywhere. To avoid this, you would need a compensatory driving strategy. You could drive more slowly, or brake sooner, or change how you brake. Your experience and intuition would lead the way. Folks, this is why it’s called “driving by the seat of your pants”…

Track & Signal, 19(1), 60-61.