I was thinking (on my way back from Washington) how we got there, or here, or where we are today.
"Where exactly?" you ask. You mean the 7th car of train 138, somewhere east of Baltimore? Or 151 in the morning?
Not exactly. I mean to that point in time and place where after all the pledges of allegiance to safety culture and to risk assessment, the "subject matter experts" with "Doctor" before their names; safety board members; technical experts; interested, invested, parties; all committed to safety culture, to core values, to robust "two-way" communication where one of those ways presumably involves listening, could spend the final hour of two days of hearings ignoring exactly those words that Ms. Kirsch, in her wisdom and courage, had spoken.
Ms. Kirsch's statement comes at about 6:43:20 in the video record of the second day of NTSB hearings, November 7, 2013. The video record is available at the NTSB website, so please, don't take my word for it. Watch it. And please again, don't hestitate to tell me how wrong I am; how I missed the pause these words created in the questioning, the criticism, the doubting of the necessity and the validity of enforcement to safe train operations. Go ahead, tell me I'm wrong, but please include the time reference on the video record, because in my distress I must have missed that part, both at the hearing itself and in subsequent reviews of the video.
We have to adhere to our operating rules....Once we relax that standard that adds additional risk as well.
--Anne Kirsch, Chief Safety and Security Officer, Metro-North Railroad, testifying at the NTSB hearing, November 7, 2013.