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(Abilene Reporter-News)   Union Pacific: Hey, if the city, county and parade organizer don't let us know their parade route crosses our tracks, we can't be held responsible for what happens next   (reporternews.com) divider line 384
    More: Followup, Union Pacific, parade float, Ordinances of 1311, flatbed trucks, parades, chief warrant officer, Midland, train wrecks  
•       •       •

19290 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Feb 2013 at 11:26 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-27 01:33:45 PM  

Sin_City_Superhero: oldfarthenry: I believe that here should be ramps installed at railway crossings allowing the train to fly over any vehicles or parade floats using the roadways.

You're thinkin' too small...

[basementrejects.com image 450x295]


So are you.

rookery.s3.amazonaws.com
 
2013-02-27 01:35:42 PM  
Also it turns out a dump truck is better for stopping a train.

www.pajiba.com
 
2013-02-27 01:35:57 PM  

poe_zlaw: I dont understand why the train didnt just stop or swerve out of the way of the truck.


Because it was an older model locomotive. No ABS.
 
2013-02-27 01:37:21 PM  

LeroyBourne: I know a woman from Midland.  Sweet kind gal, but yeah, not very bright.  tfa isn't helping the rest of the town.


Maybe there's something in the water sorta like that one Stephen King short story The End of the Whole Mess?
 
2013-02-27 01:38:24 PM  

DownDaRiver: Maybe 20secs warning for high speed trains should be looked at. Seems a short warning to me. But that isn't the trains fault. That's the NTSB that sets that.


It doesn't  sound like much time, but if you count it out, it's longer than it sounds like it'd be. That'd should be enough time to clear almost anything from the track, even starting from stationary and giving a few seconds to realize WTF is going on. About the only time I can think of when it wouldn't would be if the vehicle is actually  stuck, in which case a longer time is unlikely to help. (I guess you could have other traffic blocking it in, but that's a different problem and why did you stop on the railroad tracks anyway.) 20 seconds seems like a reasonable compromise to me between not blocking traffic for an unnecessary amount of time and provoking tempting fate vs giving enough warning.

(Though maybe there should be something like a yellow light: give a yellow light 10 or 20 seconds before the red.)

The_Homeless_Guy: Why would the speed of the train matter as to the length of the warning? If the train can't stop in time, it can't stop whether it is doing 40 or 60. 20 seconds is 20 seconds despite the speed of the train.


Um, because maybe it  could stop in time at a lower speed, or at least give more additional time? Your second sentence is true, but it's true because the premise  isn't. For instance, trains come through here at, I dunno, probably 10-20 mph. I'm not sure what their stopping distance is, but they  do occasionally stop to allow someone to throw a switch. (Well, they did, but then that switch and one of the tracks was removed.)  I suspect at that low speed, it'd actually be able to stop before hitting something on the tracks, so in some sense a shorter warning would suffice.

It's a similar reason to why you'll often see yellow lights that are only a second or two long on residential streets but see yellow lights that will last for five seconds (or even more, sometimes) on highways. (Well, until they put a red light camera there at least.)
 
2013-02-27 01:40:07 PM  

Mikey1969: Langdon Alger: maybe someone can help here, but trains do have right of way over cars and pedestrians, right? And is it right that you can cross over the tracks but remaining stationary or walking along the tracks is considered tresspassing, right?

Trains can go right over anything pretty much. Cars, pedestrians, semi trucks, cats, dogs...

in all seriousness, I think if you bypass the crossing gates(Especially the gates), you have absolutely Zero case. Maybe even Less Than Zero.


Cows. I don't know why but trains are cow magnets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_iRtXDwu4U
 
2013-02-27 01:40:13 PM  

SurelyShirley


poe_zlaw: I dont understand why the train didnt just stop or swerve out of the way of the truck.

Because it was an older model locomotive. No ABS.


That's ridiculous. How the hell is a train going to do sit-ups??
 
2013-02-27 01:42:14 PM  

Shvetz: They kind of have a point. The article states that the parade organizer never sought a permit from the city, and the city never enforced their existing laws. This is why we have things like parade permits. Yeah, it's annoying to deal with "red tape" and it's a hassle to do things by the book, but there's a reason for it.


Ban patriotism.   It engenders dangerous feelings of entitlement and security.
 
2013-02-27 01:43:01 PM  

PooperMcSlides: Benjamin Orr: Hack Patooey: Investigators have said the float began crossing the tracks even though warning bells were sounding and the crossing lights were flashing.

And we're done here.

No no no... Clearly the railroad is to blame since they have the most money

You couldn't have said it better. This is why insurance costs so much in the US, people often go after the deepest pockets rather than accepting responsibility for their own actions or placing the blame where it should be.


Thank you Captian Obvious.
 
2013-02-27 01:45:38 PM  
 
2013-02-27 01:46:29 PM  

The_Homeless_Guy: DownDaRiver: Maybe 20secs warning for high speed trains should be looked at. Seems a short warning to me. But that isn't the trains fault. That's the NTSB that sets that.

Why would the speed of the train matter as to the length of the warning? If the train can't stop in time, it can't stop whether it is doing 40 or 60. 20 seconds is 20 seconds despite the speed of the train.


Maybe you want to rethink your question.
Regardless of object. Think, getting from point A to B, and how speed plays in to that.
Also, the actual warning of the guards were only 13secs.

Still doesn't answer why a driver isn't responsible to be observent and and take caution when crossing RR tracks.
 
2013-02-27 01:47:03 PM  

SpaceBison: Mikey1969: Langdon Alger: maybe someone can help here, but trains do have right of way over cars and pedestrians, right? And is it right that you can cross over the tracks but remaining stationary or walking along the tracks is considered tresspassing, right?

Trains can go right over anything pretty much. Cars, pedestrians, semi trucks, cats, dogs...

in all seriousness, I think if you bypass the crossing gates(Especially the gates), you have absolutely Zero case. Maybe even Less Than Zero.

Cows. I don't know why but trains are cow magnets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_iRtXDwu4U


Holy NSFW guy!
 
2013-02-27 01:47:33 PM  
MBooda:
So are you.

[rookery.s3.amazonaws.com image 624x411]


Ahem...

blog.animeinstrumentality.net
 
2013-02-27 01:53:43 PM  

ausfahrk: CheekyMonkey:

No gate, dude.  Just lights and bells, which the float driver ignored.  Float driver is completely at fault.

Google street view of the area. Image date May 2008.  Looks like a gate to me.


Wow, I was assuming it must have been in the middle of town with buildings blocking the view down the tracks or something. Clear view both ways, warning gates - not sure how this could in any way, shape or form be the railroad's fault unless the gate wasn't working, and by the sound of it it has been established that the gates were working.
 
2013-02-27 01:56:48 PM  

coldcuts: Well, looking over these comments, it seems pretty clear that consensus among the fark-reading and comment -posting of us is that it was NOT the railways fault, and this is nothing but a naked money grab from the deepest pockets of those involved.


Seems pretty clear that a like-minded jury would agree fairly quickly.  And given that, hardly a good reason to take it to trial.

Now, hands up:  How many here are going to try to duck jury duty next time they are called?


i877.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-27 01:57:20 PM  
Darwined.

I get a special kick when some asshole on a snowmobile does something stupid enough to lose their own life.
But racing a train?
I'm going to send the funeral home a wreath that says, :"You dumbass. You really deserved it. "
 
2013-02-27 01:59:09 PM  
1.bp.blogspot.com

Wanted for questioning
 
2013-02-27 01:59:25 PM  
xa.yimg.com
OHHHH IIII LOVE A PARAAAADE
 
2013-02-27 01:59:33 PM  

ausfahrk: CheekyMonkey:

No gate, dude.  Just lights and bells, which the float driver ignored.  Float driver is completely at fault.

Google street view of the area. Image date May 2008.  Looks like a gate to me.


Even if there wasn't a gate, take a look at that picture. 

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: Chariset: ausfahrk: CheekyMonkey:

No gate, dude.  Just lights and bells, which the float driver ignored.  Float driver is completely at fault.

Google street view of the area. Image date May 2008.  Looks like a gate to me.

A gate, and completely flat land as far as the eye can see.  They would have seen the train coming for at least a minute before it actually reached them.  No possibility that it was behind a hill or curve.

Of course, the plaintiffs will take this fact and turn it around to claim that the train driver should have seen the parade and started putting on the brakes. Of course, doing so probably would not have changed the result since the reaction likely would have been, "we're cool, he's slowing down for us."


The float went over the tracks after the lights came on and while the gate was lowering.  The engineer, then realizing he was on a collision course with the salt of the earth, then pulled the emergency brake.  The engineer had all of nine seconds or so to stop the train.

I haven't seen anything that says how much that train was pulling, only that it was going 60 some odd miles per hour when it hit - but I doubt even just the engine could have gone from 60 to 0 in 9 seconds.
 
2013-02-27 02:01:06 PM  

GoodyearPimp: Hack Patooey: Investigators have said the float began crossing the tracks even though warning bells were sounding and the crossing lights were flashing.

And we're done here.

I will be suing Coca Cola because they didn't stop me from opening and consuming gallons of their product.


Clearly the railroad is to blame here, since they make it their business to regularly invite parades to cross their tracks as often as possible.
 
2013-02-27 02:01:38 PM  

I_Can't_Believe_it's_not_Boutros: Why don't they look?

/gentle pressure


Can you identify this bucket of veterans?
 
2013-02-27 02:04:08 PM  

Hack Patooey: Investigators have said the float began crossing the tracks even though warning bells were sounding and the crossing lights were flashing.

And we're done here.


That said, there  should be some sort of braking system on trains so the human on board can, you know, not be forced to watch the train crush someone who ended up on the tracks. TFA didn't really go into why the train didn't stop, but even if they aren't at fault, this might be a good wake-up call for creating a braking system.

/If it's just that it was a blind corner and there wasn't enough time to stop, fair enough, but it's worth noting that trains probably should have brakes.
//I'm slightly stunned this train didn't\couldn't use them.
 
2013-02-27 02:05:26 PM  

vudukungfu: I'm going to send the funeral home a wreath that says, :"You dumbass. You really deserved it. "



The driver lived. The only victims were the passengers on the back of the flatbed trailer.

I suppose you could make the case that those on the trailer could have jumped off rather than sit there and wait for the train to stop, but they had no part in the initial decision to race the train.
 
2013-02-27 02:06:01 PM  

Ned Stark: Plaintiffs to be sentenced to get run over by another train for wasting the courts time.


I've never met you before, but suddenly, I like you and the way you think.
 
2013-02-27 02:06:17 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: I live near Atlanta, and Marietta, Kennesaw, and Acworth all have big festivals pretty much on the train tracks.  Presumably they tell the railroad because the engineers generally start blowing the horn earlier than normal and people still screw around getting off the tracks.

My understanding is that trains pretty much always have the right of way and as long as the crossing lights are working you are automatically at fault if you get hit.


Actually, I think the tracks are owned by the railroad, so if you are loitering on them you are technically trespassing.

Railroads have deep pockets, that's the only reason this case is happening.  I think the railroads should counter-sue for damages, time taken inspecting equipment, counseling for the engineer, cleaning blood off their trains, and legal costs.  That's what needs to be done to counter this kind of b.s.
 
2013-02-27 02:06:55 PM  

PsiChick: Hack Patooey: Investigators have said the float began crossing the tracks even though warning bells were sounding and the crossing lights were flashing.

And we're done here.

That said, there  should be some sort of braking system on trains so the human on board can, you know, not be forced to watch the train crush someone who ended up on the tracks. TFA didn't really go into why the train didn't stop, but even if they aren't at fault, this might be a good wake-up call for creating a braking system.

/If it's just that it was a blind corner and there wasn't enough time to stop, fair enough, but it's worth noting that trains probably should have brakes.
//I'm slightly stunned this train didn't\couldn't use them.


It did.  But you don't just stop several hundred/thousand tons of metal in 9 seconds.

/Heck, my car probably couldn't go from 60 to 0 in 9 seconds.
 
2013-02-27 02:10:26 PM  

PsiChick: That said, there  should be some sort of braking system on trains so the human on board can, you know, not be forced to watch the train crush someone who ended up on the tracks. TFA didn't really go into why the train didn't stop, but even if they aren't at fault, this might be a good wake-up call for creating a braking system.



As a general rule of thumb, it takes a loaded train over a mile to stop at moderate speeds. Under the best conditions, an engineer can only see that the track is obstructed less than a mile ahead.

Outside of a "derail train" button, there was nothing more the engineer could do to prevent the collusion.
 
2013-02-27 02:12:34 PM  

GoodyearPimp: "This item demonstrates how stupid the average American is. Every ninety minutes someone in this country is hit by a train. A train, okay? Trains are on tracks; they can't come and get you. They can't surprise you when you step off a curb. You have to go to them. Got that?"  -George Carlin


They're called suicides George.
 
2013-02-27 02:13:35 PM  

PsiChick: Hack Patooey: Investigators have said the float began crossing the tracks even though warning bells were sounding and the crossing lights were flashing.

And we're done here.

That said, there  should be some sort of braking system on trains so the human on board can, you know, not be forced to watch the train crush someone who ended up on the tracks. TFA didn't really go into why the train didn't stop, but even if they aren't at fault, this might be a good wake-up call for creating a braking system.

/If it's just that it was a blind corner and there wasn't enough time to stop, fair enough, but it's worth noting that trains probably should have brakes.
//I'm slightly stunned this train didn't\couldn't use them.


The only thing that could keep the human in board from watching the train crush someone would be a set of mini blinds. Trains can't just stop when they are going 60 mph
 
2013-02-27 02:14:14 PM  

Englebert Slaptyback: SurelyShirley

poe_zlaw: I dont understand why the train didnt just stop or swerve out of the way of the truck.

Because it was an older model locomotive. No ABS.


That's ridiculous. How the hell is a train going to do sit-ups??


I used to train all the time doing situps. If I can do it, why can't others?
 
2013-02-27 02:14:35 PM  

ladyfortuna: Great_Milenko: Shvetz:

But it's for  veterans. How can you expect people to participate in their fetish of worshiping our culture of death if you have a bunch of rules to follow.

Hey guy. MOST people who join the military don't end up killing anyone ever, or even shooting at people.



Or doing anything whatsoever that warrants the automatic hero worshiping that is lauded upon them.
 
2013-02-27 02:15:32 PM  

PsiChick: Hack Patooey: Investigators have said the float began crossing the tracks even though warning bells were sounding and the crossing lights were flashing.

And we're done here.

That said, there  should be some sort of braking system on trains so the human on board can, you know, not be forced to watch the train crush someone who ended up on the tracks. TFA didn't really go into why the train didn't stop, but even if they aren't at fault, this might be a good wake-up call for creating a braking system.

/If it's just that it was a blind corner and there wasn't enough time to stop, fair enough, but it's worth noting that trains probably should have brakes.
//I'm slightly stunned this train didn't\couldn't use them.


trains have brakes...and (literally) tons of mass.  takes them quite a while to stop.  it's a big part of why you stay out of the way of trains.
/thought everyone knew this
 
2013-02-27 02:15:40 PM  

evaned: It's a similar reason to why you'll often see yellow lights that are only a second or two long on residential streets but see yellow lights that will last for five seconds (or even more, sometimes) on highways. (Well, until they put a red light camera there at least.)


The train was travelling about 91 feet/second. 
In 20 seconds that train covered 1818 feet or more than a third of mile. 6 farking football fields.

A train going 30 mph will only travel 900 or so feet in the same amount of time.

Float driver may not have even seen the train when he started across.
Given that he was part of a parade he may not have been able to just 'gun it' to clear the tracks.
And if people were standing around the tracks maybe he thought someone just set the warnings off somehow. People are really uneducated on how those crossings are set up to not have false-positives. 
Still stupid to cross.
 
2013-02-27 02:17:55 PM  
I hate a parade
 
2013-02-27 02:20:37 PM  

dryknife: Nobody pays attention to stop signs or railroad crossings in Midland

[www.firstladies.org image 197x288]


Your shot. It is incredibly cheap. Go stand in the corner.
 
2013-02-27 02:20:46 PM  

the ha ha guy: PsiChick: That said, there  should be some sort of braking system on trains so the human on board can, you know, not be forced to watch the train crush someone who ended up on the tracks. TFA didn't really go into why the train didn't stop, but even if they aren't at fault, this might be a good wake-up call for creating a braking system.


As a general rule of thumb, it takes a loaded train over a mile to stop at moderate speeds. Under the best conditions, an engineer can only see that the track is obstructed less than a mile ahead.

Outside of a "derail train" button, there was nothing more the engineer could do to prevent the collusion.


Ah. Okay, yeah, that makes more sense.

/I thought it was a shorter distance\more visible.
 
2013-02-27 02:21:25 PM  
I've worked on a few rail construction projects.  The best was putting in a new pedestrian bridge (and it's footings) about ten feet from a busy freight/commuter line.  We have permits, flagging, all the gear, a dedicated CN flag man who is in radio contact with central dispatch and the commuter engineers.

Safety rule #1?  Don't step on the tracks.  And when a train is coming, all work stops and you back off the track, never letting your eyes off the damn train.

Trains are big.  You are small.  Train wins.  Everytime.
 
2013-02-27 02:22:02 PM  
It's a nitpick, but this is a common misunderstanding:

"Right of way" does not mean "Entitlement to go first". "Right of way" simply means "road". Simple physics says the train will ALWAYS get the right of way, even if your float was already in it.
 
2013-02-27 02:22:31 PM  

ausfahrk: CheekyMonkey:

No gate, dude.  Just lights and bells, which the float driver ignored.  Float driver is completely at fault.

Google street view of the area. Image date May 2008.  Looks like a gate to me.


I also see unobstructed view for miles there! The float driver should be knee-capped and left on the tracks. Trains are the next best thing to a force of nature, you don't fark with trains.

Perhaps he was paralyzed with fear? <CSB> I remember once when I was a kid I was crossing a railroad track with some friends, a low speed train was around 150m away. I made the mistake of looking at the train while crossing and everything went still for a second. It was like my brain decided the train was a giant predator and there was no way to escape it, it was inevitable. Luckily it only lasted a second or so and I got the fark out of the way.</CSB>

/I was like 10 at the time
 
2013-02-27 02:23:04 PM  

Perducci: ladyfortuna: Great_Milenko: Shvetz:

But it's for  veterans. How can you expect people to participate in their fetish of worshiping our culture of death if you have a bunch of rules to follow.

Hey guy. MOST people who join the military don't end up killing anyone ever, or even shooting at people.


Or doing anything whatsoever that warrants the automatic hero worshiping that is lauded upon them.


I never asked for any of that and it actually makes me uncomfortable when it happens. I don't wear my army coat to the grocery any more after the kid at the checkout made a big deal out of it. I have gotten free coffee a couple of times while in uniform, but they basically force it on you at that point. Probably half my Army friends feel the same way.
 
2013-02-27 02:23:26 PM  

the ha ha guy: vudukungfu: I'm going to send the funeral home a wreath that says, :"You dumbass. You really deserved it. "

The driver lived. The only victims were the passengers on the back of the flatbed trailer.

I suppose you could make the case that those on the trailer could have jumped off rather than sit there and wait for the train to stop,


Many of them did, or at least tried.

Trains go fast.


the ha ha guy: PsiChick: That said, there  should be some sort of braking system on trains so the human on board can, you know, not be forced to watch the train crush someone who ended up on the tracks. TFA didn't really go into why the train didn't stop, but even if they aren't at fault, this might be a good wake-up call for creating a braking system.

As a general rule of thumb, it takes a loaded train over a mile to stop at moderate speeds. Under the best conditions, an engineer can only see that the track is obstructed less than a mile ahead.

Outside of a "derail train" button, there was nothing more the engineer could do to prevent the collusion.


You need to talk to Michael Bay.  That's like three movies' worth of plot right there.
 
2013-02-27 02:25:39 PM  

bionicjoe: Float driver may not have even seen the train when he started across.



I'm not sure the driver could claim low visibility.
http://goo.gl/maps/rq2f4

Also, the NTSB says that the driver drove across AFTER the gate started lowering. Even if he did think it was a false positive, what was he trying to do, use the gate to scrape all the passengers off the back of his truck?
 
2013-02-27 02:28:56 PM  

bedtundy: CheekyMonkey: CheekyMonkey: cgraves67: There were gates, bells, and lights. The float crossed the tracks with the lights flashing. I don't think the UPRR is at fault here. Maybe this could instigate a review of current regulations, but UPRR was fully compliant as it stands.

No gate, dude.  Just lights and bells, which the float driver ignored.  Float driver is completely at fault.

\too bad it wasn't a float full of lawers, though

And by 'lawers' I mean 'lawyers'.

Can you imagine a world without lawyers?

[25.media.tumblr.com image 500x382]


I don't have to. See drug dealers don't have access to lawyers or contract law to enforce their deals. That is why they use guns. In a world with out lawyers everyone would have to settle disputes the old fashioned way. Anyone who does not understand that obviously is too stupid to live.
 
2013-02-27 02:30:11 PM  
My guess is, the float driver had enough of living in Slodeatha, and decided to end it all quickly when he saw the chance.
 
2013-02-27 02:30:35 PM  
So, can someone explain what it is, exactly, that UP should have done differently (according to plaintiffs, etc.)?
 
2013-02-27 02:31:10 PM  
These trains are clearly at fault.  We should limit where they can drive.  Maybe we could even put them on rails, and wherever they crossed civilian traffic we could have warning bells.

If only there was some system where people could pool there money ahead of time so that when tragedy strikes the people who need it could have money.  We could call it insurance or something, and we could use it when no one is at fault.


Clearly, we need to just give all our money to the driver of the float.  If we give him lots of money, everyone can actually sue the correct person in this case.
 
2013-02-27 02:32:03 PM  

PsiChick: the ha ha guy: PsiChick: That said, there  should be some sort of braking system on trains so the human on board can, you know, not be forced to watch the train crush someone who ended up on the tracks. TFA didn't really go into why the train didn't stop, but even if they aren't at fault, this might be a good wake-up call for creating a braking system.


As a general rule of thumb, it takes a loaded train over a mile to stop at moderate speeds. Under the best conditions, an engineer can only see that the track is obstructed less than a mile ahead.

Outside of a "derail train" button, there was nothing more the engineer could do to prevent the collusion.

Ah. Okay, yeah, that makes more sense.

/I thought it was a shorter distance\more visible.


Nope.  If it's literally just the train engine cruising along all by it's lonesome it probably wouldn't take all that long to stop, but the amount of momentum a mile+ long train has when traveling at full speed is absolutely obscene.  There is no braking mechanism on the planet capable of stopping that much force on a dime.
 
2013-02-27 02:36:07 PM  

China White Tea: So, can someone explain what it is, exactly, that UP should have done differently (according to plaintiffs, etc.)?


At the very least they should have put in crossing gates that covered all lanes of traffic, at most they should have put in an overpass so that the trains and cars could never occupy the same space at the same time.
 
2013-02-27 02:37:23 PM  

Jormungandr: It was like my brain decided the train was a giant predator and there was no way to escape it, it was inevitable.


Hopefully, you will be standing next to me the next time one of those pesky T-Rex's pops out of nowhere and catches my scent.

/Don't have to be the fastest runner.
//Just don't want to be the slowest.
///Slashie Trifecta
 
2013-02-27 02:39:06 PM  
"EDITOR'S NOTE: As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, hundreds of people were accessing this story from social media links."

Uh... okay.

Nice to know.
 
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