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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
    More: Followup, Union Pacific, parade float, Ordinances of 1311, flatbed trucks, parades, chief warrant officer, Midland, train wrecks  
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19317 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Feb 2013 at 11:26 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-02-27 11:30:13 AM  
27 votes:
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.
2013-02-27 11:31:58 AM  
12 votes:
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.
2013-02-27 11:48:17 AM  
9 votes:
"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
2013-02-27 11:38:12 AM  
9 votes:
Investigators have said the float began crossing the tracks even though warning bells were sounding and the crossing lights were flashing.

Kevin Glasheen, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the Midland lawsuit, said Union Pacific's action was anticipated.

"For the railroad, it's a way to shift responsibly to other parties," Glasheen said.


What a crock of shiat. The warnings were working, the float decided to ignore those warnings, and now it's UP trying to "shift the blame"? Farking lawyers. On top of everything, these jackasses act like every mile of train track is administered locally, so Joe-Bob should have known the parade route and time and diverted the train. For Fark's sake, they cover 2/3 of the country, they aren't going toreceive your parade route details by psychic dispatch.

What this IS is an attempt to switch blame from the responsible parties to the giant corporation. Did I mention farking lawyers yet?
2013-02-27 11:34:00 AM  
9 votes:
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.
2013-02-27 11:31:36 AM  
8 votes:
It doesn't sound like the railroad is at fault at all.  Are they supposed to have somebody on each track crossing at all times, in case somebody decides to throw a parade without telling them?  Are there important details not mentioned in TFA?
2013-02-27 11:54:22 AM  
7 votes:
The float driver, the ONE person responsible is the only one completely off the hook for some reason. I don't get it,
2013-02-27 08:34:54 PM  
6 votes:

DarkVader: Do you know why it actually IS the railroad's fault?

It's incredibly irresponsible for them to keep using tracks with a grade crossing through a city as anything but a low-speed spur for local trains.  Surrounding that city is a big bunch of nothing, and if railroads want to continue to operate, they need to be forced to either move the tracks out of town or either bridge or depress the tracks to eliminate all grade crossings - preferably both.

We need a nationwide ban on grade-level crossings used by trains that are moving so fast that they can't stop in the distance they can see.  Give the railroads 25 years to remove all of them, but make them all go away.

Oh, and to keep them from just slowing long trains down, fine them $100,000 per minute they block a crossing longer than 5 minutes.


You sound like somebody that would build a McMansion a mile down the departure path of a major airport and then complain about jet noise.
2013-02-27 12:37:23 PM  
6 votes:
Wow.  It takes a lot of ineptitude to make a capitalistic megacorporate railroad company look like the innocent victim.

Congratulations, Midland, Texas.
2013-02-27 11:48:24 AM  
6 votes:

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
2013-02-27 11:38:08 AM  
6 votes:
In preliminary statements after the accident, National Transportation Safety Board officials said the crossing's warning system was activated 20 seconds before the collision in accordance with federal regulations and that the guardrail began to descend seven seconds later.

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

The idiot driving the float is clearly at fault.
2013-02-27 11:32:08 AM  
6 votes:

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
2013-02-27 11:53:36 AM  
5 votes:

Pav: The fact that this case hasn't been thrown out of the court system already is a disgrace unless this article is leaving out the prosecutions entire case.



The float driver, the guy who purposely drove onto the tracks after the gates and bells were active, already had his case thrown out by a jury, so now they're going to go after everyone they possibly can, because someone must pay.

"Justice" isn't about convicting the guilty, it's about fulfilling the victims desire for retribution.
2013-02-27 11:35:58 AM  
5 votes:
Uh, maybe I'm missing something, but how does one not notice a train coming, even with a large, loud crowd and absence of warning lights/bells?
2013-02-27 05:28:03 PM  
4 votes:

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.


not possible, newton's third law.

if trains were designed with strong brakes on every wheel which could exert enough force to stop the train in such a short distance, the force would bend and buckle the tracks, derailing the train, and it still wouldn't stop, depending on where the wreck happened it could level a large number of structures and kill hundreds of people
2013-02-27 11:58:12 AM  
4 votes:
the dumbass that drove the truck onto the tracks is the responsible party here.  Yet he gets a pass.   FTFA: Midland County District Attorney Teresa Clingman announced Jan. 9 that a grand jury had declined to indict the driver, Dale Andrew Hayden.

obviously, he has no money.
Pav
2013-02-27 11:46:01 AM  
4 votes:
The fact that this case hasn't been thrown out of the court system already is a disgrace unless this article is leaving out the prosecutions entire case.
2013-02-27 11:37:52 AM  
4 votes:

Maud Dib: Most of the trains out there in West Texas are pretty got-damn long, and they take a mile or so to stop.
They come blowing through those podunk towns at a good clip.
It's crazy.


If only there were some sort of alarm that would sound with a gate that descended to discourage people from endangering themselves, this might not have happened.
2013-02-27 11:36:34 AM  
4 votes:

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.
2013-02-27 11:34:38 AM  
4 votes:

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.


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.  Permits are only necessary to prevent them there queer pride parades.
2013-02-27 03:22:36 PM  
3 votes:

PsiChick: Lurk sober post drunk: PsiChick: logical explanation I could come up with was that there weren't brakes

it does not seem logical to me to build trains that have no brakes.  in fact, the idea strikes me as totally insane.
that said, if a train engineer sees something, he will hit it if it does not move.  not because he is a cruel man, but because trains are heavy.

You have seen the end result of other cost-cutting measures companies try, right? 'Well, we don't have brakes on here because we 'forgot' to replace them and nobody's ever on the tracks anyway' would  not be the dumbest thing I've heard.


Please stop hurting yourself.

Or explain how trains would stop for loading, unloading and fueling without brakes.
2013-02-27 02:10:26 PM  
3 votes:

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 12:26:30 PM  
3 votes:

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.


You (or your estate) should be liable for the years of therapy (and lost work?) the poor engineer will need to get over washing the pieces of you off the front of the train.
2013-02-27 12:18:37 PM  
3 votes:
What do you expect from Midland, Tx?

static.infowars.com
2013-02-27 12:16:01 PM  
3 votes:
FTFA: In preliminary statements after the accident, National Transportation Safety Board officials said the crossing's warning system was activated 20 seconds before the collision in accordance with federal regulations and that the guardrail began to descend seven seconds later.Investigators have said the float began crossing the tracks even though warning bells were sounding and the crossing lights were flashing.I rest my case. Also, normally you would inform the railroad and they would issue a slow order for the area. Tehachapi does this every year for their fourth of July festivities.
2013-02-27 11:51:45 AM  
3 votes:

Forced Perspective: It doesn't sound like the railroad is at fault at all.  Are they supposed to have somebody on each track crossing at all times, in case somebody decides to throw a parade without telling them?  Are there important details not mentioned in TFA?


The article clearly states that the victims are veterans. As you know, our master race of military men is superior to everyone else, so this is clearly the railroad's fault. If you disagree, you're a terrorist sympathizer.
2013-02-27 11:51:14 AM  
3 votes:

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


"In preliminary statements after the accident, National Transportation Safety Board officials said the crossing's warning system was activated 20 seconds before the collision in accordance with federal regulations and that the guardrail began to descend seven seconds later."
2013-02-27 11:39:51 AM  
3 votes:
Clearly the railroad is at fault, these trains just come out of nowhere, you never know when a train is just going to jump out in front of you. If only trains could be confined to a set, specific route, let's call it a track, then just maybe we would know where a train might be operating.
2013-02-27 11:38:23 AM  
3 votes:

db2: I don't want to sound like I support killing veterans or anything (I don't), but parades suck.


If you walk the other way, you can fast forward the parade.
2013-02-28 02:01:21 PM  
2 votes:

PsiChick: Old_Chief_Scott: PsiChick: Lurk sober post drunk: PsiChick: logical explanation I could come up with was that there weren't brakes

it does not seem logical to me to build trains that have no brakes.  in fact, the idea strikes me as totally insane.
that said, if a train engineer sees something, he will hit it if it does not move.  not because he is a cruel man, but because trains are heavy.

You have seen the end result of other cost-cutting measures companies try, right? 'Well, we don't have brakes on here because we 'forgot' to replace them and nobody's ever on the tracks anyway' would  not be the dumbest thing I've heard.

Unlike  somepeople around here, I'm going to be helpful and provide you with a video that should give you a rough idea of what it takes to stop a train. The loud sound you will hear on this video (after the crash of the locomotive into the truck, that is) will be the full application of brakes on every one of those railroad cars.

Link

Yeah, like I said, I do have a rough idea of the whole 'trains do not stop easily' thing, what threw me was the visibility--I assumed the folks on board could see the float in time to stop the train and didn't have the means, not that the float just wasn't visible. That's a good vid, though, thanks. :)


When the train was a mile away, there was no reason to stop because the float wasn't there yet either. It was only when the float began to ignore the flashing lights and the guard rails dropping that the engineer would have known anything was up. To his credit, when that happened, he activated the trains horn and emergency brakes, but by then it was too late.

Think of it this way, unless they are just sitting there, chillin' on the tracks, if the train is far away enough to stop, then it's too far away to assume there is a problem. One simply cannot avoid the responsibility falling on those who *cross* the tracks no matter how much one would prefer to blame the train.
2013-02-28 03:32:12 AM  
2 votes:

evaned: Um, because maybe it  could stop in time at a lower speed, or at least give more additional time?


bionicjoe: 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.


Except train warnings are speed-compensated -- they go off 20 seconds before the train arrives as the intersection regardless of its speed. And that's not a new technology; this has been the case since analog computers were all the rage.

At sufficiently low speeds the train would have little enough energy that it could stop before reaching the intersection. But there's still only 20 seconds in which to act, no matter the starting speed. The train engineer can't know there's a problem until he sees that the crossing signal is warning people to clear the track, and those signals start 20 seconds out. (Or sometimes more depending on local regulation, but always at least 20 seconds in the US)
2013-02-27 09:02:40 PM  
2 votes:
Train company should sue the city for damages to the train, and the conductor should sue the driver for emotional trauma.
2013-02-27 08:27:01 PM  
2 votes:

DarkVader: Do you know why it actually IS the railroad's fault?

It's incredibly irresponsible for them to keep using tracks with a grade crossing through a city as anything but a low-speed spur for local trains.  Surrounding that city is a big bunch of nothing, and if railroads want to continue to operate, they need to be forced to either move the tracks out of town or either bridge or depress the tracks to eliminate all grade crossings - preferably both.

We need a nationwide ban on grade-level crossings used by trains that are moving so fast that they can't stop in the distance they can see.  Give the railroads 25 years to remove all of them, but make them all go away.

Oh, and to keep them from just slowing long trains down, fine them $100,000 per minute they block a crossing longer than 5 minutes.


Wasn't the train track there first? Didn't people effective move to the tracks as a result of the goods and services brought to the area by the train?

Aren't you effectively arguing in favor of people that suing a pre-existing nuisance?
2013-02-27 06:20:12 PM  
2 votes:

Great Porn Dragon: Lurk sober post drunk: PsiChick: logical explanation I could come up with was that there weren't brakes

it does not seem logical to me to build trains that have no brakes.  in fact, the idea strikes me as totally insane.
that said, if a train engineer sees something, he will hit it if it does not move.  not because he is a cruel man, but because trains are heavy.

Oh, I'm sure they had brakes--


yeah, i was pointing out that "not having brakes" was not a logical explanation. as you are the second person to misunderstand, apparently i not so good at the writing.
but what i've been saying this whole thread is "trains heavy, don't be in front of them."
2013-02-27 06:07:25 PM  
2 votes:

realityVSperception: I detest red light camera abuse by government as much as anyone else, but put the darn things at these RR
crossings so that anyone who tries to cross against flashing lights + gates gets a ticket. That's
probably the best way to get idiots to stop entering the tracks and trying to beat the train.

Also place a traffic cam at each crossing and relay the image to oncoming locomotives so the Engineer
can see if there is a problem before he is on top of it and has time to react.

I don't think the RR is at fault, but given the cost of dealing with these accidents, its probably cheaper to protect idiots from themselves.


So the engineer should watch the little screen in the cab of the train engine with the relayed images of the intersection up to a mile in front of the train, and read the minds of the drivers up to a mile away from the crossing, giving him the ability to know up to a minute in advance when he should slam on the emergency brake. Good thing RR crossings aren't close together. The engineer would need 4 or 5 monitors for the different crossings then.
/not even going to start on the whole "ticketing" idea.
2013-02-27 06:01:52 PM  
2 votes:

fluffy2097: itsfullofstars: Why go after the guy who ignored the signal,

Maybe he was told that the railroad was aware of the parade, and that he was clear to proceed even if there are lights.

Maybe the lights came on after he was on the tracks, but there was a farking paraded ahead and behind him, and he was unable to move off the tracks.


Unlikely and illegal--it turns out in the discovery process that there was NOT any notification given to UP (like there SHOULD have been) of a parade--they can in fact explictly re-route trains or hold traffic in such cases at dispatch.

And crossing a closed crossing-gate is not only suicidally dangerous but illegal--only ones who could have given actual authorisation are either the railroad itself (where a MOW worker would have flagged them across) or via law enforcement (in coordination with UP dispatch on the radio, who would receive authorisation from the UP railroad police and MOW to flag them across).  Neither of these were done, and apparently the city up and completely neglected to inform Union Pacific whatsofarkingever of said parade.

(Seriously, when it comes to rail crossings, the railroad is God And Emperor as far as the law goes.  Railroads have their own dedicated police with arrest authority (the ONLY private companies other than the privatized US Postal Service to do so, in fact), and even other law enforcement and EMS have to get explicit authorisation from railroad law enforcement and safety officials before they can do their own rescue and investigation, and in general even EMS is advised to generally coordinate rescue operations with the railroad so that the RR can make sure a train doesn't plow into an ambulance by accident.)
2013-02-27 05:06:24 PM  
2 votes:

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.


Its worse than that.

I really wish it had not been veterans.....if it were like civil servant of the year winners or 2012 most violent rapper parade...I would even make fun of it.

But the only thing that matters here is that the operator of the float has a responsibility to operate safely. If the parade route had gone right over an enormous sinkhole that had opened in the last fifteen minutes would the guy drive right into it and blame the city engineering department?  Vehicle wreck with burning gasoline? Herd of sauroposeidons? The rule for level crossings has been around for a hundred years, visually confirm that no train is approaching and that there is enough room for you to clear the tracks on the other side before entering the restricted area.

The only thing the train company did was put a train through there on a set schedule.
2013-02-27 05:06:01 PM  
2 votes:
realityVSperception: I detest red light camera abuse by government as much as anyone else, but put the darn things at these RR
crossings so that anyone who tries to cross against flashing lights + gates gets a ticket. That's
probably the best way to get idiots to stop entering the tracks and trying to beat the train
.

I'm okay with that.

Also place a traffic cam at each crossing and relay the image to oncoming locomotives so the Engineer
can see if there is a problem before he is on top of it and has time to react.


Wouldn't have helped in this case.

I don't think the RR is at fault, but given the cost of dealing with these accidents, its probably cheaper to protect idiots from themselves.

Well, if they manage to ignore the flashing lights, gate arms, and 130 dB whistle, how else can we help them?
2013-02-27 04:25:42 PM  
2 votes:

PsiChick: Old_Chief_Scott: PsiChick: Lurk sober post drunk: PsiChick: logical explanation I could come up with was that there weren't brakes

it does not seem logical to me to build trains that have no brakes.  in fact, the idea strikes me as totally insane.
that said, if a train engineer sees something, he will hit it if it does not move.  not because he is a cruel man, but because trains are heavy.

You have seen the end result of other cost-cutting measures companies try, right? 'Well, we don't have brakes on here because we 'forgot' to replace them and nobody's ever on the tracks anyway' would  not be the dumbest thing I've heard.

Unlike  somepeople around here, I'm going to be helpful and provide you with a video that should give you a rough idea of what it takes to stop a train. The loud sound you will hear on this video (after the crash of the locomotive into the truck, that is) will be the full application of brakes on every one of those railroad cars.

Link

Yeah, like I said, I do have a rough idea of the whole 'trains do not stop easily' thing, what threw me was the visibility--I assumed the folks on board could see the float in time to stop the train and didn't have the means, not that the float just wasn't visible. That's a good vid, though, thanks. :)



In order for the train to stop in time, it would have to hit the emergency brakes over a minute before the truck even approached the tracks.

Since the truck was off the tracks until only 12 seconds before the collusion, not even a lone engine would have been able to stop in time, let alone a fully loaded train going ~60MPH.
2013-02-27 03:51:13 PM  
2 votes:

Glendale: the ha ha guy: PsiChick: You have seen the end result of other cost-cutting measures companies try, right? 'Well, we don't have brakes on here because we 'forgot' to replace them and nobody's ever on the tracks anyway' would  not be the dumbest thing I've heard.


Without brakes, how would a train stop at its destination? How would it stop for other trains? How would it slow for a junction?

Brakes aren't some optional equipment to fix other's screw ups, they are literally half the point of the engine.

Since PsiChick  can't even comprehend air brakes let's not even bring up dynamic breaking or heads may asplode.


i think it's really irresponsible of union pacific to just give the engineers anchors that are chained to the engine, that they throw out the door when they are nearing depots.  fat cats!
2013-02-27 03:39:33 PM  
2 votes:

the ha ha guy: PsiChick: You have seen the end result of other cost-cutting measures companies try, right? 'Well, we don't have brakes on here because we 'forgot' to replace them and nobody's ever on the tracks anyway' would  not be the dumbest thing I've heard.


Without brakes, how would a train stop at its destination? How would it stop for other trains? How would it slow for a junction?

Brakes aren't some optional equipment to fix other's screw ups, they are literally half the point of the engine.


Since PsiChick  can't even comprehend air brakes let's not even bring up dynamic breaking or heads may asplode.
2013-02-27 03:16:21 PM  
2 votes:

PsiChick: Lurk sober post drunk: PsiChick: logical explanation I could come up with was that there weren't brakes

it does not seem logical to me to build trains that have no brakes.  in fact, the idea strikes me as totally insane.
that said, if a train engineer sees something, he will hit it if it does not move.  not because he is a cruel man, but because trains are heavy.

You have seen the end result of other cost-cutting measures companies try, right? 'Well, we don't have brakes on here because we 'forgot' to replace them and nobody's ever on the tracks anyway' would  not be the dumbest thing I've heard.


do you...know anything about trains?
2013-02-27 03:11:27 PM  
2 votes:

PsiChick: As I said--TFA didn't elaborate, and I didn't realize that they couldn't see them, so the only logical explanation I could come up with was that there  weren't brakes. There are very few humans who would willingly hit someone with a train.



According to the NTSB:
The lights and bells started 20 seconds before the collusion.
The gated started lowering 13 seconds before the collusion.
The truck started crossing the track 12 seconds before the collusion. (after the gates started lowering)
The train sounded its horn and applied its emergency brake 9 seconds before the collusion. (a fully loaded train normally takes over a minute to stop)

From this timeline, it appears that:
The truck driver had a full 8 seconds of warning before pulling on to the tracks, and attempted to drive across anyway.
The engineer had 9-12 seconds of warning, and did everything in his power to stop during that time.
The truck driver had 9-12 seconds of warning to get off the track, and apparently did nothing.


Somehow, I'm not sure the engineer is the one to blame here.
2013-02-27 03:00:05 PM  
2 votes:

NicoFinn: No Time To Explain: Uh, maybe I'm missing something, but how does one not notice a train coming, even with a large, loud crowd and absence of warning lights/bells?

Are you around trains a lot? It's pretty easy, actually.


Really? I don't live in Midland where this happened, but I live 6 blocks from those very same train tracks. Aside from the lights, bells and crossing bars those trains begin blowing their horn a half mile from every intersection, which basically amounts to them blowing all the way through town, even inside my house 6 blocks away its pretty hard to miss.
2013-02-27 02:21:25 PM  
2 votes:
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 02:14:35 PM  
2 votes:

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 02:13:35 PM  
2 votes:

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 01:16:37 PM  
2 votes:

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.


Please for the love of God put me on that jury so I can hastily suppress a snort every time the claimants' lawyer tries to say anything.

If you have done something that a third-grader knows not to do, your lawsuit should be thrown out immediately with prejudice.
2013-02-27 01:14:10 PM  
2 votes:

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.
2013-02-27 12:55:07 PM  
2 votes:
www.prorail.nl

If you wish to stay alive, wait a while.

It's the latest in Darwin orevention awarenes. Still, of someone is stupid enough to go and try and cross a railroad track while all the alarms and lights are going off, you might just deserve what you get. Too bad about the passengers and the train engineer.

/Does not rhyme in English
2013-02-27 12:51:51 PM  
2 votes:
Nobody pays attention to stop signs or railroad crossings in Midland

www.firstladies.org
2013-02-27 12:35:19 PM  
2 votes:
Wow, it's not often that I get to side with a large corporation on Fark...
2013-02-27 12:26:06 PM  
2 votes:
"There are four lights!!"


Anyway...  I used to cross a fairly busy rail line on my way to and from work.  3 tracks.  Some commuter, some freight.  It was busy enough that I got stopped pretty much every day.  Once in a while, the gates would be down and the lights would be flashing, for longer than usual, but there was no apparent train coming from either direction.  Once in a while, someone would get impatient and actually navigate around the gates and cross - then like 2 seconds later a commuter train wizzes past at like 70mph!!!

It never ceased to amaze me how stupid and impatient people could be.  It also never ceased to amaze me that no one got hit (that I know of).
2013-02-27 12:07:37 PM  
2 votes:

No Time To Explain: Uh, maybe I'm missing something, but how does one not notice a train coming, even with a large, loud crowd and absence of warning lights/bells?


Yeah, you're missing something.  There were bells and lights.
2013-02-27 12:05:13 PM  
2 votes:
EDITOR'S NOTE: As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, hundreds of people were accessing this story from social media links.

"STOP THE PRESSES!  STOP THE PRESSES!  I've just found out that someone is reading this shiat!"
2013-02-27 11:59:11 AM  
2 votes:

IamPatSajak: The float driver, the ONE person responsible is the only one completely off the hook for some reason. I don't get it,


I'm guessing the lawyers somehow threw the trial when they decided they could get rich going after Big Rail. If it isn't that, then somehow the driver gained the sympathies of the jury.
2013-02-27 11:58:47 AM  
2 votes:

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

"In preliminary statements after the accident, National Transportation Safety Board officials said the crossing's warning system was activated 20 seconds before the collision in accordance with federal regulations and that the guardrail began to descend seven seconds later."



Even at parade speeds, how did the driver not get off the rails in seven seconds? Did he panic and park on the tracks?

/saw someone do exactly that once, luckily it was only a railroad truck that set of the alarms
2013-02-27 11:50:39 AM  
2 votes:

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.
2013-02-27 11:49:45 AM  
2 votes:

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'.
2013-02-27 11:44:30 AM  
2 votes:
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.
2013-02-27 11:41:32 AM  
2 votes:

havocmike: 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.

NANNY STATE!


They should have stopped at the crossing lights.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!
2013-02-27 11:40:44 AM  
2 votes:
Here's a thought:  If you can't clear the tracks, DON'T GO ONTO THE TRACKS!

People are so farking stupid it makes my head hurt.
2013-02-27 11:40:22 AM  
2 votes:
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?
2013-02-27 11:39:40 AM  
2 votes:
Why don't they look?

/gentle pressure
db2
2013-02-27 11:36:35 AM  
2 votes:
I don't want to sound like I support killing veterans or anything (I don't), but parades suck.
2013-02-27 11:34:25 AM  
2 votes:
Over in two.

Those cross beams, flashing lights, and train horns are not meant to be taken very seriously. Trains are known for their innate ability to stop instantly upon sensing verterans on parades.
2013-02-27 11:31:30 AM  
2 votes:
Most of the trains out there in West Texas are pretty got-damn long, and they take a mile or so to stop.
They come blowing through those podunk towns at a good clip.
It's crazy.
2013-02-28 12:11:53 AM  
1 vote:

Great Porn Dragon: fluffy2097: itsfullofstars: Why go after the guy who ignored the signal,

Maybe he was told that the railroad was aware of the parade, and that he was clear to proceed even if there are lights.

Maybe the lights came on after he was on the tracks, but there was a farking paraded ahead and behind him, and he was unable to move off the tracks.

Unlikely and illegal--it turns out in the discovery process that there was NOT any notification given to UP (like there SHOULD have been) of a parade--they can in fact explictly re-route trains or hold traffic in such cases at dispatch.

And crossing a closed crossing-gate is not only suicidally dangerous but illegal--only ones who could have given actual authorisation are either the railroad itself (where a MOW worker would have flagged them across) or via law enforcement (in coordination with UP dispatch on the radio, who would receive authorisation from the UP railroad police and MOW to flag them across).  Neither of these were done, and apparently the city up and completely neglected to inform Union Pacific whatsofarkingever of said parade.

(Seriously, when it comes to rail crossings, the railroad is God And Emperor as far as the law goes.  Railroads have their own dedicated police with arrest authority (the ONLY private companies other than the privatized US Postal Service to do so, in fact), and even other law enforcement and EMS have to get explicit authorisation from railroad law enforcement and safety officials before they can do their own rescue and investigation, and in general even EMS is advised to generally coordinate rescue operations with the railroad so that the RR can make sure a train doesn't plow into an ambulance by accident.)


Awesome post.  Covered everything except the why-don't-trains-have-brakes angle, but I didn't see THAT coming either.

/Dad's a train geek
//And there's a RR Cop in the neighborhood I grew up in (still, he drives his RR cop car home...)
2013-02-27 11:55:04 PM  
1 vote:

Great Porn Dragon: fluffy2097: itsfullofstars: Why go after the guy who ignored the signal,

Maybe he was told that the railroad was aware of the parade, and that he was clear to proceed even if there are lights.

Maybe the lights came on after he was on the tracks, but there was a farking paraded ahead and behind him, and he was unable to move off the tracks.

Unlikely and illegal--it turns out in the discovery process that there was NOT any notification given to UP (like there SHOULD have been) of a parade--they can in fact explictly re-route trains or hold traffic in such cases at dispatch.

And crossing a closed crossing-gate is not only suicidally dangerous but illegal--only ones who could have given actual authorisation are either the railroad itself (where a MOW worker would have flagged them across) or via law enforcement (in coordination with UP dispatch on the radio, who would receive authorisation from the UP railroad police and MOW to flag them across).  Neither of these were done, and apparently the city up and completely neglected to inform Union Pacific whatsofarkingever of said parade.

(Seriously, when it comes to rail crossings, the railroad is God And Emperor as far as the law goes.  Railroads have their own dedicated police with arrest authority (the ONLY private companies other than the privatized US Postal Service to do so, in fact), and even other law enforcement and EMS have to get explicit authorisation from railroad law enforcement and safety officials before they can do their own rescue and investigation, and in general even EMS is advised to generally coordinate rescue operations with the railroad so that the RR can make sure a train doesn't plow into an ambulance by accident.)


Good information and well stated.  Farkied...  :)
2013-02-27 10:34:32 PM  
1 vote:

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.


Yeah but the yokels in Midland protected their boy and are trying to get a pay-day out of Union Pacific.

Sad the judge didn't throw it out as soon as it was filed.
2013-02-27 09:01:45 PM  
1 vote:
Re: video feeds, in addition to all that has been said, trains cross roads as often as every few hundred yards in a populated area. I can't imagine how many crossings the typical train my go through per hour, or even per minute, but the number would at times be very large. Imagine mounting all of those cameras and designing the software and network capable of routing the correct video feed to the driver at every single moment as he goes through a city or town.
Worse, let's suppose that in the next mile there are 10 crossings. Which of those 10 should be driver be watching? All of them? One of them?

It will never work. Putting aside all of these complexities, you are still limited by the fact that trains cannot stop for anything worth stopping that isn't completely stationary for many minutes. Physics, biatches.
2013-02-27 08:18:45 PM  
1 vote:

DarkVader: Do you know why it actually IS the railroad's fault?

It's incredibly irresponsible for them to keep using tracks with a grade crossing through a city as anything but a low-speed spur for local trains.  Surrounding that city is a big bunch of nothing, and if railroads want to continue to operate, they need to be forced to either move the tracks out of town or either bridge or depress the tracks to eliminate all grade crossings - preferably both.

We need a nationwide ban on grade-level crossings used by trains that are moving so fast that they can't stop in the distance they can see.  Give the railroads 25 years to remove all of them, but make them all go away.

Oh, and to keep them from just slowing long trains down, fine them $100,000 per minute they block a crossing longer than 5 minutes.


lol. no
2013-02-27 07:46:15 PM  
1 vote:

IPCONFIG -ALL: realityVSperception: I detest red light camera abuse by government as much as anyone else, but put the darn things at these RR
crossings so that anyone who tries to cross against flashing lights + gates gets a ticket. That's
probably the best way to get idiots to stop entering the tracks and trying to beat the train.

Also place a traffic cam at each crossing and relay the image to oncoming locomotives so the Engineer
can see if there is a problem before he is on top of it and has time to react.

I don't think the RR is at fault, but given the cost of dealing with these accidents, its probably cheaper to protect idiots from themselves.

So the engineer should watch the little screen in the cab of the train engine with the relayed images of the intersection up to a mile in front of the train, and read the minds of the drivers up to a mile away from the crossing, giving him the ability to know up to a minute in advance when he should slam on the emergency brake. Good thing RR crossings aren't close together. The engineer would need 4 or 5 monitors for the different crossings then.
/not even going to start on the whole "ticketing" idea.


First, you don't have to put a camera on every crossing, you can start with those with a history of problems.

There are two separate problems. Cars that try to run the lights is one, and cars that can't move off are another.

And yes, if a car or truck is obviously stalled on the tracks with the hood up, or smoking, or if two are smashed into each other, I think the engineer would like to see that while he still has time to react rather than plowing into it at speed.

Who said the screen needs to be little? And why a minute? The image display time should be based on the time needed to react. That would depend on the stopping time of the train. The forward track images from multiple cameras can be stacked on a 12"x18" screen with the closest image at the top. And if crossings are real close, the camera can be angled to pick up a stretch of track as opposed to a single intersection. Ever see an airplane cockpit and the instruments and screens a pilot scans while flying, navigating, and communicating in 3 dimensions? Scanning a track monitor in a locomotive cab isn't all that difficult in comparison.

The ticketing works on basic principles of positive/negative reenforcement.

The thing is, people do successfully run the lights all the time. Currently, if someone does run the signal successfully, they get to save the time waiting for a train, a positive reenforcement. This encourages them to try again, leading to more positive results. And for those with good judgement, it becomes a low risk, high reward behavior as they get better at it. (This works because the safety margin built in for the general public is excessive for the better drivers) Other people see them running the signal successfully , and try it themselves. Eventually, someone with inferior skills tries it and gets killed. But this negative outcome does not directly affect the other drivers so they continue to run the lights, and the patten continues.

Add a red light ticket camera, and the game changes. Running the light always results an a ticket, a 100% negative result for everyone. Now the advantage of running the light and beating the train is negated, so there is no longer a reward for doing so. Thus far fewer drivers try to run the crossing lights.

Now this solution doesn't prevent every accident at ground crossings, but it does provide a way to reduce them IMHO. Don't like it- feel free to propose something better.
2013-02-27 07:45:22 PM  
1 vote:
Lawsuits filed in Dallas and Midland claim Union Pacific was negligent on several fronts, including failing to provide proper warning at the crossing where the accident occurred.

Right.  Other than the train tracks and the flashing lights and the warning bells and the guardrail and all the noise from the train, nobody had a clue that a train might just come out of nowhere and kill them.

This isn't Union Pacific's fault at all.  But they have more money than the dumbass who was driving the truck.

The "parade organizers" didn't bother to even get a parade permit because they are just broke assholes who think "That train will stop for us".
2013-02-27 06:00:50 PM  
1 vote:
Good lord, PsiChick turned this thread into a train wreck.
2013-02-27 05:54:52 PM  
1 vote:

PsiChick: BigNumber12: 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.


Sometimes, posts simply leave me speechless. Often, they're authored by PN. I don't think that this is the same sort of situation.

As I said--TFA didn't elaborate, and I didn't realize that they couldn't see them, so the only logical explanation I could come up with was that there  weren't brakes. There are very few humans who would willingly hit someone with a train.


Trains big. Big things hard to stop.
2013-02-27 05:54:12 PM  
1 vote:

BigNumber12: Great Porn Dragon: /full disclosure--have in-laws who work for and/or are recently retired from one of the Big Four railroads

Evil corporate shill scumbag! I'm glad that you're getting good internet connectivity out on the yacht.


Does it count as Evil Corporate Shill Scamboogery if said inlaws worked at one of the Big Four that is NOT Union Pacific? :D  (Seriously, the employees of the Big Four do tend to talk shiat about their fellow Big Four companies :D)

Also, I'm not employed by the RR and do wish I had a yacht because I'd be spending alll day at LBL catching fish :D

/hell, I'm presently trying to find where all these mythical telework positions people keep talking about on Fark exist :D
//would also be quite happy if passenger rail returned to my home town.  Nicer than Greyhound, don't have to get up at ass-thirty for the TSA Groping or for Megabus, and Amish aren't bad travel company
///main holdup is the farking shortline between Indy and Louisville owned by K&I that literally hasn't been rebuilt since the 20s
2013-02-27 05:41:35 PM  
1 vote:

Great Porn Dragon: Lurk sober post drunk: PsiChick: logical explanation I could come up with was that there weren't brakes

it does not seem logical to me to build trains that have no brakes.  in fact, the idea strikes me as totally insane.
that said, if a train engineer sees something, he will hit it if it does not move.  not because he is a cruel man, but because trains are heavy.

Oh, I'm sure they had brakes--Union Pacific is one of the Big Four and they do get checked very frequently by NTSB to make sure all is well.  (I'd honestly be more worried about short lines and regionals, myself.)

The thing is, even with brakes, it takes a train (especially a fully loaded freight) an average of two miles or more to come to a stop--even with proximity sensors on the track (which the Big Four on average DO have at their crossings) it's STILL not enough time to bring a shiat-ton of metal to a stop in time.  (And no, the conductor wouldn't see it in time to bring it to a full stop, unless somehow Union Pacific has started hiring peregrine falcons to spot stopped vehicles at crossings).

And since apparently not a single Farker (who hasn't worked around trains, that is) seems to know this and WHY even despite fancy warning devices that folks are still told to not drive around the goddamn crossing gates, here's the Operation Lifesaver website that helpfully explains to drivers of small vehicles as to why the drivers of that float were not only invoking Darwin but practically baring their metaphorical asscheeks to Death Himself screaming "COME AT ME BRO!".

/no, I have no sympathy whatsoever for the stupids behind the float tragedy.   YOU DO NOT CROSS THE GODDAMN GATES WHEN CLOSED
//the only permanent cure for this would be raising the road crossing above track level or raising the track above road level--and a lot of the high-speed crossings ARE being re-engineered in this fashion, but harder to do so within a smaller city
///trust me when conductors have a shiatty day, week, month, and rest o ...


The only permanent cure for this would be to remove the gates.

If you're too stupid to look both ways before crossing the roadmotherfarking train tracks, then you are too stupid to live.  You darwinate out of the gene pool.

The rest of world gets progressively smarter and smarter on average.
2013-02-27 05:40:56 PM  
1 vote:

Benjamin Orr: PsiChick added at least 50 posts to this thread.


I still don't know if they were epic trolling, seriously thinks trains operate without brakes, or believe trains can stop as quickly as a Geo Metro in a school zone.
2013-02-27 05:38:20 PM  
1 vote:

Benjamin Orr: PsiChick added at least 50 posts to this thread.


Been a while since I've done that, too. Good to know I've still got it. :p
2013-02-27 05:30:13 PM  
1 vote:
3.bp.blogspot.com

If only there were some signal that could be placed near the crossing that was automatically activated when a train was approaching.  Vehicles about use that crossing might know to wait until the train had passed.

Problem here is clear, those involved in the parade though it was the most importantist thing evah and set common sense aside.

The use of "veterans" here is disgusting.  This implies that their deaths are somehow different than others.  Worth more or less depending on your point of view.

Midland County District Attorney Teresa Clingman announced Jan. 9 that a grand jury had declined to indict the driver, Dale Andrew Hayden.

Well there's your problem right there.  Why go after the guy who ignored the signal, he doesn't have deep pockets.  Go after the railroad, go after the organizers of the parade.  Sue anyone with some money.
2013-02-27 05:28:48 PM  
1 vote:
Reading this from work at Union Pacific Headquarters, so I'm getting some kicks.

/mapping legal agreements that grant ingress and egress for track crossings.
2013-02-27 05:08:13 PM  
1 vote:

PsiChick: BigNumber12: 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.


Sometimes, posts simply leave me speechless. Often, they're authored by PN. I don't think that this is the same sort of situation.

As I said--TFA didn't elaborate, and I didn't realize that they couldn't see them, so the only logical explanation I could come up with was that there  weren't brakes. There are very few humans who would willingly hit someone with a train.


Pretty much everytime someone gets hit by a train, it's not by intent of the conductor--it's because the human who was hit was doing something so damned stupid as to be suicidal (crossing closed gates, crossing when a warning is blaring, deliberately lying down in front of the tracks, being Terminally Stupid levels of Pre-Teen, etc.).

The thing is...trains are pretty damn farking massive, to the point they can be pretty much considered Supertankers Of The Land (not uncommon for there to be hundreds of cars in a freight train that is miles long, each of those cars containing volumes of stuff weighing as much as twenty cars...hell, often what they are hauling IS train cars filled with a dozen passenger vehicles).

A shiatload of mass like that at speed takes....some considerable amount of time to slow down if you don't want to fark the train and the track (and surrounding landscape) in the process...basic physics, a body in motion tends to stay in motion and if that body weighs something like 200 tons or so cumulatively it's going to take rather longer to stop than, say, a mere one-ton or two-ton vehicle.

/full disclosure--have in-laws who work for and/or are recently retired from one of the Big Four railroads
2013-02-27 05:05:22 PM  
1 vote:
Another to visualize how much energy a train has: how much fuel does it take to get the train up to speed? Imagine that quantity of fuel exploding all at once.
2013-02-27 05:04:58 PM  
1 vote:

CMcMahon: 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.

But were there whistles in addition to the bells?


no. this was an older crossing, so it didn't have all the bells and whistles.
2013-02-27 04:02:48 PM  
1 vote:

Karac: BKITU: fluffy2097: 240 tons of locomotive.

110 tons of cargo in each car.

30 tons a car.

100 30 ton cars filled with 110 tons of cargo.

and it's all moving at 80 miles an hour.

Anyone care to do the math on the amount of kinetic energy something like that as?

It was actually traveling at ~60mph. Napkin math says about 64 gigajoules, or roughly the same energy as 15 tons of TNT.

Or in graphical form, about this much:
[i.telegraph.co.uk image 460x288]

Think about that if you ever try to beat a train at a railroad crossing.


The funny thing is, that's not even an exaggeration.  fluffy2097's hypothetical freight train greatly exceeds the force experienced at any single point during almost any nuclear explosion.
2013-02-27 04:02:22 PM  
1 vote:

BKITU: fluffy2097: 240 tons of locomotive.

110 tons of cargo in each car.

30 tons a car.

100 30 ton cars filled with 110 tons of cargo.

and it's all moving at 80 miles an hour.

Anyone care to do the math on the amount of kinetic energy something like that as?

It was actually traveling at ~60mph. Napkin math says about 64 gigajoules, or roughly the same energy as 15 tons of TNT.


Sir Issac Newton is the deadliest sumbiatch on the road.
2013-02-27 04:01:49 PM  
1 vote:

Lurk sober post drunk: Glendale: the ha ha guy: PsiChick: You have seen the end result of other cost-cutting measures companies try, right? 'Well, we don't have brakes on here because we 'forgot' to replace them and nobody's ever on the tracks anyway' would  not be the dumbest thing I've heard.


Without brakes, how would a train stop at its destination? How would it stop for other trains? How would it slow for a junction?

Brakes aren't some optional equipment to fix other's screw ups, they are literally half the point of the engine.

Since PsiChick  can't even comprehend air brakes let's not even bring up dynamic breaking or heads may asplode.

i think it's really irresponsible of union pacific to just give the engineers anchors that are chained to the engine, that they throw out the door when they are nearing depots.  fat cats!


I heard that the executives took away the anchors to use them on their yachts. Now they have to use ropes to try and lasso a tree.
2013-02-27 03:50:26 PM  
1 vote:

A Terrible Human: DownDaRiver: coldcuts:

Am I the only one that wants to do jury duty? I figure it'd be interesting.


It probably woudnt be so bad if you didn't have much else to do anyway. But when it completely disrupts your life with kids/family, lost wages, planned events, whatever. Then I think it would really suck. No, I don't have a solution or any other fancy ideas that are any better than the current system.
2013-02-27 03:48:51 PM  
1 vote:

BKITU: fluffy2097: 240 tons of locomotive.

110 tons of cargo in each car.

30 tons a car.

100 30 ton cars filled with 110 tons of cargo.

and it's all moving at 80 miles an hour.

Anyone care to do the math on the amount of kinetic energy something like that as?

It was actually traveling at ~60mph. Napkin math says about 64 gigajoules, or roughly the same energy as 15 tons of TNT.


Or in graphical form, about this much:
i.telegraph.co.uk

Think about that if you ever try to beat a train at a railroad crossing.
2013-02-27 03:41:17 PM  
1 vote:
Wow.  Having seen some of the evidence related tohttp://www.startribune.com/local/north/149597375.html?refer=y this case, it's easy to think that the railroad might have been up to something (BNSF managed to destroy the data tape from the crossing that recorded how fast the train was going and whether the gate functioned properly.  Witnesses said that the gate didn't function.

Anyway, this current case seems open and shut.  Warnings were functional, float driver was a colossal retard.

Speaking of colossal retards, is this the place to ask why the engineer didn't just use the brakes?
2013-02-27 03:37:27 PM  
1 vote:

Ring of Fire: 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


Friend of mine who used to work for the Southern Pacific told me that the advice given tot he engineer in such a situation is simple and really brutally wise...

1) apply emergency brake
2) avent eyes
2013-02-27 03:36:03 PM  
1 vote:

Hack Patooey: fluffy2097: 240 tons of locomotive.

110 tons of cargo in each car.

30 tons a car.

100 30 ton cars filled with 110 tons of cargo.

and it's all moving at 80 miles an hour.

Anyone care to do the math on the amount of kinetic energy something like that as?

240 times 110... plus 100... carry the two.

 I believe its a Metric Assload of kinetic energy


Except it's Texas, the last place in the world to convert to metric.  Because, you know, socialism.  So the conversion is 1.74 Imperial Assloads of energy.

/their car mileage involves hogsheads
//speed is measured in furlongs per fortnight
///unit cancellation is weird
2013-02-27 03:33:48 PM  
1 vote:

Benjamin Orr: Please stop hurting yourself.

Or explain how trains would stop for loading, unloading and fueling without brakes.


This is the sort of citizen we're producing. No real interest in technical knowledge or a basic understanding of physics to help with understanding the mechanics of the world, but exceedingly quick to run with a fashionable, emotional, knee-jerk response like "evil corporations" / "think of the children veterans" / etc. And, with sheer numbers on their side, they're able to use the legal process to do real damage to companies that were operating completely lawfully.
2013-02-27 03:31:12 PM  
1 vote:

fluffy2097: 240 tons of locomotive.

110 tons of cargo in each car.

30 tons a car.

100 30 ton cars filled with 110 tons of cargo.

and it's all moving at 80 miles an hour.

Anyone care to do the math on the amount of kinetic energy something like that as?


About tree fiddy
2013-02-27 03:27:11 PM  
1 vote:
FTA:


"For the railroad, it's a way to shift responsibly to other parties," Glasheen said.
In preliminary statements after the accident, National Transportation Safety Board officials said the crossing's warning system was activated 20 seconds before the collision in accordance with federal regulations and that the guardrail began to descend seven seconds later.

Investigators have said the float began crossing the tracks even though warning bells were sounding and the crossing lights were flashing.
Midland County District Attorney Teresa Clingman announced Jan. 9 that a grand jury had declined to indict the driver, Dale Andrew Hayden.

=======
None of that makes any sense.  The driver did the worst thing possible; he's off scot-free.  The railroad equipment worked as designed.  And they're trying to shift blame?

/this comes from someone who is all for frying corporations when they're at fault
2013-02-27 03:25:13 PM  
1 vote:

Lifeless: BigNumber12: And now everyone on that truck is afflicted with sleep, poison, darkness, silence, slow, stop, berserk, confuse, doom, petrify, and vit 0.

What a tragedy.

If only they had Sabin.


You get full points for referencing an earlier game than I've played.

Bodyslamming the train... I lol'd.
2013-02-27 03:21:41 PM  
1 vote:

BigNumber12: And now everyone on that truck is afflicted with sleep, poison, darkness, silence, slow, stop, berserk, confuse, doom, petrify, and vit 0.

What a tragedy.


If only they had Sabin.
2013-02-27 03:15:20 PM  
1 vote:
FFS, this shiat makes me want to kill!  Why in the holy fark is Union Pacific on the hook for anything?!  It's like here in the Bay Area when Cal Train hits someone.  By the reactions you would think that the goddamn train jumped the tracks and chased some innocent bystander down the street to murder them, when it's always some dumb-fark jackass walking on the tracks for whatever reason.  These are not accidents in any reasonable sense and they sure the fark aren't the fault of malicious trains.

i55.tinypic.com
2013-02-27 03:13:15 PM  
1 vote:

DownDaRiver: 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 image 128x128]


Am I the only one that wants to do jury duty? I figure it'd be interesting.
2013-02-27 03:12:44 PM  
1 vote:

FlyingJ: Here's Uncle Pete's "Desert Victory" SD40 painted to honor their employees who fought in Desert Shield/Storm. Yes I realize that's 3 Middle Eastern wars ago...


The sentiment is ok, but painting a train in a camouflage pattern is extraordinarily stupid for reasons that should be pretty clear in this thread.
2013-02-27 03:07:22 PM  
1 vote:

jshine: Lurk sober post drunk: it does not seem logical to me to build trains that have no brakes.

Obviously trains do have brakes, but stopping thousands of tons takes a little longer than stopping a Geo Metro.


that is what i have been saying throughout this thread...
2013-02-27 03:06:07 PM  
1 vote:
In his defense the parade organizer did drive the route the day before the parade and there wasn't a train at the crossing.
2013-02-27 03:02:10 PM  
1 vote:

PsiChick: logical explanation I could come up with was that there weren't brakes


it does not seem logical to me to build trains that have no brakes.  in fact, the idea strikes me as totally insane.
that said, if a train engineer sees something, he will hit it if it does not move.  not because he is a cruel man, but because trains are heavy.
2013-02-27 02:48:00 PM  
1 vote:

No Time To Explain: Uh, maybe I'm missing something, but how does one not notice a train coming, even with a large, loud crowd and absence of warning lights/bells?


Are you around trains a lot? It's pretty easy, actually.
2013-02-27 02:39:38 PM  
1 vote:
The float driver probably thought he was a god because he was in a parade. "Fark you train. You'll have to wait as I'm... in a PARADE!" If he's not stopping for a train he wouldn't have stopped for ambulances, pedestrians, fire trucks, or even buildings. Give that guy a parade route that went through the mall and he'd probably just drive it. After all, parades have right of way over EVERYTHING.
2013-02-27 02:30:11 PM  
1 vote:
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 02:20:46 PM  
1 vote:

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 02:15:40 PM  
1 vote:

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 02:15:32 PM  
1 vote:

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 02:12:34 PM  
1 vote:

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 02:06:55 PM  
1 vote:

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 02:06:17 PM  
1 vote:

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 02:01:38 PM  
1 vote:

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 01:38:24 PM  
1 vote:

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 01:33:45 PM  
1 vote:

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 01:33:17 PM  
1 vote:
The thought of a bunch of USS-Iwo Jima hats loaded with small pins and rascal scooter parts flying through air amid streamers and confetti raining down is a hilarious mental image.

Sorry a Darwin Award candidate took other lives, and not his own through negligence.
2013-02-27 01:30:48 PM  
1 vote:
My first job out of college was actually working for Union Pacific.  I drove one of the trucks that can get on the train tracks to inspect areas with no easilly accessible roads.  It amazed me the number of people who go around the gates when they are down and who flat out ignore the massive speeding train bearing down on them so they can get some place 10-15 minutes sooner.   I was inspecting a gate one time when it dropped and a school bus went around it to avoid having to wait.   Stopping a train going 60 mph with 100 coal cars behind it is like trying to stop the Titanic with a tug boat, eventually it will happen but not when you need it to.
2013-02-27 01:30:36 PM  
1 vote:

A Terrible Human: In a train vs. flatbed fight it would appear the train is the winner. Seriously how the fark do you manage to be that stupid without dying long before getting hit by a train?


Locamote Man, Locamote Man.
Locamote Man hates Flatbed Man.
They have a fight. Locamote Wins.
Locamote Man.
2013-02-27 01:17:46 PM  
1 vote:

harlock: FTFA: In preliminary statements after the accident, National Transportation Safety Board officials said the crossing's warning system was activated 20 seconds before the collision in accordance with federal regulations and that the guardrail began to descend seven seconds later.Investigators have said the float began crossing the tracks even though warning bells were sounding and the crossing lights were flashing.I rest my case. Also, normally you would inform the railroad and they would issue a slow order for the area. Tehachapi does this every year for their fourth of July festivities.



I miss Tehachapi! I grew up there and don't get back nearly enough.
2013-02-27 01:14:55 PM  
1 vote:
oakleym82
That's street running, a big thing down South & parts of PA & KY.  Most of the lawyers have made it a thing of the past, if not very slow moving.  SP used to run freights after hours down the old Pacific Electric tracks on Santa Monica Blvd's median.  Steve Martin would have his audience @ the Troubadour hop a flatcar & ride to La Cienega.  A waitress @ Duke's Tropicana Cafe told me they'd always have to wake up Tom Waits & Chuck E Weiss when they passed out on them so the train wouldn't run 'em over

Tom_Slick  Or 3985
UP keeps one last running big-ass Centennials they used to haul their corporate train.  In Louisiana it hit a dumptruck in 2000 & actually killed a higher-up from Omaha when debris smashed thru the loco's door. Here's Uncle Pete's "Desert Victory" SD40 painted to honor their employees who fought in Desert Shield/Storm.  Yes I realize that's 3 Middle Eastern wars ago...www.railpictures.net
2013-02-27 01:12:19 PM  
1 vote:

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."
2013-02-27 01:04:13 PM  
1 vote:
There's a crossing near my house that's somewhat set back from the intersection of two 4 lane city streets that I have to cross every day. If you're headed east, there is room for exactly one car between the intersection and the tracks, yet every single farking day I see some dumbass cross them instead of stopping at the stop line on the other side of the tracks while waiting for the red light, blisfully unaware that the ass end of their SUV is going to get clipped at 60mph if a train happens to come through.

People are generally morons.
2013-02-27 12:53:39 PM  
1 vote:
FTA: a grand jury had declined to indict the driver, Dale Andrew Hayden


Don't see how the driver isn't culpable here.
I wouldn't think Dale was some out of town guy they hired in for the event. Could have been, but doubtful.
If you live anywhere in that area you know full well about the train traffic. Article states that the train was doing 62mph. Trains don't go that fast unless there are guarded, clear and safe crossings. And anyone living there would be used to the volume and activity of the trains.
Clearly the driver should have heeded to safety over not wanting to fall behind in the parade.
And as the article states the warnings were active and functioning properly.
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.
I'm thinking Dale is a good ole boy, and nobody wants him to feel any worse than he already feels for being an incompetent moran that shouldn't have been driving.
2013-02-27 12:45:28 PM  
1 vote:

TheGreatGazoo: 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.


Trains always have the right of way, it takes them miles to stop.
2013-02-27 12:43:15 PM  
1 vote:

Tom_Slick: My old neighbor was an engineer, he hit 3 cars during his career, he told me there was not a worse feeling in the world when his train was about to hit a car and kill the occupants and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it.


It is never the train's fault.
2013-02-27 12:35:00 PM  
1 vote:
But were they wearing their high visibility jackets?

You have to make sure to obey the proper safety protocols.
2013-02-27 12:31:09 PM  
1 vote:
I understand that some of the people killed were wounded veterans, but if I'm sitting on an open flatbed truck in the direct path of an oncoming train . . . my ass is flying off the back of that flatbed before the collision.  If I'm a paralyzed veteran in a wheelchair on the back of the train, I'll be rolling and faceplanting off of it.

Seriously, how were those people killed? Did the train leave the tracks and chase them after they jumped off?  Or were they all, "Welp, here comes a train, but I'd better stay put and see if we clear the tracks in time."
2013-02-27 12:30:02 PM  
1 vote:

NIXON YOU DOLT!!!!!: You (or your estate) should be liable for the years of therapy (and lost work?) the poor engineer will need to get over washing the pieces of you off the front of the train.


My old neighbor was an engineer, he hit 3 cars during his career, he told me there was not a worse feeling in the world when his train was about to hit a car and kill the occupants and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it.
2013-02-27 12:29:16 PM  
1 vote:
"For the railroad, it's a way to shift responsibly to other parties," Glasheen said.

You mean onto the parties that failed to do something even as basic as get a parade permit? Yeah, i cant see how they might be partially responsible.

How about getting a copy of the train schedule?
How about putting a guard/voulenteer at the crossing to keep an eye out?
How about NOT planning a slow-moving parade route over an at-grade crossing on an active line?
2013-02-27 12:25:42 PM  
1 vote:
Farking laws of physics, how do they work?
2013-02-27 12:25:06 PM  
1 vote:
I'm going to be driving my train swinging my arms and if you get your float in the way, it's not my fault.

In all honesty though how this could even remotely be UPRR's fault is beyond me.

/CHOO CHOO MOTHERFARKER
2013-02-27 12:24:55 PM  
1 vote:

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
2013-02-27 12:21:39 PM  
1 vote:

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.
2013-02-27 12:13:17 PM  
1 vote:
A friend of mine lost her brother-in-law in this accident.  Pretty stupid senseless thing all around, but yeah, it sure doesn't seem like it was the railroad's fault.
2013-02-27 12:12:03 PM  
1 vote:

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.


But sadly, the driver of that vehicle was not charged.  Even though he's a moron that thought he could beat the train.  And, since someone has to be blamed (it's the American way), the railroad is going to be sued.
2013-02-27 12:10:54 PM  
1 vote:

godxam: FTFA: Midland County District Attorney Teresa Clingman announced Jan. 9 that a grand jury had declined to indict the driver, Dale Andrew Hayden.


I know train 'drivers' are often called 'engineers', but I read this as Dale was the train's driver, not the float's driver
2013-02-27 12:10:39 PM  
1 vote:

fat boy: Wellon Dowd: Wanted for questioning.

Thank god it wasn't the E units


Or 3985

upload.wikimedia.org
db2
2013-02-27 11:57:10 AM  
1 vote:

ausfahrk: db2: I don't want to sound like I support killing veterans or anything (I don't), but parades suck.

Normally, I'd agree, but watching a train hit one of the floats might make it worthwhile.


I guess I can't argue with that.
2013-02-27 11:53:40 AM  
1 vote:
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.
2013-02-27 11:53:20 AM  
1 vote:

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?


If the pedestrians and people operating those vehicles wish to remain alive, then yes.
2013-02-27 11:52:45 AM  
1 vote:

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.


Unfortunately, so are the veterans.
2013-02-27 11:51:38 AM  
1 vote:
\CSB..
Back in my high school days, I was stuck riding the bus every morning with 2 of my younger brothers.
The band director was our bus driver, he was an older guy and was known for getting the bus stuck every week or so in the muddy back roads of our school district. Usually some farmer would come pull him out with a tractor.
Anyhow, there were numerous crossings on the route, and most only had the old crossing sign, no lights, and no gates.
It was a terribly foggy morning, so he stopped to peer into the fog with his owlish coke-bottle glasses. After a minute or two he proceeded across the tracks.....just in time for the 7 AM 200-car coal train on the MKT line.
It came barreling out of the fog at 50 mph.
I was instantly awake, and grabbed the nearest brother and ran for the rear emergency door.
Then the old bastard floored it, getting most of the way across, so we ran for the front of the bus.
Meanwhile the train engineer is leaning frantically on the horn, about to kill 3 school kids and a blind, old ass band director.
We made it across with feet to spare.
Never rode that damn bus again.
2013-02-27 11:47:24 AM  
1 vote:

Wellon Dowd: Wanted for questioning.

[i.imgur.com image 850x566]


that's pretty

/I like trains
2013-02-27 11:46:21 AM  
1 vote:
Yeah, I think it's weird that these men spent time in a hostile environment where somebody was probably trying to kill them every damn day. They come back to "the world" and Cleetus takes them out all at once in an act of stupidity.

Flashing lights? Warning bells? Shucks, them things are fer pussies... GUN IT!

Sue Cleetus.
2013-02-27 11:43:39 AM  
1 vote:
Trains are not known for stopping on a dime for a reason.
2013-02-27 11:43:17 AM  
1 vote:

Tom_Slick: Clearly the railroad is at fault, these trains just come out of nowhere, you never know when a train is just going to jump out in front of you. If only trains could be confined to a set, specific route, let's call it a track, then just maybe we would know where a train might be operating.


And if only there was some kind of visual and audible warning system when this "track" crosses a road.  Maybe even install some kind of barrier that should prevent people from crossing this "track".
2013-02-27 11:39:52 AM  
1 vote:

Marcus Aurelius: Maud Dib: Most of the trains out there in West Texas are pretty got-damn long, and they take a mile or so to stop.
They come blowing through those podunk towns at a good clip.
It's crazy.

If only there were some sort of alarm that would sound with a gate that descended to discourage people from endangering themselves, this might not have happened.


Won't work without giant, flashing red lights...
2013-02-27 11:36:32 AM  
1 vote:

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


Thank you, Steve Dallas...
 
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