A Big Mean Scary Train...

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Re: A Big Mean Scary Train...

Postby ConducTTor » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:59 am

I'm not a truck driver but I do drive a car :) I think the same rules apply - The train WILL win. Don't put yourself in front of it. Period.

If you do get stuck in the crossing, I hope (my) instincts say go forward, backward, sideways, any way off the track.
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Re: A Big Mean Scary Train...

Postby TTTerrific » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:34 am

I heard on our TV news program that the gates came down--and "seconds later" the locomotive, with horn blowing, hit the trailer carrying the vets. :o

I agree with sentiment being expressed: The UP will have to pay up--whether or not there was any "negligence" on the part of the UP in the operation of the train or the street signals.
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Re: A Big Mean Scary Train...

Postby j p » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:53 am

I thought that Russian design of level crossing could help, but even that solution is not idiot-proof.
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Re: A Big Mean Scary Train...

Postby ConducTTor » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:58 am

Nothing exists that is idiot proof. Well, I guess except death. No matter how dumb, you can't screw that up :)
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Re: A Big Mean Scary Train...

Postby Rob M » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:28 am

Richard-B wrote:Of Course it was always the railroad's fault...


Not always.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1995_Fox_River_Grove_bus%E2%80%93train_collision

I was living less than a mile away from this accident back in 1995. It was initially ruled as the bus driver's fault but the general consensus around town was it was just an unfortunate set of circumstances.

Either way, my heart goes out to the families of those who lost their lives.
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Re: A Big Mean Scary Train...

Postby TTTerrific » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:19 pm

I'm with Rob M on this one. Who is to blame (or not) isn't the issue. The dead, injured and their families are in my thoughts. That such a tragedy happened to those who gave (and lost) so much for this country is unthinkable.
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Re: A Big Mean Scary Train...

Postby AstroGoat760 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:25 am

From one of the reports I read, the crossing where the accident occurred at is one of those in a designated "Quiet Zone", which may have played a big factor in the accident. Statistics have repeatedly shown that "Quiet Zones" have a higher rate of accidents than "normal" crossings, mainly out of drivers not paying attention to signs or signals, that it often takes a blaring horn to "shock" them into paying attention.

I know that the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area of ND-MN spent around 8 million on a "Quiet Zone" near where wealthier people live at and work and the number of incidents of cars forcing their way under gates, and pedestrians ducking under gates and getting hit has gone way up. I have seen three fatal incidents myself personally in the span of 12 months, where someone ducked under the gates, and walked into the path of a train running 50+ MPH. Not pleasant in the slightest, especially when you have to explain what happened to a 5 year old. Don't want to wait for the train to pass in the downtowm area? There are four underpasses in the "Quiet Zone" or thereabouts.

It is amazing how much people will give up in safety just to have some quiet. Yet the same people who are the most likely to complain about horns and whistles seem to be the most impatient people out there, the ones who will risk it all in order to save a minute or so of waiting.

It would be nice if people would learn to be patient and relax, it would save a lot of heartache and grief.
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Re: A Big Mean Scary Train...

Postby jmass » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:44 am

if you want quite, dont move next to a railroad crossing, or an airport for that matter. its one thing if you allready live in these places, but to move in and then complain is a little much. when it comes to rr crossings their should be no quite zones. as a kid on the old erie lackawana tracks that we used to walk pretty much everywhere, it is amazing how close a train can get to along side a busy street before you know hes there. many a times it came to a blast of horns a little to close for comfort before we realized a train was coming.
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Re: A Big Mean Scary Train...

Postby Richard-B » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:10 pm

I think I was misunderstood... When I said:
Of Course it was always the railroad's fault....

What I meant was that lawyers representing injured parties never accept any blame on the part of the driver/pedestrian... and ALWAYS claim that some mechanical defect or evil action by the railroad caused the accident.

The use of in-cab cameras has sharply reduced these types of claims... as with the unfortunate accident in Midland.
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Re: A Big Mean Scary Train...

Postby AstroGoat760 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:34 pm

ConducTTor wrote:Nothing exists that is idiot proof. Well, I guess except death. No matter how dumb, you can't screw that up :)

Death is not idiot proof. Newer car safety devices and advanced medical care now can turn an idiotic action into a massively expensive (and often messy) issue rather quick.

jmass wrote:if you want quite, dont move next to a railroad crossing, or an airport for that matter. its one thing if you allready live in these places, but to move in and then complain is a little much. when it comes to rr crossings their should be no quite zones. as a kid on the old erie lackawana tracks that we used to walk pretty much everywhere, it is amazing how close a train can get to along side a busy street before you know hes there. many a times it came to a blast of horns a little to close for comfort before we realized a train was coming.
BINGO

That is the entire "Castle Complex" right there. People want to flock to busy areas to live and then want the "undesirable" aspects removed, aspects that helped to build up that area. For the most part, new train lines just are not being built any more, most work now is adding additional tracks to the right of way to add capacity, or reactivating lines that went offline for lack of use.

I agree: quiet zones are a bad idea, and I will call anyone who supports them a moron to their face (and I have). Silence is not worth sacrificing safety. The only time where the local authorities seem to care about people going around crossings is when BNSF complains to the FRA enough for the FRA to threaten to revoke the quiet zone. Then the authorities seem to care, only as long as the risk of losing the quiet zone is high. I am quite sure that this is the same for most other areas that have quiet zones as well.

Here is a link to a video of one of the crossings in the quiet zone in downtown Fargo, ND: http://youtu.be/GwGTlMCTl90

The comments for the video there are maddening, and are a big part of the problem with grade crossing safety: people seem to think that their actions have no consequences and fail to consider what their reckless behavior can result in.

There have been around a dozen fatalities from people walking around the gates at that specific point of the crossing since the quiet zone went into effect in 2008, in fact there was one a couple of weeks ago. Heck, the local cops just do not seem to care about it until someone else dies.

This again is one of those issues that I tend to get on a soapbox on, as I have taken part in helping out Operation Life Saver as well as my time as the department safety coordinator on the USS Annapolis, as well as the fact that some of my fellow veterans have died as the result of someone else's reckless behavior.
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