Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by hoyle, Dec 31, 2002.
What do we Railfans and RR Employees think of http://angelsontrack.org
That is all fine and good but a lot of it is looking at it at the wrong concept. Anybody approaching a unprotected track should slow and check both ways before crossing. It is my understanding that these unprotected crossings and mostly in the country away from populations.
Most car/train wrecks is caused by the driver not paying attention or in a hurry.
Your statement rings true. Impatience and stupidity are the reason so many people are killed by these incidents. You notice I don't call them accidents, for they can be prevented. A train one mile long and going 50 mph will only be in the crossing 1 minute and 12 seconds. Is that really too long to wait. A train going 60 mph will take one mile to slide to a stop in emergency. We don't steer the trains off the track to hit a car and then steer them back on. I don't know an engineer that wants to hit anyone or thing. Once you are in emergency, you are helpless to do anything but watch. Laying on the horn in hopes that the noise will move them off the track quicker is all we can do. Also, once you realize that you need to plug the train to stop, it is too late. I went to the site and briefly looked at it. My gut feeling was the anger towards those people for not accepting the responsibility for their own actions and inattentiveness. It's not like the tracks were put down over night and they had no clue a train would be there. Maybe the solution is to close all crossings with no gates and or lights. Make them detour miles to protected crossings to protect them from themselves.
Well, I didn't look at the entire site; but it seems to me that the folks who put it up are just venting their feelings, and I guess that is their right. However, I agree with what has been said above, that ALL of us need to be responsible for our own actions. Society has gone too much toward saying "it's the other guy's fault". We need to be sensible and accept respponsibility when we should.
In 1991, I was subjected to 8 hours of "Train Crossing Safety Awareness" by the US Government. I was a student at the Naval Training Center in Great Lakes Ill. there had been several incidents involving sailors and trains, all of them fatal. During the course of this class I learned a statistic that forever changed the way I percieve life and people.
In 1990, over 40% of collisions between privately operated vehicles and trains were the result of the pov, running into the train. I thought to myself: If you run into a telephone pole, a bus, a large river or a building, and someone asks you "what the heck were you doing?" and you say, "I was trying to avoid the train!" They'll probably say "Good move!"
Trains are really big. Trains are really loud. Trains are moving. These are all things that would draw the attention of those with average intelligence.
Stupidity is its own cure.
Unprotected Crossing Encounter
I, too, had an encounter with an unprotected crossing in Ohio. A friend and I were heading out on a road trip, and since I had only been to his new hometown there in Ohio I easily got lost in a neighboring town's odd street layout. I ended up out in the middle of nowhere, so I used logical deduction and figured Rt. 35 was south of me so I should go that way.
So here we are, cruising at a speed probably faster than we should have been but not excessively outrageous (may 5 or 10 over limit) when we get into some fog. Time to slow down, and I did. Suddenly I see a white mark on the road, then just as quickly notice a black shadow in front of me. TRAIN!!!
The car skids to a halt a safe distance from that crossing, but we are looking at one another like "dang that was close!" Other than that white cross in the old pavement there were no other warnings about a railroad crossing until you get to it itself and the little cross sign on a pole.
Had there been gates at this crossing - or at the very least some lights - chances are the car would have stopped calmly in wait for the train and our conversation would not have centered around "that was a close one..."
On a less pleasing side, there is a crossing a few feet down from my parents' street. The track curves in that location, and the only thing there is the cross on a pole stating "Rail Road Crossing". Now, to accompany that cross is another wooden cross with a wreath on it, where a mother's son was returning home from work (or maybe he was coming to pick her up I'm not sure) was met broadside by Amtrak's Cardinal. Again it was a foggy morning...
Is the railroad at fault? Not always. But I'm quite sure those little lights and gates cost much less than one's life - and the grief of a mother watching her son being drug a half-mile up the tracks in less than a minute.
My awareness training come a long time ago when I was doing news for a small radio station. Got a call about a bad train/truck accident on the Soo Line east of town. I jumped in and got to the scene just as the police arrived.
The yard freight was stopped down the track from the un-controlled crossing. In the ditch about halfway to the last freight car was a pick-up with some damage on the left front.
Couldn't see or hear anything of the driver.
The police examined the track at the crossing and the truck nothing. Nothing in the ditches either side.
Down the track to the last standing freight car and the chunks of red meat started to appear.
Some how the driver had gotten out out of his truck as the train hit and he was carried down the track and then dropped on the tracks and run over by the train. Told damage to the truck was a weeks wages (in that time) and it was driven from the accident site.
I love trains but I respect their power, weight and impact.
This actually happened here several years ago....Seems that an intoxicated driver attempted go around a lowered crossing gate and just simply ran into the train. He sustained some moderate injury and was hospitalized for about 2 weeks.
On the day after his release from the hospital he went out and purchased another vehicle. Later that day, intoxicated again, he tried to go around the same crossing gate and was struck by the same train at almost the same time as the orginal accident.....Killed him on the second try!!!
If there is a "Stupidity Hall of Fame" for railroad crossings this guy sure did qualify!!!!
Unfortunately, your government, and the courts, seem to dissagree.
I, on the other hand, agree. If you PUT yourself in the "trainmonster's" cage, the "trainmonster" WILL EAT YOU !!!!!
Yesterday I went to Will Snyder's office (the Hagerstwon Trainmaster) to pick up frequencies. He told me to come on down. When I got there he was gone. I was informed that he had left 5 minutes earlier to go down to Williamsport on the Lurgan Sub because a body had been found near a grade crossing. No one knows yet who the person was (suposedly an out of towner in his mid-30's) and apparantly the train- a slow coal drag working it's way up a 2% grade, stopped in time. They said that no foul play was involved. I'm wondering how and why a man died or was dumped with no signs of foulplay in the middle of a busy railroad line.
About the only good thing is that it reduces the idiots of the worlds gene pool.
Just looked at this post. I have to say anything to increase gradecrossing safety awareness is a good thing. There are to many un-aware or un-thinking drivers out there.
That being said, here I go, and I hope I don't offend anyone.
Just in my experience, most rail vs. automobile and rail vs. pedestrian accidents are NOT caused by the train crew. It is the result of sheer stupidity, arrogance, or ignorance on the part of the person that gets hit.
Again from personal experience, when you hit someone at a grade crossing the public automaticly blames the train crew. This is wrong. The train crew can not get the machine they are opperating stopped fast enough to avoid hitting someone with the poor jugement to callenge them at a crossing. When it does happen, you wonder what you could have done. It stays with you. It is not a pleasant thing to go through. And the unknowlegeable public does not make it any easyer. You become the the guy who hit the car with the train. No matter how littel controll you may have had in that situation.
I am probably preaching to the wrong people here. Most railfans are very aware of the power of a train. I only ask one thing. As you go through life you guys have the ability to pass on your knowlege. Tell the kids who marvel at your trains, Not to play on Any railroad tracks. And to Always expect a train. Hopefully by the time they are drivers they will remember some of what they learned and keep everyone safer.
Hope I did not put anyone to sleep. Just on of my Hot Button Subjects.
Stupid people are funny.
I'm glad I haven't done anything stupid enough to kill me yet! There's always tomorrow- or is there?
I did stub my toe on the bed frame leg getting out of bed the other day. I think you should send donations to my, I mean THE, The Gaurdian Angels for Waker Uppers website! $5 is all it takes from each and everyone of you so I don't hafta get out of bed each morning to go to work!
Freinds, please open your hearts (and your wallets) for the toe-stubbers-on the bed fund.
And while we are at it, how about the "train-a-holics". Can Trainaholism be considered for fuederal funding?
Hi my name is Dave... and I'm a Train-a-holic. And I'd rather NOT stop.
Train vs car/truck, in the end the train will always will no matter what. People shouldn't be in a hurry to get to work because they're late or they have an appointment with the doctor.
The government should also help prevent train vs car/truck accidents/incidents along every crossing. Whether the crossings are proteted or not. If it's not the people its usually the crossings and vise versa.
Be careful guys!
The system to select sites for crossing upgrades?
The public votes each year: number of drivers to hit trains at each "balloting station."
(I hate to be too critical of the dead. They don't listen well and they've paid enough for their mistake already.)
My main goal: teach my kids to be tuned in.
Separate names with a comma.