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Old 01-14-2010, 09:33 AM
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Default Look, Listen, and Live

Hi everyone:

I just wanted to once again make sure everyone is aware of railroad safetey. I know I've posted something similar in the past, but I'm doing it again, as this is too important.

Please take the time to Look and Listen, so you may continue to Live when you're around railroad tracks. It's not only the smart thing to do, it can save your (or someone else's) life!

For those who don't know, I work as a locomotive engineer. I'm the choo choo driver who makes so much noise at 3 a.m. and blocks the crossing that you're trying to get across. Every day I see people make what could be a fatal decision, they jump in front of my train so they can get across the track before I get in their way (at least we hope they make it across).

More often than not, these bad decisions turn into "near miss" situations, and far too often they become "crossing incidents". I've lost count of the number of folks that have run in front of me, only to disappear under the nose of the locomotive in the blind spot, leaving me and my conductor to wonder if we hit them. We listen for the "thump", then look to see if they made it out the other side. This is not a good feeling. When they don't make it, then that just makes things worse. There is the chance that when I apply the emergency brakes on the train that I can derail and scatter frieght all over the hiway, possiblely releasing some sort of hazardous material (we carry some really nasty stuff at times). Chances are if a vehicle is hit by a train, the person driving (and the passengers) will get hurt pretty seriously, if not killed. When the conductor goes back to see what happened, the last thing he wants to see if seriously injured or worse dead people in a mangled vehicle. I've been there several times, and it's not a pretty sight.

What prompted me to write this was an incident that I had yesterday afternoon. I was traveling along at about 55MPH on my way from Shreveport, LA to Heavener, OK when this beautiful Dodge Ram came hauling a$$ up to a crossing. He must've been either deaf, blind, or both. As he obviously didn't see or hear me coming until the last minute. He locked up the brakes on his truck, and slid to a stop at the crossing. The front bumper of his truck was over hanging the tracks. I was within 200 feet of him when he stopped. Fortunately he was able to back up off of the crossing in time to avoid getting hit. This was not a good feeling for either myself or my conductor. There was a period of time that felt close to an eternity (actually about 3 seconds) where we didn't know if we hit this guy or not. We couldn't see him, and there was nothing that we could do about what was happening.....

Please be safe out there folks. Please make sure that your friends and family are aware of the dangers of railroad tracks.

Thanks for letting me vent. I needed to get it off my chest....

Exco
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:42 AM
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Very good info!! I myself have a friend who is an engineer so I get it.

Life is too short to be in a hurry! Slow down people and pay attention! Glad that guy got his Ram out of the way!! I would imagine when you do have an incident there is lots of paperwork involved as well!
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:49 AM
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yes Stacy there is lots of paperwork... and that doesn't even include the police reports etc... I think just about every boss, trainmaster, manager, etc comes to see what happened too.

they also go over the event recorder with a fine toothed comb. they never fail to point out every little mistake you made from the time you began the trip until the incident happened. I've seen folks get assessed discipline for a mistake made 150 miles before the incident... they don't seem to realize that noone is perfect, and that we make mistakes just like everyone else...

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Old 01-14-2010, 09:52 AM
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Wow.....didn't realize it was quite that detailed!! Now I will be even more careful around trains!! Living here I see them everyday and have been stopped by them. Yes, sometimes it is irritating to have to wait but it is better than trying to kill yourself to save 30 seconds!

Nice avatar!!
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:57 AM
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you probably get stopped by some of the same train that I run futher down the line... KCS runs right through Joplin every day, several times a day.

thanks. I just "created" the avitar this morning. I was updating the web page that I'm the webmaster for, and realized that the program that I used to make my buttons with would also create animated images, so I thought I'd give it a try to create a new avitar..

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Old 01-14-2010, 10:05 AM
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Never saw any trains in San Diego other than the commuter ones. I do find it fascinating to watch them. I see lots of container cars, coal. I would love to have one of their horns for Blue and my bike!

But anyway......you gave some great insight here and I hope it makes people stop and think the next time they want to try to race through an intersection to beat a train.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:33 AM
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My dad too works for the railroad. He is testman in the Signal department for the Union Pacific, he tests and hooks up the wiring at those big boxes that are at all the crossings. He used to be in a crew that laid the wiring but got tired of dumb people (he got all the new hires to weed them out), so now he is by himself. He has territory in Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, and all of Iowa.

Just because the arms are up doesn't mean there is no train coming LOOK, LISTEN, LIVE!!!! for some reason I even look at tracks that are shut down and no trains use, habit

DO NOT DRIVE AROUND THE ARMS!!!!! they are down for a reason.
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:29 PM
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i escort semi trucks with Oversized Loads, many of the taller loads are hauled on really low slung trailers, with maybe 3 inches of clearance. many railroad crossings are raised slightly, if we think that there is even a possible chance the trailer will high center, we have to make phone calls, first call is the railroad.
this is a part of a wind turbine generator loaded on a semi truck, showing a good view of the ground clearance issue
http://www.boatnerd.com/news/newpict...lle-on-Tru.jpg
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:51 PM
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It amazes me of how careless people are around crossings. I've heard several sad stories in my area, that just didn't have to happen! Thank you for sharing that with us! I hope people read it really carefully, because it could save thier lives!
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:59 PM
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Great message..........Unfortunately some people dont get it. It is suprising to me how frequent this happens and yet never has to. If you were going somewere and the sign said dead end would you keep going? Theres lights and barriers but still. Were i grew up the main C.N line was in our back yard near kingston, Ontario. Thinking know there was approx 10 kids/adults killed around there while growing up.This is a approx1 mile span...thats it. Stupidity was the main culprit. Not paying attention was the other. It is unfortunate and as for venting...........you only would if it upsets you because you care.
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