RAILROAD CROSSING SAFETY - Sheriff Officer Hit - could have been any of us.

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USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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m1010plowboy

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Maybe someone else will remember this cartoon image. It was likely in the 70's, it wasn't the 60's but maybe into the early 80's, my older brother may have left a playboy magazine out. It could have been a popular science or popular mechanics but I seem to recall playboy/ penthouse. The cartoon image was a man and a pretty lady in a hot rod convertible car sitting at a rail crossing, exactly like that officer. The car had a tall stick shift and the driver was grabbing the stick shift getting ready to race across the tracks. Not really sure of all the details from 40ish years ago but it looked something like that.

Either in the next image or the same image the car is heading across the track with another train barreling down on the convertible. I think the train had an angry face on it too as it's about to smack the door ....but I'm testing the grey matter too much. Now that the grey is tested, it could have been a railway safety cartoon.

The video just reminded me of a funny but serious memory so I figured someone else might recall the cartoon. It likely kept me from being that leo.
 

Lukes_deuce

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That video brings me chills. I work for a commuter rail road just east of NYC and have seen my fair share of cars trying to beat trains. A little patience would go a long way.

We preach a saying about on track safety - expect a train on any track, in any direction, at any time. You just never know.
 

Another Ahab

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We preach a saying about on track safety - expect a train on any track, in any direction, at any time. You just never know.
Just now, stumbled here on this thread. Sobering...

About 4-5 of us regularly played on trains. We would jump the freights from Point-of-Rocks MD (where they slowed) ride them up to the the switching yards in Brunswick, jump off and then hop a return train back. Stupid. We were kids in our teens. We did stupid things.

One of us got hurt bad. But he's okay now! It didn't knock the crazy out of him for some reason.

By rights a few of us shouldn't have survived some of it. You count your blessings.

Something about the trains draws you in. Man, we were stupid.
 
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Back2Wyo

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On Monday morning, we had someone who tried to bet a westbound BNSF coal empty. He lost. Luckily, he only lost the backend of his truck and not his life. And it was a company truck that he wrecked.
 

marchplumber

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On Monday morning, we had someone who tried to bet a westbound BNSF coal empty. He lost. Luckily, he only lost the backend of his truck and not his life. And it was a company truck that he wrecked.

Wonder if it was a "company life" he about surrendered....

Train ALWAYS has precedence.......in those collisions, no one "wins"....

Great thread and constant safety reminder.....
 

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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Just now, stumbled here on this thread. Sobering...

About 4-5 of us regularly played on trains. We would jump the freights from Point-of-Rocks MD (where they slowed) ride them up to the the switching yards in Brunswick, jump off and then hop a return train back. Stupid. We were kids in our teens. We did stupid things.

One of us got hurt bad. But he's okay now! It didn't knock the crazy out of him for some reason.

By rights a few of us shouldn't have survived some of it. You count your blessings.

Something about the trains draws you in. Man, we were stupid.
FLASHBACK ALERT !

Ahab, you just reminded me of what was probably my most stupid train episode.

At about 13 years of age a few of us climbed upon UNDER a railroad trestle and, while a train was lumbering overhead, we dared one another to stick our head(s) up between the ties.... Dang fortunate that none of us got brained or decapitated by a low-hanging "anything".

Yes, I can testify that God takes care of fools and little children. In retrospect, I fully realize that I was both FOOL and CHILD. Sure am glad my Papa loves me. Praise be to GOD !



Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.




:doh:




:usafss:
 

M813rc

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Hopping trains - seems it was a common thing in our youth.

Back in my Marine days when I was stationed on Camp Pendleton, there were still freight trains running up and down the coast to San Diego, etc. My buddy Isaac W and I used to spend a lot of our liberty days in Oceanside or San Diego, which entailed catching a shuttle from Oceanside to get back on base at the end.
The bad thing with that was Oceanside is on the south side of the base, and we were with 5th Marines all the way at the north end, so it took well over an hour in the shuttle to get there since we had to stop at all the other sub-camps on the way.
Our answer was to hop a northbound freight and jump back off when it slowed down going through San Clemente. Then we could catch the San Onofre bus and be on base in ten minutes.

This worked well until one Sunday we hopped on a train, and it didn't slow enough for us to jump off in San Clemente, or anywhere else until we got waaaaay up the coast!
Fortunately, Sgt Pagan (pronounced Pa-gone) had the duty that evening, we phoned and he said he'd cover for us being late checking in from liberty, but not if we weren't in morning formation.
Yes, we hopped another freight to get back, and we did make formation in time.

As a side note, when I got my M185 from auction, it had Sgt Pagan on the driver's windshield. Even though it now wears USMC markings, and Marines don't put names on the windshield, I left that there in honour of my old Sergeant.

Cheers
 

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Another Ahab

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Ahab, you just reminded me of what was probably my most stupid train episode.
ColdWarrior, I love you, man, you know it.

BUT, you are not going to out-stupid me!!

So, yeah, we were also probably about 13-years old at the time, just three of us that day if I remember right (the "gang" varied from about 3-7 kids total).

The Potomac River takes a bend at Point-of-Rocks, and that slowed the trains down and that's where we'd jump on to head up-river (you still had to run to catch them, but just not real hard, we did it because we COULD, I guess).

The train was a coal train, a long line of hopper cars. The hopper cars were empty (returning from feeding West Virginia coal to the GSA steam plants in D.C.). We hung on the ladders for the ride out. But that was work to hang on to the ladders. One of us got the idea: "let's go down in the car and sit". We did. But after a while the ride was beating us up (coal car suspension isn't much).

So we all climbed our way out of the bottom of the coal car, and grabbed back onto the ladders at the top of the cars. About 5-10 minutes later, we hear a BIG bang, a heavy "crash", and looking down into the coal car we see a sight that made us all REAL quiet:

- Right where we all had been sitting, the hopper door had dropped OPEN...we could all see the railroad ties speed on by as the train whipped along.

We were quiet for a second. But we were 13-years old. So in just a second or two later we were all good! Nobody dwelled on it. Somebody said something like, "Wow. That was lucky". And it was. Yikes!!

Needless to say:

- We never rode the bottom of any empty coal cars after that.

We kept the story to ourselves ("Hey, Mom, guess what we did today!!"). And, too stupid to know better, we just kept jumping trains.

The End


:roll:
 

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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ColdWarrior, I love you, man, you know it.

BUT, you are not going to out-stupid me!!

So, yeah, we were also probably about 13-years old at the time, just three of us that day if I remember right (the "gang" varied from about 3-7 kids total).

The Potomac River takes a bend at Point-of-Rocks, and that slowed the trains down and that's where we'd jump on to head up-river (you still had to run to catch them, but just not real hard, we did it because we COULD, I guess).

The train was a coal train, a long line of hopper cars. The hopper cars were empty (returning from feeding West Virginia coal to the GSA steam plants in D.C.). We hung on the ladders for the ride out. But that was work to hang on to the ladders. One of us got the idea: "let's go down in the car and sit". We did. But after a while the ride was beating us up (coal car suspension isn't much).

So we all climbed our way out of the bottom of the coal car, and grabbed back onto the ladders at the top of the cars. About 5-10 minutes later, we hear a BIG bang, a heavy "crash", and looking down into the coal car we see a sight that made us all REAL quiet:

- Right where we all had been sitting, the hopper door had dropped OPEN...we could all see the railroad ties speed on by as the train whipped along.

We were quiet for a second. But we were 13-years old. So in just a second or two later we were all good! Nobody dwelled on it. Somebody said something like, "Wow. That was lucky". And it was. Yikes!!

Needless to say:

- We never rode the bottom of any empty coal cars after that.

We kept the story to ourselves ("Hey, Mom, guess what we did today!!"). And, too stupid to know better, we just kept jumping trains.

The End


:roll:
Luv U 2 Ahab!!!

Not a game of "one-up-man-ship" here.
I'm just reminded again that "There but for the grace of God" Darwin would have thinned the herd pretty radically our childish mis-steps.


Thanks to GOOGLE EARTH I have returned to the old neighborhood. Those tracks upon which we played have been torn up and only the right-of-way remains. The old trestle appears, at least in their latest satellite photo, to still be spanning the river though. I'm sure the steel in those girders wouldn't pay their own way back into a furnace. I wonder if the kids today still walk that way, and explore what's left of their grandparents' old tales.

I wonder.... and I am reminded of that movie: STAND BY ME.

Back to the grade crossing incident that prompted this thread... I've never had a "close call" at a crossing. But I have been witness to some. Nowadays, my default reaction is to pray. I pray that God will look out for fools and little children. So far, He has answered my prayers.
 

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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Hope you guyz Mom's aren't reading these!! Yikes is right!!

You will be in SOOO much trouble!!

(Humour intended........)

OK, Tony.... Confession time! Tell us what YOUR mom never knew you did down by the railroad tracks.

BTW, as I believe, when Mom arrived in heaven all, yes ALL of my nondisclosures were made known to her.... and Dad was probably right next to her laughing and saying, "That's my boy!"
FYI, my dad's childhood home was just one street over from where they raised me and my sisters. He was well aware of the temptations around us.
 

Another Ahab

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BTW, as I believe, when Mom arrived in heaven all, yes ALL of my nondisclosures were made known to her.... and Dad was probably right next to her laughing and saying, "That's my boy!"
If I'm lucky enough to make Heaven, Mom will likely meet me at the Pearly Gates, saying:

- "You did WHAT??!!!"

And across her knee I'll take the beating I deserve.


:doghead:
 

Killer_Junior

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...As much as people wanted to tear into him for the mistake he made (on the Facebook posts related to this), I absolutely understand how he made his mistake and I think it's reasonable that many more will make the same mistake again. I just hope for those that do, they have the same kind of luck this deputy did and little harm comes from it.
This.

Lots of people, especially on social media, where everyone's an expert, want to cuss/discuss every action taken by the cops. They have no frame of reference. First responders of all types (police, fire, EMS) have to make split-second driving decisions like this every day.

Going anywhere faster than the speed limit, disregarding signs and signals is risky, even with lights and siren, but they gamble with that risk every day. This time, it didn't work. Glad the deputy and baby are all right.
 

Guyfang

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If I'm lucky enough to make Heaven, Mom will likely meet me at the Pearly Gates, saying:

- "You did WHAT??!!!"

And across her knee I'll take the beating I deserve.


:doghead:
Although my mother was meaner then a wet hen, its my grandmother who I feared. EVERYONE for miles around called her, THE DRAGON LADY.
 

Camel Driver

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WOW! Can't believe he wasn't killed. Trains are one thing I NEVER mess with. You would think that after all the assorted train vs/car/truck collision videos everyone sees on the news almost daily, that nobody would do such a dumb thing. What will it take to stop such insanity?
 

98G

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WOW! Can't believe he wasn't killed. Trains are one thing I NEVER mess with. You would think that after all the assorted train vs/car/truck collision videos everyone sees on the news almost daily, that nobody would do such a dumb thing. What will it take to stop such insanity?
Consider -

Cop has a decision to make.

Do i sit here safely and wait until it's absolutely safe to cross the tracks? While a nonbreathing baby dies due to my inaction?

Or do I roll the dice and cross unsafely and risk my life against a better chance for the nonbreathing baby to live?

Looks to me like he made the correct decision, and nearly paid the price in full.

Some things are worth substantial risk to one's own life.

What am I missing?
 
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USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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Consider -

Cop has a decision to make.

Do i sit here safely and wait until it's absolutely safe to cross the tracks? While a nonbreathing baby dies due to my inaction?

Or do I roll the dice and cross unsafely and risk my life against a better chance for the nonbreathing baby to live?

Looks to me like he made the correct decision, and nearly paid the price in full.

Some things are worth substantial risk to one's own life.

What am I missing?
Thank you, 98G, for that well thought and equally well written summation of this incident.

This is the essence of why we respect and are so appreciative of our first responders in every discipline - Police, Firefighters, Medics, etc..

Not everyone is willing to run TOWARD danger. These brave souls will readily do so for complete strangers and not think twice about it.
 
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marchplumber

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Chappy,

I didn't have train tracks around when young. First real experience? Train ride to Florida for family funeral with my Mom. Not a lot of fun. Second? Rail-head at Ft. Hood............again, not much fun.

I appreciate ALL the stories................. no one EVER said adventure was "safe" or intelligent. I proved that away from train tracks.

Lot of respect for LEO's and others. They like us, sometimes make mistakes. Sometimes they pay the total price, just like we do. Death is an equal opportunity..............


No one wins with trains. Not conductor. Not engineer. Not driver of car or pedestrian. The irresistible force of that many tons in motion?? Something is gonna give. I pray ALL pay more attention to their surroundings and are able to go home to "mom" and "dragon lady" at the end of the day.
 
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