Old 06-28-2007, 11:32 PM   #1
Northern Limits
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Exclamation Stay back from the RoW.

A woman in the Greater Vancouver (B.C.) area was hit by a train when she stepped too close to take her picture. She died today from her injuries.
I'm sorry, but so far I can't find any info links.

Just a reminder that railfanning requires some care and common sense.
I know of a supervisor that was hit and killed by a piece of cargo that had shifted and was protruding into the "safe" distance zone. He was where he was supposed to be, but was looking the other way.
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Old 06-29-2007, 02:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Limits
A woman in the Greater Vancouver (B.C.) area was hit by a train when she stepped too close to take her picture. She died today from her injuries.
I'm sorry, but so far I can't find any info links.

Just a reminder that railfanning requires some care and common sense.
I know of a supervisor that was hit and killed by a piece of cargo that had shifted and was protruding into the "safe" distance zone. He was where he was supposed to be, but was looking the other way.
Excellent advice. Thank you for the reminder.

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Old 06-29-2007, 03:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Limits
A woman in the Greater Vancouver (B.C.) area was hit by a train when she stepped too close to take her picture. She died today from her injuries.
I believe this is what you are talking about:

http://www.cknw.com/news/news_local....news_local.cfm

That's sad to hear.

Personally I know that I would never be too close in a situation like that, first of all for safety sake [obviously] and also because a face-on shot of this type wouldn't turn out near as good as even a typical wedgie.

If I am on the other side of the crossbuck from the tracks at a crossing, I feel comfortable. But, as the train is going by, I never look the other way in case there just may be equipment hanging off, like you mentioned.
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Becker
I believe this is what you are talking about:

http://www.cknw.com/news/news_local....news_local.cfm

That's sad to hear.

Personally I know that I would never be too close in a situation like that, first of all for safety sake [obviously] and also because a face-on shot of this type wouldn't turn out near as good as even a typical wedgie.

If I am on the other side of the crossbuck from the tracks at a crossing, I feel comfortable. But, as the train is going by, I never look the other way in case there just may be equipment hanging off, like you mentioned.
One never wins a battle with a train. You just don't.

When I lived in Indiana we had the GTW, NFS, and Conrail constantly going through. It never ceased to amaze me how many people tried to beat a train to a crossing. Usually these were either teenagers or people from out of State.

One incident that sticks in my mind was in the downtown area where there were both East/West Freights at a given crossing. Someone from out of town had positioned himself angled to the gate so as to be able to bolt across when the Westbound cleared. You know what happened when that Westbound did clear; as he shot across the Eastbound nailed him. He did not survive as I recall.

To this day - and we have very few rails here in Massachusetts - I will still put the car in park, engage the emergency brake, cut the wheel hard left or right depending, and nail the break pedal to the floor.

Having said that and at the risk of sounding stupid, it has never crossed my mind that there may be cargo that could shift. Never. I am 51 and have been watching trains since I was 10.

It's embedded in the forefront of my mind now.

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Old 06-29-2007, 04:14 PM   #5
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I've been told that a container got loose and flew off a moving intermodal train in my area (as I heard it, Germantown MD) and landed trackside.

I worry about loose straps on bulkhead cars and the like.
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
One incident that sticks in my mind was in the downtown area where there were both East/West Freights at a given crossing. Someone from out of town had positioned himself angled to the gate so as to be able to bolt across when the Westbound cleared. You know what happened when that Westbound did clear; as he shot across the Eastbound nailed him. He did not survive as I recall.
This exact scenario played out in Fargo, ND a couple of weeks ago.

I have never seen cargo shift or anything hanging, but I know it's out there. See the Station Sign in this shot:
Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 186093
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


I had been there not long before it happened, so I know it was recent when I took that shot. BNSF also fixed it pretty fast as the sign's back to normal, but the sign survived the impact where I probably would not have.
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:31 PM   #7
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I try to keep safety as my top priority around railroads, but I know even I get a bit close sometimes. I always try to stay 30 feet or more away, and usually I'm closer to 100 or so.
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Becker
I believe this is what you are talking about:

http://www.cknw.com/news/news_local....news_local.cfm

That is the incident. Thanks Carl. I was trying to find it on the TV news and newspaper sites.

The train was a CP intermodal.
As we all know - camera viewfinders can give a deceptive perspective of distance. The train was probably closer than she thought. (Oh boy, that was a brilliant understatement )
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:55 PM   #9
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Train always wins.

I remember being out one weekend along the ROW, and was standing probably 40-50 feet back. I was at a low-level platform commuter station and a high-ball freight came through. Something came off the train doing 50 or so, and knocked over the metal newspaper holder. That was enough for me.
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Old 06-30-2007, 01:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Limits
That is the incident. Thanks Carl. I was trying to find it on the TV news and newspaper sites.

The train was a CP intermodal.
As we all know - camera viewfinders can give a deceptive perspective of distance. The train was probably closer than she thought. (Oh boy, that was a brilliant understatement )
Yes, the lens drastically distorts one's perspective. I found that out with a 10mm that I have. I was surprised at just how close I actually was.

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Old 06-30-2007, 06:41 PM   #11
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Some years ago my husband went out to photograph a special working from one of our local stations. As he took the picture (not standing anywhere near the edge of the platform) he heard a thud, one of the wooden foot boards had fallen off a coach.
My local main line has had it's fair share of "shifted loads" incidents over the years, one particularly destructive one at Watford Junction in 1975 can be read about HERE
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:36 PM   #12
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This whole thread kinda hits home to me. When I was out yesterday afternoon I was standing in a convenience store parking lot about 15 feet from the tracks when an intermodal train doing at least 50mph came by and for the first time ever I had the feeling of being a little nervous that something could fly off. Maybe it was because of a recent derailment that occurred when an intermodal train jumped the tracks and spread out stopping just feet from taking out an apartment complex or maybe only because of the curve right there that made the train appear to be leaning more my direction that it actually was. Who knows
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Old 07-01-2007, 02:46 AM   #13
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I must admit I am guilty of getting too close to fast moving freight trains a time or two.

Today I found myself actually thinking safety while railfanning and on a couple of occasions those thoughts kept me from crowding the tracks in the same locations where I have done just that in the past.

Thaks for the reminder. It is very easy to get caught up in the moment and risk injury or worse by not keeping a safe distance from the RoW.
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyman
Yes, the lens drastically distorts one's perspective. I found that out with a 10mm that I have. I was surprised at just how close I actually was.

Lyman
One nice thing about using a 100-400 lens is that I can get my pics and move back quite a distance before the train passes. Sometimes I wish I had greater range on the wide end (I DO have a wide angle, but I prefer to shoot with the big lens), but it certainly does allow me to get a shot that LOOKS close, but is any but.

Yesterday a friend of mine and I were at a crossing taking pics of an approaching train and as a guy sped around the gates, he yelled, "Don't take my picture!"
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Old 07-02-2007, 03:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
One nice thing about using a 100-400 lens is that I can get my pics and move back quite a distance before the train passes. Sometimes I wish I had greater range on the wide end (I DO have a wide angle, but I prefer to shoot with the big lens), but it certainly does allow me to get a shot that LOOKS close, but is any but.

Yesterday a friend of mine and I were at a crossing taking pics of an approaching train and as a guy sped around the gates, he yelled, "Don't take my picture!"
Funny you should mention that actually; I am putting the 10mm up for sale to acquire a >400mm lens. I just do not use that 10mm enough.

Re "Don't take my picture". I'm sure he was joking as they're no doubt used to it. In any event, it's not like he could stop in a heartbeat and grab the camera!
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