Old 04-10-2005, 03:51 PM   #1
Chris Starnes
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Default Be careful out there...

From an email list this morning:

> At 0735 MT Friday April 8th a railfan on BNSF property shot photographs of
> an eastward train on Main 2 near East Peach Springs, AZ, and was killed by
> a
> westbound train travelling on Main 1. This is doble track ABS territory on
> the Seligman Subdivision which averages about 80 trains per day.
>
> The train was delayed about ifve hours for investigation, clean up and to
> provide a relief crew from Needles, CA (the original crew was granted
> trauma
> relief).
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Old 04-10-2005, 04:12 PM   #2
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And that's why you should NEVER stand on the tracks to take photos of a train on the other main. Very sad that this railfan didn't respect trains' awesome might and size.

Hopefully it wasn't Ween.
http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=2544
Whew, he has some photos from yesterday.
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Old 04-10-2005, 04:23 PM   #3
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This is why I feel a photo should be rejected if it was taken on RR property or compromised the safety of the photographer or train crew. This promotes commen sense photography and will foster more respect from the RR's I feel.

Billy
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Old 04-10-2005, 05:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
This is why I feel a photo should be rejected if it was taken on RR property
Nothing to do with this case but, station platforms are railroad property, but they are public areas. I think you need to be more specific - I have taken pictures safely on RR property with permission and from public areas.

And how are the screeners to know where you are standing or if you had permission?
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Old 04-10-2005, 06:40 PM   #5
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Your right, I should have said what I meant which was "right of way".

Maybe put in the photo remarks you had permission to be on RR right of way? Or the more blatant cases of trespassing could be rejected. I do not have a handy answer that covers all angles.

I would hate to see this hobby become more difficult or non-existent because of some screwballs' foolishness. If the RR's feel that the photographer's are endangering themselves on RR property, or endangering the crews (remember the thread about the strobe lights?) or interupting business I could see the RR's clamping down. The sad part is the clamp down would be on EVERYONE, not just those creating the problems.

Billy

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Old 04-10-2005, 07:47 PM   #6
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Actually I never meant the actual RoW! Specifically (locally) I was talking about few old station areas which were demolished and are now just empty fields next to the tracks owned by the RR.

Quote:
I would hate to see this hobby become more difficult or non-existent because of some screwballs' foolishness. If the RR's feel that the photographer's are endangering themselves on RR property, or endangering the crews (remember the thread about the strobe lights?) or interupting business I could see the RR's clamping down. The sad part is the clamp down would be on EVERYONE, not just those creating the problems.
I agree 100% with this.

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Old 04-10-2005, 08:13 PM   #7
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Well, you know if the guy was wearing his sign, someone could've stopped him. Or maybe he said to someone, "Here, hold my sign..." This makes the 99.9% of us who are actually responsible look bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ru1056
I would hate to see this hobby become more difficult or non-existent because of some screwballs' foolishness.
I agree. We're already looked at as "potential terrorists" now. This incident doesn't help matters much, and in my opinion, makes things worse.
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Old 04-10-2005, 11:06 PM   #8
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This kid wasn't issued a sign. Sorry about the quality but it illustrates why this area has a high percentage of fatalities. This train was moving at about 30-35mph at the time of this shot. The guy in the green pants was running right behind him, but at the last minute decided to wait.

They're out there!

E
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:34 AM   #9
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I have always wondered how non-suicidal people end up getting hit by trains so much. It is easy, they are STUPID! I have worked in law enforcment for the last 20 years on the SF peninsula and have dealt with many train/ped accidents along the Caltrain line over the years. I always had the thought, what happened? Didnt you see or hear the train coming? Well the other day, I got to see first hand, how these idiots can get hit. I was riding in the cab with one of Caltrain's finest from SF down to Gilroy. As we were approaching Blossom Hill south of San Jose, this idiot appears on the west side of the tracks and starts to nonchalantly walk across the tracks. He was not in a hurry and was taking his sweet ass time. As I snapped this we thought he would be in the clear with no problem, but then all of a sudden he turned and starting walking right towards us on the raised portion of the roadbed. I thought HOLY SHIT, we are going to hit that idiot! At the last second the idtiot finally turned and got out the way. Seeing it from the engineers point of view gives it all a new perspective.

You would however think that railfans would have a better understanding of the safety issues.
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:38 AM   #10
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This is sad. I did a Google news search and couldn't find anything. Anyone have a name or know if they contributed to this site?

Quote:
Hopefully it wasn't Ween.
http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=2544
Whew, he has some photos from yesterday.
Nah, wasn't me. Minot, ND is on the other end of the world for all intents and purposes than AZ!! But, man, Minot is a railfanners hidden dream! It was averaging 3-4 trains per hour and with almost unlimited access via parking lots, paralleling roads, overpasses, nearby hills, yards...all enshrouded with extreme personal safety (i.e. it's not E. St. Louis). It was by far, no question or doubt in my mind, the most enjoyable day of railfanning I've ever experienced. I thought Centralia, IL was supposed to be a train mecca with converging lines, but Minot blew it completely out of the water. Even though it's 3 hours west of Grand Forks, I'll be going back there when I can. Grand Forks looks like Altus after my visit there this weekend! Thanks for noticing, Joe!
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silagi
Didnt you see or hear the train coming?
Let's remember that things can get pretty loud out there. If you've ever been next to a passing train that has cars with flat spotted wheels or a train passing over diamonds it really makes a racket. Granted, the engineer should see YOU and blast the horn, but why put him in that situation? Get the heck out of the way after you've made your shot. (I'm sure most of us do this anyway)

It's my guess that the some of the people that get struck freeze when they see something that big coming right at them.

Even if you think you're a conscientious railfan and use your scanner, what good is it if you can't hear it?

Chuck
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
all enshrouded with extreme personal safety (i.e. it's not E. St. Louis).
Ween, East Saint Louis is the Mecca of trains in Illinois. OK, so you might get shot or carjacked, but there are a lot of trains, that's really what matters most, isn't it?

I can't understand two things about this guy getting hit. One, why do you have to be on the track to get a picture? Wouldn't 4 feet off the track suffice (though still unsafe?) Is the picture going to be that much better taken on the tracks, rather than a few feet away?

And you'd think railfans might know better, as someone mentioned, but I will tell you, there are a lot of "railfans" out there who don't even come close to knowing the first thing about safety, and they view the hobby as their playground, not another entity trying to conduct business. There's a location 13.5 miles west of St. Louis on a major double track railroad line that is frequented by some of them, though in no way am I saying all railfans at this location are that way.
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Old 04-11-2005, 02:12 AM   #13
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Well regardless let's wait to see what either the news or the police report truly says. There's many foolish people out there, restricting what you place on a site may help. But I believe you use education instead. But any one can make a mistake that can cost someone there life. The example of the attachment. I not to proud of this but to make my point. I'm 150 feet from the signal, the train is running at just over 50 MPH. When it gets to the signal I finally realize that I'm fixated on the light and get off the track. In the meantime as it approaches and even after I get off the tracks it never rings a bell or blows a horn. Taught me never to get on the main to take another shot. But some people think otherwise... Stay safe and be alert, look,listen and live...Ken
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Old 04-11-2005, 05:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
This is why I feel a photo should be rejected if it was taken on RR property or compromised the safety of the photographer or train crew.
Just a thought on rejecting photos: Even though a photographer is not on RR property and is not posing an immediate threat from where he's shooting, what about five minutes beforehand when he was going 80 MPH and dodging traffic to get in front of the train? Or driving while listening to his scanner? Will those have to be rejected as well if witnessed and reported by someone else? Rejecting photos of people in 'ill advised' situations or places won't do a thing...reading about someone getting killed doing this hobby will.

Quote:
Didnt you see or hear the train coming?
This seems obvious and it's easy to dismiss the person as being a moron or stupid, but as was mentioned before, it's loud when you're trackside. So loud, in fact, I try to wear hearing protection when there's a train going by. If you have a train moving by, sound gets distorted and it's tougher for your ear to have the directional abilty it has when it's not being overwhelmed by tons of steel lumbering by.

Another factor to consider in this case is channelized attention. The railfan was probably so intent on getting his shot, that his brain was channelizing all its focus on accomplishing that task. Channelized attention is a common factor in airplane crashes, and one that is heavily focused on when discussing how to prevent crashes in the future.

As far as true morons, who aren't suffering from channelized attention and willingly or ignorantly walk in front of a moving train deserve to have their genes weeded from the pool...
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:55 AM   #15
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"And you'd think railfans might know better, as someone mentioned, but I will tell you, there are a lot of "railfans" out there who don't even come close to knowing the first thing about safety, and they view the hobby as their playground, not another entity trying to conduct business."

Knowing better isn't confined to railfans. I've seen enough railroad employees who exhibit the exact same behavior. The reason they keep coming up with new rules on the railroad is because someone, somewhere does something ignorant and winds up losing a limb or a life or destroying some property. I've worked with pleanty who seriously have no business working around thousands of tons of rolling metal that doesn't stop on a dime. Fortunately, all I've seen is the property destruction part. Common sense goes a long way out here on either side of the lense.

And as Mr. Herndon said, if they were wearing signs, MAYBE someone could stop them.

Just my 2 cents.

E
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Old 04-11-2005, 08:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Just a thought on rejecting photos: Even though a photographer is not on RR property and is not posing an immediate threat from where he's shooting, what about five minutes beforehand when he was going 80 MPH and dodging traffic to get in front of the train? Or driving while listening to his scanner?
As I recall there was a thread on this sometime back. The individual was acting just as you described and the info was posted here. Through date and area people were able to figure out who it was. I would presume some people stopped viewing his photos cause of this incident, if they hadn't already.

Not suggesting we have people follow each other around and report thier behavior. I could be making a mountain out of a molehill. But I doubt any railfanning will be allowed in the area the gentlemen was killed. Like I said earlier I would hate for this hobby to disappear cause of foolishness.

Billy
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Old 04-11-2005, 08:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Carr
I'm 150 feet from the signal, the train is running at just over 50 MPH. When it gets to the signal I finally realize that I'm fixated on the light and get off the track.
Ken is one of the better photographers on this site in my opinion and seems to be a very level headed individual as most other people here are. If a website was to reject these photos cause of safety reasons, maybe people wouldn't be encouraged to risk life and limb for a photo if it is not going to be accepted anyway. (Not a flame on Ken in anyway, but it is an example)

I dont think any photo is worth anyone's life. Even the screwballs.

Billy
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Old 04-11-2005, 09:10 AM   #18
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If railfanning were disallowed every place some numbnuts met his demise, the entire town I live in would be off limits. I'm sure it'll still be allowed there, albeit with an increased police presence for a while. As the origin of this thread says-Be careful out there!

E
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:59 PM   #19
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I think all railfanning should be done on public property, this isn't the first time I've heard of a railfan getting hit and killed by a train.
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Old 04-13-2005, 09:31 PM   #20
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Railfans may learn from their own mistakes, and others mishaps. And are generally good about keeping themselves and others safe, not always about trespassing to get the shot, but that's another story. It's the uneducated general public and stupid kids that are the most trouble, in my opinion. Case-in-point the attached photo . . .
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Old 04-14-2005, 01:11 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StL-rail
Railfans may learn from their own mistakes, and others mishaps. And are generally good about keeping themselves and others safe, not always about trespassing to get the shot, but that's another story. It's the uneducated general public and stupid kids that are the most trouble, in my opinion. Case-in-point the attached photo . . .
C'mon, you know those kids are just looking for the body of Ray Brower...
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Old 04-18-2005, 02:43 AM   #22
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Hmm....here are some geniuses at Rochelle....

Well, it's hard to blame the kids when the mom is right there on the tracks with them. A few minutes later, they put about 25 pennies and quarters on the tracks......when they left to get lunch, I ran up and swiped them all off...muhahaha
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Old 04-18-2005, 04:06 PM   #23
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Wow... I'm at a loss of words for that one.
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Old 04-18-2005, 05:59 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaranna
Let's remember that things can get pretty loud out there.

I was reminded the other day that trains don't always make alot of noise. I decieded to stop at the Lisle Metra station to eat a sub sandwich I had picked up. I was sitting in my car in the parking lot right next to the tracks with the windows open and was looking east to see if anything was coming, my view to the west was partialy blocked. All of a sudden right in front of me there was an east bound BNSF intermodel on track 2. I never heard it coming, even as it went by it was not very loud.

Terry
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Old 04-18-2005, 07:08 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNW4404
A few minutes later, they put about 25 pennies and quarters on the tracks......when they left to get lunch, I ran up and swiped them all off...muhahaha

So, railroad photography does pay!
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