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Workers Derail Runaway Train

Discussion in 'Metal Heads' started by Dick Quickwood, Jun 21, 2003.

  1. Dick Quickwood

    Dick Quickwood 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Aug 25, 2002 Messages: 14,783 Likes Received: 14
    COMMERCE, Calif. (June 20) - A line of train cars broke loose in a switching yard and rolled more than 30 miles before workers derailed them to avoid a potential disaster in Los Angeles, launching tons of lumber onto trackside homes but causing only a handful of injuries.

    Railroad workers diverted the 31 cars onto a side track at noon after they had raced nearly 30 miles at speeds sometimes topping 70 mph. At least 11 derailed, unleashing a blizzard of wood, newsprint and fiberboard that destroyed two homes and damaged two others.

    ''That was the last chance we felt we had to derail them before they went into downtown Los Angeles,'' Union Pacific Railroad spokesman John Bromley said.

    Firefighters sent three children and three adults to hospitals for treatment of minor injuries. Seven other people were treated for minor injuries at the scene, authorities said.

    The train cars were derailed in the largely industrial community about 30 minutes after they got loose at a switching yard in Montclair and began rolling downhill.

    ''We saw the train demolishing and splintering the house. You saw the power lines going down, the sparks. I was in shock,'' said Jason Mendez, 34.

    ''It sounded like a plane crash combined with an earthquake,'' he said.

    Firefighters and dogs searched huge piles of debris and news helicopters were asked to back off to allow the use of listening equipment. But no one was believed to be missing.

    ''It's very amazing,'' said Los Angeles County Fire Chief Michael Freeman. ''What if this happened in the middle of the night with everybody sleeping?''

    Many residents of the neighborhood - filled with single-family houses with small yards and front porches - were at work at the time.

    Some witnesses stood outside the debris crying. Others watched in silence as rescue workers combed the wreckage.

    Luis Carlos Vasquez Jr., 31, was raking in the back yard of one of the homes hit by flying wreckage when he heard the train.

    ''The sound wasn't right. When I turned around, rocks are flying, there are two box cars in the air.''

    He said he rushed inside the house to rescue his sister, who had taken refuge in a closet.

    ''A pair of wheels fell in front of me. The ceiling was coming down. Debris all over the place. I got my sister and carried her out.''

    The National Transportation Safety Board dispatched investigators, spokesman Paul Schlamm said from Washington, D.C.

    It was initially believed that efforts to sidetrack the runaway cars had failed. Bromley later said that railroad employees had ruled out other side tracks along the route because of the risks to property.

    ''It came down to this was the last spot where we could do it,'' Bromley said.

    At such speed, diverting the cars onto the side track caused them to derail.

    The switching yard in Montclair is about 27 miles east of Commerce. No railroad employees were reported injured.

    AP-NY-06-20-03 2149EDT
  2. Dick Quickwood

    Dick Quickwood 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Aug 25, 2002 Messages: 14,783 Likes Received: 14
  3. mugshot

    mugshot Guest

  4. kido

    kido Senior Member

    Joined: Apr 16, 2002 Messages: 1,463 Likes Received: 0
    Geeeez.. That first picture looks straight up like some toys
  5. iloveboxcars

    iloveboxcars 12oz Royalty

    Joined: Jul 29, 2002 Messages: 20,506 Likes Received: 450
    too bad no one had anything on those boxcars, they would have gotten major play yesterday and today.
  6. crave

    crave Veteran Member

    Joined: Jan 20, 2002 Messages: 6,728 Likes Received: 10
    damn, those cars really do look like toys in that first shot.
  7. Flow ish

    Flow ish Member

    Joined: Feb 26, 2003 Messages: 519 Likes Received: 0
    'N' scale trains that were carrying toothpicks.
    Thanks for the picture links, it adds alot more to the story.
  8. Overtime

    Overtime Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 22, 2003 Messages: 13,989 Likes Received: 313
    holy shit they do!
  9. ReSoN

    ReSoN New Jack

    Joined: Oct 5, 2002 Messages: 29 Likes Received: 0
    notice the guy standing on top of the car in the middle upper section of the first picture...
  10. ~KRYLON2~

    ~KRYLON2~ 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Oct 13, 2001 Messages: 10,475 Likes Received: 203
  11. MetalFaceHoe

    MetalFaceHoe Junior Member

    Joined: Jun 13, 2003 Messages: 234 Likes Received: 0
    aww man....rescue heroes
  12. arden ~ AEC

    arden ~ AEC New Jack

    Joined: Jul 3, 2003 Messages: 35 Likes Received: 0
    someting like that happened in perth once
    but one a lesser scale
    searching for pics....

  13. Southern kid

    Southern kid Elite Member

    Joined: Apr 19, 2000 Messages: 3,965 Likes Received: 0
    Uhm, just one question...how the fuck did those cars get on the loose in the first place? Who's boo boo was that? I bet someone had some explaining to do. The sick part of me wishes I was there to see that line go flying in mid air. How could would that be!?
  14. Ski Mask

    Ski Mask 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Apr 11, 2000 Messages: 11,114 Likes Received: 209
    I think I've let enough time pass that I can mention this now. Earlier this year I had to try and prevent a derailment while out benching. It was insane, I watched this mixed freight come along towards the junction I bench at, when I hear this dull BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG noise and see that the covered hopper directly behind the 3rd engine has its entire front truck at a 45 angle with the first axle outside the rail hammering up and down over the ties kicking up gravel and dust. I thought for sure I was about to watch the whole train pile up right infront of me. I screamed at the engineer once before realizing how utterly stupid that was considering he cant hear shit. So I ran to the nearest no tresspassing sign to call the ____ police dispatch. so they can inform the engine crew and get the train stopped since they obviously dont see or feel the drag yet.

    while my call is going through the train slows down slightly as it works its way through the curve and I almost hung up figuring that it was stopping. ring*ring*ring* then it starts notching up again and I'm standing there fucking amazed that this thing isnt grinding to a halt. so I tell the dispatcher whats happening, and they forward me through about 3 people till they get local dispatch for the railroad whos train it actually was (not the ones who run that junction) and they say DONT MOVE we'll have a cruiser there in 7 minutes. so by now the train is complete gone out of sight. after about 5 minutes some trackworker comes along eyeballing the track that the derailed unit was going over. I wave and get him to come over (I'm staying 100% off property now since I'll have to deal with the RR cops) just as the cruiser pulls up behind me. the cops gets out and gets the details of what happens from me as well as my name and info. no chatter on his radio as he talks. then the rr worker comes over and says to the cop "hey, one of your units just took out a worker up at _______" which is just up the line. the cop throws his notebook in the car. gives me a hurried handshake and peels away towards the next spot in a cloud of dust.

    haven't heard from anyone since. shit was crazy. I even have a photo off the derailed unit as it went by since I was there benching. I'll try and post it some time.

    the point was.....you'd be suprised what engine crews dont notice....
  15. brown towel

    brown towel Banned

    Joined: Sep 10, 2003 Messages: 118 Likes Received: 0
    Don't sleep...freights can be mad dangerous.