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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Bounced off!

Date: 01/21/21 19:56
Bounced off!
Author: roustabout

I was working the daylight Albany (Oregon) Willamette & Pacific yard job engineer, on duty at 0600. There was a commotion at the crossing at the south end of our yard, heck, there was almost always a commotion or someone PO-ed at us at that crossing, Queen Avenue.  But this time, it was a car that was a bit banged up and on its side.  The story goes that the young man (in the t-shirt and shorts) was eastbound on Queen from Pacific Ave, and ran into the side of Amtrak Cascade #500.  His story was that the rising sun had blinded him (valid point) and he saw neither the crossing gates and lights nor the train.

The engineer on #500 that day was our friend Jim Abney (Jim700 on TO.com), so I hopped on my unit and got on the UP channel to see if I could reach him.  The train had not stopped, and in fact had made its station stop at Albany and keep on heading northward. Jim answered my call and was somewhere near Millersburg.  I told him the situation and apparently no one on the train realized that the car had struck the side of their train.  He thanked me and stopped to inspect.  I heard nothing else and this was an almost-forgotten memory until I scanned through the photos I took that morning, July 24, 2006.

Date: 01/21/21 21:28
Re: Bounced off!
Author: Railbaron

I could see nobody on the train knowing they got hit. He would have hit the fireman's side but since this was "engineer only" there would have been nobody sitting on that side of the engine and the train crew would have been preparing for their station stop. Wonder if he hit the unit or cars?

Date: 01/22/21 17:50
Re: Bounced off!
Author: Milwaukee

I imagine that was an odd sensation for the driver to have hit something he didn't know was there, get spun around, and by the time he could get out the train was no longer there!

Date: 01/22/21 20:51
Re: Bounced off!
Author: thehighwayman

Many, many years ago, when I was still a reporter, I covered a major inquest into the deaths of several teens whose car had collided with a CP freight train in Milton, Ontario.
One of the witnesses at the inquest as the conductor, who had been in the caboose, but wasn't aware of the crash until the train arrived in Sarnia, Ontario, 240 km (approx 150 miles) away.
The car hit somewhere around the middle of the train but didn't do any real damage to the train. The conductor was on the opposite side of the caboose so didn't notice the damaged auto.


Will MacKenzie
Dundas, ON

Date: 01/22/21 22:30
Re: Bounced off!
Author: ExSPCondr

Many years ago, when I was the SP LA Shops Yardmaster, a drunk drove a VW into the side of a 100 car Westbound, somewhere near the middle.  The car he drove under cut the trunk and front wheels off of it, and left the rest.  Nobody would have known except that there was a yard crew waiting at a switch on the other side for the train to clear, and they heard the crunch and saw the dust fly.  They called me on the yard channel, and I called the train and the fire department. 

By the time we called the train, they stopped clear of North Main Street, and the rear man walked up, while we were getting the car department.  They found a bent sill step and some bent brake rigging about forty cars behind the engine, otherwise everything was OK.

The fire department wanted to know why the engineer didn't stop when he felt it!

Date: 01/30/21 10:01
Re: Bounced off!
Author: inrdjlg

It must've been in the mid 1980s when I was riding Amtrak's Broadway Limited eastbound out of Chicago.  The train was still running over the PRR back then, and as we were rushing over a crossing in Gary, Indiana, we felt a light bump and heard a small crash.  One of the other passengers who'd been gazing out his window suddently looked up wide-eyed and exclaimed "We just took the front end off of someone's Camaro!" 

The train never stopped.  Our coach did not go unscathed, however, as examination at a later station stop revealed that the collision had also taken out our air conditioning unit.  Although it was summertime, open doors at each end of the car provided us with sufficient airflow until I reached my destination the following morning.

Date: 02/01/21 17:04
Re: Bounced off!
Author: Jim700

Hi Lou, I just noticed your post.  Thanks for the picture.  It was actually two days later, July 26th, as reported at Driver in a hurry hit by train at Albany rail crossing | Local | democratherald.com which, as of now, is still viewable online.  Many of Mr. Davis' reported "facts" are hogwash, as is often the case in newspaper articles.  I had forgotten that you called me at Millersburg.  A previous warning call that you made, of which I'll always be appreciative, was on the 4th of July, two years earlier, which saved me from having yet another of multiple suicide events:  about half way down the thread at Amtrak #11(08) - Fatality in Marion county, Oregon. (trainorders.com).

Here's your original TO posting:  Ran the gates... (trainorders.com).  It was the first of, what seemed to be, a "three strikes and you're out" day.  Needing only to inspect the pilot of the cabbage car 90230 (the 470 was shoving) at the Albany depot for the suspected asphalt strike at the Queen Avenue crossing, I didn't walk around to the depot side of the cabbage car.  Had I done so, the actual reason for the noise at the crossing would have been quite evident.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/01/21 17:54 by Jim700.

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