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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Smashup Saturday


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Date: 02/27/21 06:23
Smashup Saturday
Author: atsfer

This is the end result of a train vs. car encounter at about 40mph in north Wichita, Kansas around 1990.  .  I took this photo after they had pried the car off the front of my lead unit which was a superfleet GE with a front opening door which I simply stepped out onto to take the picture.  Note the sand marks on the rail, shows where we stopped and then had to back up some to allow the tow truck to pull the car away from the unit.  Also, you can tell the dome light in the car was still on after the wreck.   The car was unoccupied, but all of the intoxicated occupants were nearby watching the whole thing.  I had a loaded grain train so it took me around 2500 feet to stop in emergency if I remember right.  The police showed up and wanted to talk to the driver, who the others in the car said went for help,   "Was he as drunk as you are" the police asked?   They replied no, but the police watched the guys they talked to and saw them wander over to a nearby fire station where the driver was hiding and, he was drunk too.   But, the police said they would have a hard time proving he was the driver.   They had slid off the planks of the crossing in their drunken state onto the rails.  I remember at the time we had a hard time getting someone to answer our emergency call on the RR as they new radio system the ATSF did not have an emergency call feature yet.   Bottom line, no one was hurt, but I did find out they all were fired from their jobs as this was a company car(I think Kodak) they were driving.



 





Date: 02/27/21 09:14
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: Drknow

Oops.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/27/21 10:42
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: santafe199

Now THAT is a knuckle-sandwich some idiot avoided digesting...... the HARD WAY!

;^)



Date: 02/27/21 13:35
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: Westbound

Many times I would find little piles of sand against the rail where the locomotive(s) had stopped in emergency braking. I liked to show them to the investigating city police officer or CHP, explaining what they proved. In your case, looks like you remembered the sanders were on and kicked them off after the collision. The difficult time to find sand was in a strong wind, but some was always there if you knew where to look.



Date: 02/27/21 14:11
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: Jim700

The result of my first crossing strike, at Fargo Road just north of Donald, Oregon about 48 years ago, looked so similar but, sadly, with a different result.  The ALCo RS-3's coupler punched dead center right though the driver's door.  Upon backing away from the vehicle, we found parts of his brain mass laying on top of the coupler.

The driver, who lived less than a quarter mile from the crossing, paid no attention to the standard advance warning sign, the painted pavement markings, or even the stop sign mounted below the crossbuck.



Date: 02/28/21 12:36
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: engineerinvirginia

Westbound Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Many times I would find little piles of sand
> against the rail where the locomotive(s) had
> stopped in emergency braking. I liked to show them
> to the investigating city police officer or CHP,
> explaining what they proved. In your case, looks
> like you remembered the sanders were on and kicked
> them off after the collision. The difficult time
> to find sand was in a strong wind, but some was
> always there if you knew where to look.

He might have been holding a trainline sand button which turns off when you release it....



Date: 02/28/21 12:59
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: TAW

atsfer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
 
>  "Was he as drunk as you are" the police asked? 

He must have been; he walked. A sober driver would have been dead.

TAW



Date: 03/01/21 13:05
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: ln844south

Use to do Operation Lifesaver at Pensacola, Fl with CSXT. 
One of the things we tried to get across at the classes was not only stopping distance for the train, but if a car is hit square and impaled on the coupler at 50 mph, the occupant is killed instantly. not from the trauma as much as the g forces on the body from changing direction and accelerating to 50 in a split second.
As a Locomotive Engineer, I was lucky to have only hit two cars with no fatalities.

Steve Panzik
Chiloquin, Or



 



Date: 03/01/21 19:24
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: Trainhand

You were lucky to have only hit 2.  I did that once in a year.


Sam



Date: 03/01/21 20:02
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: ble692

I managed 2 in 30 days once. Don't need to do that again.



Date: 03/02/21 02:52
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: Drknow

My third start set up running we punted a van like a football.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 03/02/21 06:15
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: LocoPilot750

I was stopped briefly and had two vehicles run into my train, one from each direction, they both ran into the same car on opposite sides.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/02/21 11:15
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: Txhighballer

I remember the first car I punched out...it was a brand new Mercedes still with the dealer tags on. Both occupants managed to walk away but a few others I hit (or hit me) were not so lucky.



Date: 03/02/21 14:06
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: atsfer

Only Mercedes I ever hit was driven by a young lady(whose name I still remember) carrying a Christmas tree in the trunk she had just bought.  We hit her just behind the rear door, she was unhurt amazingly ( we were going around 40mph) but the car and Christmas tree were a total loss.



Date: 03/02/21 17:01
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: Locoinsp

I only hit two when i worked for a couple of shortlines. First was a 1962 Ferrari - put the coupler into the engine and step into the door. Car was totaled and only injury was a broken nose! Second was a Ford Pinto that ran into the front truck of the loco as we were going through a crossing. Surprisingly no injuries but the Pinto didn't fare as well as the occupants!



Date: 03/03/21 13:44
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: was44

Why the war stories?



Date: 03/03/21 15:16
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: OldPorter

Txhighballer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I remember the first car I punched out...it was a
> brand new Mercedes still with the dealer tags on.
> Both occupants managed to walk away but a few
> others I hit (or hit me) were not so lucky.

This (and the other Mercedes story by atsfer) reminded me of my Mercedes story. Late 80's; I was crewing on the Coast Starlight #14.
Old SP heads will remember a location called Santa Claus Lane, just below Santa Barbara. A semi private X-ing, didn't see much car traffic.
We hit a brand new Yellow station wagon Mercedes at about 35-40 mph. . The car's engine was separated from the chassis; I think it was designed
to do that in a collision.

The auto wreckage was right outside the Coach car in which I was assigned to be the Attendant that day. A CHP officer was there and he asked me to help him
look for a "baby in the bushes" around the wreck site. No baby; the only thing I found was a 12/14 mm fixed wrench from the car's toolkit (which I still have.)

The good news was the Mother (and the Baby) both survived; receiving only minor scrapes and scratches I was told later. The safety designs of that car may
have been the reason. Who knows; were they traveling in a small compact car, they may not have been so fortunate.
 



Date: 03/03/21 15:44
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: Drknow

was44 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why the war stories?

Have you even read this thread?

Posted from iPhone



Date: 03/03/21 15:44
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: Drknow

was44 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why the war stories?

Have you even read this thread?

Posted from iPhone



Date: 03/11/21 22:18
Re: Smashup Saturday
Author: roustabout

Reminds me of one that I had forgotten, although I was not the engineer at the time.  We had stopped short of a private crossing on the Willamette & Pacific (ex-SP) Westside line just south of Newberg.  One of the folks who lived in the house at the crossing drove in, misjudged it and hit our knuckle, damaging the side of their car and scuffing the rust on the surface of the knuckle. We didn't think much of it, it's their problem.  We reported it to our trainmaster when we tied up and he insisted that we get all of the pertinent info for an accident report, names, etc.  Lesson learned...



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/21 22:19 by roustabout.



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