Bad Luck Strikes UP's Frontier Days Excursion

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SOO2719
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Bad Luck Strikes UP's Frontier Days Excursion

Postby SOO2719 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:05 pm

Union Pacific 844 wound up striking and killing a pedestrian today while on the Frontier Days excursion. :-(

https://kdvr.com/2018/07/21/pedestrian-struck-by-train-near-henderson/
Richard "Tony" Held

"Trackside with Tony"
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SOO2719
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Re: Bad Luck Strikes UP's Frontier Days Excursion

Postby SOO2719 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:17 pm

Richard "Tony" Held

"Trackside with Tony"
http://www.tonyheld.hoboandbowser.net/category/trackside/

Mark D
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Re: Bad Luck Strikes UP's Frontier Days Excursion

Postby Mark D » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:58 pm

Not good at all! I'm wondering why they took the steam engine off and substituted a diesel. I seriously doubt the steam engine was damaged. Potential crew traumatized however.
If more comes up I would like to know. Second worst thing a steam excursion train could have happen.
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

John Bohon
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Re: Bad Luck Strikes UP's Frontier Days Excursion

Postby John Bohon » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:28 pm

My best guess for why the steam engine is not running is lack of crew. By the time 844 got put away wherever who knows when that crew went off duty? The crew that hit the woman were involved in a fatality so drug testing was involved and they were taken out of service for that day at least. I do not know what time the train left in the morning but I suspect there have already been a crew change. With the crew operating when the accident happened out of the picture that may well have brought the original crew back on duty on an emergency basis. There can not be that many on the UP qualified to operate the steam engines so it is not hard to see how the railroad simply would run out of qualified operating crews. None of this addresses whatever the UP policy for crews involved in a fatality or similar bad accident may be. I have no idea what the company may require.

Don't forget this is a very traumatic event for the whole UP steam crew as well as the pilots and regular crew. That is especially true for the guys in the cab at the time. The railroad does not want to force people who may now be a little gun shy operating under the pressure and scrutiny this public trip would involve. They have an extra board full of people who can run the diesel and have not just been in a fatal accident. I am sure there were a lot of discussion last night and this morning concerning do we run the train at all. Give them credit for at least operating the train. Policy is going to have to be followed within the company to get 844 home. There are no doubt many discussions going on inside the company to find the best solution. All we can do is wait and see.

In the mean time I offer my condolences to both the crew and the family of the woman killed.

John Bohon

Millhouse
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Re: Bad Luck Strikes UP's Frontier Days Excursion

Postby Millhouse » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:20 pm

There's some buzz on Facebook this might be a suicide. Anyone have any proof of that? Media isn't saying anything official yet.

Mark D
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Re: Bad Luck Strikes UP's Frontier Days Excursion

Postby Mark D » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:51 pm

Don't take what FB posters post on topics such as this. Unless they can convince you that they were in the cab or were near the ROW and saw it happen, they don't know anything more about it than you or I.

So far the 261 crew has been lucky. No hits. We had a very narrow escape back in 1999 or 2000 - I can't remember the year. It was when we pulled a month long series of rides for BNSF employees in the upper Midwest area. This included a lot of running out of Chicago early on. On one trip we were somewhere half way between Chicago and Joliet there was a gaggle of people at one spot taking pictures. One woman, for whatever reason, suddenly ran out onto the track with a camera. Probably trying to get a great shot for her boyfriend or husband...We'll never know. But the engineer blasted the whistle, closed the throttle and set the air. He could not see her, but he saw her go out onto the track. He asked the fireman if she had come from his side and he replied no.
At the very last second she apparently looked up away from her camera view finder and literally dived off the track. Hope she got a really good photo, because the price was just about to be huge.
The one problem with steam trains is that they do bring attention and some people can't control themselves. And if some one of those people gets hurt or killed, it WILL be the fault of the steam engine and its crew. Court fees will be huge. Union Pacific can handle the court hearings that are bound to happen, but a little operation like 261 and other steam operations can't afford to ever have something like that happen. It's scary!

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

SOO2719
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Re: Bad Luck Strikes UP's Frontier Days Excursion

Postby SOO2719 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:23 am

Richard "Tony" Held

"Trackside with Tony"
http://www.tonyheld.hoboandbowser.net/category/trackside/

Millhouse
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Posts: 410
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:44 am

Re: Bad Luck Strikes UP's Frontier Days Excursion

Postby Millhouse » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:04 pm

There is actually drone video footage out there now of the accident. It's not close up, but it's disturbing to me all the same. Not going to share any links, but if you go looking for it be warned it can contain disturbing/upsetting footage.

Unrelated, and happier news. For those that remember Texas steam man and engineer Mr. Kenneth Cotton, I bumped into him on Facebook yesterday. He lost track of chaski after the board changed, I sent him the link and invited him to come and talk. :)

Mark D
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Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Bad Luck Strikes UP's Frontier Days Excursion

Postby Mark D » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:03 pm

Good deal if he does drop in here.
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Mark D
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Posts: 3165
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Bad Luck Strikes UP's Frontier Days Excursion

Postby Mark D » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:27 am

Here is a link to the 844 going into emergency after the fact. Draw your own conclusions, but to me the sight of it stopping as it did and knowing why, it draws out some emotion, most especially for the crew.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbMvvvDFkMw
~wko
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

SOO2719
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Posts: 356
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:18 pm
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Re: Bad Luck Strikes UP's Frontier Days Excursion

Postby SOO2719 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:13 pm

Trains News Wire ran this a couple weeks ago (article is not behind paywall):

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2018/08/05-investigators-rule-up-844-excursion-death-accidental-family-agrees
Richard "Tony" Held

"Trackside with Tony"
http://www.tonyheld.hoboandbowser.net/category/trackside/


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