Conductor Robert arrested for stealing horns

CHARGER Mar 26, 2013

  1. CHARGER

    CHARGER TrainBoard Member

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    http://www.ksdk.com/news/crime/article/371331/147/Train-conductor-arrested-for-stealing-horns

    HOUSTON (KHOU/CNN) - A train conductor was arrested in Houston, accused of an unusual crime.
    Police allege the man stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of train horns, then sold them online.
    It's not every day we come across a someone accused of committing a crime involving trains.
    [Reporter]: "You have any comment, sir? You have any comment?"
    Union Pacific conductor Robert Hartman was taken to jail by police after detectives from several agencies say he confessed to stealing 53 train horns since 2009.
    That may not sound like a big deal, but to Union Pacific it certainly is. Hartman's employers say the crime has cost them more than a half million dollars.
    The horns cost $1,500 a piece, but the time lost because of the thefts is what police say hurt Union Pacific the most.
    It says every train engine without a horn, has to be idled, taken out of service. The engines had to be lifted off the tracks and taken in for repairs.
    Police say Hartman, who was reportedly a Union board member at one time, admitted selling the horns on eBay.
    Investigators say some companies bought, and then sold the horns to people to put on their cars, even though they're too loud to be legal.
    If convicted, Hartman could get up to 10 years in prison, and be fined thousands of dollars.
     
  2. wsorfan4003

    wsorfan4003 TrainBoard Member

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    WOW!!!! I guess there is a market in everything isn't there?? Guy costed UP, $500,000. Do you know what I could do with that much money?? Build one H-E-double hockey sticks of a layout.. Hope it was worth the legal fees, fine and prison time.

    Ben
     
  3. wm-webb

    wm-webb TrainBoard Member

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    "The engines had to be lifted off the tracks and taken in for repairs." I read something like that and think the writer knows nothing of which they write. Somewhat hard for me to believe anything else that is written, so I disregard the whole story. If you're going to be a writer, check your facts, somebody might be pulling your leg.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    There's some bad math included as well. 53 horns and 1500 apiece does not add up to "Police allege the man stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of train horns, then sold them online." I recall writing like this alleged "reporter" from my grade school days.
     
  5. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Well, cost of new horns is $79,500. Add to that the cost of down time when the locomotive was out of service. And then the labor costs which include "lifting the locomotive off the tracks." Now that must be the real kicker that costs all the money. ;)
     
  6. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    I didn't realize that locomotive horns were mounted underneath the frame or in the trucks, requiring the loco to be hoisted for repairs, strange.....:wideeyes:
     
  7. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    The special horn repair facility is located off line in the remote Nevada desert between Los Vegas and Reno so that the testing will not bother anyone but the rattle snakes. The locomotives have to be loaded onto flat bed trailer trucks and shipped by highway from all points on the UP system. That is why it costs so much.
     
  8. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Uh, Russell, do I detect that your tongue may be planted deeply in your cheek? :question:
     
  9. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

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    $80,000 for a horn? Really. $1,500 or much cheaper sounds real good... Everyone has hot horns?
     
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I believe Russell was just being facetious, poking fun at how poorly written is that quoted article we were all reading.

    The same media which thinks we should believe and trust them, while we see such useless trash they pour forth on a daily basis....? Bleh.
     
  11. Randy Stahl

    Randy Stahl TrainBoard Supporter

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    Pity.. his prices were reasonable..
     
  12. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    The $500,000 was likely from a UP press release, which probably threw whatever kind of extra padding into it that they could manage.
     
  13. wm-webb

    wm-webb TrainBoard Member

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    "Pity.. his prices were reasonable.. "


    Well, his overhead was low.
     
  14. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    That's 9433.96 per incident, so if the horn is $1500, that leaves 7933.96 in lost time, repair costs including shop time, lost revenue, etc., etc.

    It depends on how they are doing the accounting. If they are throwing in the revenue that the particular locomotive MAY have earned had it been out working that day I can see where this may be fairly accurate, but then again it's not like anyone held a gun to the guy's head and made him steal 53 train horns.
     
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Odd thought here- At least it was not some stupid railfan, making the rest of us in this hobby look bad. It was their own man.
     
  16. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

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    I find it hard to believe that the loco needs to be lifted to be repaired. All the horns are held on by is a 3/8" coarse thread bolt with a 3/4" head. I would think they could have a crew come out and install a new set of horns in the yard or track wherever the loco was sitting.
     
  17. Randy Stahl

    Randy Stahl TrainBoard Supporter

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    1/2 inch bolts ... 4 of them, need a 3/4 combination wrench, a socket won't work.
     
  18. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

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    Yes I was told that it needs to be a "box open" wrench as a "box end" will NOT work.
     
  19. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

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    A few years ago one of the local news stations ran a story about a runaway train. There was no one in the locomotive that was pushing a train down the tracks. Of course, it was a distributed power unit, and the news station pulled the video off their web site. Like someone else said, they can't get these stories straight, how can we trust them with anything else?
     
  20. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Maybe the railroads will need to start using breakaway bolts. But then any need to remove horns for maintenance would be difficult. :(
     

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