Sep 28, 2005
Connecticut Train Crash
This is always a sad event....
I do see it every day when I am railfanning: drivers who disregard the crossing gates or become impatient.
On another site, it appears that the victims were a grandmother, aged 61, and her two grandchildren, the boy killed and the girl, age 4 in critical condition. It always bothered me to take our grandchildren in the car, not because I was worried about myself driving, but others whom I had no clue of their condition as drivers. This other source said that the gates and signals were working. Terrible.
Always sad when lives are lost, one of the dangers of level crossings is when cars back up over the crossing due to traffic ahead. The the gates operate and vehicles are left stranded on the crossing.
Unfortunately the car has nowhere to go or people dont want to damage their vehicles by driving through the boom barriers.
Most modern boom barriers have sheer pins so if a vehicle drives through them the only damage is the sheer pin. Much cheaper to replace than a whole boom gate or the cost of repairing shattered lives.
...those children...that's heart breaking...no doubt there is a Amtrak engineer in counseling right now. When was the last time a Shinkansen hit a car?...NEVER! because it can't! but that's another country. (I'll stop here).
[ September 29, 2005, 09:25 PM: Message edited by: Don Rickle ]
Yeah,it's heart breaking that the kids were killed.What about grandma? How stupid was she to go around the gates with the kids or not? I believe more public service ads are needed. The more graphic the better. I'm on the "CIRT" team for my RR. I've been involved in 2 accidents that resulted in fatalities. You know what the big common denominator is. The person killed or injured didn't use simple common sense.
It's hard to believe that our premier passenger service linking some of our greatest cities still has to deal with grade crossings. What would have happened if it was not an elderly women driving a car but instead a fuel oil tanker or a loaded dump truck?
With all due respect to those that work hard to make passenger service work in the US the system is a joke. Outdated infrastructure and inappropriate equipment!
In addition with the number of distractions available to the average American driver I don't think sad incidents like this will diminish in number.
Thats awful..I hate hearing about stuff like this .
But as Secret Weapon said..this is common sense stuff here. If I am driving up to a RR crossing and the arms come down...I STOP!! Going between the gates don't even ENTER my mind at all. I have seen people sitting in front of me at crossings here...Arms come down...And I have sit there 2 to 3 mins with the arms down..1 car in front of me and no train come. I just pull the handbrake up and wait to see the train( )but I have seen people get impaitent as Harold said and drive around the gates. Just becasue the train doesn't come right away doesn't mean its not coming..never know when its that slow Work Train creeping up the track at 5-10mph.
Sorry to say it..but stupid people.
What really makes me sad and upset is the fact that the kids were in the car..they had NO CHOICE in this matter. They were passengers. Also just like the Amtrak 80 Incident just North of Raleigh a while ago. Where that loaded dump truck crossed through the gates because the driver had a lack of common sense and killed him and the innocent passenger.
Plus it the engineer and quite a few people on the train had to go to the hospital. All because of one idiot driver