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Years ago I was on a loaded Red Rock coal train we'd picked up at Topeka. We came down the hill into Wakarusa, and through the 45 mph curves, and I'd throttled up to R8 for the worst grade on the Topeka sub. Just around the last curve is where my brother lives, and has the property on both sides of the track. I noticed him and several of his dogs walking across the crossing as we approached. He got a safe distance across, stopped and turned around. The last dog was standing on the track ignoring the horn, and just standing there, staring at my brother. I kept blowing a frantic whistle, but the dog just stood there looking at Mike and the other dogs. At the very last second, he turned his head and saw the engine, and took a step. The pilot missed him, but something on the truck side got him and sent him flying, I could see it in the mirror. When I got to Ark City, I called to see how he turned out, but they said he was done, he died on the way to the vet.

I lost a dog of 10 years to the rails. We walked literally thousands of miles along railroads all over the country. He was a Jack Russell and very well trained. Always knew to stick by me when I sounded serious.

One night north of Houston we were walking alongside the tracks and he went into some woods chasing who knows what. No big deal he did that a lot but when I would call he would come racing back.

You could see trains coming from the south miles away and plenty of time to stay clear. One was coming. I called him but he didn't come. Over the next several minutes I called but no response. The train passed and I was sick inside because Jack Russells are notorious for getting hit by cars and the like.

Sure enough I found him along the rails with a broken back. Still alive so I carried him a couple miles back to the truck. Spent all night with him and took him to vet in the morning. There was nothing that could be done so I had to let him go.

Have another Jack Russell and he's a little different. Never leaves my side. Good buddy for our many road trips all over the west. He and I have walked along the tracks into the hundreds of miles. We stay well off the rails at all times.

Last edited by Rail Dawg

I'd see this sort of event, at least once a trip. I'd like to see the cab cam footage, I'd bet he (the idiot) disappeared from view of the cam seconds before they entered the crossing. And I'd bet in cab audio had similar expletive's before and after this event. I'm just relieved that the crew didn't have to experience what almost happened, and the dog is okay ... never mind about ATVin' over weight Indiana Jones.

I'd see this sort of event, at least once a trip. I'd like to see the cab cam footage, I'd bet he (the idiot) disappeared from view of the cam seconds before they entered the crossing. And I'd bet in cab audio had similar expletive's before and after this event. I'm just relieved that the crew didn't have to experience what almost happened, and the dog is okay ... never mind about ATVin' over weight Indiana Jones.

I counted just over a second from the time the dog cleared the rail until locomotive passage. At what point do you go into emergency? Obviously emergency would be too late in this case but when do you make the decision?

Always learning from the ones who have actually done the job.

Thanks.

Chuck

Hi, Chuck

An old head told me years ago "Don't big hole it till after you hit'em" what he said may sound cold to some, but, he also said this, "That SOB just might make it".

You seen how long this train was, someone would have to walk both sides of that monster. And the distance they would have been from the crossing before they came to a stop, running the speed they were, most likely close to or right at a mile.

The general public is clueless how their actions, such as this, can affect those on a train crew. This guy acted like nothing had just happened, and just went about his day, headed who knows where.

Have a good day, Chuck, and take care!

Rusty






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