Thread: Unstoppable
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:58 AM   #42
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 41
Default Resurrectin of the dead here I guess, but...

Couldn't resist chiming in on this latest railroad-themed movie. I've watched it several times (or parts of it several times) since it came out on cable.

Some of my issues with the film are discussed here (and in the linked article), in particular the ridiculous attempt to land someone on the runaway from a helicopter when he could have stepped aboard (OK, maybe hopped aboard) from the light engines they put in front of it - game over. In fact, their story should have conjured up some reason why they couldn't do that (i.e., put engines in front of it) in the first place - like the nearest power being too far to reach it before it reached the "curve" or something, making the chase down from behind the only choice. I also agree that the up-to-the-second and microscopically detailed "news" coverage to be completely unbelievable - and it was of course utter nonsense.

Interesting to read about the details of how the actual "inspiring" story came to occur, since I wasn't aware of the details of that incident. They should have stuck to reality there, it was far more plausible - the "had to put the engine in Run-8" to move it with 39 cars in the yard with two road engines is ridiculous - you wouldn't do that even on the main line, and wouldn't NEED to do it, either - and if you did, you'd just break a knuckle and have runaway units without a train. (And YES, this applies even to "slow loading" GEs, and I know from experience, having been the conductor replacing the broken knuckle!) Furthermore, HOSTLERS would not be moving ANY "cars," by definition they are permitted to move ONLY light engines, so no research done on the job responsibilities done there, LOL.

I though they did some things well, like show some of the "old head vs. new guy" tension that sometimes occurs, but there were far more things they went over the cliff with realism-wise, and not just little things like inflated horsepower ratings.

The "forced" retirement of unionized workers?! I had to LOL to that BS - the RR would die trying LOL. Those Old Heads hang on to their "number 1" jobs for as long as they can drag themselves out of bed. The RR can offer "packages," but wholesale forced retirements? No way that would be happening.

The blasting through the rear of the train scene looks inspired by Runaway Train to me, and was just as unrealistic. The idea that a train is going to collide with another, at speed, and not derail itself, is highly unlikely.

Another stupidity inserted to provide more manufactured "drama" was the legion of police vehicles parked right next to the tracks at the sight where they attempt to use the "portable derail." If the thing worked, the entire police force would have to go home on foot, LOL but I guess it made for good props for the "shrapnel" from the derail when the train blasts through it.

Can't back up on the main?! LOL how did the frikken cars get in there in the first place?! They should have been backing up to drop the cars they weren't taking, as soon as they realized it.

How is it that the train doesn't fit into a controlled siding, but manages to fit into a RIP track, which would generally hold just a few of cars at best?! Oh, and how many RIP tracks are remotely thrown by the dispatcher, not to mention have switches at both ends?! LOL They could have simply made it a longer siding that they could fit in, and avoided the BS factor.

All the mock concern about the SD40 going in "reverse" like it meant anything was pretty funny. Locomotives run just as fast in either direction, they don't all face forward when MU'ed to operate main line trains. lol.

Pin didn't drop? Manipulate the throttle and get it to drop, don't try stomping it into place with your foot while the slack is stretched, lol - Denzel's "experienced" hogger should have known better!

Tony Scott's "choppy" direction has become something of a schtick for him, also used in the "Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" (not nearly as good as the original, BTW).

All in all, an entertaining movie, but only after you leave all knowledge of railroads, railroading, and of course common sense at the door!
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