Old 12-07-2005, 01:06 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firegator
Years ago when I lived in PA., I was chasing an EL freight pulled by several
"F" units-- I got quite a ways ahead of the train and found a good site between the tracks and the river to use the last light of day to my advantage-- Got set up, the train came by slowly with the crew waving and blowing the horn-- About 40 cars had gone by when the train stopped, blocking the crossing on this dead-end road-- After waiting about 20 minutes and realizing there were no sidings or spurs in the area, I drove on a dirt road as far as I could which got me within about 250 feet of the power-- The crew was friendly and I asked them why they stopped-- They went dead on hours and were waiting for a taxi to pick them up-- I told them I was trapped on a dead-end road, and couldn't leave-- They said: "Sorry, we can't move the train." Another crew wasn't due until the next day-- After making numerous suggestions and comments about my Ford 4WD, and what it could or couldn't do, they let me sweat for about 20 minutes-- Then they both started laughing and said if I gave the conductor a ride, they would break the train at the crossing and let me out-- I agreed, and the crossing was cleared-- I got into my truck and told the conductor he had to hoof it back to the power-- After he walked about 3 car lengths, I turned around and picked up a very pi$$ed off conductor-- The engineer got a good laugh out of it, but the conductor had lost his sense of humor-- Great idea for a thread-- Regards, da Gator

That's hilarious,thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-10-2005, 03:15 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Save The Wave
You got directions to that area?
Ha! Yeah, I can tell you how to get there. I'm not sure these are the type you want, though, unless you are in the kind that look like strung out herion addicts. There was also transvestite male who used to don a blond wig and gold dress right in that area. I haven't seen him/he/she/her/it/whatever, in a long time. It's a great area.
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:37 AM   #28
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I know I am a little late, but I got my embarassing story... You know they say a picture is worth a thousand words.... well, apparently you are not allowed to take a nap on railroad property... So along comes a CN Police and gives me the whole speech and what-not. Tim, my good friend who was on top of the overpass snapped this picture as i was getting busted by the railway police for trespassing. So remember never take a nap on railway property the cops dont like it. Just for reference this is at the Sarnia Ontario boarder yard...
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:22 PM   #29
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You were obviously parked too close to the tracks!
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:26 PM   #30
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I dont think that was the problem. It was more of a fact that I was parked in a Yard. I was just having a nap, I was tired. The CN Cop didnt buy it, and escorted me out of the yard. Anyways from there we went over to the Tunnel and slept on the pedestrian overpass. I bet I looked like a bum! The Joys of a 24-hour railfan I suppose.
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:44 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Lorenz
I almost ran out of gas another time, i got to the texico on fumes, just barely.
This isn't a railfan story - I was working for the C&O railroad as a Roadmaster when I did this bonehead move.

The track in the New River District of the C&O (now CSX) in West Virginia is extremely remote. Road crossings are 7 to 15 miles apart, and gas may be 5 miles from the crossing. Usually you can hi-rail the west end, from Montgomery to Prince, in about 4 or 5 hours. There are three sections of single track that may hold you up while you wait for a train to clear.

My hi-rail truck, unknown to me, developed a sticky gas guage - it would sit at 1/2 tank for a long time and then suddenly drop to 1/8 tank, which really meant empty. When I got on the track at Montgomery it was at 1/2 tank (you can see what's coming). I was held at Mt. Carbon for what I thought was going to be a short time but what turned out to be almost an hour (truck idling all the time). I then had to follow an eastbound coal drag to Sewell, where I was held for a westboound waiting at Thurmond for the eastbound to clear.

Sewell is at the west end of the single track that begins at Thurmond. There was a hi-rail setoff at South Fayette - about 7 miles behind me, and Thurmond has a main road crossing - about 6-1/2 miles ahead of me. Human contact, other than the screaming rafters going by on the river, is non existant between those two points.

I patiently waited for the westbound to clear and for my authority to be issued to continue on to Prince (idling all the while). Once it was issued, I entered the single track. I got about 4 miles when everything went quiet. My gas gauge said that I had 1/8 of a tank, so I didn't know why my truck quit. It was extremely embarassing to call up the dispatcher to tell him that I had broken down in the single track.

The Thurmond section gang was contacted to help me. They could have driven right to me on the roadbed of the main track that had been removed when this area was single tracked, but they had to go to Thurmond and get their motor car so that I could be towed in (I still didn't know that I was out of gas). Without a hi-rail setoff I couldn't get off the track to the old roadbed and out of the way. Since I still held my motor car authority, there was a long drawn out proceedure to give the section gang permission to come toward me with their motor car.

When they arrived, the first thing they asked me was if I was out of gas. I told them what my guage said, but they put some gas into my tank just to see what would happen. Well, of course, I started right up, and was the butt of jokes for weeks afterwards. For the next several weeks the dispatcher asked me to tell him what my gas situation was before he would issue me an authority.
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:49 PM   #32
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I don't know but the railfan looks like a pretty shady character to me!
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:16 PM   #33
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Where the hell are the tracks?
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:59 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD70MAC
Where the hell are the tracks?
are you talking to me? If you are... The tracks are just to the left. That there is the secondary entrance to the yard and the road for the security to get to the tunnel. Like you cant see them, but they are only a spitting distance to the left.
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:14 AM   #35
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In 1990, I chased NKP 765 on a ferry move from Cincinnati to Huntington, WV, I was driving a used '86 Chevy Blazer that I had recently purchased. Apparently, it did not like the rigors of railfanning. At Wellsburg, Kentucky the engine seized and that was that. I was stranded on Kentucky Route 8 at Wellsburg, which is pretty close to nowhere. I hiked a mile or so and knocked on the door of a farmhouse. They let me use their phone and called a tow truck out of nearby Brooksville. I hiked back to the fallen vehicle and waited for several hours. The tow truck finally arrived well after dark and the driver was in a big hurry. He hooked up the Blazer (later nicknamed the Blazer Valdez for its habit of leaking vital fluids) and off we went. The first thing I noticed in the tow truck was the shotgun on the dashboard. I asked the mechanic about it and he flashed a badge at me and said he was the local Justice of the Peace and that they had a manhunt in progress. We tore along one lane roads in the pitch dark at absurd speeds for what seemed to be an eternity before we finally arrived at a shop. He had my Blazer off his tow truck before I was even out of the cab. After a few hours in Brooksville, a tow truck out of Cincinnati arrived and took me and the Blazer back to Cincinnati, where it soon got a new engine, only to drop its transmission three weeks later along the B&O St. Louis Division. Needless to say, I dumped the Blazer and bought a Ford Ranger which took over 200K miles of railfanning without a whimper!

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Old 02-24-2006, 02:47 PM   #36
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I haven't really experienced many rail fanning mishaps here in Queensland, Australia. We have had one flat tyre in twelve months. The biggest problem is slow drivers. You always seems to find them on the road when you're in pursuit of a train. Many road users, whom are out on a 'Sunday Drive,' have caused us to miss trains at certain locations.
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Old 02-27-2006, 04:22 PM   #37
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This says it all!



Another railfans account:

The story from my side is this... from the beginning.

I met up with Dave around Cajon Station - Dave points out an eastbound train turning out of Sullivan's Curve area on the Palmdale Cutoff.

Dave says, "Where You Want to Catch it?".
I say - Palmdale Cutoff at Swarthout Canyon Road... and off we jet.
I decided to head a bit east on the forest road that borders the right of way and see this road that leads up one of the bordering hillsides so I take and Dave follows.

Turns out the road was not what I expected so we quickly reverse and head back down. Dave got down first and from what I can tell, attempted to make a right turn to keep heading east down the original road, but had to reverse due to the wheel base of his truck. In making that reverse move his drive wheel just dug in to the ground.

So I come down behind him about 20 seconds later and he is outside his truck yelling at me to do something through my passenger side window. I am oblivious to his truck being stuck.. finally I roll down the window and he says... "Go Stop the Train, It is going to Hit me"

It then dawns on me, before I head back up to Swarthout Road, I grab my toe strap from behind my seat and toss it in the back of Daves truck... no time to strap up and attempt to pull it out.

I head up the road, and do my best to catch the attention of the engineer that there is a truck up ahead very close to the tracks. Until he actually gets alongside of me and hears me yell truck and point, I think he thought I was a bit crazy for waving my arms around. I think about that same time either himself or his conductor spotted Dave doing the same thing in the middle of the tracks. About two cars passed my truck, the train was put into emergency.

I hopped back in the truck and threw it in reverse back all the way to where Dave was.. amazed that the truck was still in it's same place. The train breaks were smoking, the whole area was full of smoke from that.
We both stood watching pretty helpless at that point as train cars of all sorts (it was a mixed manifest train) passed within' inches of the hood on Daves truck. I am talking within 2 and 3 inches at the most. Watching intesly at the oncoming cars hoping nothing such as a well car was on the end.
I snapped one photo of an autorack passing by the truck, and that was only after Dave mentioned something about it. His camera was in his truck.

After a few intense moments, the train screeched passed without hitting the truck... after the engineer figured that he had not hit the truck.. he continued the trek down the pass.

Our next adventure was to figure out how to get his truck out. We tied up the toe-strap but the his truck was at a bad angle for me to get mine in the right spot to pull him back without me digging in as well. And I could not get around it to pull it out from the front.

Digging out the back tire and pushing it did not help. Eventually Dave dug out the area around the front passenger tire and was able to crank the tires all the way to the right. Then he threw it into drive and we managed to rock the truck out of the hole wich was deep enough for about half the tire to fit in.

The hole is now a new obstacle on the road. The rest of the day up there we took it pretty easy as far as being adventurous... for good reasons.

Chris
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Old 02-27-2006, 08:42 PM   #38
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Suspensful story, Dave. Thanks for sharing, it kept me on the edge of my chair!
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:41 AM   #39
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On Feb 02-06 I was heading into town from Magna in the early afternoon. The sky was cloudy all over, then suddenly the sun came out and lit up the area pretty good, and shone some sun under the clouds hanging over the Wasatch front. I made a split-second decision to go to the rail road tracks at 5600 west in West Valley, Utah. On the west side of the road there was a field that had recently been cleard of weeds and such. Due to the rain, the field was muddy.. I had this idea that I could cruise across the mud up close to the ROW where the ground was more solid, as I got out into the field a ways, I realized I wasn't going any further. Even with Four wheel drive.

My truck was stuck in the mud for two days.. I ended up digging around the wheels, jacking up each wheel and putting rocks underneith till I could drive out, thankfully, the field had dried out enough to get out.

When I went there to actually drive my truck away, there was a train leaving the intermodal facility, and a railroad security guy was up on the signal inspecting a train as it left (I only knew this after I asked him what he was doing). His truck was up by the tracks, and he said he was nervous about even drivning up by the ROW with his vehicle, even though the ground was much more solid there.
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:44 AM   #40
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LOL you're lucky it wasn't deeper or it could have been it's new permanent home.
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:53 AM   #41
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It was stuck up to it's axels on the back, completely high centered, I spent a good 5 hours digging on it (that included digging at it very early saturday morning from 1.30 to 3.30 a.m.)
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Old 04-01-2006, 05:59 PM   #42
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Some kids blew up a compressed can, that sounded like a bomb. A few mins later 6 coppers showed up and an ambulance. Knowing I was trespassing, I left.
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Old 04-22-2006, 04:17 AM   #43
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About a week ago after seeing a few nice trains while railfanning with a friend on our bikes, we left his house, and as we rode off, I noticed I didnt have my moms $500 digital camera. We retraced our steps, but didnt find it. So, thats my story, and it was only my second time foaming.
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Old 04-22-2006, 05:58 AM   #44
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Forecast calls for warm temps and sunny skies...

"Ok great, I'll go railfanning today"

Camera is dead...

...Camera charged, still enough light to catch a shot...

No trains.
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Old 04-23-2006, 09:41 AM   #45
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I have not managed to get a vehicle stuck (yet!), but we had an unwanted interruption on Saturday luchtime a few years back when the exhaust fell off the car in the middle of Cardiff Docks in South Wales. That put an end to the train chasing for a couple of hours whilst we sought out an auto repair centre. The same car was also reversed into a hedge whilst chasing a stone train in the Peak District (husband was driving at the time). The resulting thump sounded like bad news but had, fortunately, only split the plastic fairing under the boot. A bit of manipulation closed the gap to the extent that it wasn't very obvious and it remained there until we got rid of that car.
Other major disasters include a camera strap that parted from the camera whilst climbing over a gate, amazingly neither camera or lens was broken, the worst damage being to the filter, which had been pushed against the thread and jammed towards the lens.
I have also lost films in the post, the solution - find a local lab that we can visit in person, been using them over 15 years now with no complaints.
Worst of all however was getting four films back from a lab, before we found our local one, that had been totally ruined by being wrongly developed
The negatives are still around somewhere and I might try digitally scanning them one day to see if anything can be salvaged, but it is a tall order.
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:41 AM   #46
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Most recently...

While doing some night shots in Pesotum, IL, I waited about 45 minutes for a train to show up. Finally, I was rewarded. Just as the air horn came within ear shot, a chorus of coyotes went up no more than 100 yards behind me, somewhere in the cornfield. Several things went through my mind at that point:

1.) I'm on the wrong side of the tracks from my car.

2.) I relieved myself about 10 minutes ago. "They" know what and where I am.

3.) There's a LOT of them.

4.) They've probably been there the WHOLE TIME I have.


So I anxiously waited for the train to come through, and once it did, for my shutter to close. As soon as it did, I grabbed the tripod, camera and all, and dashed for my car on the other side of the tracks. After fumbling with my keys for a good 10 seconds, I was safe. Not that coyotes are all that dangerous, I just didn't need any more of an adventure!!!

My father-in-law informed me later that the coyotes have moved south of Savoy and Tolono down to the Pesotum area, and often run the rails.

What a night!
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:36 PM   #47
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[quote=Matt Rivers]
While doing some night shots in Pesotum, IL, I waited about 45 minutes for a train to show up. Finally, I was rewarded. Just as the air horn came within ear shot, a chorus of coyotes went up no more than 100 yards behind me, somewhere in the cornfield. Several things went through my mind at that point:

1.) I'm on the wrong side of the tracks from my car.

2.) I relieved myself about 10 minutes ago. "They" know what and where I am.

3.) There's a LOT of them.

4.) They've probably been there the WHOLE TIME I have.


So I anxiously waited for the train to come through, and once it did, for my shutter to close. As soon as it did, I grabbed the tripod, camera and all, and dashed for my car on the other side of the tracks. After fumbling with my keys for a good 10 seconds, I was safe. Not that coyotes are all that dangerous, I just didn't need any more of an adventure!!!
[quote]

A very similar thing just happened to me today down at Milepost 215 in Little Falls, NY. I'm actually just about to leave for the day, in fact I had just taken my camera off the tripod, when I see the headlight of a westbound train approaching on track 1 (the far track). I quickly get my camera back on the tripod, and as the train approaches, a coyote comes wandering out of the trees about 25-30 feet to the east of me on my side of the tracks. Like in the above scenario, I also had recently relieved myself very close to where the coyote appeared. He wanders down to track level, and proceeds to head west down the center of track 2 (the near track). I'm on the rocks that are about cab level with the trains. He gets within about 10 or so feet of me. He is down at track level, and not acting threatening or anything, more like he's out on a summer stroll. He then turns around and trots back east down track 2. Mind you the westbound train on track 1 is now only about 50-100 yards away and closing. Just before the train and the coyote would pass, the coyote darts back into the trees from whence he came. Unfortunately, he cleared the frame, so I don't have a picture of the coyote and the train. Anyhow, that still left me in a pickle, as the last I saw the coyote he was between me and my car which is parked down a hill and about 50-75 yards east. And, to add to the mix, did his close encounter with a CSX stack train spook him? I quickly gathered my stuff (I was about to leave anyhow) and headed to the car. I didn't see him again, though.
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