Train Hits Parked Car in Grand Haven

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Re: Train Hits Parked Car in Grand Haven

Unread postby Saturnalia » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:33 pm

A couple of years ago the Michigan Shore hit a pedestrian just north of Holland - it was non-fatal but the engineer didn't know it even happened cause it was on the conductor's side. Somebody saw the guy laying there and called the cops and eventually the CSX RN was able to get them to stop just after they hit West Olive.

Running with only the engineer in the cab and having a roving conductor works wonders for runs like the Michigan Shore with switches to throw and bridges to close, but it leaves the train with a rather large blind spot.

I am not surprised that the engineer didn't notice and didn't try to stop. He's in his seat on his side of a curve. He's focused on blowing the horn and unless it was fouling by a lot, it isn't likely that he'd think anything of it. He's not gonna get up to see if he hit it, when he has to keep on blowing the horn and watching for pedestrians on the track - something GH is known for.

As long as that blind spot exists incidents like this will be possible. But they're still rare and the time saved by having the conductor up ahead to close the Grand Haven bridge and throw the West Olive switch and drive around Waverly yard definitely adds up.

And ultimately, these incidents are not caused by the railroad, but by somebody else failing to yield the right-of-way. The question of leaving the scene aside, the railroad is never at fault for these sorts of incidents.
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Re: Train Hits Parked Car in Grand Haven

Unread postby PatAzo » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:45 pm

Why is it shocking? The engineer has limited visibility on the left side. Going past things he can't see is routine. From a distance he believes the car is clear. By the time he's close enough to better judge clearance the vehicle has left his field of view. Add in what else may have been going on. Listening to a radio transmission he can barely understand. Looking back to see if teenager truants have tried to hop on. Riding in a locomotive with heat that doesn't work and an engine leaking exhaust fumes into the cab.

As for suing for big money, even if the car owner won which isn't a sure thing, the loss is limited to the damage to the vehicle. There was no injury. As likely is the railroad suing the car owner for it's loss. Conrail wasn't bashful about suing vehicle owners it collided with.

As for leaving the scene try proving he knew he hit the car.
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Re: Train Hits Parked Car in Grand Haven

Unread postby NS3322 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:56 pm

Saturnalia wrote:As long as that blind spot exists incidents like this will be possible. But they're still rare and the time saved by having the conductor up ahead to close the Grand Haven bridge and throw the West Olive switch and drive around Waverly yard definitely adds up.


Thanks Saturnalia for providing this information. I was not aware this was the practice.
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Re: Train Hits Parked Car in Grand Haven

Unread postby Super Chief » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:15 pm

Judging by the license plate it was a shady deal all the way around. Guy could tell the police the plate is attached to the train somewhere. But no it's under the black plexiglass he's using as an undocumented Uber driver.
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Re: Train Hits Parked Car in Grand Haven

Unread postby J T » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:28 am

I'm gonna laugh if the engineer comes out and says that he saw the car and wanted to ram that son of b***tch off the tracks! :lol:
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