This Should Not Have To Be Said

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This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby kckorienek » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:51 pm

While I am not a personal user of scanners, it just never interested me, a lot of people do, and there is nothing wrong with that. But for those that do, do the rest of us that enjoy watching, photographing, and doing videography of trains a favor: do not under any circumstances ever call a train and give it a roll by inspection if your radio has transmitting capabilities. This happened last week in Lansing, the railroad police were called, and unfortunately, those that did it left before they could get there. Whoever did this is beyond stupid, I will not hold back saying that, you are a moron, I wish you could have been caught and faced the consequences of your idiotic actions. What you did is a crime and it is taken very seriously, and it makes the rest of us who just want to watch or record them VIA photo or video look suspicious given the world we live in.

A lot can be said for being somewhat inconspicuous watching trains, it goes a long ways for those who just want to enjoy doing this without being treated like were members of ISIS, and I usually don't care for the people who post these types of threads, but here is some advice for you in the future:

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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby NS3322 » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:04 pm

kckorienek wrote:This happened last week in Lansing, the railroad police were called, and unfortunately, those that did it left before they could get there. Whoever did this is beyond stupid, I will not hold back saying that, you are a moron, I wish you could have been caught and faced the consequences of your idiotic actions.


Just curious, which road? CSX, CN, or JAIL? I cannot believe someone would actually do this.
Last edited by NS3322 on Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby kckorienek » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:11 pm

NS3322 wrote:Just curious, which road? CSX, CN, or JAIL? I cannot believe someone would actually do this.


CN, they were at the Amtrak depot midday.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby GreatLakesRailfan » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:12 pm

Scanners can't transmit. Ham radios and railroad radios can. I'm pretty sure it's not that hard to get ahold of either type, in that you don't have to have a license to use it to purchase one.

That being said, there's nothing good that can happen if you transmit on a frequency that you shouldn't be transmitting on. It's too bad they couldn't find the individual in question. Now that they've gotten away with it once, they'll probably do it again.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby J T » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:51 pm

Why not use a scanner? They are cheap and easy to use, and can save you a lot of time easily wasted sitting by the tracks for that train which is never going to come.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:25 pm

J T wrote:Why not use a scanner? They are cheap and easy to use, and can save you a lot of time easily wasted sitting by the tracks for that train which is never going to come.

They're not being anti-scanner...they're being anti-foamer transmitting on railroad frequencies. Huge, clear distinction.

Some folks are using radios capable of transmitting as a scanner as well...I find this practice risky, since it presents the opportunity for misuse. But ultimately, everybody must be responsible for their own actions.

Transmitting on railroad frequencies isn't a joke. Real, safety-critical messages are often transmitted and the risk of stepping on those is too great for some goobs to be out there making fun with it.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby J T » Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:41 pm

Saturnalia wrote:
J T wrote:Why not use a scanner? They are cheap and easy to use, and can save you a lot of time easily wasted sitting by the tracks for that train which is never going to come.

They're not being anti-scanner...they're being anti-foamer transmitting on railroad frequencies. Huge, clear distinction.

My reply was directed toward the OP's comment in his first sentence. It had nothing to with anything else.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby justalurker66 » Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:06 pm

Saturnalia wrote:Some folks are using radios capable of transmitting as a scanner as well...I find this practice risky, since it presents the opportunity for misuse. But ultimately, everybody must be responsible for their own actions.

My radio is "capable" of transmitting on any frequency that it can be programmed to receive. I have specifically programmed all of the railroad channels to be receive only (no transmit). The programming is done via proprietary software on a computer - this is not a setting I could change in the field (or accidentally change while scanning).

I choose to use a radio instead of a consumer scanner because it can be programmed permanently to specific frequencies. My consumer grade scanner kept forgetting the settings and did not receive as well as a professional radio. It also cannot receive any channels I have not pre-programmed so I don't need to worry about it going into some sort of scan mode and finding channels I do not want it to receive. (Consumer scanners are cheap ... and one gets what they pay for.)

Restating: My radio is programmed as receive only (no transmit) on railroad frequencies. Anyone using a transceiver instead of a scanner should program their radio as receive only for any frequency they do not have explicit permission to use. Anyone who transmits on a frequency they are not permitted to use should be prosecuted.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby J T » Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:28 pm

justalurker66 wrote:My consumer grade scanner kept forgetting the settings...

Never had that happen with my scanner.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby 12Bridge » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:02 am

Sounds like another super buff. 20:1 the guy had a ring of RR keys clipped to his pants, and a lantern on the front seat.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby NS3322 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:45 pm

12Bridge wrote:Sounds like another super buff. 20:1 the guy had a ring of RR keys clipped to his pants, and a lantern on the front seat.


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby TSS » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:47 am

Wow. How do you become so disconnected from reality that you think giving a roll by is ok?

I once saw a legitimately dangerous situation near a grade crossing—a pull-apart in cold weather, battered and misaligned by the train the caused it to break—and I hesitated to call the 800 number on the crossing simply because I didn’t want to be lumped in with meddling idiots like this.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby NSSD70ACe » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:17 pm

TSS wrote:Wow. How do you become so disconnected from reality that you think giving a roll by is ok?

I once saw a legitimately dangerous situation near a grade crossing—a pull-apart in cold weather, battered and misaligned by the train the caused it to break—and I hesitated to call the 800 number on the crossing simply because I didn’t want to be lumped in with meddling idiots like this.


Shared a lot of these experiences before. Couple of kids down in Ogden Dunes come to mind when they sped into the station looking for one of the Wolverines a few years ago. One stood on the other side of the tracks (but well on the ROW). I just shook my head and jumped ship right after the train passed. Last thing I wanted was to be mistaken for those idiots by staying in the vicinity.

I've also seen some idiocy in East Lansing and Durand, both times foamers just generally not following safe practices or respecting railroad ROW. It's a little ridiculous what some of these people think is okay.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby kckorienek » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:07 pm

TSS wrote:I once saw a legitimately dangerous situation near a grade crossing—a pull-apart in cold weather, battered and misaligned by the train the caused it to break—and I hesitated to call the 800 number on the crossing simply because I didn’t want to be lumped in with meddling idiots like this.


There is nothing wrong with reporting something like that, that 1-800 number is there for a reason, and something that could potentially impact the safety of the public is exactly what it is there for. Best case, you reported something would have never been found if it is in dark territory, worst case, you help a track patrolman or signal maintainer pinpoint where the cause of the track circuit being down is at, either way, it's a win-win.

If you see something, say something, it could save someone's life.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby Doktor No » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:39 pm

kckorienek wrote:
TSS wrote:I once saw a legitimately dangerous situation near a grade crossing—a pull-apart in cold weather, battered and misaligned by the train the caused it to break—and I hesitated to call the 800 number on the crossing simply because I didn’t want to be lumped in with meddling idiots like this.


There is nothing wrong with reporting something like that, that 1-800 number is there for a reason, and something that could potentially impact the safety of the public is exactly what it is there for. Best case, you reported something would have never been found if it is in dark territory, worst case, you help a track patrolman or signal maintainer pinpoint where the cause of the track circuit being down is at, either way, it's a win-win.

If you see something, say something, it could save someone's life.

REPORT IT! REPORT IT! REPORT IT! Why do you think the 1-800 number is listed at the crossing? It is there for a reason, to report a dangerous condition.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby PatAzo » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:07 am

I have a CN policeman's card who stopped just to give it to me and ask if I ever saw anything to give them a call. I've called the 800 number and spoken to a guy genuinely appreciative for the call. I spoke with another who was genuinely annoyed by the call. Annoyed or not I did my part.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby Cinderpath » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:42 am

I was train watching about 7 years ago I was on the former C&NW, and I was doing night photos of a coaling tower in winter. A UP train passed that had a burning axle on it. My friend had a radio that was capable of transmitting (he works for another RR), but there was no way in hell we''d talk on it. (Its illegal). I too don't like calling the 800 number, but being a former conductor I knew that was a serious problem. I called the 800 number, told them, date, time, place and that the car was a gondola 23 cars from the rear. (The operator was surprised I knew what to say). Within a few a minutes the dispatcher called the train and they stopped there, and were stopped for hours. I left and didn't think anything about it.

I went to my mailbox a few months later and their was a package from the UP police Department, Omaha, NB. Included was a letter thanking me for calling it in, that the call avoided a potential derailment, etc. and it also included a UP marked mini-flashlight as an additional gesture.

So the system does work, and if something is serious, you should call, but always use the proper chain of command and system designed for it.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby J T » Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:34 pm

Good thing someone called this in. The crossing signal was laying completely across the tracks, taken out by a truck a short time earlier. The dispatcher was able to alert Q326 to slow down to a crawl, allowing enough time for a maintenance worker to arrive on the scene to pull it out of the way.

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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby chapmaja » Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:57 pm

I have used the call in number a few times. Once was when several kids were fishing off the bridges over the Huron river when I knew a train was coming in a few minutes. I had yelled at the kids that a train was coming and was promptly told to F-off. I called the number and the train arrived about the same time the police did. Apparently NS called the Washtenaw County Sherriff who sent a deputy to deal with it. The kids ran right towards the deputy when they saw the train (at a reduced speed) coming at them. All of them had headphones on and apparently never heard what I had said about a train coming.
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Re: This Should Not Have To Be Said

Unread postby tadman » Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:52 pm

Perhaps a dumb question but please fill in a few blanks for me. I know the general idea of a rollby is where one crew looks over another crew's train while it rolls by for problems. What is the actual procedure? It seems like the big problem here is that a civilian who was (a) not qualified to observe a defect; (b) was transmitting on private channels. Is that about right?

I'm not disputing any of the above posts, just curious. If a civilian were to observe a blatantly obvious defect like a wheel off the track or flames, calling the 800 number or 911 is about the only thing one can do, right?
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