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 Post subject: Re: Pushing the Envelope
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:17 am
Posts: 61
Location: Rocky Hill, NJ
Jim,

The reason I put it here instead of it being Page 15 of Film Crewman Killed... is very simple. No operating museum, heritage railroad, or any other railroad for that matter, can afford to have an injury or fatality which results from the kind of carelessness which results from pushing the envelope of what you can do without getting hurt - this time.

You can't spend any length of time at such an operation without seeing any number of acts by people who you would expect to know better (and some who clearly don't) which, aside from the likelyhood of injury to the actor, have the potential to put the operation in financial jeopardy. Do you really want to see an operation closed because a photographer pushed his own envelope too close to the track or misjudged the clearances where he probably shouldn't have been in the first place?

The costs of a single major injury can be enough to demolish the treasury and the insurance of many organizations and that certainly will not help the cause of preservation.

I have absolutely no objection to moving this over to Railfanning but to say that avoiding or preventing this kind of behavior has no relevance is missing the point.

Mike Allen

P.S. As of right now there are two sessions planned at New Jersey Transaction http://www.njtransaction.com/ this year which will be discussing the costs of train v something accidents. The fact that train or trolley may be operated by a Not-for-Profit does not lessen the impact of those costs. I'll be happy to discuss specifics back channel.


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 Post subject: Re: Pushing the Envelope
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
hamster wrote:
Relates in the same way that the ongoing thread about the movie maker's death in Georgia relates. As rail fans we think we know how to be safe. These blogs are reminders that we can get complacent and make a fatal mistake.

I thought the takeaway was that "safety first" is politics, it's our politics, and not everyone understands or shares it.

Some people are drawn to risk taking, almost like a moth to a flame.

Dave wrote:
It seems this person made a considered choice to take his chances with what to others with a different perspective and more knowledge of the physics of the situation would not have even been considered, and suffered the consequences of his actions. It wasn't heroic - it was ignorant and ill conceived at best, a failure during a blatant self promotional stunt at worst.

I think he got the physics right and it was intentional risk taking.

To further his "extreme" image, since "risk taking" and "extreme" are often conflated. Also, obvious guerrilla filmmaking is actually extreme. The guy probably also overestimated his understanding of the workings of railroads, going "he'll be on THAT track" or "the train will see me and switch tracks" etc.

dinwitty wrote:
And Toronto with its streetcars, they had so many suiciders jumping in front of cars they stopped newsstorying it.

And I'll bet suicides declined as a result, once it stopped being featured nightly.

I mean seriously. If you put enough media exposure, you can get people to pour buckets of ice on their heads.

Quote:
not around railroads you do, the stories repeat constantly on the Rail Chicago news feed CTA, someone gets into a train path and that is that, daily.

Different case - that's not risk taking, just plain carelessness. We did that to ourselves by (out of interest in safety) nerfing so many of the ordinary hazards (falling off piers, driving into bridge abutments) that ordinary citizens walking around public spaces are no longer are "on their guard" to routine hazards. While overall fatalities are reduced (MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!) it makes the remaining, unfixable hazards more conspicuous.

Jim Vaitkunas wrote:
Dear Moderators:

I respectfully request that this topic be locked account lack of relevance to railroad/trolley preservation.

There's nothing respectful about censorship. The "railfanning" forum was created to accomplish the same purpose without censorship.


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 Post subject: Re: Pushing the Envelope
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1735
"As rail fans we think we know how to be safe"

Some of us are railroad enthusiasts. There is a difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Pushing the Envelope
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1057
Location: Pacific, MO
I don't think anyone has mentioned the important issue here.
We have a head end crew who will have to live with this for the rest of their lives. All they could do was make an emergency application, blow the horn and grit their teeth.
I remember my Dad being literally sick at heart for weeks after a fatal accident with him running the engine.
Pushing the envelope sounds exciting, but the lasting effects on those who were involved can be devastating.
For that reason, I think the whole thing was stupid and uncalled for.


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 Post subject: Re: Pushing the Envelope
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:45 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2080
aside from all this there are plenty of stories of people trying to rush to their destination in there cars, arrive at the train tracks, ran around the gates or didnt watch for the trains and KERWHAM! It isnt just this guy on the tracks, but its the same mentality.

Let this thread drop down...


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 Post subject: Re: Pushing the Envelope
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:46 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
dinwitty wrote:
aside from all this there are plenty of stories of people trying to rush to their destination in there cars, arrive at the train tracks, ran around the gates or didnt watch for the trains and KERWHAM! It isnt just this guy on the tracks, but its the same mentality.

Let this thread drop down...


Love the people who have to make their comment, and then tell everyone else "OK I've had my say, stop talking now..." If you don"t think a thread is worth discussing, don't comment.

There is a big difference between being careless or hasty and getting struck by a train and doing what this guy did. Working out on the tracks was something he did often, and he featured it in his videos. Makes you wonder how many others saw that and decided to emulate it. This was a deliberate choice, not an accident.


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 Post subject: Re: Pushing the Envelope
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:47 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
It was a deliberate choice to workout and make videos on railroad property, but I don't think it was a deliberate choice to get killed. I would consider his death to be an accident. It would be like falling off of a tightrope.


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 Post subject: Re: Pushing the Envelope
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:44 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
I'd agree Ron. I don't think it was a suicide, but rather a deliberate choice to engage in an inherently dangerous activity with known significant risks.

What I meant was that while being in a hurry or distracted is also a choice, often the people who make that choice don't do it thinking "this is dangerous!". In this case he apparently said "Let's see if I can out-run a train!". If this fellow had any common sense, he should have known there was a huge element of danger here.


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