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I remember when a slow moving train near where I live (Concord Naval Weapons Station) with a couple of workers standing on the walkways ran over a protestor who was sitting on the track attempting to block the train from entering the Weapons Yard, not a good idea. Crushed both his legs ... didn't do the workers much good either. I remember that they tried to sue Brian Wilson, the subsequent double amputee for mental distress.

Sorry to highjack the thread but everytime I think about diesels and external walkways my mind returns to this episode more than 20 years ago.


Sept. 1, 1987: Brian Wilson tries too late to get out of the way.
 

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We don't use no stinking caboose anymore.


Here's an exception to the rule:

If you want to see a lot of long trains go to the Tehachapi Loop (operated jointly by the Union Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads) near Bakersfield, California. It's on the main artery joining the agricultural and petroleum products of the San Joaquin Valley to Arizona and east. As many as 40 freight trains a day execute the loop, making it the busiest single-track line in the United States. Long eastbound freight trains cannot negotiate the grade with a normal locomotive complement, and it is undesirable for the couplings between forward cars to support the high tension loads. Therefore, "helper" engines are inserted in the middle of the train. Upon reaching the City of Tehachapi, the helpers are switched out, and then returned to Bakersfield.

Many of the trains are over a mile long.
 
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