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Old 08-10-2008, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Laguna Woods, CA
198 posts, read 266,454 times
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If blowing the trains horns save lives, then they should continue to blow their horns.
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:41 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 2,152,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-88 View Post
If blowing the trains horns save lives, then they should continue to blow their horns.
Without having data showing otherwise, I find it very hard to believe that a train that doesn't blow the whistle will be as safe as one that does, regardless of any safety improvements (gates, lights, etc) at a crossing. Yes, I tend to agree that trains should keep blowing their horns to help save lives.
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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Should we blow our horns in our cars as we drive down the street and the side streets have stop signs? Might save lives.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:31 AM
 
Location: LEAVING CD
22,952 posts, read 22,459,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkHunter View Post
Should we blow our horns in our cars as we drive down the street and the side streets have stop signs? Might save lives.
Let's not forget about bicycles and skateboards! They should have horns and blow them if anyone does. I do like the car thing though, blow them as you come up to an uncontrolled intersection, maybe 3 loooong honks to warn anyone coming up that you're there?

Elk you make a good point! We're expected on a daily basis to see cars both small and large as well as trucks and even motorcycles in all conditions and in every situation and to avoid hitting them with only seconds to decide but a vehicle that is HUGE, is ALWAYS in the same narrow area and CAN"T TURN for some reason has to have flashing lights,bells and a very loud horn on the front of it blowing all the time instead of just barriers and warning lights where WEcross it's path.
The more I read this the more insane the legnths we go to sound.
How about horns on planes landing or taking off to warn anyone taking a shortcut across a runway ? You wouldn't do that you say? Why not? Because a plane could KILL YOU!

Think about it for just a minute without the knee jerk reaction that everyone HAS to be protected from everything, with all we avoid every day just walking or driving through the city how smart or attentive is the person that either HITS a train or gets hit by one (with a couple of exceptions of course)?
And to further this thought, does everyone else have to pay for a few that don't get that big things can kill you?
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:54 AM
 
1,305 posts, read 2,152,336 times
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I guess I must have a different mindset than some of the people on here. I normally don't agree with government regulations but it seems like requiring trains to blow whistles is a good thing if it helps save lives.

But I also work as an engineer, where I am paid to look at situations and figure out methods of reducing and quantifying the amount of risk in any given design. So I'm a person who likes to figure out how to better design a situation to make it safer and less likely to harm someone. Since I design and build the airplanes that you fly on, this is a good thing.

The two big things about trains is they can't stop and they can't swerve out of the way if someone obstructs the railway. The third problem is trains are large enough that they don't appear to be moving if you look at it and some people think they can cross before the train gets there, not realizing the train is really going 45 mph.

I'm not one to make fun of people who have been killed, whether it's by trains or any other manner. It's a sad event when someone is injured, and we really give them enough respect to not tease them about being stupid or dumb. After all, we all have done things in life that may not be "smart" in someone elses book, we just haven't gotten killed by it (yet).

Anyways, it'll be interesting to see what happens.....
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Sheridan, Wy
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My husband worked as a Conductor for a railroad for a year. After hearing the stories he told me I think the horns should continue also.

I agree with "big tree's" perspective as an engineer, trains can't swerve.
One thing people often forget is those added lights and arms are not just to be over cautious and reason to get rid of trains blowing their whistles, those arms/lights are for those who are hard of hearing, or to keep cars at a safe distance from the track. I have heard many stories of people innocently parking to close to the track and the train has ripped the front end of the car off or killed and injured people...
The sad thing is when my husband worked for the railroad there were a couple hard of hearing people that were killed at crossing with no arms because they couldn't hear or see the train coming.
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:14 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 2,152,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimj View Post
How about horns on planes landing or taking off to warn anyone taking a shortcut across a runway ? You wouldn't do that you say? Why not? Because a plane could KILL YOU!
I almost got run over by a plane a few months ago. A big one too. I was riding in a shuttle on a tarmac, and this great big plane was backing up. Problem was the shuttle driver didn't realize that it was backing up, and we examined the big tires much closer than I ever wanted. (We were probably 50 or 100 feet away from the wheels, but it sure did startle me). Direct message me for more info.
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Laguna Woods, CA
198 posts, read 266,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkHunter View Post
Should we blow our horns in our cars as we drive down the street and the side streets have stop signs? Might save lives.
So...what is your real problem with trains blowing their horns? Trains are just a tad larger than autos, and they weigh a few tons more...couple that with their inability to swerve or stop quickly and the kinetic energy inherent in a moving train, and the danger is apparent.

Your car analogy really isn't in the same ballpark as a moving train.
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,361,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-88 View Post
So...what is your real problem with trains blowing their horns? Trains are just a tad larger than autos, and they weigh a few tons more...couple that with their inability to swerve or stop quickly and the kinetic energy inherent in a moving train, and the danger is apparent.

Your car analogy really isn't in the same ballpark as a moving train.
The whistles and horns are outdated. They were brought in and used when crossing had no lights, no bells, and no crossing arms. For those crossings, blowing the horn is a nuesance. For crossings that are not protected, the horn is a life saver.

I guess I'm just tired of everybody pointing the finger of blame towards others. If you ignore the flashing reds, ignore the clanging of the bell, and drive around the crossing arms. That's ok. We need your oxygen.
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Sheridan, Wy
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One thing I forgot to mention that my husband thought of this evening, was sometimes the cross arms have failed, he has seen that happen several times. Luckily the signal men that are in charge of the lights and stuff call in to the depot and alert engineers/conductors of bad cross arms and then they have to reduce the speed and all they can do is use their horn. If someone is on the track and not paying attention and expect the cross arms to work when they are broken, using a horn can save their lives.

My husband also told me that there are black boxes inside the trains and if the engineer doesn't reduce his speed, and use his bells and whistles then he can be fined by the FRA if there is an accident, lose his job, or make himself or the railroad liable for the death. When it is mostly likely an accident, or some idiot who doesn't stay out of the way. So in a way it also protects the liability issue...

My husband and the engineers he used to work with used to get cussed at and hollered at all the time for honking their horn. But what people forget is it is part of their job to make sure when they are going through towns that people are alerted and stay away from the train. They can't stop on a dime, trains use air brakes that take so much time, and then weight to stop, and depending on how big a load they are hauling, all of that factors in.

Just a couple more cents I thought of...
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