Observations on economics, the academy, the wider world, and things that run on rails.
(off-topic) Don't know if you've seen the 1985 move "Runaway Train"...I linked a review of it, and hope you'll drop by and give your thoughts from either an artistic viewpoint or a railroad operations viewpoint, or both.http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/48785.html
Never saw that movie. In general, ferroequinologists have a low opinion of movies perils on the rails. It goes back to a trenchant observation by Sir Nigel Gresley, chief mechanical engineer of the old London and Northeastern, something like "when I saw this wretched film, I was appalled that it suggested the railways had never heard of the vacuum brake." The situations the performers have to contend with cannot happen in the way the movies present them, whether it's very remote control of the switches or only one passing track in 400 miles or locked cabs or no vacuum brake.Even a recent made for TV cliffhanger loosely based on the switch engine that got away in Ohio a few years back turned into more of a rant about corporate downsizing than a failure of proper discipline on the railroad.A few months back, there was a story in Trains (not available online) about a runaway diesel that some vandal got rolling on the Chesapeake and Ohio in Michigan, the railroaders got it stopped without any personal injury but a side-story is the cop who showed up with a shotgun to shoot a hole in the fuel tank. Ever seen how thick the steel is on a diesel's fuel tank? But those cops with shotguns still turn up on screen ...
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