Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hollyweird Does it Again

Yes, folks, once again the folks at Hollyweird have conspired to take a somewhat boring true story and inflate it into a massive major movie event.

You see, about nine years ago, a freight train towed by an EMD SD40-2 Diesel engine, the very same engine that is featured as the "hero" in the upcoming movie Unstoppable, departed a train yard near my home city of Toledo towing a long freight train with no one at the controls, for reasons which I won't get into here.

The train rumbled nearly 70 miles south down the train tracks of Northwest Ohio, crossing dozens of RR crossings without blowing its horn. This track was mostly straight and level (check any terrain map of the Midwest and you'll find that that isn't unusual). Since this engine type has a maximum speed of about 60 MPH at the most, there was little danger of it becoming a runaway missile that would plow into a Pennsylvania city, spreading a toxic cloud that would kill thousands.

A crew of ordinary engineers latched another engine onto the back of this runaway and managed to slow it down enough that another engineer was able to grab a handrail of the runaway engine and board it, then apply the brakes and stop the train. No major Metropolitan areas, trainloads of children, or anyone else was endangered.

Only until Hollyweird got ahold of the story.

I'll probably go to see the film anyway. Tony Scott does not direct films that do not entertain. But my entertainment will be diminished because I know the true story about what happened. Because what really happened started about 2 miles from my house.

The only person who looked like a fool in this whole endeavor was the State Trooper who tried to shoot a hole in the engine's fuel tank with an anti-personnel shotgun. He might as well have tried to stop a charging Rhino with a slingshot.

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