Runaway Train

21 Jun 2003 /

Railroad workers in a Montclair switching yard lost control of 30 freight cars loaded with lumber yesterday. The cars rolled out of the yard in the general direction of Los Angeles, which is about 30 miles westbound and downhill from Montclair.

The cars eventually reached a speed of about 50 miles an hour, so rather than let them rocket into the downtown area, Union Pacific decided to derail them into a Mexican neighborhood in Commerce.

If you’re not from Southern California, clicking on the map to the right may help you understand the geography. Commerce is about halfway between East Los Angeles and Bell.

I have a mental image of the switching yard workers watching the cars disappear, yelling, running, throwing their hats on the ground, and finally just giving up . . .

Clearly this is not going to look good on the next performance review.


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