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Runaway Train

July 6, 1993 | Associated Press
A commuter train whose brakes failed jumped the track and crashed through a northern Portuguese train station on Monday, killing one person and injuring at least six before coming to a halt on the street outside.
December 19, 2013
Re "A high-speed rail alternative," Opinion, Dec. 16 Stuart Flashman lays out a very reasonable plan for high-speed rail, one that, as he points out, was largely proposed by the California Intercity High-Speed Rail Commission in 1996. It is very important to discern that this previous route down Interstate 5 and through the Altamont Pass is a sensible and viable one as opposed to the slow, damaging and circuitous route created to satisfy political interests. Before destroying businesses, farms, homes and wildlife habitat along the currently proposed route, the California High-Speed Rail Authority should freeze spending and take Flashman's advice.
June 28, 2003 | Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writer
On a clear, cool afternoon in May two years ago, a locomotive pulling 47 cars escaped from a rail yard near Toledo, Ohio, heading south. The train reached speeds of 40-50 mph while carrying a highly toxic chemical known as molten phenol in two of the cars. Within eight minutes, the railroad company, CSX, had alerted local officials, who credit this partnership with helping ensure that the incident ended without injuries or damage.
August 7, 2013 | By E.E. Lewis
In recent weeks the catastrophic crash of a Spanish passenger train, the lethal derailment on a French commuter line, the crash landing of a Boeing 777 in San Francisco and the deadly inferno caused by a runaway train in Canada have increased concerns about the safety of modern technology. The causes of disasters are varied, multiple and often intertwined. The French derailment appears to have been caused by a metal clip that joined two rails - one of thousands on the rail system - working loose.
June 24, 2003
Faced with 31 runaway freight cars barreling toward downtown Los Angeles on Friday, Union Pacific officials gambled that diverting the cars to a side track at Commerce would produce the lesser of catastrophes. The 3,883-ton train derailed, raining steel and its load of lumber across a residential neighborhood and demolishing four homes. Miraculously, no one was killed or seriously injured.
December 18, 1996 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A runaway train without lights, whistle or an engineer barreled across about 50 miles of western Nebraska on a moonless night earlier this month, coming within seconds of hitting a farmer and his pregnant wife. Operated only by a remote-controlled locomotive, the 55 train cars plowed through dozens of crossings, three railroad stop signs and passed several other trains before a train engineer stopped them. Officials said the train may have been sabotaged by an irate motorist.
March 17, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Human and mechanical errors led to a New York City accident March 10 in which a runaway train locomotive smashed into five vehicles, injuring four people, federal investigators said. A rail crew violated Long Island Rail Road procedures by not setting a hand brake or blocking the 150-ton locomotive's wheels while they went to work on another train, the National Transportation Safety Board said. A mechanical brake that the crew set was leaking air and failed, investigators said.
May 17, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
The runaway train that rolled through Ohio cities and farms with hazardous cargo started its nearly 70-mile journey when an engineer mistakenly hit the throttle instead of the brake, investigators said. The engineer chased the train and grabbed a railing, said Fred Agler of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission. But the railing was wet from rain and the engineer couldn't pull himself up; the train dragged the engineer about 80 feet before he fell, Agler said.
November 9, 1986 | Associated Press
A runaway train of six diesel-powered rail coaches, one of which had been left with the power still on by a mechanic, smashed into a Bangkok railroad station and plowed across a platform Saturday, killing up to six people, officials said. "I was shouting and waving everyone away, but the train came in like thunder," said railway employee Putchong Parktham. "People were screaming and shouting. I ran as fast as I could and when I turned around I saw the locomotives and white smoke rising."
An out-of-control Santa Fe freight train slammed into the rear of a parked Union Pacific coal train as it descended the treacherous Cajon Pass before dawn Wednesday, moments after the crews of both trains jumped to safety. The crash derailed five locomotives and four cars and sparked a fire that burned for hours. The flames and jumbled wreckage were clearly visible to motorists on Interstate 15, about 18 miles north of San Bernardino.
July 6, 2013 | By Bruce A. McLeod
A driverless runaway train hauling tankers of crude oil derailed in the center of a small town in Quebec, Canada, early Saturday, igniting massive fireballs and gushing flaming fuel that left at least one person dead and as many as 100 missing, according to residents and local officials. The accident forced the evacuation of 2,000 people from Lac-Megantic, a town of 6,000 people about 155 miles east of Montreal and close to the Maine border. The 73-car train, destined for Maine, had been parked outside the town for a crew change and was left unattended, said Joseph McGonigle, vice president of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway.
December 14, 2012 | Hugo Martin
Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is closing Jan. 7 to get new tracks, vehicles and paint. It will be the third major overhaul of a major Disneyland ride in as many years. The railroad in the Frontierland section of the Anaheim park has been operating since 1979 and portrays a runaway train that speeds through a barren Old West landscape. The ride is expected to reopen in fall 2013. Disneyland completed a similar overhaul of its Matterhorn Bobsleds ride this year that also included new paint, tracks and vehicles.
December 13, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is closing Jan. 7 to undergo an overhaul to replace its tracks and vehicles and to give it a new paint job. It will be the third major overhaul of an iconic ride in as many years. The railroad in the Frontierland section of the Anaheim park has been operating since 1979 and portrays a runaway train that speeds through a barren Old West mining town. The ride is expected to reopen in the fall of 2013. Disneyland completed a similar overhaul to its Matterhorn bobsled ride earlier this year that also included a paint job, new tracks and new vehicles.
August 20, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
Tony Scott was the sort of director often viewed as a creature of Hollywood, in all the good and other ways that phrase implies. But while thriving in that hothouse environment can sometimes seem like simply a matter of listening to and playing well with others, it also requires a singularity of conviction and purpose. Just ask Fox and Denzel Washington. The studio and the star were both ambivalent about “Unstoppable,” an action-thriller script set aboard a runaway train that Scott, who apparently committed suicide on Sunday, urgently wanted to direct a number of years ago. Though the movie would in fact turn out to be Scott's last directorial effort, it nearly didn't come into being.
November 12, 2010 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Unstoppable" is as good as its name. A runaway train drama that never slows down, it fashions familiarity into a virtue and shows why old-school professionalism never goes out of style. With action auteur Tony Scott directing, "Unstoppable" certainly features a lot that we've seen before, from its vehicle-from-hell format to its venerable advertising line: "1,000,000 Tons, 100,000 Lives, 100 Minutes. " Yes, they still do make them that way. This is also the second straight Scott film (after the underappreciated "The Taking of Pelham 123")
November 12, 2010 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
"Unstoppable" has a shot at living up to its title at the box office this weekend, but "Morning Glory" does not. The new Denzel Washington-Chris Pine thriller "Unstoppable" is likely to be in a tough competition with the animated 3-D film "Megamind," which opened last week, for the most popular movie in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, according to pre-release audience surveys. Each movie will probably sell about $25 million worth of tickets. "Morning Glory," which stars Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton, is looking like a flop, with an expected debut of less than $10 million.
May 25, 1989 | KEVIN RODERICK and JENIFER WARREN, Times Staff Writers
At least two people died and 25 were injured this morning when a fireball from a ruptured gasoline line engulfed homes and outraced fleeing children in the same low-income neighborhood where a killer, runaway freight train ripped through a row of houses two weeks ago. Ten homes were leveled in Thursday's new tragedy in the Muscoy section of western San Bernardino. Six people have died and 21 homes, most of them on Duffy Street, have been destroyed in the neighborhood since the morning of May 12. The gasoline leak and fireball erupted about 8 a.m. in what used to be the yard of a house on the west side of Duffy Street, one of 11 homes destroyed when a speeding freight train jumped the tracks on a curve.
November 11, 2010 | By Michael Ordoña, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Rosario Dawson has remarkable diction for someone who talks so quickly ? and, as she readily points out, someone who never formally trained in acting, a point that has shadowed her for more than a decade. "It's been the past couple of years that I thought I could say that I'm an actor," says Dawson in rapid-fire speech. She was discovered on her Manhattan stoop as a teen and cast in 1995's "Kids," but with that stroke of fortune came a haunting insecurity. "I was waiting for that Apollo [Theatre]
October 2, 2010 | Holiday Mathis
Aries (March 21-April 19): Success is not about wearing the right jacket. It's about having the right frame of mind. Taurus (April 20-May 20): You don't mind deferring to the judgment of your teachers as a sign of respect, but the respect has to go both ways. Gemini (May 21-June 21): You keep adding layers of sophistication to your personality. You will find common ground with people from all walks of life. Cancer (June 22-July 22): A project will take off like a runaway train.
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