Archive for November, 2010

Ohio State’s Railroad

osu-railroad-7-191962As a student at Ohio State, I take particular interest in our local railway history. Nothing is more local than a railway that runs right through the center of campus. While I was aware that at one point a long coal spur ran to the power plant, I never had been able to find the right resources to write a more substantial article.

That changed the other day when I discovered the Lantern’s on-line archive. The Lantern, Ohio State’s Student Newspaper, has been continuously published since 1881. I found a number of articles describing key features of the school’s private, industrial railroad and was able to piece together enough for this article.
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Light-Rail Track Replacement

Church and 30th St. San Francisco MUNI Construction from Ken Murphy on Vimeo.

Do you ever wonder about track embedded in pavement? How easy is it to maintain? How do you repair? And most of all, how do you replace it?

The video embedded above is time-lapse showing the replacement of a section of San Fransisco’s MUNI light rail system. The replacement took three days of 24 hour work. The time-lapse was set up to take one photo every 15 seconds. The resulting video is about 12 minutes long.


CSX #8888: The Real Story of “Unstoppable”

This Friday is the premiere of the movie Unstoppable. Staring Denzel Washington, the movie tells the story of an unmanned runaway train and the attempts made to stop it. You can watch the trailer for the movie here. While there’s no doubt that inaccuracies will abound (it is Hollywood after all), it should be at least remotely entertaining.

What many of the general public do not realize, is that Unstoppable is a dramatic retelling of real life events. On May 15, 2001 CSX #8888 escaped from Stanley Yard in Toledo, OH. It quickly began a high-speed journey south along the Columbus Subdivision through the communities of Findlay, Bowling Green, and Kenton. The 47 car train reached speeds upwards of 50 miles per hour while authorities made multiple attempts to stop it. Eventually, through the actions of second locomotive and crew the train was safely brought to a stop, 2 hours and 66 miles later. Miraculously, there were no injuries.
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