Please Stay Away From Tracks During The Tour of Union Pacific #4014

Updated, December 9, 2019:
Like the horrible example below, the woman in the purple coat (above) was literally inches from losing her life. The engineer was frantically blowing the whistle but she didn't understand the message was for her. As the locomotive passed, she leaned backward a bit but the train was still close enough to rip fabric from her jacket.

I bring this up because bystanders in a similar incident looked at the camera after the train passed and it was set to wide angle, which makes objects appear more distant. This was my hypothesis (below) pertaining to the fatality involving Union Pacific's steam engine #844 (see below).

Because it is exciting to see these wonderful machines, I don't fault anyone for using a wide angle setting. I do fault people for being far too close to the tracks. If they stayed back the recommended 25', they would have seen it better. Don't believe me? Here is a screen capture from my sister's video of the Big Boy taken too close to the tracks.
And, that is about the best part of the video as the loco passed. It is too big to visualize so close.

The Big Boy tour is over. But, as shown above, there are other steam locomotives and, of course, operating trains across the United States. So, whatever you do, stay well away from railroad tracks at all times. 

 -- Original Posting -- 

As part of the 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike to create the U.S.'s first Transcontinental Railroad, Union Pacific's "Big Boy" #4014 is touring the western half of the nation the rest of the year. You can find its schedule here. The Big Boy is the largest locomotive (of any kind) ever produced and it is a truly thrilling sight.

That said, I want to provide this caution: Stay at least 25 feet from the track. In 2018, a woman was killed standing next to the track in Brighton, Colorado, while photographing Big Boy's sister #844.
Since witnesses said she was looking through the camera's viewfinder at the time, one could surmise she was using a wide-angle lens that made the train look farther way than it actually was. And, unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. The headline below is also from 2018.

And, always assume every track is active. Big Boy is loud and you don't want to be struck by a train coming from the opposite direction. The picture below was taken Saturday evening.

So, please go out and enjoy #4014. It is an amazing sight. But, stay well away from the tracks. 


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