About that Terrorist in Nebraska

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About that Terrorist in Nebraska

Postby 2nd trick op » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:51 am

This morning, Yahoo and msn.com are abuzz with stories about a "terrorist incident on an Amtrak train in Nebraska". Although the primary article was first published in Newsweek, and the incident is acknowledged to have occured over two months ago, no specific details as to the exact location, or the nature of the identification and confrontation of the suspect are provided. In addition, the author's background provides no evidence of familiarity with rail operating practices.

http://www.newsweek.com/white-supremaci ... ent-771495

http://www.newsweek.com/authors/michael-hayde

So it would appear that we are in for another misrepresentation, from a "journalist" who has no concept of the industry he's supposed to be reporting about;

But, thanks to some more-familiar (and more-responsible) reporting by the Omaha World-Herald, more of the facts are being brought to light:

http://www.omaha.com/news/crime/fbi-man ... fde6b.html
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:56 am

Mr. 2nd Trick, the link provided for the Newsweek reporter's bio appears broken, but can be linked through the article.

Nevertheless, here goes:

Prior to joining Newsweek as a politics writer, Michael wrote crime features for VICE, served as a special correspondent during the Nepal earthquake for Los Angeles Times, and contributed climate change reporting to National Geographic magazine.

His work has also been featured in The New York Times, Slate, Foreign Policy, ABC News, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.

He's a three time grantee of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and graduated from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop (Playwriting) in 2007.


Somehow, the journalist's "CV" suggests he has hung around, albeit as a "stringer", at least one "alt-" news source. Somehow, I doubt if Warren Buffet would be about to hire him on at his well-respected "rag" - the World Herald.
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby Tadman » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:57 am

Agreed, said journalist has all the credibility of a thief running for sherriff.
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:25 pm

I’ve definitely read worse articles on the alt-right than Mr. Hayden’s, but the Omaha article was all around a much better piece. Perhaps there’s a reason the Iowa Writers’ Workshop poetry program isn’t renowned for its journalists.

Also, can we pause for a minute and actually take in the substance of this article? An armed man walked through sleeper and baggage cars without being challenged, broke into a Genesis while in motion, stopped the train from high speed (perhaps as high as 90 mph), and threatened both crew and authorities when they arrived. This could have easily been a mass casualty incident, attributable to a Nazi.

EF038386-8E8E-4067-B087-63954F7E533E.jpeg
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby 2nd trick op » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:51 pm

At this point, we don't know exactly how this individual got into the locomotive cab --- nor whether he was able to stop the train by measures available from the crew dormitory, then walked forward and entered the rear unit after the train stopped --- nor whether Amtrak rules require rear doors to either location be locked; (Whatever happens, I hope these issues are pursued and the facts made known).
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:24 pm

But regardless of the consuming audience, the point stands that a literal Nazi stopped and very nearly hijacked an American passenger train.

I’m willing to forgive one subpar reporter in order to focus more on the incident itself. To that end, thank you for posting the World-Herald report; it’s objectively and subjectively a much better article.
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby Tadman » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:07 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
EF038386-8E8E-4067-B087-63954F7E533E.jpeg


PTC? Time for SCMODS instead. (Those of you that remember Komachi/Erik from years ago here may recall that was a recurring joke of the late 2001's).
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby jerryhello » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:42 pm

Worrying that these right-wing terrorists are getting more and more emboldened while those in power pretend the problem doesn't exist. And now people would rather focus more on reports of the incident than the incident itself. Has there been any comment from Amtrak regarding locomotive security?
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby scratchy » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:30 pm

From what I've read, the persons attempt to crash the train was inspired by that documentary , Unbreakable; and looked like Hansel and Derrick trying to get the files from the Imac in zoolander. in otherwords, thought out as well as Highlander 2, and executed with the same ...precision.
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby litz » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:04 pm

At any rate, the end result was an emergency brake application, and the train performing exactly as it was designed to do : stop really darned soon.

Unfortunately for the bad guy, an emergency application is not reversible, and the crew was on the spot in discovering and detaining him.

So here's a question : in MU'd Amtrak locomotives, if the brake is applied from the rear unit, does it show on a display in the lead unit? and would that display be different than if, say, applied from within a car or coach?
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby Tadman » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:21 pm

I'm a bit surprised the end doors don't have locks, especially those in the back ends of the locomotive. Most commuter trains you can lock the end doors on an EMU.
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby AMTK822401 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:02 am

Well, it most likely (definitely) wasn't the case here, but I know that on single locomotive trains in my area the conductor frequently will go into the cab from the train to call signals/speak to the engineer.
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby Railjunkie » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:32 pm

The end doors on P42s can be locked. There are only a couple of ways to dump the air from a trailing unit and it would show up on the computer screen on the leader.
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Re: About that "Terrorist" in Nebraska

Postby Arborwayfan » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:25 pm

As to people being more familiar with train travel in Europe, OK, maybe true, at least for prosperous world-travellers who don-t live in BosWash, Chicago, SF, and a few other places with trains. But what difference does it make? Europeans -- I am writing from Norway -- seem a lot less afraid that Americans, including about crime and terrorism, but also about the general risks of life. So I would think a population of people who were used to riding trains in Europe might be less likely to be unduly worried by this incident.

And after all isn't this a demonstration that trains are pretty safe? This attempt had all the success of arson at a swimming pool. Sure, maybe start locking the end doors of hte locomotives in case someone who actually knows how to speed up a train on the right curve tries to break in and overpower the engineer. But what a demonstration of the basic resiliency of passenger trains. And even if you do derail one, most of the people will live. (Sadly, we just had that one confirmed.)
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