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Sunset Limited Pedestrian Strike

August 28, 2013

I ventured out after dinner this evening to photograph #1 as this was the first reasonably clear evening in some time. I had just set up near MP 26 at 1930 when I heard an emergency tone-up of the dispatcher.

The DS answered immediately. The Amtrak engineer tells him they have just struck a pedestrian at the MP 20.12 grade crossing ( FM 1092) and to advise Stafford police and fire authorities. He added that the person was carrying a bike across the track when struck and that it would be a fatality.

The train was able to stop very quickly, at most a 1/4 mile from the point of impact. The assistant engineer is walking back to the head end.


 Stafford fire and police at the scene of the incident


The Amtrak conductor, at far left, was required to be at the scene as well.


The DS asked the Amtrak crew  they were OK or if they wanted to be relieved. All 4 operating crewmen said they were fine to continue and declined to be relieved.

I took one last shot before leaving the scene a bit after 2015. You can see the reflection of the emergency vehicle’s lights along the passenger cars.


The crew was initially advised that the investigation would last about 2 hours. As it turned out, they weren’t released until 2303, over 3 1/2 hours after the incident.

The UP and BNSF had to re-crew their freights in the area because of the delay. Ironically, the Amtrak crew thought they could make it to Kirby (San Antonio) on their hours-of-service as long as there were no other delays. The UP dispatcher told them that the railroad was theirs all the way to Kirby,..

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gene Poon permalink
    August 29, 2013 8:28 am

    It was not a good day for the Sunset and trespassers and fatalities. This one in Texas was the second fatality of the day.

    Train 1(26) held at Thermal CA due to possible suicidal person reported to law enforcement
    as wanting to kill him/herself by train in the Indio area. UP shut the railroad down while police looked for this individual. Train 1(26) lost over an hour.

    Things cleared up and Train 1(26) went on its merry way. At Walnut, CA (between Pomona and Los Angeles), engineer put train into emergency but it hit a trespasser who appeared to be a suicide.

    Train lost about four hours there (including the pad in the schedule between Pomona and Los Angeles).

  2. October 10, 2013 12:41 pm

    Joseph Guerrero, 72, rest in peace.

    He is among the close to seventy people killed by Amtrak in 2013. Kind of amazing.

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