One Year Later

At the controls of AWVR Locomotive number 777, Lisa maintained a moderate speed. Due to the hot weather, the train was not to exceed 50 miles-per-hour to be sure it did not derail. Hotter days are reason to slow down trains, both freight and passenger, to prevent derailment. Heat has affects on metal that could increase this risk.

Lisa's conductor husband read the orders on the clipboard. "We're hauling scrap metal to be melted down to make cars. We're traveling to Detroit this trip."

"Good," Lisa said. "I've always wanted to see the Ford Mustang factory and watch them put those cars together. American Muscle is the way to go. Except those ugly Vipers."

Kevin laughed. He loved that his wife was an automotive and train enthusiast. He loved that she preferred motorcycles and video games to chick flicks and shopping malls. She was the perfect woman for him.

Kevin knew that their future together looked bright and promising. He and Lisa both hoped for a family. They wanted PTA meetings, little league ball games, birthday parties with hyper children running around the house, broken toys to repair, bedtime stories, and everything they had grown up with in their own families.

Kevin glanced at Lisa, who was staring out the front windshield and watching the speed. The day was clear and bright and looked like it was going to be a great day.

Kevin started to hum the song "Dixie Flyer." Lisa smiled.

My life is like a Dixie flyer; she don't ever look back; so pour on the coal; let the good times roll; 'til the train runs out of track.

Lisa hoped her family's train would not run out of track for many more years!


Author's Notes:

My late grandfather was an engineer for Union Pacific for 30 years. I was only 4 when he died. When I was eight, my father found the old training manuals and I started to read them. I learned a lot about trains and their operation. Now, I love trains. I travel by Amtrak a lot and it's awesome! "Unstoppable" was very accurate! They did a great job!

1. The movie is based off the Crazy Eights incident that happened in Ohio in 2001. The real train ran uncontrolled for 2 hours before it was stopped. It was actually stopped by a single worker who was able to hop on (on foot) and shut down the engine. The brakes were all burnt out due to the heat during the runaway trip. The locomotive was CSX Number 8888 (thus the name Crazy Eights). Two years later, the locomotive 8888 derailed and is no longer in operation.

2. In reality, runaway trains are very rare. Of course, they are still possible.

3. Freight trains really do travel at speeds of 70 to 75 miles-per-hour on most days. Passenger trains usually travel between 45 to 50 mph. On hot days, however, trains will not travel at full speed. Because of what heat does to metal (tracks and wheels), they are slowed to prevent derailment.

4. Statistically, you are more likely to survive a train derailment than a plane crash.

5. When asked how much power he has, Frank replies "5000." However, locomotive 1206 is a model SD40 and it actually has 3000 horsepower. The two locomotives pulling the runaway train were models SD40-2 and each does have 5000 HP.

6. In reality, no railroad company would freely share information on employees in any situation. Here, you see a name and photo of Dewey and information that he will be dealt with. In reality, CSX never divulged this information when the real Crazy Eights Incident happened. There were indeed rumors, but nothing was ever confirmed. However, it is indeed very likely that the man who caused the runaway train was indeed relieved of his job.