Monday, October 13, 2014

The Problems With Stealing A Train

The source story today comes from the Gillette News Record in Wyoming, where Derek Skyler Brux, 22, was charged with the following three crimes: reckless endangering; felony destruction of property; and felony destruction, obstruction or removal of railroad track or fixtures. According to the allegations, he racked up these charges when, after an altercation with his employer, Rail Link, he stole a train and took it for a joyride. Eventually, he left the train yard, went onto the main tracks, and eventually, inevitably, plowed into something. There are no reported injuries, somehow.

When you steal a lot of things- which you should not do, by the way- the intent is usually to either keep it or sell it. Certainly you don't intend to get apprehended.

So how, exactly, is this going to happen with a train? There are a couple major sticking points regarding train theft:

1. Trains are sort of stuck on rails. There aren't very many places you can take a train. At least not safely. The more wheels and more weight a vehicle has, the rougher the ride it's going to have. The whole reason a train is on rails in the first place is that that's the only way the train is going to work as intended: dictate a smooth, gentle track that the train can follow to the fraction of an inch. You don't get to take the train off-road. So there aren't many places you can run, except further down the track. You will, eventually, get caught (and Brux did, during a footchase afterward).

2. Trains are big. They're hard to hide. Shouldn't have to elaborate on that.

3. Let us say, for a moment, that you are in the process of stealing a train, and you are running from the authorities in said train. You spot another train up ahead. Good luck with that (see also: rails).

4. Brux did, in fact, see another train up ahead. What was his response? According to the affidavit:
“I wanted to see what it was like to hit something, so I hit at it.” With a TRAIN. (At under 10 mph, but still.) And then he backed up and hit the train a second time. With a train.

It is regarded as inadvisable by the management of this blog to crash into a train with a second, stolen train just to see what it's like to do so. On top of all of these other things.

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