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The Deadliest Kvetch

National Train Day: the aftermath! (Humor and Sarcasm)

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Quote Originally Posted by Euphod View Post
Another National Train Day has come and gone, and was again celebrated in many cities nationwide. Displays by various Class 1 railroads and Amtrak drew record crowds to locations in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York, while smaller cities across the US staged their own celebrations with educational material, entertainment and vendors of every train related stripe.

Sadly, the railfans in most areas of the country provided for a costly and unruly experience for attendees and passer by alike. Tent "cities" still remain in most major rail stations across the land leaving police and local government employees at a loss as to how to handle the railfans. In Chicago, Norfolk Southern was forced to remove it's locomotives on display when agitated railfans began marching on the terminal brandishing home made firebombs and signs proclaiming that the Class 1 railroads did not represent the other 99 classes. Several Chicago police officers were injured when railfans of all ages threw garbage cans, bottles and rusty track spikes, before a wall of mounted police managed to drive the crowd back to their tents. Several hundred railfans were arrested in the melee.

In Philadelphia a group that was estimated to be as large as the security contingent chased down passer by and attacked them for no known reason, killing two and severely injuring another 17. Witnesses said they were enjoying the day, when a large group of railfans poured out of their encampment and just started assaulting everyone in sight, often using large telephoto lenses to batter their helpless victims. Police and security finally gained the upper hand after resorting to the use of tear gas, and launching "Thomas the Tank Engine" tee shirts into the crowd. The mayor of Philadelphia had no comment on today's events, but had previously declared the city a "Safe Haven" for railfans, and has not acted on strident demands from the city's business leaders to evict the occupying railfans from their squallid encampment.

Los Angeles saw even worse violence when a riot erupted during an Amtrak display. National television was inundated with the broadcast of the violence as caucasian railfans from every corner of the city broke windows downtown, looted local businesses and set police cars on fire. An African-American engineer from the Union Pacific Railroad was dragged from the cab of his locomotive and beaten by several railfans wearing hoodies to hide their identities from the police helicopters circling overhead. An endless televised loop of the attack horrified the nation, as the engineer was struck by the railfans repeatedly with bricks and pipes. Although the extent of his injuries are unknown at this time, he was eventually evacuated when the rioting moved south to a different area. Violence marred the day all over the city, and had to be put down by the National Guard using armored vehicles and rubber bullets. A curfew remains in effect, and the police have a "shoot on sight" order for anyone caught looting.

Police in New York City seemed to be better prepared for the violence, and had been removing the railfans from their tent cities for several days before. Police report that all manners of weapons were confiscated in addition to drugs, cameras, and railroad frequency scanners. Several reports of sexual assault are in the process of investigation, and many of the encamped railfans were detained for acts of violence. City sanitation workers attacked the camps after the police removed the squatters. A long line of garbage trucks blocked downtown traffic for some time as they were filled with the refuse left behind at the camps. Police report finding all manner of makeshift toilets, cell phones and train schedules, and even a camping cooler containing what is believed to be human body parts. Although the mayor had declared the city a "sanctuary city" for railfans last fall, he finally agreed that the tent encampments had to go. At a news conference this afternoon he stated that "these railfans, these 99 percenters are welcome here, but we have to maintain some standards of hygiene for the public health." Conditions in the railfan's camps had deteriorated to the point where human waste was being dumped on the ROW, and urine ran in streams into the public streets. City dwellers are generally not happy with the mayor's use of the public health excuse to evict the railfans, but are pleased that some action is finally being taken to remove the makeshift camps.

Acela service was discontinued in the Nation's only high speed corridor as railfans from all over the tri-state area set up camp cities from Washington DC to Boston inside the railroad's right of way. Hundreds of railfans occupying the tracks were killed or injured by the first train of the morning. Dwight Malarky, a spokes person for Amtrak stated that "The engineer had no warning until the first flash of nylon tents appeared around the bend. Although he applied the brakes immediately, a train traveling that fast cannot stop quickly." Emergency response teams verify that the injured were found amongst the dead on ballast strewn with I-Pads, I-Pods, eyes, human limbs and shredded tents. Most of the injured were airlifted to area trauma centers, with the exception of those that refused medical attention, and chose to remain behind to take pictures of the blood and iced tea splattered trains.

Outbreaks of violence, destruction and flash photography were also reported in many smaller cities and towns throughout the nation. A report earlier linked the Railfans organization to the Tea Party, but that link was dismissed as false after it was revealed to have been generated by Keith Olberman. For their part, the Railfans have stated that they will reoccupy their camps once they have restocked on camera batteries and film. A statement on their website underlines their cause: "We just want, you know, like, everybody to be able to ride or drive a train, or whatever, and we won't stop protesting until the corporations give us all like free stuff and crap."
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  1. qassaquyangli's Avatar
    We already have a thread by you about this , so why have a blog entrie!? P.S. Accidently Friend requested you...