Category Archives: United States

Why the United States sucks arse (I): Unstoppable

Logotype for the film 'Unstoppable'

As far as I’ve already understood the plot of the film Unstoppable, a freight train is travelling at 100-odd kph and some geezers are deployed to slow it down before it reaches a severely restrictive curve. According to Wikipedia, the film is “loosely based on [a real-life] unmanned train incident in 2001″—yeah; seriously. An unmanned train in real-life, speeding out of control.

Here in the United Kingdom, we have a number of solutions to Unstoppable: the main one being something called a train op—s/he sits in the cab and controls how fast the fucking train’s going. We have things called signals, which when red, will force a train to brake sharply by means of a train stop, and then we have timed train stops which limit how fast a train can travel over a certain length of track. And ATP, AWS, TP&WS and ETCS to make sure everything runs smoothly with regards to stopping ‘runaway’ trains. America: looks like your rail infrastructure’s shit. Whilst you’re fixing your pre-1950s railway network, have a glance at this trailer showing how painfully incompetent you are: