People stealing off of freights in Los Angeles

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Part of the situation comes about because the rails are not nationalized. Essentially, the rails are private property, and the police cannot patrol them. If they were nationalized, like the highways, they could be openly patrolled but the railways could not have people "trespassed" from them like they do now.

It can be a Catch 22 situation
1. I'm sure that UP has no problems with cops chasing after thieves on UP property.

2. UP, even though it is a private company, has its own railroad police, which has full peace officer authority, so UP bulls can also chase after thieves and make arrests.

As Pewee TM mentioned, they've had this sort of problem in the past in other countries where the railroads are government owned.
 

flitcraft

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One of the things I noticed particularly in the letter they sent to the media is that UP claims that the losses for last year were $5 million dollars. That's hardly noticeable for a company the scale of Union Pacific, which might be why they don't feel inclined to take any action to prevent these thefts beyond sending copies of complaint letters to the news media.
 
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Just-Thinking-51

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There a few way to provide extra security to cargo containers. They all cost money. The blame game seem to be in effect. Who ever feels the most pain will take steps to secure the cargo better.

More fences, faster trains, or robust padlocks system. This problem can be fixed.

The padlock on my trailer will cost me $90 to replace it. If I found someone else padlock on a trailer, I need to use a metal grinder to cut it off. Yes you can buy a metal grinder that is hand held and battery powered. So my high security system has limitations. So multiple points of prevention is need. Add in a fence to block view and access of the tracks. Finish with clear traffic path for the train so it get up to speed and prevent people from mount the train.

All this require multiple parties to do things, and of course effort and money.

The blame game is easier.
 
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WWW

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There a few way to provide extra security to cargo containers. They all cost money. The blame game seem to be in effect. Who ever feels the most pain will take steps to secure the cargo better.

More fences, faster trains, or robust padlocks system. This problem can be fixed.

The padlock on my trailer will cost me $90 to replace it. If I found someone else padlock on a trailer, I need to use a metal grinder to cut it off. Yes you can buy a metal grinder that is hand held and battery powered. So my high security system has limitations. So multiple points of prevention is need. Add in a fence to block view and access of the tracks. Finish with clear traffic path for the train so it get up to speed and prevent people from mount the train.

All this require multiple parties to do things, and of course effort and money.

The blame game is easier.
Just a side thought - the Railroad could move its switching yard out to the desert boondocks instead of having in right in the "HOOD" that is the
neighborhood of criminal activity.
 

tgstubbs1

OBS Chief
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I guess someone has taken notice.




....the fabled successors to the Pinkerton Detective Agency are once again called to tame the Wild West. Six Union Pacific agents have arrived to stop a new trend that has seen $5 million in goods stolen during the past year from trains leaving Los Angeles's beleaguered ports."
 

Qapla

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While there may be some "blame game" going on as respects to a solution to the problem - the fact is ... if people weren't stealing there would not be a problem - so, blaming the thieves is actually correct.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Is anything in the article incorrect?
That "article" reads like a blog post repeating the talking points of a corporate memo with no evidence provided, no objectivity demonstrated, and no indication more than one side was considered. I guess it's "correct" insomuch as this is what German Hurtado is actually telling people but other than that who knows.
 

neroden

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When the reporter is able to write "the location where thieves have been raiding cargo containers" (as they just did in the derailment article), it implies that UP isn't hiring enough security. If they're happening at the same location repeatedly, UP should have security stationed at that location; that's just common sense. If the thieves were bouncing all over the place hitting different places each time, that might be different...
 

MikefromCrete

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Maybe UP should find a way not to have its trains stopped for long periods of time at the site of the robberies. But again, we talking 90 containers out of the 20,000 or so handled daily, so maybe that's why UP hasn't hustled to prevent the problem.
 
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That "article" reads like a blog post repeating the talking points of a corporate memo with no evidence provided, no objectivity demonstrated, and no indication more than one side was considered. I guess it's "correct" insomuch as this is what German Hurtado is actually telling people but other than that who knows.
There was also a line that sort of implied it had something to do with the California governor's Covid policies. Given that (1) that's irrelevant, and (2) the governor is of the opposite political party that the one supported by the Washington Examiner, I would say that suggests that this paper is not a reliable source of impartial journalism. Also, the letter from UP makes a crack about this problem being a consequence of the elimination of cash bail. This is just another talking point used by certain politicians who want to get the general public whipped up with fear of crime as a tactic to attract votes. In the big scheme of things, this issue is not really that important and could be easily taken care of by some attention by UP. Sure, it makes for some pretty photogenic images of the trash strewed all over the tracks, but those mages aren't really representative of the general conditions in the Los Angeles area.
 
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Reports are that gangs have forced trains to stop, and even assaulted the crews.
Sounds to me like that's a job for targeted law enforcement and police intelligence work, not wholesale demonization of homeless scavengers, punishing them before trial by locking them up and demanding cash bail that they don't have. And, most important, the public should realize that this only affects a very small portion of the total trade moving through the port. For some reason, the media don't seem to be able to find time or space to mention that.
 

joelkfla

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Sounds to me like that's a job for targeted law enforcement and police intelligence work, not wholesale demonization of homeless scavengers, punishing them before trial by locking them up and demanding cash bail that they don't have. And, most important, the public should realize that this only affects a very small portion of the total trade moving through the port. For some reason, the media don't seem to be able to find time or space to mention that.
Agreed that the down and out folks picking thru the remains of the attack shouldn't be treated too harshly. But if the ones breaking into the containers or threatening train crews are getting a slap on the wrist, that's a problem.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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I personally just want to rent a trash truck and scoop up the stuff along the sidewalk and on the grass. I don’t get why a community would put up with so much litter.

No I don’t have track and time, so the stuff on or around the tracks are off limits.
 

tgstubbs1

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They say crews have been robbed and trains stopped. Then there is a lack of evidence.

Don't locomotives have some kind of dash cam with GPS to record incidents?

What kinds of instrumentation do Amtrak locomotives have?
 

Ryan

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A camera out the front is going to be roughly worthless to provide evidence of what's happening back on the train.

If the "forcing trains to stop" thing is actually real, congrats - you'll get video of something heavy on the tracks and no actionable information on how it got there.
 
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Maybe UP should find a way not to have its trains stopped for long periods of time at the site of the robberies. But again, we talking 90 containers out of the 20,000 or so handled daily, so maybe that's why UP hasn't hustled to prevent the problem.
It's all about percentages...

When Texas de-regulated their electricity market beginning in 2002, their bid snafus with the new system that acted as the clearing house for all residential and business customer requests to new service and to end or change service, that went on for a year.

TXU gave a statement to the Press with a headline "96% of their accounts had no issues...."

But... TXU had 6 million customers statewide, and that meant that 240,000 customers had messed up billing/no billing issues unresolved for 6 months to a year. Those 240,000 business and residential customers didn't feel any comfort that the other 96% of customer's accounts had no issues...
 
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