People stealing off of freights in Los Angeles

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If the concern is thieves threatening train crews, there are a number of ways to deal with that.

1. Have some police officers (either UP cops or LAPD) ride along to help verify and identify the threats, plus they can call for backup and make arrests with solid evidence to allow the DA to throw the book at the thieves.

2. Body cams on train crew, making a video record of the threat and the stoppage. Again, providing high quality evidence of the perps.

3. Train crew radios police, who are lying in wait somewhere nearby who can quickly arrive. Even if the perps run away, the train hasn't been robbed. These could be UP bulls if LAPD is swamped with other priorities.

I'm sure trained police professionals have more and better ways to put a stop to this that doesn't involve complaining about constitutional rights and demanding a police state just because UP is too cheap to pay for more secure locks on their containers.
 

tgstubbs1

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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.

A Toyota might have only one cam. A high priced vehicle designed for commercial transport should have a dozen.
 

tgstubbs1

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Pull on that thread for a minute - where would you put those cameras and how would that system work?

It's very easy to say "someone should do something", but a heck of a lot harder to actually come up with something that is feasible and makes sense.
I understand those 360 degree cams on some cars use multiple cams in some kind of matrix.

The one I bought a Walmart for $39 records continuously and links the GPS coordinates. I don't recall the details but it would start overwriting after a few days, depending on the SSD chip.

All it needs is 12vdc and a mount.
 

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Ryan

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I understand those 360 degree cams on some cars use multiple cams in some kind of matrix.

The one I bought a Walmart for $39 records continuously and links the GPS coordinates. I don't recall the details but it would start overwriting after a few days, depending on the SSD chip.

All it needs is 12vdc and a mount.
Again, I must implore you to think about that for a minute - how would you scale a camera system that works for a 15 foot long car into something that works for a 15,000 foot long train?

How many 12V power sources do you think are in boxcars miles behind the nearest locomotive?
 

tgstubbs1

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Again, I must implore you to think about that for a minute - how would you scale a camera system that works for a 15 foot long car into something that works for a 15,000 foot long train?

How many 12V power sources do you think are in boxcars miles behind the nearest locomotive?

I would hope a big company like UP could hire someone to do it, but it wouldn't be me. My point is only that the technology is possible and wouldn't have to cost a fortune. My example uses 12v but the cams probably run on 5v.
 

tgstubbs1

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Boxcars don’t have 5v power supplies either.

Your views on what is logical and feasible to do are wildly miscalibrated.
The discussion was about preventing the assaults on the crew, in the cab. Someone else expanded the scope to boxcars, it wasn't me.
 

Ryan

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The entire discussion has been about stealing from freight cars, aside from a random unsubstantiated “they say” about crews having been assaulted with no evidence.

Your locomotive covered cameras solves a problem that doesn’t exist.
 

Qapla

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It's very easy to say "someone should do something", but a heck of a lot harder to actually come up with something that is feasible and makes sense.

What makes sense is that the thieves should quit stealing and get a real job. The start of this problem does not lay with UP and their lack of a working solution of the LAPD not responding ... the start of the problem is that people are stealing!

Think about it - if an organized gang decided to come to your neighborhood and break into all the houses on the street how would you feel if everyone just kept saying your should have done more to stop them. If no one spoke about you being a "victim" but that you are part of the "problem" because you didn't have a better security system.?

Let's lay the blame where it belongs - after all, there would not be a problem if thieves were not committing the illegal act in the first place.
 
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Think about it - if an organized gang decided to come to your neighborhood and break into all the houses on the street how would you feel if everyone just kept saying your should have done more to stop them. If no one spoke about you being a "victim" but that you are part of the "problem" because you didn't have a better security system.?

In our neighborhood, we were having a crime wave in the late 1970s. This was right before I moved there. Apparently some community leaders started this:

Northwest Citizens Patrol – We are our Brother's Keepers (nwcp.info)

I joined it a few years after I moved to the area. Basically, I go out once every 7 weeks, and drive around the neighborhood with a radio in my car, and if I see something suspicious, I radio the "watch commander" who has a police officer with him, and who goes and checks it out. In the 30+ years I've been doing this, I've never actually seen any real incidents myself (although they occasionally happen.) On the other hand, our neighborhood has one of the lowest crime rates in the Baltimore area. I would guess that the bad guys know that people with radio contact to the police are driving around, and so they decide to not commit crimes or commit them in other neighborhoods. Nonetheless, I still take some responsibility for securing my property, locking my house doors, cars, etc.

Union Pacific has their own police force, for goodness sakes. I guess that the bean-counters figured they saved more money from laying off the cops than they were losing from the thefts.
 

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I'm sorry - but this still sounds like blaming the victims instead of blaming the culprits
It's a two way street with both UP and CA having a role in the solution. Publishing lopsided attack memos scores political points but also dissuades effective cooperation. UP seemed to think they could shame taxpayers into protecting their private party. When that ploy failed they deployed more security staff and monitoring equipment. If UP has identifiable video evidence and the DA still refuses to prosecute then publish the evidence and I'll reconsider.
 
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Qapla

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While I do agree that UP, if they have their own police, should do more than they are doing and the DA should prosecute instead of making deals - that fact remains, if the thieves were not stealing there would not be a problem. The blame has to start with those who are actually breaking the law - they are the "cause" of the problem that requires a better solution than what is currently in place - Regardless of how much UP does or doesn't do, they are still the "victim" - not the problem. The thieves are the problem.
 

Ryan

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While I do agree that UP, if they have their own police, should do more than they are doing and the DA should prosecute instead of making deals - that fact remains, if the thieves were not stealing there would not be a problem. The blame has to start with those who are actually breaking the law - they are the "cause" of the problem that requires a better solution than what is currently in place - Regardless of how much UP does or doesn't do, they are still the "victim" - not the problem. The thieves are the problem.
There is literally nobody arguing otherwise. Your statement is 100% correct and yet completely devoid of any value.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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By shine a light on the problem, and talking about here, and on/in other media. We as a society are showing our unhappiness with this situation. This bring pressure on the players involved to act. Be it the railroad, the owners of the container, the individual shippers, or the individual customers, local police or politicians. Someone is going to do something to stop this criminal ransacking of railroad container and trailers.

Now if you or me had a package lost, it could create a lawsuit against the railroad and container owner. A FedEx package is scanned ever step in the transportation process. A little digging and you can guess it was stolen while in transit with the UP railroad. This will start a legal process that could become a Class Action lawsuit. Sure there a lot of “term of service” to go through, and lot of leg work. But individual packages that are no value to anyone other to that individual are been stolen and then dropped by the tracks. Family Photos Framed, Half of a dead firefighter helmet on a display stand. These items are traceable, and one of these family are going to file a claim.

Boom now you have a class action lawsuit.
 
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Who actually owns the railcars and containers? Surely UP, in this example, doesn't own all of them in any one train/consist. I think that might be part of the problem with locking them, unless there were a national (and it would probably need to be international with containers) standard.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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If UP is the carrier, then they have the responsibility for it.

Seals are just a easy way to verify the cargo intact. I haul a lot of cargo that the truck driver is responsible for the condition and count of the freight. Some companies will actually charge the driver for any freight claims. Just like some will charge the individual driver for any accident damage, or repairs to equipment from a bad inspection. Almost always any fine you equipment get is the responsibility of the driver.

The captain of the ship is alive and well in the trucking industry.
 
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