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Sunday, 20 June 2010

Accidents happen for Thomas in Baldwin City

A Thomas the Tank Engine collided with a trailer being pulled by a pickup truck. It happened during the last ride of this Saturday for the life-sized replica that comes to Baldwin City every year.
Event co-coordinator for Day Out With Thomas, Linda Ballinger said, We all thought it was hilarious, too, oh my! Everyone was talking about it on the radios. Thomas has been in an accident! A passer by, Delbert Sheldon commented on the incident, None of the 300 passengers aboard Thomas were injured, neither were crewmembers or the driver of the pickup pulling the trailer.

It broke out one of Thomas’ headlights, bent the bumpers and the ladder, said Ballinger. All he has now is a bumped-up bumper. Nobody was hurt, except Thomas. He was able to get fixed and go on to the next place. He didn’t have to go home to get fixed.
Thomas was going only 5 mph as he was heading north through the last intersection of the 25-minute pleasure trip before returning to the Midland Depot, although his top speed is only 8 mph. While the intersection at Lawrence Street is marked as a train crossing, there were no warning lights or crossing arms. Weeds were also overgrown near the track Thomas was coming down. Sheldon didn’t see Thomas, until it was too late.

As I’m going across the intersection, I hear the whistle for the first time, said Sheldon, The truck got through and three-quarters of the trailer got through, you’re not going to go through there fast. I’m already across, hind sight is 20/20 and I should have floor-boarded it and I just wish I wasn’t the one involved and I hope it’s a wake-up call. No one was hurt and that’s the main thing.

Sargeant. Mike Underwood of the Baldwin City Department said, He thinks there should be people at all the railroad intersections warning people with flags. There’s an emergency switch in the Thomas replica, but the train is actually being moved by a real engine that’s on the other end of the train. The person in Thomas activated the emergency brake after it happened, but there wasn’t much he could do. The actual engine was at the other end of the train and I’m sure he couldn’t have seen it seven cars down.

Ballinger said there hadn’t been a wreck here before. Baldwin hasn’t had one, no. But Thomas has been crunched before and they have had wrecks before.

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