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Operation Lifesaver February 16, 2005 LA to Fullerton

Operation Lifesaver "Officer-on-a-train"

Fullerton, California

February 16, 2005

Story and photographs by Richard Elgenson
RailNewsNetwork writer

As I arrived at the Metrolink CMF gate to sign in, I noticed Ronnie Garcia from BNSF leaving in a SUV.  He had dropped off his crew to man the BNSF locomotive as the Officer-on-a-train exercise was happening on BNSF property.  The train left CMF out onto the West Bank of the Los Angeles River and headed into Union Station to be wyed for the BNSF locomotive to lead the train to Fullerton.



Below left show Mission Tower.  The bridge to the left of the tower leads out to the ex-Southern Pacific Sunset line, now in Union Pacific possession.  Union Station is a very busy place with Amtrak, Metrolink and the MTA Gold Line.


Below left, the special train ducks under the Interstate 10, Santa Monica Freeway.


The flyover (below right) was shown in a news event during an early February 2005 southern California rainstorm where a teenage boy was rescued from the Los Angeles River by the LA Fire Department.




Below right, the train with the caboose is a local freight which is being shoved into Orange County.  I spotted the same train about an hour and a half later in Fullerton, still in shove mode, going through Fullerton Junction and down the Surfline.  BNSF crews are intelligent and safety oriented.  Some years ago, I found a local BNSF crew freeing a truck stuck on the track at State College Boulevard and the Surfline in Anaheim, just east of the Stadium station.  I asked them what they were doing, and the crew replied that a passenger train was due shortly and they were going to make sure there was no incident. They safely removed the truck with chain attached to their caboose tragedy was avoided..


The Operation Lifesaver train soon arrived in Fullerton where railroad officials and the media were waiting.

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