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Discussion Starter #1
In an apocalyptic grid-down situation affecting the entire country a la "One Second After" would trains be a realistic source of supplies and material?

I live in Southern Indiana and in my town I see trains go by with Corn, Wheat, Cattle, Hogs, Coal etc. I have no idea how practical it would be, you'd probably need a community already set to be able to make use of those resources before the livestock would die (3 days max I would guess).

Being a Midwesterner I would probably have a good chance of finding those things I listed above. Are there any catches I am not taking into consideration?

I assume grains will only be transported around harvest time, would livestock be moved year-round?

What other resources would I be likely to find on trains if a huge grid-down situation occurred?

I've also seen livestock and grains in large amounts transported by Tractor-trailer rigs so I would keep an eye on the highway/interstate as well as the train tracks!

I'm also near the Ohio River and I know lots of barges transport coal, gas, oil and lumber among other things.
 

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Don't you think the folks running the trains have similar ideas?

They can easily keep moving past you, till they could park in a freight yard, and off load the livestock.

Much the same with semi drivers.
 

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Why do you ask? 2 Dogs!
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It might behoove someone to put those train track wheels on their BOV (either that or secure/procure a railroad truck). Legally of course...:D:

Looks to me, that would be a good option to have as an escape route from whatever S that HTF
 

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In an immediate widespread scenario like One Second After LEO and Military will be apprehending and shooting those who loot on sight. Supplies will be confiscated and heavily guarded. You might get to the train first, but you better hope no one saw you.
 

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As a teenager I worked for a grain inspection probing grain cars ( not nearly as sexy as it sounds).
Grain moves throughout the year.
About the same time I knew some people that on occasion would board trains and high Jack what ever was available in the shipping containers. As they approached an out of the way crossing they'd throw it off the train and come back to pick it up later.
 

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Why do you ask? 2 Dogs!
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Just so everyone will know.........


The cattle come from feed yards!

Grain gets loaded from a grain elevator


Both are easily spotted.......just in case you are looking for other resources!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Don't you think the folks running the trains have similar ideas?

They can easily keep moving past you, till they could park in a freight yard, and off load the livestock.

Much the same with semi drivers.
But in the event of an EMP won't the trains, Semis etc be stopped? I assume they all need electricity to run now. In which case they would stop where they are.

If the trains still ran the rail switches are mostly electric now which limits their direction.
 

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But in the event of an EMP won't the trains, Semis etc be stopped? I assume they all need electricity to run now. In which case they would stop where they are.

If the trains still ran the rail switches are mostly electric now which limits their direction.
There's a spur a few miles from me they have spent the a lot of time over the last 2-3 years upgrading it switching,signals,rails and bed. There are manual switching capabilities.
The locomotives are diesel powered generators that power electric motors, so maybe (?) they have no long lines to act as antenni and from what I've read the collecting effect of the lines has a great deal to do with the severity of the effect of an EMP on the power plants.
Would the rails act as collectors/conductors? I don't know. If the current was induced in the rails, would it be conducted in to the power train by the steel wheels? I have no idea.
 

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Modern Diesel/Electric train engines are highly computer controlled to maximize efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.

Train tracks can carry EMP for miles away from even a low altitude nuclear detonations, with enough residual energy to zap the train engine electronics quite some distance from ground zero. Of course a HEMP would get things over a very wide area, anyway.

If the disaster happens to be an EMP, then the trains could be stopped just about anywhere, including out is some very isolated locations out here in the west. No good access, unless you come down the right-of-way.

As to what they carry, as has been said, pretty much everything. But not always in usable form, and sometime not in accessible packaging/containers. While bulk items would take care of large groups of people, it would take a very organized operation with suitable means to get to the goods and get them back if the train is not near a road.

Personally, rather than the bulk items, unless they dropped right in my lap, I would be more inclined to look for the products coming out of canneries and packaged food producers.

While I do know stock animals are shipped by rail, I have not seen any myself out here in Nevada. Does not mean they are not shipped that way, but I have not seen stock cars anywhere. But I do see stock trucks. Many of them.

If the event does not involve an EMP, the likelihood of getting your hands on goods from a train will be slim and none, unless there is a local activity that blocks the tracks. Those trains will be ordered to the nearest yard.

The biggest factor, I believe, unless the government is wiped out immediately, is the Presidential authority to activate Executive orders. There are several overlapping ones that cover all aspects of trains and their cargos. It will be a federal offense to interfere in any way with the trains or there loads. And besides the already very aggressive railroad security people, DHS will have people out there very quickly with some very loose ROEs.

While trains (river barges, sea going ships, harbors, trucking warehoused, etc.) could be a resource, I sure would not count on it.

Just my opinion.
 

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maybe theyd have been a better resource if you didnt just tell everyone about it
That is one of my problems when I write stories. I really do hate giving away some of my better ideas that would work for me better if no one else knew them. Especially know that I might be doing them. lol

Just my opinion.

Back on topic.

Again, do not rely on trains. Or even train right-of-ways to get out of Dodge. Great idea when it works. Deadly if it does not.

More of my opinions.
 
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