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Train, semi collide outside Dallas; train keeps truckin'

Everyone knows that trains and semi-trucks are both very powerful machines and a collision with either one is often deadly. But which powerhouse would win if they happened to run into each other? Well, this hypothetical came to life recently outside of Dallas, Texas, and, luckily, no one was injured. The accident happened when an Amtrak train filled with Mardi Gras-goers and on its way to New Orleans collided with a semi-truck stuck on the railroad tracks.

The 18-wheeler was demolished by the Amtrak passenger train, which was able to continue on its way. The accident occurred at 7 a.m. when the Houston, Texas, truck driver approached a steep incline at a railroad crossing in Jefferson County and became stuck. The driver was able to exit the truck and get to a safe place before the collision.

While approaching the crossing, the train's engineer spotted the truck and was able to slow down to about 30 mph. After the train hit the truck, it carried the truck more than 20 yards down the track, a deputy with the Jefferson County Sherriff's Office said.

Within three hours, the tracks were cleared by Amtrak using heavy equipment. The road crossing the tracks was also closed for a period of time so that crews could remove the 18-wheeler and damaged pipe.

After pointing out that this is the third incident involving a train in Jefferson County with the past two months, the County Sherriff's Office wanted to remind drivers to use caution while crossing railroad tracks. Obviously, if a train could do this much damage to a semi-truck, the outcome of a train-automobile collision could be catastrophic.

Source: KFDM News, "Amtrak train smashes into 18 wheeler," Scott Lawrence, 3/4/2011.

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