Unstoppable

Question: How does Connie have authority over the control room? Yardmasters are not in charge there. Yardmasters only have authority over the yards they are assigned to manage. A railroad employee higher ranked than a yardmaster is in charge of the control room. I don't know what his job is called. So how is Connie giving orders to the people in the control room when she wouldn't any have authority over them?

Question: Wouldn't it be easier if Stewart just attached his cab to 777 and any other qualified personnel with him just walked from Steward to 777 and took control of it, too easy perhaps? Or the welder could have someone with a BB gun in the back to shoot the famous "kill switch" next to fuel tank, instead of the cops trying to?

Answer: Yeah, but it wouldn't be nearly as dramatic.

Answer: Put a man in the back of the truck with a broomstick and use it to push the fuel cut off switch as the truck drives alongside the train.

Question: In the scene where 777 is curving on the viaduct, is that the crew, with the video equipment and stuff?

AWVR777

Chosen answer: Yes, for the news crew they used the filming crew.

blonddude207

Question: Is it likely that Dewey would have been subject to charges for the death of Judd Stewart? Although the failed plan technically wasn't his fault, the reason for it happening in the first place certainly was.

The_Iceman

Chosen answer: Highly unlikely. Dewey's negligence is not a direct cause of Judd's death, as Judd had every opportunity to decline the mission. Judd's family could bring a civil suit against the train company and Dewey personally for wrongful death but even that is a long shot since Judd assumed the risk.

BaconIsMyBFF

Question: How are locomotives able to pull such long trains? Triple 777 pulls a 39 car train, which can weigh thousands of tons when the cars are loaded.

Answer: In the same way locomotives pull long trains in real life. Diesel engines are built to pull the weight. When it gets to a certain point you might need 2 engines.

Ssiscool Premium member

OK but what is the physics behind how locomotives are able to pull so much weight?

I'm not sure on the physics but a quick Google search comes up with: Trains are really heavy, but to move a train, you only have to overcome the friction between the wheels and the [axles]*. But since there are wheels, it's even easier to move it. Imagine a really heavy box. You'd have a very hard time lifting it, but you could shove it a few millimeters horizontally. [But instead of shoving it, you can make it roll!]* The same thing applies to a train. Now, since the train is so heavy, it takes a long time to get it moving, and to slow it down, due to [inertia].

Ssiscool Premium member

I'm not sure of the physics, either, but it is my (basic) understanding that having the wheels as well as the rails made of steel minimizes? the friction. [Living in the suburbs of the "Steel City" helped to know this!] I'd clarify your answer above by pointing out a train is comprised of numerous small cars - as opposed to being one very long car - so is somewhat easier to "get moving."

KeyZOid

Question: Aren't freight trains awfully loud in real life? Triple doesn't seem very loud in the movie.

Answer: Freight trains average 80db at 15 meters. This is loud enough to cause hearing damage over a period of time. As such, movie producers lowered the noise level so that a normal conversation could be heard.

Ssiscool Premium member

Answer: Yes, they are loud. However, the movie makers probably employed some artistic license to soften the sound so as not to distract from watching the story.

raywest Premium member

Question: They try to stop the runaway train by deploying another train in front of it and continuously braking. Instead of having a man come in from a helicopter, why not just have a man jump from the train in front onto the runaway train? (00:40:00 - 00:45:00)

Answer: It would be a lot more dangerous trying to jump from one train to another, and there'd probably be only one chance for success or else die trying. The helicopter allows for a little more maneuvering.

raywest Premium member

Question: At the beginning the driver is running trying to get back on the locomotive. Why did he not wait until the back of the engine came up, jump on, then go to the front?

Answer: Two reasons. Firstly, it was human instinct to try to get on the front. Secondly, he knows it will be nigh on impossible to get on the back then work his way forward on a train that was half a mile long.

The_Iceman

The question asks about hopping onto the rear step of the engine. Ned probably didn't think about this when he was going for the front and by the time he fell off, the locos had passed.

Question: When Gilleese sees the brake hoses are disconnected, why doesn't he just connect them there and then?

Answer: For intra-yard movements the automatic air brakes are supposed to be disconnected. The independent brake is what Dewey applied and is what is shown slipping out moments after he exits the train.

BaconIsMyBFF

Question: Couldn't Dewey have just stopped the train, backed it up, and then changed the switch instead of hopping out of the cab?

Answer: He would have been able to, although he would have lost a considerable amount of time in doing so. However, the film was based on a true story where the engineer of CSX 888 noticed a misaligned switch and saw he wouldn't be able to stop in time, so he decided to get out of the cab to align the switch. He thought he set the locomotive up properly to make it safe to get out and back in, thus avoiding the need fully to stop and then back up. So it's not really a matter of what Dewy could have done differently since they were just following events has they had already occurred.

Bishop73

Question: Is there anything Dewey could have done to change the switch other than getting out of the cab?

Answer: No.

Question: Would the kind of field trip the kids were going on in the movie ever be allowed in real life?

Answer: Absolutely. I went on a similar one when I was at school. They are planned in advance to avoid service lines etc and schedules may need to be adjusted but it is possible. It's just unfortunate for movie purposes this one almost ended in disaster.

The_Iceman

Question: Bunny says he needs track D-16 track cleared because there are students are going on a field trip on that track. What if a freight train had finished loading at the day the field trip was taking place, and they needed use track D-16 in order to reach its destination?

Answer: They will have chosen a track that is not overly busy for the field trip. Things like this are planned in advance to avoid the situation mentioned above.

Ssiscool Premium member

Question: How did the throttle lever slip from idle to full power? Throttle are notched, and built to require significant force to move to prevent that from happening.

Answer: The throttle lever didn't shift from idle to full throttle. When Connie asked Dewey about the throttle, he acknowledged that he set the throttle to full to get the long train to move. It was the brake lever that moved out of position.

Answer: It's a complicated answer that the movie somewhat glosses over but in the real life incident this film is based on, the engineer purposefully set the throttle at 100% believing that the dynamic braking system would slow the train. The dynamic brake was not properly set, however and this coupled with the fact the automatic air brake was not applied caused the train to slowly accelerate out of control. To read more, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSX_8888_incident.

BaconIsMyBFF

Dynamic does not work at the speed they were going in the yard.

It's possible that the throttle lever in the movie had a design flaw that allowed it slip.

Plot hole: Had one or more locomotives coupled onto the real runaway's front engine, or even just been pushed by it, anyone aboard the "rescue" engine could have just walked to the unoccupied ones and shut them down - no copters or fireballs required.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Not necessarily. Some engines may not have a rear cab access (like Frank/Will's engine had). And even if the rescue engine did have a rear cab access 777's engine only had a side access stair which at the speed it was going is more difficult to climb over from the engine in front of it.

More mistakes in Unstoppable

Will: This is Will Colson, the conductor speaking; just to let you know we're gonna gonna run this bitch down.

More quotes from Unstoppable

Trivia: This was Tony Scott's final feature film before his death in 2012.

More trivia for Unstoppable

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