15 November 2010


I've recently seen the film Unstoppable, about a runaway train and inspired by actual events. Directed by Tony Scott, who has a thing for films about trains, Unstoppable is the story of a jackass mistake that sets a rather long train carrying several tanks of deadly poison speeding down the tracks in rural Pennsylvania with no one at the controls. The train is going so fast that it won't be able to make a sharp turn in a major city. The train will derail and release the toxic chemicals, killing tens of thousands of people. The railroad people throw everything they've got at it and nothing works, so a veteran engineer and a rookie conductor, whose families happen to live in the target city, come up with a dramatic plan to stop the train or die trying, just like REAL heroes (not anti-heroes, vigilantes, or some sort of grey area villains).

This is the best film I've seen in a long time (and the only one I've seen in 2010; the last time I went out to see a film was 1 November 2009, Law Abiding Citizen, which was the only one I saw in 2009). I highly recommend seeing Unstoppable.

Unstoppable Trailer

Unstoppable is based on the real life incident involving the CSX 8888 "Crazy Eights," which was carrying poisonous phenol (though not nearly as much), and did travel under power with no one at the controls in rural Ohio in 2001. Crazy Eights chugged along for three hours before a similar plan was used to bring it to a stop before the train derailed. Like in the film, all the other attempts, such as using a portable derailer and police shooting at the fuel shut release valve, failed. While elements of the story are exaggerated for dramatic effect, Unstoppalble is not a documentary. It does, however, portray the actual events closely enough to merrit the "Inspired by True Events" tag proudly displayed on the poster and at the beginning of the film.

News Footage of The Real Train