Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Amtrak Chatsworth

If you have ever ridden Amtrak between LA and Ventura counties, then you have passed through, east to west, tunnels 26, 27 and 28 near Chatsworth. Below is an image of the western end of tunnel 28:

The tunnel is just south of the famous peaks that serve as a backdrop for the Spahn Ranch in so many classic photos, about a mile in all from George's house on Santa Susanna Pass Road. Do you recognize them here?:

Here also is an aerial view courtesy of Mapquest. The train tracks are the sloping line at the bottom of the image, while George's House sat near the top by what is now the baseball diamond and its complex:

In 1990, 21 year old UCLA college student Ronald S. Baker was murdered by his roommates in one of the tunnels (thank you, TooCrowded, for the link). His story was highlighted on Nightline and you can view it here:

In September of 2008, you may remember that Amtrak derailed near Chatsworth because the engineer was busy texting on his cell phone and missed a red light. It was "the deadliest crash in 15 years," 25 souls in all perished. You can read all about it here.

In 2009, one of five people (a woman) walking in tunnel 27 died after being struck on the tracks. You can read about it here.

Are these occurrences normal: just another day in LA County? or is there some kind of oo-EE-oo going on here?