During the month of May, one UTU member was killed  in North Dakota in a rail switching accident, another was murdered on his bus route in Los Angeles, and another lost a foot in Missouri in a yard switching accident.

On CP Rail (Soo Line) in Kenmare, N.D., conductor Robert J. Glasgow, 38 (UTU Local 887, Harvey, N.D.) died May 28 while setting out cars as part of a two-person crew at a CP yard. Kenmare is some 50 miles northwest of Minot.

Initial reports are that Glasgow had mounted the lead car of 28 cars being switched conventionally when the lead car sideswiped other cars. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital following evacuation by a local emergency medical crew. The Federal Railroad Administration is investigating.

Glasgow, of Minot, N.D., who had six years’ service as a maintenance-of-way employee, had been a conductor for some 10 months.

Los Angeles County Metropolitican Transportation Authority (LACMTA) bus operator Alan Thomas was shot to death May 20 aboard his coach in Los Angeles. Click on the following link to learn more about that fatal shooting:


On BNSF in Crystal City, Mo., some 40 miles south of St. Louis, brakeman Mike J. Bolen, 50, reportedly tripped while walking alongside eight cars being conventionally switched and suffered severe trauma to his right leg when struck – but not run over — by one of the moving cars. Hospital physicians reportedly later amputated the brakeman’s right foot. The FRA is also investigating this May 28 accident.

Bolen, of Jackson, Mo., had eight years’ service and is a member of UTU Local 947 (Chaffee, Mo.)

Glasgow is the second UTU rail member killed on duty in 2012. Local 1383 (Gary, Ind.) member Michal M. Shoemaker, 55, was killed in a switching accident Jan. 30 in Gary, Ind.

Ten UTU rail members were killed on duty in calendar year 2011, eight in 2010 and eight in 2009.

For information on rail safety — including rail yard safety — click on the following link: