Jumper Cables Block Trains

Standing Rock, North Dakota has been the site of a major protest this year against the Dakota Access Pipeline project. Protesters have sought to delay the pipeline’s progress by a wide variety of means, and both sides in the conflict have been accused of a variety of misdeeds.

An anonymous group supporting the protesters has released a video describing how they stop trains without the use of physical barricades. The video begins with police removing automobiles used to block the tracks and escorting trains through level crossings, showing how these traditional methods have been ineffective.

The video then goes on to outline what is described as a “sneaky” way of halting trains. Most railroads use what is known as a track circuit — a current run through the rails of the track detects when a train passes over it by the axles completing an electrical circuit between the two. By using a standard automotive jumper cable to connect the two rails together instead, the circuit is completed and falsely indicates to the railway signalling system that a train is present on the track in question. Due to the safety-critical nature of the railway, no trains can be run on the track until the short circuit is removed, else there is a great risk of collisions between trains on the network.

Intended as a practical guide, strategies to maximize disruption are outlined, such as hiding the cables under snow and painting them in black to evade detection as long as possible. Instructions on how to best make a solid connection to the rails are also shared.

It goes without saying that interfering with major infrastructure is risky, dangerous, and highly illegal. Protesters have already been arrested for physically blocking trains. Perpetrators of this method will surely be arrested if caught, and circumventing the technology could easily result in harsher charges associated with electronic security and safety systems. This is sabotage (deliberately obstructing) and undermines the validity of peaceful protest.

This shows how ingenuity is often spawned by turmoil and frustration. Reflect on human nature, and catch the video below the break.

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143 thoughts on “Jumper Cables Block Trains

  1. Many railway companies have TDR systems. It sends a pulse down the line and measures on the opposite rail. Based on the time delay you can estimate fairly accurately where the short it. This measurement is often integrated in the track detection equipment to facilitate fault finding. Faults like this sometimes occur by accident (eg. loose fence wire getting stuck under rail).

      1. I’ve noticed the copper connections between rails, and often wondered about them.

        Suppose you cut two copper connections, then reconnected them crosswise. Cut one connection from each rail, then used two jumpers in an X configuration to swap the rail circuits.

        Would that work?

        Or how about finding a place where there are two sets of rails, and connecting the two closest rails (one from each track) together?

        Or how about cutting a connector and substituting with a 100 ohm resistor? Or cutting the copper and gently laying a wire across the cut ends, so that the train vibration will jostle it loose?

        I can think of a lot of ways to gum up the works, some of which might have the engineers scratching their heads for a long time. (If the voltage is 2.4 volts as shown, connect a 12-volt car battery charger to both ends of the cut copper jumper. That would probably take quite awhile to figure out and find.)

        Also, the silver signal boxes out here in NH seem to have a lens on one side (about 2″ diameter). Are those light sensors for the train headlights, or do they have cameras in the signal boxes?

        Anyone know?

        1. If you crossed them it would still be noticed because the way these work is they send a low voltage ac current through the rails, when a train enters the block it shunts the track and in turn the inductance will change. The computer recognizes this change in inductance and will use it to determine if the train is moving towards or away from the signal and that will determine the indication. So a resistor won’t affect it.

        2. I believe those lenses on the sides of signal boxes are status lights, of sorts. I don’t think there’s any detecting capability of any kind. Take that with a grain of salt though, as it’s been a good while since I’ve seen the inside of one of them and things might have evolved since then.

          1. The lenses are status lights, on=working on AC power, flashing=backup batteries, and off=inoperative. Don’t normally see those too much on signal shacks as much as crossing shacks because if those don’t work they have to stop and protect the crossing. If a signal is dark they have to treat it as if it was in its most restrictive aspect

    1. Curious how that system would handle someone bridging a pair of adjacent track blocks together so the train on the block sets off the next block along (I guess once you figure it out it’d easy if the bridge was right at the block ends but you could get fairly sneaky with it)? Or alternatively multiple sets of shorts on the same block.

      1. The multiple shorts would be found one at a time in relation to where the time domain reflectivity equipment was being used, some TDR equipment in the test equipment world can show multiple shorts and their location. TDR’s are use for a lot of things, this is one of them, another is finding faults in huge rolls of cables and such or in the RF world.

        it wouldn’t surprise me if they could see just one clamp on one rail, as wherever that clamp was would cause a disturbance in the reflectivity (or force, whatever you are down with)

        1. Perhaps a “tuner” of sorts to eliminate the reflection. the fault is still there, much in the same way as a poorly matched antenna is, but the source doesn’t see it that way, due to the tuner doing it’s thing.

    1. Most dangerous way to charge a phone that I can think of besides just shoving bare wires into a socket.

      Please, anyone who’s reading this, don’t mess around the tracks. I’ve already seen two body bags I don’t want to see another. :(

  2. As described here more than 20 years ago:


    Radikal Magazine

    In September 1996, members of the German InternetContentTaskForce (ICTF) blocked XS4ALL for about a month because one of its subscribers had put an issue of radikal magazine on his homepage. radikal is illegal in Germany, and to prevent its publication the German Bundesanwaltschaft (prosecutor’s office) ordered commercial ISPs in Germany to block its website. They ended up blocking the entire XS4ALL site, which at the time had about 6,000 personal and commercial homepages. XS4ALL insisted that the case be settled by the courts, because it did not want to infringe on its customers’ rights of free expression; however, the requests to follow traditional legal paths were ignored by the German ICTF.

    On 11 April 1997 one of the largest German ISPs, the Deutsches Forschungsnetz (DFN) academic backbone network, started an IP-filtering blockade against XS4ALL. Many protest letters were sent, mirrors were once again set up around the world, and the complete issue of radikal 154 was posted in the newsgroup “de.soc.zensur”. As a result, the blockade only lasted a few days. The founders of XS4ALL were interrogated as suspects of publication of terrorist propaganda, but no legal actions were initiated against them. XS4ALL then implemented several technologies to sabotage the censorship attempt, such as automatically rotating the IP address of its website. The ICTF ended up censoring all IP traffic to the XS4ALL domain, including e-mail. After a couple of weeks this became untenable; a global protest against the censorship emerged, and a global network of mirror sites was created by the online community. The ICTF abandoned its efforts after several weeks.

  3. Nevermind that the DAPL is almost complete or that there’s *already a pipeline* for natural gas running through that same area, none of the right of way crosses any reservation land and that there are a lot of other pipelines for oil and gas and other chemicals throughout that area.

    People complain about firearm articles on HaD being “irresponsible”. Not hardly. THIS article explicitly showing how to commit a criminal act that could get a perpetrator killed IS very irresponsible.

    1. I have to say the same thing.
      I know people have a right to say things. But to show something like this.
      I’m sorry for the people that this video supports But it this is wrong.
      And By the way the U.S.A government and the Canadian Government is wrong as well.
      I believe If you own land You OWN it and as long as it does not pose a threat then there should be no way the Govemment should be able to take it away from you.

      I hate it when I hear the city is going to evict people form homes so they can “so call clean a beach”, or put in a light train system in. ( Going on in Hamilton ont.) right now. I believe 60 some are affected. or build a football stadium then move the location and and leave the people they evicted in the dark and not give there homes back.
      This is all WRONG wrong wrong…..

      And then we get into our electronics.
      WOW Now were in another ball game but with the same rules. We bout it we own it.
      I should be able to do what ever I want to it. End of Storey.
      They should not threaten me of jail for me changing it so it works better for me or a bug that is in the thing.
      OR TELL THEM they have a bug and here is how you fix it.

      1. Imminent domain has affected some of my close relatives. The state pushes so hard and once you give in you get way less than what the land is worth. They badger you like crazy, phone calls, visits, then they get the land.

        1. Eminent domain. They’re gonna take it anyway. They’re just doing you a favor by offering you some money. The city took a whole neighborhood in CT, kicked all the people out, tore down the buildings, to lure a big pharma(?) company headquarters in. Then the company went somewhere else.

      2. Yeah, some guys in my town had land for sell for over a million U.S., which they had it independently valued at. The town decides they want to put a road right through the middle of it which killed it’s value significantly AND wanted to pay only the price the town was willing to pay which was no where near what the land was worth. It went to court, and as the saying goes: “you can’t sue town hall” and the Judge ruled in favor of the town… Now we have a pretty useless street that no one really uses and a terrible new stoplight in the worst place possible. Only a matter of time till that intersection starts racking up kills….

    2. I would in no way consent to such sabotage. But I just think if it would be legal (and effective), if my car got stuck on a train crossing (engine or transmission broken) to pull out the jumper cables and short the tracks. Like a way to stop the trains and signal emergency if I can not move the car off the tracks alone or in time.

      1. this would actually be useful in places with limited automation and crossing security, that said it might be almost as fast to put it in neutral, evacuate any passengers and pushing the car out of the way.

        1. The place this could win is in cars with automatic transmissions, as they can’t necessarily be shifted to neutral when the car’s broke down.

          That said, one would want to be careful of shorting the tracks, then resuming efforts to shift the vehicle again. If a train was within its minimum stopping distance when you shorted the track, your car will still get hit — and you need to start running with enough time/distance to get well clear so as not to get hit by flying debris.

      2. This is actually a good idea. Would also be a way to signal an issue if you saw say, a tree had fallen on the tracks. If you had something to short the tracks, you could likely get an incoming train stopped faster than the 911 call to a dispatcher who forwards you to a train dispatcher who figures out which track, who radios the engineer to stop the train. Meanwhile its hit the tree.

        File this under “with great power comes great responsibility.” It could be used for good or evil I suppose.

      3. I don’t know about your local crossings but all the crossings in my area have a sign that gives a phone number and location/crossing ID to report a track blockage which shuts down all train traffic. Everybody carries cell phones these days but almost nobody carries jumper cables, I’d rather not trust my life to a hack I might have got wrong when a phone call would do the job better.

      4. This is why I always make sure I have enough momentum to be able to roll across the tracks unpowered. I never cross super-slow or stop on the track. That’s just plain stupid. I also don’t take it too fast. The tracks are generally elevated relative to the surrounding land and often the crossing road. Many have learned that if they get their crossing speed just right, they can “hop” right over the track with minimum rumblings, sort of going airborn at the apex where the track is even though the tires are usually still touching the ground. Great fun but also stupid.

    3. Knowledge itself should not be restricted, especially to cover up a flaw in a system. Many consumer products have major flaws that are protected from discovery by laws preventing the disclosure of information related to it. I would much prefer that problems such as this one are brought to light so that the system can be fixed. Knowledge of how to commit a crime is not the same as committing the crime.
      While I agree this is dangerous, illegal and not something to be performed; do you think that the railroad companies would invest money in preventing this from happening if they were the only ones who knew it was possible? Restricting knowledge because some authority thinks the average person should not know it is a slippery slope, look at the UK’s great firewall of porn, which is ever expanding as more content is deemed not appropriate.

    4. Part Sioux here. The Standing Rock protests are indefensible.
      The pipeline is on private land, the construction was planned with consideration for Tribal customs, and the permits and plans were made public long before construction ever began.

      If it meant so much, they should have protested the permits or petitioned the company to choose another route before they were fully committed, going through the proper channels instead of resorting to a host of tactics from petty vandalism to full-on assault. Besides that, these people are trespassing on private property. They’re crossing fences, invading, squatting, and vandalizing someone else’s land.

      Native Americans invading and taking land from people. Now that’s irony.

      1. “But the plans were on display…”
        “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
        “That’s the display department.”
        “With a flashlight.”
        “Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
        “So had the stairs.”
        “But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
        “Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

        ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

      2. How did it come to be someone else’s land? Did the tribe seek out the treaty or was there some coercion? Is it undisputed treaty land? What did they get in return, besides escaping the US Army with their lives?

      3. They did, and those actions failed. We now live in a world where an Exxon CEO is about to become secretary of state. People are going to have to stand up, even if it’s illegal, because with the incoming administration all rights will get trampled for the benefit of fortune 500 companies.

  4. When I was a teenager I had a friend who was obsessed with trains. He had active tracks that ran behind his house and often we’d use this to travel a few miles down the tracks. We’d place a metal pole over the 2 tracks and complete the circuit and wait to see a train coming. Since the train was now going slow it was easy wait for the last few years and jump on the train and ride it through the signal area.

  5. So… You make this hack public, for public use… AKA mayhem?

    I have no agenda to forward. Just the question… You really want this and more to happen all over this quite common rr system? My Gosh… it means your rice-er-oni may not show up on the grocer’s shelves…. etc…

    A group could literally halt the system.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    1. This goes back to “security by obscurity” it never ever works.
      This idea is not a new one, for that matter my dad thought it up as a kid (never did it of course. boy scout and all.)
      Actually, disclosing it to this community could lead to interesting results, like someone coming up with a system for rejecting these sorts of faults.

      EVERY security disclosure, there is always at least one comment like yours, “Why are you telling people about THIS, just don’t tell them” odds are several people already came up with it independently. censoring everything isn’t going to stop this.

      1. Local vandals cause a main street train crossing arms to STAY lowered when they lay metal across the track. This also blocks ANY first responders access!

        I wonder if computer advances may allow discrimination between the resistance of rolling stock, and simple shorting metals.

        Otherwise if one’s stuck in this traffic jam, it maybe best to have a passenger remove the metal short. Rather than waiting for train support; who will also be delayed; possibly hours!

      2. The “them” you’re so afraid of telling… they already know. The only people who don’t know are the ones who wouldn’t act on the “secret” knowledge anyway. Transparency is the best policy.

      1. How exactly does a protester assault someone who is wearing riot gear and driving a tank (mrap)… Your comment is absurd. I saw a video of a journalist interviewing a protester, when out of nowhere she was shot (rubber bullet) by a cop with an itchy trigger finger. I wonder if he will be charged with assault…. Nah she clearly made him fear for his life…


      2. bullshit, protests in the us is seen as an excuse for martial law and police violence, it is among a select few countries that allow military equipment to be used against civilians.

  6. Oh stop moaning, no one said it’s safe, no one said it’s legal, what is being said (by HAD) is that it’s happening and it’s a hack, the protesters on the other hand are saying “do it, because we dont want a pipeline, so make the trains super unsafe in as dangerous a way as we can think while demonstrating a need for the much safer, infinitely more eco friendly and cheaper pipeline”
    Oh and Thicko, will the rock throwing thing be ardiuno driven?.

          1. 30mpg? Are you insane? 75+ for petrols and 100+ for diesels, and if you can’t do it don’t build them!
            don’t think it impossible, it is easily possible. In the uk, in the 60s we had the morris 1000 van sometimes it was the traveller version, they both did 35mpg, in the 80s I had two 7.5ton Bedford tk trucks, they both did 30mpg admitted all these vehicles were noisy, and topped out at 55/60 mph. Modern 7.5 ton trucks do 14/16 mpg but easily do 70mph, car manufacturers are chasing all the wrong goals, make it go fast, fill it with heavy crap to slow it down and drink fuel, oh and because the heavy crap cuts out noise play fake engine noise to the occupants!

        1. Still does not make the spills right/ok. Just proves the protesters point. Sooner or later a spill will kill a lot of people (or just one child) and suddenly everyone will question all of it. But look at it this way, think of all the jobs a “Super Spill” will create. Good pay, plenty of work, just ask the one’s that cleaned up Chernobyl the first time. Remember the old 50’s-60’s propaganda “The War with Nature”, we may win the battle but we will loose the war.

          1. i never implied it made it okay, on the contrary i replied to show that there was no reason to put quotation marks around coincidence, it was most probably just simple coincidence, since it is a rampant problem in the us.

          2. No they won’t

            It might get questioned for a few days if it gets picked up by the national news. Anyone still talking about Mayflower, AR ? What about the Natural gas line that torched a section of I-77 a few years ago? Assumption Parish, LA? No?
            An oil spill is nothing like a nuclear meltdown. And people are thinking of the children. Pipelines have a lower accident rates than railcars.

          3. A few months back there were several protesters from the west coast that shut service/emergency valves on pipelines in our area, most shut down as soon as the pressure spiked but a couple areas had to be inspected before they could reopen as the pressure spike was high enough to potentially damage the pipeline. They almost caused the spills they were worried about and probably shortened the safe lifespan of the pipeline. Same issue applies here, stop a few trains and the next ones need to be bigger to carry the backlog increasing the chance of an accident.

    1. Well that would be a valid reason to protest as it would endanger their drinking water and it may be unsafe to fish in that river for years.
      You’d think they could use a pipe with double walls and sensors to detect the leaks and some automatic shut off valves wherever it crosses a waterway.
      This wouldn’t even be new technology and could have even been implemented with 1970s technology.

      1. Nah, they’ll just go with the lowest bidder and cheapest way to get their $$$ (oil) to market. When a spill happens, they’ll start trying to pay settlements for as little $ as possible.

        All hail the almighty $.

        But don’t worry, a business man with his house of other businessmen are going to make it all great… again… whatever that means…

  7. I was glad to see this article on the site. A diversity of tactics must be embraced to create an effective resistance against colonial and corporate power.

    I would disagree with one point in your article. This tactic does not undermine peaceful protest, it is a complement to it. The only way this tactic becomes dangerous is if the railroad recklessly drives trains at full speed down the line. As it is, they can proceed with caution at greatly increased expense and time. Which is a good thing when the interest of corporate entities runs contrary to the ethics of the populous.

    1. “We will show them our peaceful ways… BY FORCE!”

      Yes, trespassing, vandalizing, assaulting, and killing people who are just trying to make a living is a GREAT way to promote your message. After watching these people tresspass on and vandalize private property, and throw bricks at civilians, I definitely want to rally to their cause. /s

      1. Protests almost always involve civil disobedience because going through the normal channels for change “peacefully” typically do not work. It’s a waste of time to try keep fringe elements of a large scale protest from doing such things.

  8. Clever from a technological-standpoint, but:

    Sounds like a great way for one anonymous coward to piss off the wrong crew, cementing in the minds of the opposition that “they” (the protesters, as a whole) are “willing to do anything,” preparing them to expect the worst from any confrontation, even if it’s just to offer hot-chocolate to the officers on a cold day.
    And yet some wonder why otherwise peaceful individuals get randomly tear-gassed, shot with rubber-bullets, arrested, treated like criminals, etc.
    Remember the folk saying “This ain’t Burning Man, nor Woodstock, if you come here, be respectful of our ways”?
    This sorta thing just makes that point that much clearer.

  9. I’m disappointed this was published. While it describes how block signaling has worked for over 100 years, it is not a hack in any way, but a federal illegal act. The information can easily be found, but what kept it hush is that most non-technical people had no clue. But now you have enabled and been complicit in civil disobedience and mischief which is not why I visit HAD. Kids like to “overlearn”, so now off they will go to try this on their local railway crossing, stopping road traffic whilst running parallel to the tracks yelling “chooo-choo”. Meanwhile a train at speed approaching a signal whoes aspect suddenly goes from green to red will go into air emergency.

    Might as well expand HAD audience to include: interfering with airport navigational systems, municipal water well tampering… dropping wires onto high voltage transmission lines, jamming broadcast transmitter STL’s, etc. HAD will be very popular with anarchists.

    1. “Might as well expand HAD audience to include: interfering with airport navigational systems,”
      Seen enough jammers and the likes on here for said purpose. Also the microwave parts modding could be used for much worse than yet demonstrated here on HAD.

      ” municipal water well tampering…”
      Can’t recall ever seeing this one here, but not hard to work out.

      “dropping wires onto high voltage transmission lines”
      Seen around here some weaponized drones including amongst others: Nets. Though the nets one was a law enforcement idea. Just instead of plastic nets and law enforcement, its the bad guys and metal rope/nets.

      “jamming broadcast transmitter STL’s, etc.”
      Enough stuff about HAM radio, jammers, repeaters, and assorted things.

      “HAD will be very popular with anarchists.”
      Don’t be supprised if members of ISIS or any other brushed-off-to-the-side-by-public-media terror organization were reading this site for weapon ideas.

      Ever remember the episode of the Simpsons where professor Frink turns an innocent looking toy into a weapon?

    2. Oh yeah all the kids reading hackaday are now going to screw up railway systems around the world.

      This is one of the more interesting hacks posted recently, I don’t care if you think it’s pedestrian because it doesn’t involve charlieplexing or arduinos.

    3. It has taken 10 years and a great simplification for the user, but ISIS and the like have finally caught on to building exploding drones. I thought we would be finding Sparkfun boards in IEDs long ago.

      The serious danger with the practice outlined in this HaD post is the use by real terrorists, or enthusiastic amateurs. Like terrorists in many places, the goal would be to draw maintenance crews to a location (or slow down a train) where they can be ambushed by IED or sniper. Then the follow up bomb when police and emergency workers respond.

      I’m opposed to making it easier for them. Also opposed to them dictating how I run my life. But, being dedicated to the free exchange of information is not a suicide pact.

  10. This type of disruption is only effective to the extent that it draws attention to whatever protest the perpetrators represent. The problem is that to continue to be noticed by the media the bar has to be raised because this particular tactic becomes old fast. An therein lies the problem with any sort of direct action as a political protest – it has to escalate into what amounts to domestic terrorism to keep the public’s attention. There are other means to prosecute a political agenda of this sort (blocking a pipeline) that are far more effective in the long run, but not as flashy and won’t attract the wrong sorts to your cause.

  11. The amount of justification for security through obscurity and withholding information because reasons, is more disappointing than the post could be. There are plenty of dubious laws in many countries that make the software posts on this site illegal as well, but moral relativism isn’t a big deal, its for other people.

  12. One of the commenters noted that pipeline companies don’t seem to have an outstanding record on maintenance. Brings back to mind the blackout that affected northeast America some years ago.
    My recollection is that investigation after the incident revealed something like this: A high-tension electricity carrier company in northern New York skimped on maintenance. During a period of high demand, high-tension wires in northeast America heated and sagged – this is normal. The sagging wires of the maintenance-skippers sagged in such a way that they shorted – this is what some of the maintenance that was skipped would have prevented. The short caused emergency reactions to ricochet around Lake Erie for a few seconds until the system couldn’t handle the resulting electricity spikes and stoppages, then shut down the northeast America electrical grid.
    The maintenance skipping company had become a darling of Wall Street for the way they contained costs and increased profits.
    So, we should not be surprised when other utilities and companies, transporting things that are vital and dangerous, skimp on maintenance until an enormously expensive incident occurs.
    Black Swan event.
    Think major electricity blackout or global fiscal meltdown size; only petroleum pipeline related this time.
    Looking forward to hearing from those with a more positive outlook.

    1. Wonder how much it cost in the end, and what that did to the “savings”? Basically a self-correcting behavior, in the vein of “pay me now, or pay me later, but you’ll pay eventually”.

  13. This circuit on railroad tracks has been in existence for at least 50 years.

    When I was a kid in the 70s, my friends would just get a steel pipe about 5 feet long, lay it across the tracks near an intersection with train signals, and slide a couple of red bricks with holes in them over the ends to weight it down.

    Then we would laugh while watching all the cars wait for hours at the railroad crossing, waiting for a train which would never arrive….

  14. These “protestors” (leftist domestic terrorists) will continue to escalate their emotions to the point where they will end up being purged from our society. You don’t have to agree, just wait and watch.

    Trump 2020 & beyond!

    1. So having water that’s safe to drink and infrastructure that is not an accident waiting to happen is unimportant to you?
      Why not just move to China where this is already a fact of life?

      1. So those things justify throwing bricks at people and trying to kill simple constructions workers who just want to feed their families? Hurting working class people just to make a statement and get on the news?

        How in the world does killing a cop promote safe drinking water and infrastructure?

        How is this morally superior to a proper protest of the published permits and construction plans? How is this better that petitioning the company to reroute the pipeline before construction started? Why is this pipeline worth murdering people over, but the hundreds of other pipelines aren’t? How does the purity of water in the middle of nowhere compare to the heartbreak of a family who’ll never see their loved one again because a “protester” beaned him in the head with a rock?

        But getting on the news is totally worth a few lives, right?

        1. This way gets the attention of George Soros and Tide foundation and the money comes rolling in to 2 or 3 professional activists who create new business names and bank accounts for every “crisis”. Occupy, BLM, NeverTrump, Pipeline, GMO, Fracking, etc. I mean, how do you give $3 million to BLM? Where does it go? Who does it go to? The beauty is that nobody is watching and nobody knows. It is like “community leader”. The money is given to them and forgotten about. It is a cottage industry with huge returns for the very small core.

          1. That’s right, you understand the secret protocol perfectly. George Soros is the puppet master. BLM protesters are completely insincere and are just paid to act like they have a grievance. NeverTrump was the mantra/hashtag of Republicans who couldn’t stomach Trump, and you’re telling me that Soros paid them off? And Soros is behind the 1000x increase in tremors in Oklahoma in order to discredit fracking? Damn, Soros sure does get around.

    2. They say it was the biggest collection of indians since Pine Ridge in the seventies, and Alcatraz in the late sixties. That seems a tad odd, the “Oka Crisis” in 1990 had participants from all around. You just had to look at the photos, all those tipis.

      I was once in South Dakota, in the summer. It was really hot in the daytime, yet got cold at night. It’s kind of a vicious environment to begin with, no wonder the Black Hills are considered sacred, not just shelter from the harsh weather, but resources like trees. But once gold was found, the Fort Laramie Treaty was ignored. Good bye Custer, and the people are still affected.

      It’s dismissive of indians to act like they weren’t there, that their concerns about a pipeline where they live doesn’t count. So the white kids get noticed, and they become “terrorists”.

      This is just a start. They are worried in the pacific northwest that pipelines there may break, and hurt the salmon, the “buffalo of the north west”. That probably includes my distant cousins on the Colville reservation in Washington state.


      1. >>It’s dismissive of Indians to act like they weren’t there, that their concerns about a pipeline where they live doesn’t count.

        Except they weren’t. The Tribal council was consulted just like every other municipality and local government near the pipeline, a few of them are actually in favor of it. Some of them also discouraged ‘protesters’ from showing up. The irony is these people are burying human waste, and burning/burying garbage on a flood plain. They’re destroying the very ecosystem they proclaim to be concerned about. Never mind the people showing up just to party and cause trouble for the people who have to live with the consequences.


  15. I don’t say this is good. The shorting out between the two sides of the track method is the safest (the cheapest and the have the gives any damage to the track) of all the method that i know for lowing down a train.

  16. Everyone freaks out when previously hidden knowledge suddenly goes mainstream. It’s the same argument from people that fear lock picking. People don’t become assholes just because “suddenly-knowledge”. Only high-functioning assholes are going to use this to disrupt for no reason, and then they will get caught if they keep doing it. A couple unattended teenagers may try this across the country now, and then move on to more productive things. The system will survive, life moves on.

    1. Would be most fun to do this to “public transportation”, since they are going the right thing by giving up cars and thus would be the most tolerant of the harmless shenanigans of kids.

    2. Wouldn’t catching and prosecuting help curb this vandalism? Probably with internet cameras, FELONY charges and huge FINES; even for minors! It maybe as SERIOUS a crime as arson!

  17. “This is sabotage (deliberately obstructing) and undermines the validity of peaceful protest.”

    Does it though?

    The proponents of the DCMA say that reverse engineering hurts companies IP. Supporters of SOPA/PIPA say that neutral and unfettered Internet is harmful to the ISPs. The same government that wants back-door to all encryption is already reading our mail and communication, contrary to the 4th amendment. I don’t support illegal actions, but sometimes, illegal action is just a symptom of other injustices.

  18. What a terrible article. Again I will state that the quality of HaD content has gone down hill and I am finding I am less and less drawn to even see whats new here anymore.

    If you were to cover this, why not cover it from the perspective of… here is what they are doing, this is why, it’s clearly a problem with the infrastructure, how can we fix this? Perhaps even cover how these shorts are detected. Make the article constructive instead of just educating idiots on how to screw with a vital part of infrastructure.

  19. I did this back in 1978 when I was 12 years old. There was a wire that rested on one of the rails. When I moved the wire away from the rail, the alarm and crossing gates would come down. After several times doing this, they welded the wire to the rail. I came back and bent the wire back and forth about a hundred times till it broke, and the bells and crossing gate activated.

    A Capitola Police Officer told me that everytime the bells go off and the crossing arms drop that I was there. It wasn’t me Officer lol

    This is a blast from the past!

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