I Almost Died at That Moment: Union Pacific Railroader Reflects on Safety, Vigilance

Bret Dorland testimonial main image | L

Yardperson Bret Dorland encourages his fellow railroaders to remain hypervigilant.

A moment of distraction almost cost Yardperson Bret Dorland his life when he called in the wrong order and unknowingly stepped in front of a moving train less than 15 feet away.

“If you’re not aware of what’s happening around you, that’s where the danger comes,” Dorland said, sharing he vividly remembers touching the rail car’s cold steel and using its force to propel himself out of harm’s way.

Dorland’s personal near-miss experience is tied to Union Pacific’s critical Operating rule 81.5.4, which mandates train crew confirm that locomotives are stationary with brakes applied prior to working between equipment.

“We tend to take care of each other as co-workers,” said Dorland, who encourages his fellow railroaders to remain hypervigilant and says he has the respect for his co-workers to say something when needed.


Yardperson Bret Dorland: ‘I Almost Died at That Moment’

Brakeperson Corey White and Locomotive Engineer Todd Barras share their stories of when seemingly simple choices could have potentially led to life-altering consequences. 

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