Accidental Christmas Eve train ride takes Atlanta area man to the coast

Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 8:25 AM
Last updated 6:44 PM
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SPRINGFIELD, Ga. -- A hoped shortcut for a Lithonia man who walked to a neighborhood store for a quick Christmas Eve beer and a snack proved to be the long way home when the stopped train he tried to climb over took off.

Randy Gaultney  Savannah Morning News
Savannah Morning News
Randy Gaultney

Effingham County Deputies got a call just before midnight on Christmas Eve to the railroad crossing at Stillwell-Clyo and Long Bridge Road.

The caller reported a man was slapping the window of a train, David Ehsanipoor, sheriff’s office spokesman said.

Deputies discovered what appeared to be an intoxicated man who relayed a strange story, Ehsanipoor said.

“Randy Gaultney, 47, said he had bought some groceries and beer near his house in Dekalb County and when he tried to cross the street to go home a stopped train was blocking his path,” Ehsanipoor said.

Instead of waiting for the train to move, Gaultney put his purchases up on the train and as he climbed up, the train took off at high speed, Ehsanipoor said.

Gaultney’s snacks fell, but he was able to hold onto the IceHouse beer during the chilly ride, Ehsanipoor said.

Ehsanipoor said Gaultney told police Springfield was the first place the train stopped.

“He had a strong odor of alcohol and appeared intoxicated when deputies arrived,” Ehsanipoor said.

Deputies checked a receipt Gaultney had from the store, and it showed his purchases were made about noon.

Deputies contacted CSX Railroad. CSX said they wanted to prosecute Gaultney.

He was arrested and charged with criminal trespass, intrusion upon railroad tracks and riding a train without a ticket. Gaultney was transported to the Effingham County jail.

“He had a long, cold night and then spent Christmas in jail,” Ehsanipoor said.

According to jail records, Gaultney is also on active probation.

Gaultney was released from jail on Dec. 26.

The sheriff’s office had no information on Gaultney’s transportation back to Dekalb County.

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john 12/28/12 - 10:01 am

They ought to prosecute CSX for stopping trains and blocking roads downtown.

allhans 12/28/12 - 10:36 am
Another person on

Another person on probation.......

Jane18 12/28/12 - 10:58 am
In Too Big A Hurry

I know exactly where Stillwell-Clyo and Longbridge Roads are. I just cannot figure out why the train stopped there, unless it was dropping some railroad cars. Got me stumped, I am going to call some relatives in Effingham County and see if anyone knows more................Wow, noon to midnight, that's a long time to be on the train...'cause regular driving time would be about four and a half hours. Wouldn't it be great if this caused Gaultney to give up drinking? Nah, don't believe it will happen.He didn't make it to the coast, that was and is, still about 40 miles away.

oneofthesane 12/28/12 - 11:02 am
and riding a train without a ticket.....

I was laughing so hard when I read this that tears were in my eyes! Really?! Yea well guess they had to do it to prevent other drunkard Lithonian men from doing the same thing.

Jake 12/28/12 - 12:06 pm

Instead of prosecuting, CSX should think about hiring this man as it is obvious that he can ride a train and multi-task at the same time.

OpenCurtain 12/28/12 - 03:55 pm
Can you say

Drunk as a Skunk ?

I have hopped a few trains running from Lumpkin Rd towards
Hephzibah, as a teen tired of walking.

If he wasn't plastered he could have gotten off I am sure somewhere between Atlanta and the Savannah Area.

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