Slightly on topic -- in 1962 when I was a boy there was a bad wreck in my hometown of South Milwaukee WI -- somehow a freight car on the industrial trackage of the Bucyrus Erie factory (they had their own locomotives, and some flat cars) interferred with the main line (the "old" line or passenger line) of the Chicago & North Western. An eastbound afternoon freight, with the usual loads of Chicago bound newsprint, hit the car directly and derailed, scattering locomotives and freight cars over a considerable distance where Rawson Avenue crosses the CNW (now, UP). Due to a curve right there at Rawson Ave. theyhad no chance to see the car before it was too late.
Here is a link to a 1915 photo from the online archives of the Chicago & North Western Historical Society shows the exact location of that 1962 wreck, and you can see the Bucyrus industrial trackage to the right. The barn off to the left became a factory where the siding ended and the shoofly was installed:
Fortunately while the crew was injured the injuries were not fatal. And the only reason that is the case is the instead of the usual power consist of a couple of GP7s or 9s, for whatever reason the lead locomotive that particular day was an RS-1 -- and on the C&NW those old RS-1s were set up to run long hood forward unlike the GPs. Had the crew been in a Geep the cab would have taken the brunt of the impact and I hate to think of what the consequences would have been (and those were in full-crew days to boot). As it was the hood length of the Alco protected the crew from that direct impact.
About that same time most afternoons the South Milwaukee switcher, an SW, would often be running east (south) with its cab forward and that crew would not have had a chance if they had been unlucky enough to hit that freight car. They would have had even less protection and even fewer escape possibilities.
Needless to say the wreck was a considerable attraction in town for a day or two. i still remember they used steam cranes.
For years afterword you could still see where the C&NW hurriedly constructed a shoofly around the wreck site to detour trains over a somewhat rickety spur west of the main that served a junk yard, a feed store, and some factories. After nearly derailing the 400 on that shoofly they decided to send the passenger trains down the "new" (freight) main.
North Western veterans I have talked to credit the long hood forward operation of the Alcos for saving the lives of the cab crew.