Friday, July 12, 2019

Five derailments and a hazmat fire in a few days

Derailments are becoming similar to Chicago shootings in that they now happen so frequently that they are no longer news. I agree with those that think this increase in derailments is caused by Precision Scheduling Railroading. In particular, the part where you layoff people and defer maintenance to make your operating ratio look good to increase your share price. Also, running longer trains to cut crews is contributing to derailments.

I've been tracking train wrecks in general and CN's derailment in their St. Clair Tunnel, but I think this burst of whoopsies is worthy of its own post.

UP dumps autoracks in a 12,000' long train

Mark Gillins shared a post by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office Nevada with six photos and the comment: ''Photos from the recent trail derailment. Please do not travel this area unless absolutely needed while UPRR conducts clean up."
Randall Klessig Rainbow Canyon?
Kelly S St Clair Yes I think between Caliente and Elgin [Actually, it must be south of Elgin because County Road 4230 is expected to be partially closed 7-10 days. (Another source indicated 4-5 days.)]
Jeremy Frampton maybe they will learn not to build them 12,000 ft someday.
David Jolley Union Pacific keeps running our trains bigger and bigger to save money. Yet, they don't care about the safety of its employees or the public. Looks like they lost money on this one. Hope the crew was alright. But, this is the cost of pure greed.






FoxNews said the train had 33 cars. I suspect that is the number of cars that were considered damaged. Even if a autorack remains on the tracks, they will scrap the contents if they moved in the car during the wreck because of excessive deceleration forces. "Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee told Fox 13 said some train cars had been hauling hazardous material, but those cars weren't affected in the crash." (The Fox 13 link does correctly report that it was 33 cars that derailed. It also adds "A hazmat tanker was two cars away from the derailed section of the train.")

JR Ruiz shared a different selection of photos.

Canadian Pacific derails on IAIS/Rock Island bridge across the Mississippi

This has not only closed the road that uses the lower deck, it has closed Lock #15.
The lock is also closed to barge traffic as the swing span cannot be moved. Railroad officials informed the Arsenal that they must bring a crane from one of two remote locations to put the train back on the tracks.

Here’s a view from our weather cam
[I wonder why Conadian Pacific is using IAIS tracks. Are they still detouring around floods?]

CSX flips over some scrap steel gondolas in Bristol, CT

Mark A Redman posted
Derailment, Bristol, Connecticut July 10
[It is not a string-line derailment because it is on straight track and the cars are obviously not empty. Bad track?]

Dumping ballast the wrong way

Joe Dockrill shared two photos.
Joe Dockrill gotta empty both sides, Herzog door may have stuck, one goes they all go right John Vukoja?
John Vukoja Joe Dockrill ....sometimes not all....all in the curve maybe....if you can’t empty the other side.....put it in the center....and if you keep within a door/ pocket on both sides you’ll be golden.
[Unfortunately, I don't understand John's explanation.]
Andrew Beeman Same thing happened on the railroad I work for before I got hired on. Happened to be working on the same town they knocked it over in.

No one was hurt, but one side of the car unloaded before the other side, and on a slightly elevated curve, and over she went. Came uncoupled before it knocked the loco over though



Two locomotives, several rail cars derail at Union Pacific yard in Pocatello

Two Union Pacific diesel locomotives and seven rail cars derailed early Thursday morning at the Pocatello rail yard....Union Pacific officials said that nothing spilled out of the derailed rail cars, which included tanker cars, but a small amount of diesel fuel did spill from one of the derailed locomotives.
Keith Smith Buck Brown no rcl switchers went through locked switch onto the main. I was right by it when it happened. 2:30 in the morning. Dark as anything the rest of the night. Took the power out to the whole yard.
David Guerrera Keith Smith That's about right everything covered up no investigation everyone go back to work I know if and engineer was on that engine it would not have happened. What RR I worked for the UP.
Arthur Mitchell In Denver the crew was running the moves on a remote from the far end of the cut. Instead of running the remote toward the cut it was actually running the other way. It got out on the main outside the zone and nearly ran down our track inspector.
Screenshot @ -0.20, cropped

CSX crashes three locomotives in their Avon Yard

Screenshot @ 1:06
"Firefighters say three locomotives collided, puncturing a saddle tank, which sparked a fuel-fed fire that engulfed several trains."

Update, the hits just keep coming

Neil Ruddy posted five photos with the comment: "Derailment spills windmills at Avon, IA yard."

It appears to me that something stopped the truck of the front flat car with so much force that it stopped the front flatcar so quickly that its load slid off and the flatcar behind it rode on top of the front flatcar. But I have no idea what could stop a truck with that much force.





And they just keep falling.
Pierce Tomlin shared
John Joy Is it just me or does this seem to be happening more often than it has in the past. Just saying reduced maintenance?
Keith Smith John Joy news in salt lake is running a big story on it tonight. They have been gathering information. 3 more derailments in the area since they taped for tonight. They keep having to update it.

Hays Police Department posted
Shortly after 5pm on Sunday July 14th the Union Pacific Railroad contacted dispatch informing them of a train derailment in Hays near 9th and Milner. At this time there are 3 tanker cars laying on their side off the track and a 4th still on the track. The tanker cars contain ethanol however there are no leaks so there are no hazards to the public. As a precaution there have been limited housing evacuations in the immediate vicinity. No intersections are being blocked however the Hays Fire Department has established a 300 foot perimeter around the derailment. The traveling public is asked to avoid this area and observe all cones and barricades.

Train crews were working Wednesday morning, July 17, 2019, at the scene of a derailment where six train cars, including some tankers hauling molten sulfur, came off the tracks in Spokane Valley near the corner of Sprague Avenue and Havana Street. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
[Yet another UP booboo. There were no molten sulfur leaks and street traffic was not blocked.]

I skipped the report of NS stringlining on Horseshoe Curve a couple of weeks ago. But they again put light empties at the beginning of a long train and derailed six empty cars. [WTAJ]

UP is racing NS to see who can derail more cars because of their new PSR mentality of running long trains.
Anthony Bucci posted three photos with the comment: "60ish sand cars near Bethany, MO yesterday on the UP Trenton sub."
Spencer Rodriguez 69 cars
(KCTV has drone video)


BSNF has had three derailments in one Iowa county in just a little over a year.

G&W's RCP&E (Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern) didn't bother to send a track inspector out after a heavy rain. They let a train find a washout because of a flash flood near New Underwood, SD. The two crewman had to be rescued from the the locomotive that started the "accordion." [posts one, two]

You normally can't tell that coal cars are bottom dump cars from an aerial photo. This is on the former C&EI north of Terre Haute, so this is CSX's mainline for traffic going south out of Chicago.
Gene Kelsheimer posted
PolenJoann Guillott Binky Bolton: did we have any accidents with our unit coal trains, on the KCS/L&A loaded or mty?
Binky Bolton Not that I know of
PolenJoann Guillott Binky Bolton me either.
Randy Johnson Mike Anderson UP has had something like 12 this year all over the system.
[Several photos of the cleanup effort were added as comments if you scroll down through all of the usual PSR noise.]

People evacuated because of an octane leak

Two derailments showed up in my Facebook feed in one day: UP and CSX. It has gotten to the point I don't even bother to read about them anymore because no one will admit what caused the derailment.

Screenshot, this is one of over a handful of videos I saw about this derailment in a UP yard in Dupo, IL.
"Multiple trains were on fire" because it happened in a yard. From a UP statement: "Initial information from the scene indicates that the tank car contains a flammable liquid called methyl isobutyl ketone. It is typically used as a solvent." The smoke caused extensive evacuations, including schools. 16 cars

Screenshot, from the raw helicopter footage via fox2now, 16 cars are reported off the tracks
This article indicates 13 of the cars spilled, but only one caught on fire. Does that mean that if a tank car is carrying a benign liquid that it punctures easily? Actually, I suspect it was 13 cars were knocked over, not spilling fluids. Especially since many of the damaged cars are covered hoppers. Comments on this post indicate the engineer must have kept on shoving because he didn't realize cars were falling off the track until the resistance got real high. Otherwise he would have been travelling way to fast for yard work to crunch the cars like we see in the photo.

1 comment:

  1. Off topic...If you would like to do an interesting historical review on the collapse, and partial resurgence, of local Chicago area industry you should do a street study of the businesses, past and present, located on 65th St. between Harlem and Cicero Aves. I worked at one place back in the early 2000's and 65th St. was still buzzing. When I got transferred in 2005 half the street was nothing more than over-grown vacant lots. The place I worked at went from full production down to being a warehouse only. There was a WWII radio plant, Hallicrafters, where, if you knew where to look you could still see signage for. Viskase had a huge synthetic (sausage) casing factory. All of it gone. Now a few new tip-up-pop-up warehouses and some tired old factories are all that remain.