CN derailment In Ontario News Paper story

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by stuart_canada, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Tue, July 5, 2005
    Disaster averted as train goes off track

    Freighter had just dropped off fuel

    By SEAN MEAGHER, Ottawa Sun

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Emergency personnel look over wheels scattered throughout the area of a freight train derailment in Prescott yesterday. (Photo: Errol McGihon, Sun)
    PRESCOTT -- A train derailment of about 50 empty fuel cars yesterday afternoon resulted in no injuries or spills but left a mess on a main CN rail line.

    The cause is still under investigation and there was no damage estimate last night but cleanup at the site is expected to last several days until the tracks are restored to normal service.

    The CN train was returning from the Ultramar terminal in Maitland just west of Prescott after unloading diesel fuel.

    "It's a good thing those cars were empty," said Victor Zerowski, a resident at the Claxton Terrace apartment complex where he witnessed the crash from his third-floor balcony overlooking the tracks.

    "I heard a screeching noise and the next thing I knew a wheel came off, then another and then another," said Zerowski, adding that the train's wheels almost immediately ripped off from the cars as they sped by.

    "The wheels were being sliced off the cars. It was almost as if there was an obstruction (on the tracks)," he said.

    Another resident at Claxton Terrace, Howie Countryman, was sitting outside on his second-floor balcony where he also witnessed the crash.

    "When he went by, I said to my wife he was going to jump the tracks and the next thing I know, there he goes," said Countryman, whose wife Sharon also saw the derailment.


    "He was going extra fast from what he usually goes by here," he added.

    The tracks, which intersect the Edward St. overpass, attracted many curious onlookers wanting to get a closer peek at the crash site.

    "I didn't hear a thing when it happened," said Theresa Shanahan, who lives next to the overpass, about 50 feet from the tracks.

    "I was inside with my air conditioning on. I never heard anything," she said.

    Rudy Bekkedam was in his backyard working at the time and only noticed something had happened when there was a cloud of dust in the air over the tracks.

    "It's weird, but I didn't hear any noise of a crash," said Bekkedam who lives just off Duke St., within about 30 feet of the tracks.

    CN spokesman Mark Hallman said the train was heading eastbound being pulled by two locomotives at about 4:30 p.m. He said the locomotives and the first car were the only parts of the train that stayed upright. The other 50 cars tipped southward.

    Prescott residents say there had been maintenance on the tracks over the past two weeks, which could give investigators some insight as to what caused the derailment.
  2. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Sounds like a stange accident to me. It will be intersting to find out the cause.
  3. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    Yes, there's quite a mess in Prescott, Ont. Everyone was very lucky that the train had just finishing unloading at Maitland, Ont not 10 minutes before so it was empty when the cars left the rails. And extemely lucky that nobody was near the tracks when the train rolle over.

    The train is a special unit train that shuttles diesel fuel between the Ultramar refinery in Quebec City and their fuel depot in Maitland, Ont. This photo was taken at the east end of the derailment. He was extemely fortunate to be able to take this photo as the whole site is now completely closed off.

    Attached Files:

  4. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    Here's another shot of the derailment taken by another friend. The train started to leave the tracks just at the bottom of the photo. The track on the left is a passing track. This has been extended and is being used to route freight trains around the derailment. The two tracks that you see torn up are CN's double-tracked mainline.

    Attached Files:

  5. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Wow - what a disaster!!! Although it could have been far worse had those tanks been filled with deiself fuel. Those tracks sure are bent out of shape, and it looks like the wheels just "unzipped" from the train.

    When I saw the photo above, the first comment that came to mind was "look at all those metal wheelsets!"

  6. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    It's sure a good thing the units stayed on the tracks!
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I've never seen one before where the wheels were stripped from the trucks. Where are the trucks? Well, I see a couple of them there.
  8. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    Another visit to Prescott yesterday afternoon and you would never had known there had been this big derailment. All of the tank cars and equipment had gone. No side-booms, ballast tampers, bulldozers, wrecking crew. No nothing. Except for two things - but you had to look hard to notice them.

    On the south side of the right of way were a whole bunch of wheelsets and ties bulldozed back into the ditch. You had to look real close to see them.

    The cause of the derailment, according to CN, was a sun kink in the rail. Having visited the site Tuesday evening, you could definitely see that there was a sharp kink in the track which seemed to shift the whole track over by about 6". Those top-heavy tank cars, taking that kink at 60 mph would definitely have started rocking in unison and tipped over, because of their high centre of gravity.

    I guess at some time in the near future, CN will replace the short sections of rail installed on the panel track with some continuous welded rail.

    All in all, a job extremely well done by CN and their contractors.
  9. SF247

    SF247 New Member

    They did a better job cleaning up then the Union Pacific wreck in Sacramento. It was a smaller wreck, but it was still a huge mess. It took them over a month to clean it up completely!
  10. zedob

    zedob Member

    Looks like someone bumped the layout.

    The train must not have been traveling too fast. The cars seem to have just rolled over together in a domino effect with no pile up.
  11. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    they had just started to pick up speed after picking up the cars at the refinery, so they were under track speed conditions.
  12. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    They had just finished unloading diesel fuel at the Ultramar storage facility in Maitland, Ont, about 5 miles up the track. The train was travelling at about 60 mph when the cars started to roll. The grade is all downhill so they were travelling at quite a clip. The drop in elevation is quite substantial.
  13. Traisessive

    Traisessive New Member

    I Have To Clarifu Things

    I lived near here when it happened.

    1) The track on the left IS NOT a passing track, it is whats left of the lead that was there when the CPR had a connection from a line they used to have to Prescott to get into the CN industrial spurs there. It is now ONLY used for work trains and the Brockville local to use when they are switching if they CANNOT occupy the main line when completing their work. They did end up putting a switch at the other end to route trains over its 50lb rail. That switch is now gone.

    2) The kink was a malfunction, that was all new track that was recenlty redone. The crew took shortcuts, it was found that the foreman took shortcuts before. And I heard from an unnoficial source that he and some of his section crew were fired.

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