at Apr 19, 2014 3:34:53 PM
Rail-Related News for Saturday April 19, 2014
Probe finds Maine railway failed to reveal 24 incidents before deadly Quebec derailment
Twenty previous derailments, two runaway trains and two unspecified incidents were not reported before a July derailment that killed 47 people, a Canadian agency says.
A Canadian agency investigating the July 6 derailment that caused 47 deaths in Lac- Megantic, Quebec, found that Maine-based Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway had failed to report 20 previous derailments and two runaway train incidents in Canada.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board reported that four of the railroad’s cars rolled out of control down a track in the Farnham, Quebec., rail yard on Sept. 3, 2011, damaging three switches. The train did not derail, and there were no injuries, the board said.
In another runaway incident, four cars rolled about 850 yards through three crossover switches at the Farnham rail yard on Dec. 27, 2012, the board said. No damage or injuries were reported.
Twenty other unreported incidents involved derailments of MM&A cars, four on main tracks and 16 on minor tracks, none of which caused any injuries or major damage, the board said.
There were two other unreported incidents, according to the board, but it did not provide any specifics.
Rather than impose any fines or other sanctions, the board chose to make its reporting rules clearer to MM&A to ensure the company reports such incidents in the future.
However, the rule clarification is moot because the bankrupt MM&A is now defunct, and its assets have been sold to an affiliate of New York-based Fortress Investment Group for nearly $14.3 million.
THE LAC-MEGANTIC INCIDENT
On July 6, an MM&A train pulling dozens of oil-laden tank cars and with faulty brakes rolled driverless down a slight incline into Lac-Megantic while the train conductor was on a sleep break. The tank cars began to derail in the downtown area, spilling an estimated 1.5 million gallons of crude oil and causing an explosion that killed 47 people and destroyed 40 buildings. A month later, MM&A filed for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Nineteen wrongful-death lawsuits filed in Illinois by survivors of the derailment victims recently were remanded to the U.S. District Court in Maine. The lawsuits were filed in Illinois initially because MM&A’s parent company, Rail World Inc., is headquartered there.
Daniel Cohn, a Boston-based attorney representing the victims’ families, said the news of previously unreported derailments and runaway trains is irrelevant to the lawsuits because MM&A already has acknowledged its liability for the Lac- Megantic deaths.
“From the victims’ standpoint, the problem is that the railroad doesn’t have any money to pay its claims,” Cohn said. “So this report doesn’t have any bearing on the case.”
Transportation Safety Board spokesman Chris Krepski said via email that the investigation only looked at incidents in Canada, and not in the U.S.
The unreported incidents were discovered after the board requested and reviewed internal MM&A incident reports as part of the Lac-Megantic investigation, Krepski said.
J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 207-791-6390 or:
Prior MM&A derailments, brake problems went unreported
Canadian investigators found that the Hermon-based Maine, Montreal & Atlantic Railway did not report 20 derailments and two runaway train incidents that took place in Canada prior to a July 6 derailment that caused 47 deaths in Lac Megantic, Quebec.
The Portland Press Herald reported the Canadian Transportation Safety Board's probe of internal incident reports from the railroad won't result in fines or sanctions, but the agency is clarifying its reporting rules for incidents determined to result in no major injuries or damage.
Daniel Cohn, the Boston-based attorney representing the victims' families, told the newspaper the law is irrelevant to the lawsuits because the railroad has already acknowledged liability for the Lac-Megantic deaths.
WI Company to Pay $350,000 in Damages to Former Employee
OSHA completed a whistleblower investigation that found Wisconsin Central Limited railway—a subsidiary of the Canadian National Railway—in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act for terminating a conductor after he reported a workplace injury in Manitowoc, WI, OSHA reports. OSHA has ordered the railway to pay the conductor $352,082 in back wages and damages.
According to OSHA, the conductor was within his 60-day probationary period when his injury occurred. He reported his injury later that day, but not before the end of his shift, and on his final day of probation, his employer issued him a removal-from-service letter that rejected his employment application. The company believed the employee to have “violated a company rule by failing to report an injury before his workday ended.”
"The majority of complaints received by OSHA under the Federal Railroad Safety Act involve allegations that a railroad worker has been retaliated against for reporting an on-the-job injury. No worker should feel his job is at risk for reporting an injury or seeking medical attention," said Nick Walters, OSHA's regional administrator in Chicago in a press release from OSHA. "When employees are disciplined for reporting workplace injuries, safety concerns or illnesses, worker safety and health are clearly not the company's priority."
Wisconsin Central has been ordered to reinstate the conductor, remove disciplinary action from the employee’s personnel record and pay the worker $352,082, which includes $217,082 in back wages, applicable employment taxes, $60,000 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages.
Railroad, frat face suit for student's death in 2012
The parents of a UND student killed in a train accident two years ago are now suing the railroad company and fraternity they allege contributed to their son’s death.
Minneapolis residents Corey and Robin Ayling filed the personal injury lawsuit last month in state district court in Grand Forks and seek at least $50,000 in damages.
Their son, 20-year-old business student Blake Ayling, died while taking a shortcut during the early morning of March 24, 2012, through a rail yard owned by BNSF Railway just south of the UND campus.
At the time, police said he may have tried to climb over or through train cars while he walked through the yard. At some point, his right arm was severed and caused him to bleed to death.
Blake Ayling’s body was found around 7:30 a.m. by BNSF crew members.
His family has filed suit against BNSF and UND’s Pi Kappa Alpha chapter — the fraternity where Ayling had attended a party earlier in the night. The fraternity’s international governing body, headquartered in Tennessee, also is included in the suit.
“We will review the filing and respond through the legal process,” said BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth in an email.
The international Pi Kappa Alpha organization did not respond to a request for comment by late Friday.
The case has been assigned to Judge Karen Klein. Documents filed with the court indicate the Aylings and BSNF have requested a jury trial.
A court date had not been set as of Friday, but BNSF filed a notice of removal earlier this week. If granted, the motion would move the case to federal court.
The lawsuit was filed March 24 by Corey Ayling, who is an attorney with the Minneapolis law firm McGrann, Shea, Carnival, Straughn & Lamb.
In their complaint, the Aylings allege BNSF knew pedestrians frequently crossed through the rail yard but made little attempt to alert those pedestrians of the yard’s unseen danger.
The danger, the complaint says, comes from the remote operation of railcars by BNSF crews. The railcars in the yard are moved by means of remote control by crews who may or may not be in sight of the moving cars.
The railcars’ sudden and silent movement creates an “ultrahazardous” area, according to the complaint.
The document also says there was no warning sign near the point Blake Ayling is thought to have entered the yard. No fences, berms, ditches, gates or other measures were present to deter pedestrians either.
“While entirely foreseeable, BNSF failed to acknowledge, consider, appreciate or act on the fact that its rail yard is in effect a silent lethal killing field in the middle of a concentrated population,” the complaint reads.
As for the fraternity, the Aylings are asserting Pi Kappa Alpha contributed to their son’s death by allowing him to consume alcohol on its premises.
An autopsy conducted by the UND Forensic Pathology Center found Blake Ayling’s blood alcohol content was 0.287.
Pike contributed to Ayling’s death by serving him “altered alcoholic beverages or other substances,” according to the complaint.
The international Pi Kappa Alpha Corporation is accused of negligently managing the local UND chapter.
On the night of March 23, 2012, Ayling had attended a jersey party, which required partygoers to wear sports jerseys to gain entrance into the UND chapter’s house.
The complaint says IDs were not consistently checked and some students signed the party’s guestbook under false names such as “Hannah Montana” and “Bob Saget.”
Ayling is thought to have left the party around 1 a.m. His jersey and backpack were found in the fraternity’s basement and turned over to police a few days later.
Is a Major Derailment Looming for Our Nation's Railroads?
Many investors, including Warren Buffett, are now more bullish than ever on the growth opportunities for railroad operators as they haul crude out of the Bakken and other shale plays across the U.S. The problem with this idea is that carrying crude by train isn't nearly as safe or effective as allowing a pipeline to gently guide crude to where it needs to go. This could prove very dangerous for raildroad companies like Burlington Northern Santa Fe, but it offers upstream and downstream players in the oil and gas sector a good cost-saving opportunity.
According to Kodiak Oil & Gas' (NYSE: KOG ) presentation, it costs $5 per barrel to transport crude from North Dakota to Cushing, OK, via pipeline. From the Cushing oil hub, it costs roughly $4 a barrel to transport crude via the Seaway pipeline to the Gulf. By rail, it costs $10 to $12 a barrel to transport crude down to the Gulf from North Dakota. Factoring it all together, it is between $1-$3 cheaper to transport crude from North Dakota to the Gulf via pipeline versus rail.
To get a better idea of just what's at stake take a look at this hypothetical example. Assume for a moment that the average cost savings by moving crude by pipeline versus rail is $2 per barrel when transporting crude from North Dakota to the Gulf. If North Dakotan oil producers were to export 1 million bpd of crude down to the Gulf by rail, upstream and downstream companies would shoulder an additional transportation cost of $730 million annually. While crude from North Dakota is shipped all over the country by various means, this paints a clear picture of just how much is being lost due to lack of pipeline capacity.
This opens up huge opportunities for midstream pipeline operators. For a company like Kodiak Oil & Gas that ships 80% of its output by rail and 20% by pipelines, if there was a chance to lower transportation costs via pipelines while still fetching high prices, Kodiak Oil & Gas would jump at that opportunity.
Over the past five quarters, Kodiak Oil & Gas paid on average $2.27 per barrel in transportation and gathering costs while receiving a cash margin of $62.52 per barrel of oil equivalent. If Kodiak lowered its transportation costs by using pipelines as a larger share of its transportation methods, Kodiak could slightly increase its cash margin per BOE and boost its free cash flow. In order to fully realize the benefits of pipelines, there needs to be an intricate pipeline system in place for Kodiak Oil & Gas to use.
See a need, build a pipeline
A midstream operator that plans on boosting its crude transportation capacity from nothing in 2009 to over 2.5 million bpd in 2015 may offer Bakken players like Kodiak Oil & Gas an amazing opportunity. Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE: ETP ) has plans to build a pipeline that would carry crude from North Dakota down to Midwest and Gulf refineries. Other midstream operators scrapped their plans to build Bakken pipelines, but not Energy Transfer Partners.
If Energy Transfer Partners is able to generate enough demand for its proposed pipeline, Bakken operators will be able to save on transportation costs and fatten the bottom line. Energy Transfer Partners will update investors soon on how much interest they were able to gather for the proposed pipeline, which will be a strong catalyst for its unit holders if it decides to build it.
This isn't the only Bakken project Energy Transfer Partners is working on, it also plans on converting the natural gas Trunkline pipeline. The new Trunkline pipeline will carry Bakken crude from Patoka, IL, to Boyce, LA. Enbridge and Enbridge Energy Partners carry the crude from the Bakken to Patoka on their own crude pipelines, and Energy Transfer Partners plans on coming in and doing the rest starting in 2016, when the conversion and build out is supposed to be completed.
The rise in freight train shipments of crude is going to stay around for a while, as it will take years to build out pipeline systems that can deliver crude from any shale play to all the major markets in America. But once those pipeline systems are completed, railroad operators will need to brace themselves as oil producers opt for the cheaper transportation method. Energy Transfer Partners has the ability to steal the show from the railroads, as long as it doesn't back away like the other pipeline operators and continues to build out infrastructure in the Bakken.
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Train cars topple off tracks in Upper Mount Bethel Township
Several train cars carrying sand derailed in Upper Mount Bethel Township this afternoon, according to emergency scanner reports.
Emergency radio broadcasts indicated no one was hurt when six cars toppled off the tracks at about 4:30 this afternoon in the area of the 600 block of Slateford Road. The engine remained on the tracks.
A spokesman for Norfolk-Southern Railroad said their property was not involved in the incident and Pennsylvania State Police said they were not summoned to the scene.
A woman who answered the phone at the Slateford Inn said the derailment happened right behind the business. She said there was no structural damage and the bar was open and hosting a band this evening.
Yellow caution tape ringed the immediate area around the derailed cars and the embankment on which the tracks rested appeared to have partially collapsed.
Efforts to reach officials at other train companies that utilize those lines were not successful. Northampton County Emergency Management officials did not return calls seeking information.
Express-Times Freelance Photographer Tim Wynkoop contributed to this report.
Railroad car catches fire in Powell
POWELL (WATE) - A train car caught fire Sunday afternoon in Powell while a train was transporting used railroad ties.
According to Knox County Rural Metro, the ties are believed to have caught fire due to a combustive heat.
The ties were being transported for scrap. Firefighters were able to put the railroad car out on scene. That car is being disconnected for investigative purposes.
Train strikes, kills woman in Salinas
A woman in her forties was struck and killed by a train in Salinas on Saturday, police said.
The fatality occurred at 6:20 p.m. on the railroad tracks just north of the train station at about the 800 block of West Market Street, police said.
Officers responded to a report of a pedestrian that had been hit by a train. Arriving at the scene, they found an Hispanic woman dead on the side of the tracks.
Police said it appears that the incident may have been a suicide.
The woman has been identified but authorities have withheld her identity pending notification of next of kin.
The investigation has been turned over to Union Pacific PD. The body was turned over to the Monterey County Coroner.
Man struck and killed by train
A 37-year-old man was struck and killed by a train as he walked along the tracks in Belleview late Monday morning.
James Willis Bare III was walking south on the tracks, near the 4700 block of Southeast 98th Lane, just after 11 a.m. A CSX train was headed north on the tracks. The engineer blew the train horn several times trying to warn Bare, according to Marion County Sheriff’s Office reports.
The engineer, Lee Faulkner, 51, said he could see Bare mumbling to himself and said the man tried to jump off the tracks at the last second, but it was too late and the engine hit him, reports state.
Faulkner gave his employer’s address as CSX’s Rice Yard in Waycross, Ga., but Ocala was listed as his residence, according to reports.
Marion County Fire Rescue personnel responded to the scene and pronounced Bare deceased.
Sheriff’s investigators talked with Bare’s father, who said he had not seen his son in at least a week, reports state.
Willard gets $50,000 to open park for train watchers
WILLARD, Ohio — Ohio’s freshly adopted 2015-16 capital budget includes $50,000 for a train-watchers’ park that city officials hope will kick-start an effort to raise money for the rest of the project’s estimated $130,000 cost.
“We feel pretty confident we’ll be able to raise the money,” city manager Brian Humphress said Monday, noting that Willard used a similar strategy for soccer fields it built recently.
The park would be modeled after a similar facility that opened last fall 40 miles to the west in Fostoria, though it would not be nearly as big or expensive.
Both Willard, in southern Huron County, and Fostoria, at the junction of Wood, Hancock, and Seneca counties, are astride CSX Transportation’s busy former Baltimore & Ohio main line between Chicago and the East Coast. Both communities have attracted railroad buffs to watch and photograph the train activity.
Willard does not have two major main lines intersecting the former B&O track the way Fostoria does, but it is home to a major train switching yard and a junction with a branch line operated by the Ashland Railway. It was called Chicago Junction before it adopted the name of Daniel Willard, a 19th-century B&O president.
In a letter to state Sen. Gayle Manning (R., North Ridgeville), who sponsored the project’s funding in the capital budget, Mr. Humphress estimated the park could draw 15,000 to 25,000 visitors annually. Its proposed location near Second and Motson streets would put them within a five-minute walk — or one-minute drive — of Willard’s downtown shops and restaurants, he wrote.
“This project is good for local jobs and good for the long term health of our region’s tourism industry,” Ms. Manning said in an emailed statement Monday.
While Mr. Humphress said that some of those train-watchers probably already visit Willard, having the park will provide a safer place for them to pursue their hobby. Some now linger on the State Rt. 99 overpass east of town “and they can’t really stay there,” he said, while others trespass on CSX property.
The park’s $130,000 budget is based on $50,000 for a raised wooden platform, $40,000 for a restroom, and $20,000 for fences, signs, and historical exhibits, plus a $20,000 endowment for major maintenance.
It includes no money for land acquisition, Mr. Humphress said, because CSX owns the roughly half-an-acre site, and the railroad has indicated a willingness to donate it to the city.
A CSX spokesman did not respond to a message Monday seeking comment.
City officials expect park visitors to park on Second Street, which now dead-ends at the tracks, or other nearby streets, he said.
Land acquisition, site preparation, and construction of a driveway and parking lot were major elements of Fostoria’s train-watching park, built on an old pork-packing plant site. Opened in mid-November, its construction cost $1.1 million in mostly state funds.
Mr. Humphress said city officials hope to draft formal plans and raise Willard’s planned $80,000 share in time for the facility’s construction to start about a year from now.
Contact David Patch at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6094.
Train derailment causes drinking water advisory to be issued for the Spanish River
This advisory has now been lifted
UPDATED on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 10:41pm
NAIRN CENTRE–A train derailment this morning on the Huron Central main line just east of Nairn Centre caused a leak of diesel fuel into the adjacent wetland.
At the present time, it is not certain whether any of the fuel reached the Spanish River.
As a precaution the Sudbury & District Health Unit is advising those who take their drinking water from the Spanish River or from wells supplied by the river not use that water until further notice.
Health Unit staff will continue to monitor the situation. The Sudbury & District Health Unit will advise residents when the drinking water advisory is lifted.
For more information, please call the Sudbury & District Health Unit at 705.522.9200, ext. 398, toll-free 1.866.522.9200 or visit www.sdhu.com.
Young man hit by train in Latrobe dies
Tyler Quakenbush, 21, struck on tracks near Alexandria Street
LATROBE, Pa. —A western Pennsylvania man has died after lying on train tracks and being struck by a locomotive, but investigators still don't know why that happened.
The Westmoreland County coroner's office has identified the dead man as 21-year-old Tyler Quakenbush, who lived in Latrobe, not far from where he was hit by the Norfolk Southern freight train about 12:40 a.m. Tuesday. Latrobe is about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh.
VIDEO: Watch the report from Latrobe
Investigators have yet to determine whether the death was accidental or suicide, in part, because toxicology tests on the victim's body will take weeks to complete.
Latrobe and railroad police were also investigating.
Read more: http://www.wtae.com/news/young-man-hit-by-train-in-latrobe-dies/25488500#ixzz2zLQdgT74
CSX Corporation Announces First-Quarter Earnings and Dividend Increase
- First-quarter earnings per share of $0.40
- CSX continues to expect modest full-year earnings growth
- Merchandise and intermodal show continued strength, and the utility coal environment is improving
- Quarterly dividend increases 7 percent beginning in second quarter to $0.16 per share
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - April 15, 2014 - CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) today announced first-quarter net earnings of $398 million, or $0.40 per share, down from $462 million, or $0.45 per share in the same quarter of 2013.
For the quarter, revenue grew 2 percent to $3.0 billion on volume increases of 3 percent, with strength in intermodal and merchandise markets more than offsetting declines in coal. However, operating income declined 16 percent to $739 million and the operating ratio increased 520 basis points to 75.5 percent, primarily due to the impact of harsh weather. CSX estimates that weather-related disruptions increased expenses by approximately six cents per share, and impacted revenue contribution by about two to three cents.
"The company is indebted to the dedicated men and women of CSX who worked tirelessly through one of the worst winters on record to keep the network running as fluidly as possible," said Michael J. Ward, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Thanks to the hard work of our employees, service levels are gradually recovering, and we are capitalizing on an economy that continues to show positive momentum."
Looking forward, CSX expects modest full-year earnings growth for 2014 on the strength of broad-based merchandise and intermodal gains and an improving domestic coal environment. In addition, the company remains confident in its ability to sustain double-digit earnings growth and margin expansion for its shareholders in 2015 and beyond. The company expects to sustain a mid-60s operating ratio longer-term.
CSX also announced that its Board of Directors approved a 7 percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend to $0.16 per share, payable on June 13, 2014 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 28, 2014. This announcement builds on 11 increases over the past 8 years, representing a 20 percent compound annual growth rate during that time. It is consistent with CSX's view of the strength of the business and the company's approach to deploying cash within a balanced framework to support long-term value creation through investment, dividends, and share buybacks.
CSX executives will conduct a quarterly earnings conference call with the investment community on April 16, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, media and the public may listen to the conference call by dialing 1-888-EARN-CSX (888-327-6279) and asking for the CSX earnings call. Callers outside the U.S., dial 1-773-756-0199. Participants should dial in 10 minutes prior to the call. In conjunction with the call, a live webcast will be accessible and presentation materials will be posted on the company's website at http://investors.csx.com. Following the earnings call, an internet replay of the presentation will be archived on the company website.
This earnings announcement, as well as additional detailed financial information, is contained in the CSX Quarterly Financial Report available on the company's website at http://investors.csx.com and on Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For more than 185 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation's economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation's population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and small farming towns alike. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).
This information and other statements by the company may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act with respect to, among other items: projections and estimates of earnings, revenues, margins, volumes, rates, cost-savings, expenses, taxes, liquidity, capital expenditures, dividends, share repurchases or other financial items, statements of management's plans, strategies and objectives for future operations, and management's expectations as to future performance and operations and the time by which objectives will be achieved, statements concerning proposed new services, and statements regarding future economic, industry or market conditions or performance. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words or phrases such as "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project," "estimate," "preliminary" and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement. If the company updates any forward-looking statement, no inference should be drawn that the company will make additional updates with respect to that statement or any other forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, and actual performance or results could differ materially from that anticipated by any forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by any forward- looking statements include, among others; (i) the company's success in implementing its financial and operational initiatives; (ii) changes in domestic or international economic, political or business conditions, including those affecting the transportation industry (such as the impact of industry competition, conditions, performance and consolidation); (iii) legislative or regulatory changes; (iv) the inherent business risks associated with safety and security; (v) the outcome of claims and litigation involving or affecting the company; (vi) natural events such as severe weather conditions or pandemic health crises; and (vii) the inherent uncertainty associated with projecting economic and business conditions.
Other important assumptions and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are specified in the company's SEC reports, accessible on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov and the company's website at www.csx.com.
David Baggs, Investor Relations
Melanie Cost, Corporate Communications
Grain train derails near Nipawin
Saskatchewan farmers struggling to ship their crops were dealt another blow Thursday afternoon when a train derailed near Nipawin.
The train was hauling grain on the privately owned Torch River Rail, a short line that runs about 45 kilometres from Nipawin to Choiceland, Sask., when four cars derailed.
The track broke in at least one section.
“We were scheduled on the next train run. I heard about the derailment then just took the trucks home,” said Ryan Reid, a farmer from the area who was hoping to move oats. “It’s not so much the cars. It’s the fact that the track is wrecked for a section now.”
Officials with the Torch River track said Saturday they were not yet sure when the line would re-open. Cleanup was still underway Saturday morning.
Reid said the derailment only adds to the frustration farmers across the province have felt this winter as they attempt to move their crops. A friend of his was hauling wheat in one of the cars that tipped.
“It just makes a lengthy process even more lengthy,” he said. “Most of the grain was supposed to be gone months ago and we’re still waiting on cars. It’s just been slow.”
Grain has been stalled at railways across the prairies for several months as a cold and snowy winter caused a higher-than-expected grain yield to backlog. The backlog only recently started to show signs of easing.
“If we can’t move it, we don’t get paid,” said Reid.
Read more: http://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/grain-train-derails-near-nipawin-1.1773204#ixzz2zLRYx0NO
UPDATE: Rail line reopens, derailment cleanup continues
ROCK (WVVA) - A section of rail line closed by a derailment has reopend, NS spokesperson Robin Chapman tells WVVA News.
Crews are still on scene working to clean up the mess. Twelve cars carrying coal left the tracks Tuesday night, with several going over an embankment.
ROCK (WVVA) - Crews were at the site of a train derailment in a remote area of Mercer County Wednesday.
The derailment occurred Tuesday night in the Rock area -- near Montcalm -- across from Route 71.
Robin Chapman with Norfolk-Southern tells WVVA News that the train was headed east to Norfolk around 11: 15 p.m. when the accident occurred.
The train was hauling coal at the time of the derailment. Twelve cars were involved, with some some completely leaving the tracks and going over an embankment.
No injuries were reported. Chapman says the line is expected to back in service by Thursday.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation.
WVVA News will provide more details as it becomes available.
Teen Kicked by Train Conductor While Taking Selfie on Railroad Tracks (VIDEO)
A new video going viral is the subject of much debate and shock. In the clip, a teen in headphones attempts to take a selfie from what he seems to think is a "safe distance" from the train tracks. As the locomotive whizzes by, he's seemingly struck in the head by the train conductor, who stuck his leg out and delivered a swift kick to the teen's head and neck. Whoa.
Yep, you pretty much just have to see it to believe it ...
So far, what went down in the video is being treated as real. Arthur J. Miller, director of safety for Permian Basin Railways (which has nothing to do with the kid's video directly), commented on it to the Daily News:
The point here is clear. The would-be ‘selfie’ artist was engaged trespassing when it appears a 'little street justice' was administered. John Q. Public does not have the proper respect for railroad trains and property.
The teen who appears in the video uploaded it under the name Jared Michael, but other than his video description and a train photographer's speculation that it looks like the railroad in Peru, there isn't much other info about its origins.
Skeptics say this may very well be one of Jimmy Kimmel's now infamous viral video hoaxes. Either way, it's a wildly illustrated example of how glorification of this sort of Jackass, risky, ridiculous behavior is a major problem for parents. And/or how kids are so consumed by their smartphones and selfies that they're oblivious to their surroundings and failing to see what's right in front of them. Or, in this case, behind them!
All I can say is thank goodness this kid seemed okay despite that kick. Let's just hope he learned his lesson. And as far as whether or not the video was a prank, well, we'll just have to stay tuned ...
Man sitting on tracks hit, killed by train
A Warrenville man has died after being struck by Norfolk Southern train Thursday morning in Aiken County.
Coroner Tim Carlton identified the victim as Robert Norman Bisou, 32.
Aiken County sheriff’s Capt. Eric Adbullah said Norfolk Southern contacted the sheriff’s office around 4:15 a.m. after the train struck Bisou near Carter Street and Bath Lake Road in Warrenville.
The train was traveling 39 miles per hour when the operator noticed a man sitting on the tracks about 30 yards ahead, a coroner’s office news release said. The train, which was hauling more than 70 cars, was put into emergency mode but was unable to stop.
Deputies met with conductors at Camp Kiwanis and walked the tracks until they discovered the body.
Carlton pronounced Bisou deceased of multiple body trauma at 5:15 a.m. Toxicology results are pending and an autopsy is scheduled for Friday.
Reach Bianca Cain Johnson at (706) 823-3486
2 adults arrested in Longmont railroad tie fire
LONGMONT — Longmont police say they made two arrests in connection with a massive fire involving a large stack of railroad ties. The fire burned through several power lines, leaving a large portion of eastern Longmont in the dark.
Multiple agencies were battling the fire that started around 8 p.m. Wednesday near the city's waste water plant. A large plume of smoke was visible from Interstate 25.
Police say a homeless man saw two young men run from the scene. Longmont Police identified the two men as August Adams, 18, and Robert Fitzpatrick, 22. Both were charged with second degree arson and are being held at the Boulder County Jail. Police have not released a motive for the arson.
Longmont authorities said no structures were in danger, but air quality in the area was poor due to the chemicals used in the treatment of railroad ties. Police were not concerned about an ongoing air quality threat overnight.
There were no reports of injuries, and power was restored late Wednesday to the homes and businesses affected.
Train collides with van near uptown Charlotte
A train collided with a van Wednesday afternoon just southwest of uptown Charlotte.
At least one person was injured in the collision near West Summit Avenue and Clarkson Street, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. The extent of the injuries was not immediately know.
West Summit Avenue was closed to traffic around 5:30 p.m. It wasn’t clear when the road would reopen.
Several news outlets showed video of the remnants of a yellow delivery truck with boxes strewn across the roadway and railroad tracks.
Police were still investigating Wednesday afternoon.
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Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/04/16/4846142/train-collides-with-van-near-uptown.html#.U1KSEfldWXE#storylink=cpy
Killing reported at Oregon railroad workplace; suspect in custody
PORTLAND, Oregon — An employee at an Oregon rail yard fatally shot a co-worker, the authorities said Thursday.
James Harold Forshee II, 58, was arrested at the scene in Klamath Falls, about 280 miles south of Portland, and booked into jail on a murder charge, said District Attorney Rob Patridge of Klamath County.
A spokesman for the BNSF Railway, Mike Trevino, identified the victim as Emery W. Connor. The LinkedIn page for Connor says he had been with BNSF for eight years, first as a locomotive electrician and most recently as a mechanical foreman.
"BNSF extends its deepest sympathies to Emery Connor's family, friends and co-workers for the tragic loss of his life in a senseless act of violence," Trevino said.
BNSF declined to say what Forshee did at the railroad, or say if he Connor was his direct supervisor.
The district attorney declined to speculate on a possible motive, except to say "there was certainly an employee-employee relationship there."
Forshee is scheduled to be arraigned Friday, and the case will be presented to a grand jury next week. Forshee will likely be assigned a public defender at Friday's court appearance, Patridge said.
Connor was in his office around 6 a.m. when he was shot more than once. Other employees called 9-1-1 to report the killing, but Patridge did not reveal whether they witnessed the violence.
Police detectives spent most of the day at Forshee's home, which is about 2 ½ miles from the BNSF facility.
Darcie Turner, who lives across the street, said Forshee owns a pickup, but chose to take a taxi to work Thursday. She and her neighbors also observed that he put out the trash even though it doesn't get picked up until Friday.
Forshee lives alone, has a lot of motorcycles and loves dogs, Turner said.
"He's a great big guy, and it was just cute to see him out in his yard with these two itty-bitty dogs, like Chihuahuas," she said.
"He was kind of a loner," she added. "We never noticed anybody going over there, but he just adored his little dogs. They went everywhere with him."
When Turner and other neighbors heard about what happened at the rail yard, the whereabouts of the dogs was one of the first questions that came to mind.
Another neighbor said Forshee had just found a new home for them.
"When we found out that he found a home for them — just a few days ago — it almost sounded like he knew he wouldn't be there to take care of them," she said.
Norfolk Southern worker files injury claim
WILLIAMSON — A man is suing over claims he was injured while on the job as a carman for a railroad company.
Randy J. Ray filed a lawsuit Jan. 31 in Mingo Circuit Court against Norfolk Southern Railway Company, citing negligence.
According to the complaint, Ray was employed as a carman by Norfolk Southern Railway Company on June 23, 2012, when his spine was injured as a result of repetitive and manual lifting.
Ray is seeking $3,000,000 in damages.
He is being represented in the case by attorneys Greg Smith and Patrick S. O’Brien.
Mingo Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-14
This entry was posted in Issues, Mingo County, News, Personal Injury and tagged Greg Smith, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Patrick S. O'Brien, Randy J. Ray. Bookmark the permalink.
Demolition starts on old depot
A crew from Dahme Construction began demolition work Wednesday on a building on South Main Street.
Workers were removing the west end of the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad Depot, which is also referred to as the freight portion of the building, at 11th Avenue Southwest. The primary depot structure will be renovated. City planner Ken Hubbart said the Aberdeen City Council approved demolition plans for this project in May 2013.
The state’s Historic Preservation Office originally rejected the demolition plans, but property owner Doug Braa appealed that decision to the City Council, which approved the plan. In 2013, plans for the lot included restoration of the existing depot building and the construction of an L-shaped apartment building. Demolition was needed, Hubbart said, to allow for additional parking.
Hubbart said he anticipates a rezoning request for the property, which would allow for residential development.
The depot was built in 1907 and has been on the National and State Registers of Historic Places since 1976.
UPDATE: Man Escapes Stalled Car Moments Before Collision With Train
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A train smashed into a car stalled out on the tracks in downtown Huntsville Thursday night, but the driver was able to jump from the car moments before impact.
Police say the driver ran from the scene after the crash. The vehicle was dragged by the train for several-hundred yards after it was struck.
The train blocked multiple intersections around the downtown Huntsville area for about an hour as crews investigated the scene.
No injuries were reported.
CSX worker assaulted, robbed while working
Ocala police need assistance in solving the robbery of a CSX employee on Tuesday.
The employee told authorities the train had broken down and he walked around it and checked the cars to see if everything was all right.
On his way back to the front of the train, the man said he was struck by something and knocked out. When he woke up, his CSX portable radio and wallet were missing.
Ocala Police Department officials said employee had injuries to the right side of his face near his eye and right cheek. He also complained of pain in his right shoulder and left knee. He was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center for further evaluation.
The robbery occurred near the overpass at Southwest 10th Street.
Anyone with information about the crime can call Detective Mike Hilton at 369-7045 or Crime Stoppers at 368-STOP, or visit www.ocalacrimestoppers.com. Tips can be sent via the MyPD App or by texting 274637 using keyword 368STOP.
- Austin L. Miller
Juvenile hit by train in Danville
The juvenile who was injured by a train Friday morning was actually a runaway teen, according to Danville Police.
At 10:54 a.m., police and the Boyle County EMS were called to the railroad, owned by Norfolk Southern Railroad, when they located an injured teen. He was missing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and had been last seen in Georgetown. Local police had tried to locate him there, but were unable to do so.
Somehow, the teen lost his shoes before he got to Danville, police said. He was attempted to step off the train as it slowed down, but in the process his foot became pinched between railroad cars.
He was transported to Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released. The parents of the juvenile and the entering agency have been contacted by Danville Police Department and are making arrangements to pick him up.
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Pickup truck crashes into train; woman injured
SAN ANGELO, Texas — A train and pickup collided near U.S. 67 and Farm-to-Market Road 1692 on Friday evening between Miles and San Angelo, injuring one woman, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Trooper Alan Dykstra, who is investigating the crash, identified the woman as Miles resident Kathryn Monica McLain-Murray, 22. She was flown to Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo, he said, and no details on her condition were available Friday night.
Dykstra said the crash, which was reported at 5:15 p.m., happened as McLain-Murray was driving back to Miles from San Angelo in a 2003 Chevrolet pickup. She was not wearing a seat belt, he said.
Elizabeth Grindstaff, vice president of sales and marketing with Texas Pacifico Railroad, said the train was westbound heading into San Angelo and would have been traveling at maximum speeds up to 25 mph. The vehicle was southbound on FM 1692 when it collided with the train.
The train “was in the intersection when it was hit by the (vehicle),” Grindstaff said. The pickup collided with the lead locomotive, but impact was toward the back of the rail car.
According to Dykstra, McLain-Murray failed to yield the right of way. Upon impact with the train, her pickup “spun clockwise, coming to rest just off the roadway, in the northwest corner of the intersection facing northeast. The train stopped a short distance west of the intersection.”
The train was carrying sand, Grindstaff said, and would have had a minimum of 75 loaded cars. As part of standard investigation, safety personnel with Texas Pacifico will measure between the point of impact and the locomotive’s stopping point.
The intersection is equipped with the standard federal safety warnings for the volume of traffic in that area, Grindstaff said, including yield signs and railroad warning signs.
Quail Valley Volunteer Fire Department and the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the crash.
According to standard procedure, the National Transportation Safety Board will be contacted and will investigate the crash, Grindstaff said.
Most recently, about 10 days ago, Grindstaff said a train collided with a vehicle just southwest of San Angelo. Because it occurred at a private crossing, safety personnel did not respond. There were no injuries and only vehicular damage.
Grindstaff said the last local crash before that involving a train was in October 2012, when a pickup hit a rail car north of Ballinger. The driver of the pickup, who suffered minor injuries, was pushed into the train when another vehicle hit him from behind, Grindstaff said.
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All-terrain biker hit by Pittsburgh freight train
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Investigators believe a man riding an all-terrain motorcycle near some railroad tracks in Pittsburgh might not have seen or heard the freight train that hit and killed him.
The Allegheny County medical examiner's office has identified the victim as 48-year-old John Relja, of Elizabeth Township.
Police spokeswoman Sonya Toler says it appears the biker didn't hear or heed the train's whistle before he tried to cross the tracks about 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
Relja's motorcycle and body were thrown from a ledge where the tracks run to the ground some 30 feet below.
CSX Railroad officials, city police and the medical examiner's office were investigating.
Sinkhole discovered just feet from railroad tracks in Warsaw
WARSAW, Ind. -- A six-foot wide sinkhole in Warsaw is growing and could be up to 18 feet deep. Because it is right next to a set of train tracks, residents are worried the weight of a passing train will make the sinkhole larger.
The city engineer says she doesn't think the sinkhole - or depression - poses no imminent danger.
Homeowners say they're still concerned.
"There are a lot of kids that walk through here, especially going to and from the CVS," said Thomas Elkins.
The neighborhood, near Hickory and Main, is a few blocks from downtown so there's a lot of foot traffic in the area.
"It's a concern because if they fall in, I don't know how deep it is. I haven't gone up there and looked so I don't know how deep it is but anytime there is a hole that you can get trapped in, it's a concern," said Elkins.
City officials say the hole is six feet across and inside, a pipe that was laid 18-feet deep is exposed. They have blocked off the area around the hole.
But because it's just ten feet from the railroad tracks, residents worry it will just get worse.
"I hope they get it fixed and it doesn't cause the train to derail. The trains are my main concern because they are so heavy and they do come through here fairly regularly," said Elkins.
"Oh the trains coming through and possibly making that sinkhole worse, very concerning," said resident David Skerritt.
According to city workers, there will be a contractor checking out the hole as soon as Monday.
"I hope they get it fixed as soon as they can," said resident Karen Heeter.
City officials say they are still looking into what's causing this situation. They say it could have something to do with an abandoned pipe getting hooked back up to the water lines and they hope to have the problem fixed within the next month.
Concord: BART derailment occurred when train tried to enter tracks without authorization
CONCORD -- For the second time in the last two months, a BART train derailed along central Contra Costa County tracks, this time after a train operator attempted to maneuver the train from a side track onto a mainline track without approval, the BART board president said Friday.
No one was injured and preliminary reports show only minor damage to the out-of-service BART train and tracks after it went off the rails around 5 p.m. Thursday, according to police and a BART official.
"To enter the 'revenue tracks' you have to have authorization," said BART board President Joel Keller of Brentwood.
The train, which was not carrying passengers, had been parked on a side track near the North Concord station and was heading back to the Concord shop, which is between the Concord and Pleasant Hill stations, for regular maintenance, Keller said. The train manually attempted to enter the main tracks where trains operate in automatic and are largely controlled by computer, but did not have authorization, Keller said.
"I've been told the switch did its job," said Keller, saying the equipment kept the train from entering the unpermitted area, but caused it to derail. A California Public Utilities Commission spokeswoman said her agency is investigating the incident.
On Feb. 21, a train at the Concord station derailed as it was also heading to a yard, leaving cars strewn across both the westbound and eastbound main tracks and the train's lead car hanging off the edge of the elevated rails. State and BART officials say that investigation is ongoing, but BART officials have said two damaged cars were not repairable and other fixes would cost a "considerable amount of money."
Thursday's derailment happened hours after Cal-OSHA investigators cited the transit agency with three "willful, serious" safety violations and fined them $210,000 for the deaths of two track workers in October.
Keller said he was glad the agency had abated all three violations already, but he said no decision has been made on whether to appeal the fines.
"Hopefully, we won't see anything like that happen again," he said. "It was awful, just awful."
Contact Matthias Gafni at 925-952-5026. Follow him at Twitter.com/mgafni.
Indiana man strikes building, later hit by train
MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — Police in northwest Indiana say a man who drove into a building in the morning was hit by a train later that night.
The News-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1kKrEM8 ) reports that 26-year-old Carlos Cooper Jr. of Michigan City was seriously injured by an Amtrak train while walking along the track Thursday night.
Less than 15 hours earlier, Cooper’s truck ran into a restaurant. He told police he’d lost control of the vehicle while avoiding a pothole.
Witnesses later told police Cooper appeared to be talking on a cellphone when he was struck from behind by a train and thrown off the tracks. The train’s warning lights were on and its horn was sounding.
Cooper was flown to South Bend Memorial Hospital, where officials said he was upgraded to serious condition Saturday morning.
Information from: The News-Dispatch, http://www.michigancityin.com
Man's Legs Severed by SEPTA Train
A man had both of his legs severed after being run over by a SEPTA Regional Rail train last night.
The unidentified man was struck by a Manayunk-Norristown train near Ross Road, not far from the Bridgeport Station in Plymouth Township, Pa. around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, a SEPTA spokesperson told NBC10.com.
SEPTA said the conductor tried to stop but couldn't in time.
The victim was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition -- both of his legs amputated, according to the spokesperson.
Several trains on the Manayunk-Norristown line were canceled Friday night due to the incident. By Saturday morning all train service returned to normal.
Police and SEPTA are investigating the incident and have not said why the man was on the tracks.
Woman injured in train mishap at EcoTarium
WORCESTER — One person sustained a minor injury when a car on the Explorer Express Train at the EcoTarium derailed around 4 p.m. Friday.
A woman on the train sustained a wrist injury and was transported to a Worcester hospital, Linda McGowan, director of institutional advancement at the EcoTarium, said.
The train can hold as many as 100 passengers, but it did not have all of the cars and the second engine attached Friday when the accident happened.
Juliane Frost, EcoTarium manager of communications and marketing, said the engineer estimated there were about 30 passengers in three cars at the time. Ten were in the overturned car and were able to walk away.
Ms. McGowan said the staff at the indoor-outdoor science and nature museum will work to determine why the car tipped and what, if any, repairs need to be made.
She said the museum has protocols for dealing with emergencies and immediately called 911 when the accident happened.
The train is one of the most popular attractions at the museum, and with school vacation week under way, it's hoped any necessary repairs can be quickly made to get the 1/3-scale model back on track and providing the 12-minute rides around the facility and through a tunnel.
While it's a scale model of an 1865 steam engine, the smaller version runs on diesel fuel and had been problem-free all week, Ms. McGowan said. It is inspected annually by the state, as are carnival-type rides, she said.
The state inspection was set for next month.
It is unclear how long the train will be out of service, but a note on the EcoTarium's website indicates that it is out of service.