Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

A Cab Ride You Wouldn't Want

Here's video released yesterday from the National Transportation Safety Board in relationship to a train derailment and fire at Casselton ND on December 30, 2013. Their finding was that a defective axle on the grain train (that's the train with which we're riding initially as the video starts) caused the train to derail. A crude oil train (you'll hear the crew calling that they are a "key train" which means they're carrying lots of flammable material like oil) coming the other way plows into the derailed cars and crashes off the rails itself. The oil tankers rupture and a big fire ensues.

Things to note is when the first train (grain) goes into emergency braking involuntarily — that's because the train air line broke when it derailed, triggering an emergency braking. This is different from the oil train voluntarily going into emergency because its engineer "big holed" it (hit the emergency brake). By the time the oil train went into emergency, it was too late, though.

This video mostly has no sound until near the very end, when you hear the radio call of a railroad signal maintainer (truck visible earlier in the video) calling that he'd seen something go wrong, and of the crew of the oil train calling after they'd derailed and crashed off the rails telling the dispatcher they were on fire and that they were getting out of their train immediately.



Personally, I'm amazed the crew of the oil train stuck around as long as they did, and that they escaped relatively uninjured from what could have been a deadly pile-up.
Tags: trains
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