City of New Orleans Hits a Tree

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Service Attendant
Jul 29, 2013
Last weekend we had a great trip on the City of New Orleans from Chicago to NOLA. One of the more interesting moments in the trip came shortly before Brookhaven, MS station. The train was cruising along at 60mph+ when with a small jolt, we struck a tree that had fallen on the tracks. Track through that area is quite rough so the jolt was barely noticeable. I was looking out the window at the time and got to see the tree, broken in two, scrapping along both sides of our sleeper. It wasn't a huge tree, but not a particularly small one either. We slowed for a mile or so before getting back up to track speed.

We did stop at Brookhaven to double check the damage, but then quickly continued on to McComb, MS. All seemed well...until we got to McComb. It was at that point that conductors made an announcement about our tree strike damage. They let us know that the snowplow had been damaged and was scraping at crossings, so it would need to be repaired. A maintenance crew was sent from Jackson and the train crew didn't seem too worried. Once at McComb, we were allowed to step off, where I grabbed a picture of the damage. The plow was bent back just enough to keep us from moving on!

Of course this meant we could grab a selfie with the train station. There is also a nice, free little railroad museum in the train station building we visited.

Timing of our train's misfortune worked out in one way. It gave us an opportunity to watch the town's MLK parade.

After the parade, the locals wished all us train passengers well, a nice gesture! Not long after, the CN crew broke out the torches (conductor's words, not mine) and fixed the plow. We departed McComb two hours down.

All-in-all, we arrived in NOLA 50 min late and got a unique little visit to a small Mississippi town.
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