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Derailment at Culbertson, MT, 7/16/15

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CHamilton

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Another derailment on the Hi-Line.

Train Derails Near Culbertson, Mont.

Authorities have confirmed that a train has derailed near Culbertson, Mont.


Police in Fairview, Mont., say about 20 cars from an oil tanker train have come off the tracks. No spills or fires have been reported. There's also no word if the tanks were carrying oil.

Amtrak has suspended westbound service from Williston until Saturday.
 

neroden

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I wonder if this is bad track maintenance or bad tank car maintenance. Derailments happen, but there are more than there should be on the Hi-Line. And I thought BNSF was doing a pretty good track maintenance job.
 
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CHamilton

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IIRC, the area between Culbertson and Williston has just been double-tracked, and the tracks looked pristine when I was there a couple of weeks ago. So I would guess train, rather than track, issues.
 

Cole737

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ANOTHER one?! My gosh. Everything's all screwed up on the Hi-Line these days. Hopefully everything gets sorted out in the next week or so. There's probably hundreds of unhappy amtrak passengers that have to deal with this mess as well. I'll be one of them if it doesn't get sorted out quickly.
 

montana mike

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My BNSF local contacts say at least several days will be needed to get things back to something resembling any sort of schedule. The number of freights effected by these mishaps is growing by the day, with these delays now exceeding 96 hours in both directions. Not sure if Amtrak is being optimistic about restarting Saturday. Even if they do the trip will be like driving on I-5 in LA during rush hour--very slow--for at least several more days. What a mess......
 
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Hi. I'm new to the forum. I was scheduled to depart on the EB in Fargo, ND on the 15th. They called me half an hour prior to my leaving the house to tell me about the (first) derailment. They kept rescheduling me and I finally am up to tickets for July 19. Then today there is this other (worse) derailment. Anyone know the odds that I will be leaving on July 19? I called Amtrak and they said as of now they are not cancelling or changing tickets for anybody, but I should check back tomorrow. Basically, she said she had no information, even less than I read in the article. Should I just forget about train travel out West for the time being? I am beyond devastated and wondering how long my work is going to let me extend my vacation. :( Any suggestions or thoughts would be very much appreciated.
 

CHamilton

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Hi. I'm new to the forum. I was scheduled to depart on the EB in Fargo, ND on the 15th. They called me half an hour prior to my leaving the house to tell me about the (first) derailment. They kept rescheduling me and I finally am up to tickets for July 19. Then today there is this other (worse) derailment. Anyone know the odds that I will be leaving on July 19? I called Amtrak and they said as of now they are not cancelling or changing tickets for anybody, but I should check back tomorrow. Basically, she said she had no information, even less than I read in the article. Should I just forget about train travel out West for the time being? I am beyond devastated and wondering how long my work is going to let me extend my vacation. :( Any suggestions or thoughts would be very much appreciated.
Melissa,

Derailments are rare, and two in a week are almost unheard-of. I would stick with your travel plans if you can, and enjoy your trip!
 
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My mom said if someone wrote this into a novel, it would be completely unrealistic. Truth is stranger than fiction. I'll try to wait it out. I was starting to consider flying there and taking the train back, but I really would rather take the train. Barring any unforeseen incidents...

Thanks for the info and the article. I appreciate your input.
 

CHamilton

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Best wishes to you! I hope you'll report on how your trip goes.
 

montana mike

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This would appear to mean one or two cars leaked. Thank goodness there was no fire! If nothing else this really helps make the case for the pipeline! I just went over those tracks a few weeks ago, and while there are indeed some new tracks, there were bumpy and uneven sections that tossed us around a fair amount-which I thought was strange, given the effort that was being made to upgrade the tracks throughout eastern MT and most of ND.
 

Steve4031

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A complete set of equipment departed Chicago as 7/27 (17). It left a half hour late. The train was being cleaned as it pulled into the station. We had to stand on the platform for 20 minutes before boarding 2730 car. We departed 30 minutes late.
 

niemi24s

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Google Earth's nearly two year old imagery shows a fairly large water-filled sink hole adjacent to the south of the tracks about 9 miles east of Culbertson. Soggy ground - especially the rich soil in that area - would (I think) make for difficult roadbed conditions. If so, my money's on that sink hole as the location of the derailment.

Edit: Oops. Please disregard. This... http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/rail-cars-leaking-crude-oil-train-derails-montana-32511902 ...says the derailment was 5 miles east of Culbertson.
 
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saxman

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Number 8(16) has left Wolf Point, MT. A few towns east of there is the derailment sight. So far the website plans on 8 making it through the area but losing 45 minutes by the time it reaches Williston tonight.
 

amtrakwolverine

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I'm on 8(17) currently and no one knows what awaits us. I was told at Seattle there may or may not be a bus bridge depends what BNSF does.
 

saxman

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Looks like 8(16) made it through, losing about 2 hours between WPT and WTN. I think 8(17) will make it through. Eventually, at least. I'm catching 8(17) in MSP tomorrow.
 

jis

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The derailment is in an area that has been recently double tracked. Perhaps only one track was damaged in this derailment leaving the other track operable?
 

montana mike

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Both tracks were down until they reopened the line Thursday PM. BNSF needed the other track to move in repair equipment. While both tracks are now available the congestion is significant. My BNSF contacts say that by late Monday the track speeds should return to close to normal, assuming no more "issues".
 
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