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Western Railroad Discussion > Another Derailment on Cajon


Date: 04/06/06 22:06
Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: jperry

Wow! After 30 years of railfanning, it finally happened to me!

After spending the morning hanging out with Don and Wayne up at Hill 582 I decided to check out Sullivan's Curve since I had never been there before. I arrived and scoped things out. It appears that there was storm related track-work being done at the curve so traffic was light. With nothing else to photograph I shot some pictures of the track gang hard at work.

Around 3:30 PM today, the gang opted to finish thier present effort and clear the track for an Eastbound stack train. The first photo shows that train - the BNSF 5109 East leaning into the brunt of the curve just below the west switch at UP's Canyon siding. Notice the Roadmaster pacing the train as it tranverses the area where, only moments before, his gang was working replacing ballast.

The train continued on through the curve and I began to walk back to my car when I heard the most God-awful sound I have ever heard. I knew instantly that something was amiss. I hurriedly crossed the UP main to look directly down onto the BNSF Main 1 track and saw the BNSF 238841 derail right before my eyes. I jumped to capture it on film and had to wrestle with the ON/OFF switch but I was able to get a shot of it right after it happened.

I called 911 from my cell phone and while trying to relay all the train's location to the CHP dispatcher I heard the Roadmaster trying to get the 5109 crew's attention to stop the train because he saw smoke coming from one car 6 ahead of the rear. They eventually stopped the train about 1.5 miles from the location of the mishap.

The last photo shows the train stopped and the lead truck of the B-end of the car clearly off the track. Highway 138 can be seen in the background of the photo.

I was talking to another BNSF crew later and they said the train ripped up or severly damaged over a mile of concrete ties. It was still tying up Main 1 when I left the hill around 7:30 tonight.

It was a scary moment for sure.

Joe








Date: 04/06/06 22:15
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: WildeBill

Great pictures and story.

I have found it helpful to keep the toll free numbers for the freight railroad police departments with me. If witnessing an emergency you are more likely (but not certain) to get a dispatcher or call taker that is familiar with mileposts or station names and more importantly can quickly call the train dispatcher to radio to the crew.

Bill



Date: 04/06/06 22:20
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: daylight

Great catch.

I agree with Bill. I have both UP and BNSF emergency numbers programed into my cell. I've tried explaining to a CHP dispatcher railroad locations, but they are just not equipped for that (their computer wants intersections and street addresses).

Here is BNSF's emergency # 1-800-832-5452
UP's is 1-888-877-7267

Concrete ties are great, but not like old wood ties. Wood, you would just make sure the spikes are holding and forget about them. Concrete you've got to replace. Happened to UP up in the Feather River last fall. Big pain, but could have been much worse if you did not call.

-daylight



Date: 04/06/06 22:22
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: ATSF100WEST

DAMN! AWESOME PHOTOS! Glad you were there, and no one was hurt or worse......

Thanks for sharing!

Bob

ATSF100WEST......Out



Date: 04/06/06 22:22
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: 90mac

Good job.
TAH



Date: 04/06/06 22:41
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: railroad007

Wow! Great job. They were lucky not go turnout.



Date: 04/06/06 23:55
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: MrMRL

Hmm, two derailments in the same week at the same location? Time to replace that rail! Or, hit up the track gang for a drug test...

Robby F. (Mr. MRL)



Date: 04/07/06 01:40
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: potb101

> Here is BNSF's emergency # 1-800-832-5452
> UP's is 1-888-877-7267

Daylight,

I can't say what a stroke of good thinking it was to include these numbers in your post. Way to go. I hope everyone copies them down. I know I will. Thanks.

Jody



Date: 04/07/06 09:14
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: mcdeo

potb101 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > Here is BNSF's emergency # 1-800-832-5452
> > UP's is 1-888-877-7267
>
> Daylight,
>
> I can't say what a stroke of good thinking it was
> to include these numbers in your post. Way to go.
> I hope everyone copies them down. I know I will.
> Thanks.
>
> Jody

Yes, thank you, just added to my contacts!



Date: 04/07/06 09:51
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: espeeboy

as someone who has witnessed a similar intermodal derailment (but only 15 feet away coming right at me), let me tell you that there is no other air-piercing memorable silence-shattering sound then a train derailing. Doesn't matter if it's a big derailment or just one wheel off the rails dragging along - the rhythmic sounds of a flange ripping ties and the sight of granite ballast being pulverized into airborne dust is just too amazing to witness in person.

Four years ago here in Oakland right off the loading dock step of my old trackside shop/office location, I watched a set of two articulated spine cars pick a switch frog starting a crossover and then literally jump over the next switch frog and inside mainline rail sending springs flying and brake rig piping everywhere. Scary to think those springs were airborne 15 feet from me. Luckily thanks to loss of airline pressure, the train stopped right away. And of course today those scarred wood ties are still there in service!



Date: 04/07/06 11:11
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: jperry

daylight Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great catch.
>
> I agree with Bill. I have both UP and BNSF
> emergency numbers programed into my cell. I've
> tried explaining to a CHP dispatcher railroad
> locations, but they are just not equipped for that
> (their computer wants intersections and street
> addresses).
>
> Here is BNSF's emergency # 1-800-832-5452
> UP's is 1-888-877-7267
>
> Concrete ties are great, but not like old wood
> ties. Wood, you would just make sure the spikes
> are holding and forget about them. Concrete
> you've got to replace. Happened to UP up in the
> Feather River last fall. Big pain, but could have
> been much worse if you did not call.
>
> -daylight


Very sage advice Daylight. I will add these numbers to my phone as well. Thanks for posting them.

Joe



Date: 04/07/06 12:13
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: csx5000

i added them in my cell. i have already added Ns and CSX to my list. now i have UP and BNSF. cool shots and great looking out
railfan1 out



Date: 04/07/06 12:54
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: DynamicBrake

Great 2nd shot Joe! That's one train that I'm sure will stand out in your mind. Thanks for posting those numbers Daylight.

Kent



Date: 04/07/06 13:41
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: ProAmtrak

MrMRL Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hmm, two derailments in the same week at the same
> location? Time to replace that rail! Or, hit up
> the track gang for a drug test...
>
> Robby F. (Mr. MRL)


1ST Derailment was below Sullivans curve! Also I got the numbers jotted down too so thanks for the heads up!



Date: 04/07/06 18:44
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: SandyMan

I've had UP, BNSF & KCS in my phone for 4 yrs. Had to use the KCS one abt 8 mo ago. Gates didn't raise after a train passed. Walked up so I cud see the nr on the xing and called. They said tks, wud get someone out there soon.

I made a U turn and went the long way home from the grandkids.

SM



Date: 04/07/06 19:28
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: LAYOFF

Yea im glad youve all posted the RIGHT numbers to call , becuase the 911 system isnt really any help to the railroad unless there is injury or Fire. In fact ive used it in the past and they refered me to the BNSF railroad emergency hotline.

Rail was a LITTLE out of guage from what ive heard.



Date: 04/07/06 23:32
Re: Another Derailment on Cajon
Author: David.Curlee

Rumor has it BNSF's Track Geometry Train (the same one just here a couple weeks ago) was turned around at Belen, NM today and sent back to check Cajon once more.



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