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Nostalgia & History > Burlington Northern Collision/Derailment at Oregon, Illinois


Date: 02/13/18 09:10
Burlington Northern Collision/Derailment at Oregon, Illinois
Author: GBW309

Unfortunately, derailments happen for what ever reason. I don't recall the exact details or date of this derailment/collision but it was probably October of 1990 at Oregon, Illinois (slide stamped Nov, 1990). I believe that an eastbound train had overrun the east siding switch and crept out onto the main when a westbound came around the corner and struck him head on. If Pat sees this (quakerengineer), he may recall some more details. I wasn't able to find any details by google search.

Dave



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/18 09:11 by GBW309.








Date: 02/13/18 09:51
Re: Burlington Northern Collision/Derailment at Oregon, Illinois
Author: Quakerengr

Okay here you go. The ewd trains engine heaters stopped working near Genoa, Wi. abt MP 280. Crew decides to operate train from second unit.
That unit was facing cab west. They were on one of the ewd Expediter type intermodal trains that BN started operating mid 80's, conductor only.
The engr had recently bid onto the road from yard at Cicero, Il, never worked road trains before. The conductor was a very old head and would have been sitting on the side of engine where the signals are placed, thus he would have to relay signals to engr in hard to see spots, which if operating from second motor would be a lot..

Siding at Oregon, MP 99, was short, do not think a mile long at this time. The ewd approach signal to the siding at this time was one of those where your window to see signal was short. ( BN did extend the siding and now is close to 11,000. ft long). For whatever reason the crew did not see the "Approach signal, aka yellow ". This signal is at the apex of the hill, looking at my charts is 0.79 for ewd trains and for wwd's 0.47. The vision on the west siding signal also was short, thus coming off this hill always required maximum dynamic brakes and usually some air as at the site of this collision is a 45 mph restriction over the Rock River bridge.

Thus they did not stop at the east siding switch which was displaying a STOP indication, and ran into the wwd train pulling into the siding. I have worked with the conductor on that wwd train and he retells the story. They were pulling their wwd Expediter train into the siding at 10 mph maybe had 25 or 30 cars of their train inside. As the ewd roared by he and engr said to each other they are going, what we call "HOT", towards the east end of siding. Next thing they are in emergency and an explosion as the engines and cars tore out the gas lines that are connected to the switch machines for clearing da snow. After they stopped they ran back and like a scene from a horror movie, the crew members are walking out of the smoke and dust looking like zombies. Fortunately no one was injured, physically. As is the case, the BN held an investigation to ascertain the facts and determine their responsibility, if any, in connection with the alleged incident that happenned on this day. The conductor was old enough to retire and HE did not show for the investigation. The engineer was dismissed and never was able to return to work for BN. Of note that engr had a small cabin at a campground located at MP 104 abt 5 miles west of the derailment... Unknown if he continued to stay there, I did not know him as he worked the frt pool out of Aurora, Il and we worked the pool out of N. La Crosse, Wi. which is what is known as a double ended frt pool for the crews.. Hope this not too much info...

PWM



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/18 19:08 by Quakerengr.



Date: 02/13/18 09:54
Re: Burlington Northern Collision/Derailment at Oregon, Illinois
Author: MILW86A

That was the same year of a fatal wreck on the Peavine near Orion where a washout caused the wreck of Train 144(IIRC) Killing the engineer I think.

MILW86A



Date: 02/13/18 10:11
Re: Burlington Northern Collision/Derailment at Oregon, Illinois
Author: Quakerengr

In this case, they had flash floods, due to heavy rain in that area. This also before the railroads had technology or used that info to advise trains of possible danger. This area is where much of the Peat Moss you can buy at the landscape centers comes from, making for a mushy base of soil.. The track inspector in the area had not had a chance to go over that stretch of track. This was at Oliver, just west of Fenton, Il not to far east of Clinton, Iowa. As they came thru on green signals the ballast was washed away the 2 strands of welded rail just hanging in the balance. The lead engine was a LMX, as they hit the washout, engines leaned to left, front door opened and a rush of mud flew into the cab and unfortunately the conductor's foot became caught on the leg posts of the firemans seat. He also inhaled a tremendous amount of mud and water into his lungs. The engineer held his head above the water until help arrived to untangle his foot. Sam did not survive. BN actually changed the station name to "Sam" in honor of conductor Sam, who passed away.

PWM



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/18 21:41 by Quakerengr.



Date: 02/13/18 10:18
Re: Burlington Northern Collision/Derailment at Oregon, Illinois
Author: GBW309

Thanks for the updates PWM. Regarding the peat bog accident, I really feel like at any given time, our "number may be up" Just yesterday there was a 29 vehicle pile up on 151 west of Madison, WI A very small pocket of dense fog and a chain reaction collision involving cars and semi trucks.

Dave



Date: 02/13/18 15:08
Re: Burlington Northern Collision/Derailment at Oregon, Illinois
Author: WichitaJct

"Crew decides to operate train from second unit."

They were operating the train from a trailing unit? Really? That in itself seems like a serious rule violation.



Date: 02/13/18 19:05
Re: Burlington Northern Collision/Derailment at Oregon, Illinois
Author: Quakerengr

Different railroading back in 1990, any rails will understand.

PWM



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/18 19:13 by Quakerengr.



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