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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Come on, we have a derailment to clean up!


Date: 10/02/20 22:00
Come on, we have a derailment to clean up!
Author: roustabout

I was a two-month new hire with the Willamette & Pacific, working student trips on the switcher in Toledo, learning how to switch and my way around the GP mill in Toledo, Oregon. On July 7, 1996 or so, the west-bound Toledo Hauler derailed ten loaded chip cars on the crossing at MP 743. It was the first big derailment I got to work on and it was unofficially my first trip as a conductor but wasn't accept as such until I qualified on the Willamina for a vacationing conductor a month later.  The Toledo Hauler drug their head car on the ground for nearly two miles until they really went off on the crossing, but that's something else. Their conductor never looked back, but that's just my estimate of the situation.

After the 10 loaded chip cars were rerailed, a manager and I grabbed some loads of ballast from Eddyville and dumped it in the area of the derailment, then shoved them to Summit where I think we ran around them but I can't remember. Anyway, I rode the shove on the air brake reservoir (very nice braced position, by the way, on the end of a n old ex-SP ballast hopper) of the head car about 14 miles...in the dark.

Oh, the photos were taken while I was off duty. Just had to go look at the mess.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/20 22:02 by roustabout.








Date: 10/03/20 07:32
Re: Come on, we have a derailment to clean up!
Author: 3rdswitch

Must have had a lot of power to drag ten derailed loads. Forget the conductor, the engineer should have noticed that. Fortunately for you guys, they stayed up right and nicely in line. One time working the Ford job out of Pico Rivera, CA, we were looping our seventy auto empties to head back to the yard and they seemed to be pulling a bit hard, so I shut down the throttle on our pair of geep nine's. We immediatley stopped without going into emergency. After going back to check it out, only two trucks were dug in up to the underside of the cars and that stopped seventy cars. Of course, because of pretty bad track conditions, we were going under ten mph.
JB



Date: 10/03/20 11:35
Re: Come on, we have a derailment to clean up!
Author: wp1801

Interesting!



Date: 10/03/20 15:54
Re: Come on, we have a derailment to clean up!
Author: WM1977

Once followed a trailer train into Potomac yard in Alexandria Va. we heard them call the yard and said they had stalled. We were going south near them and noticed that one of their cars tried to go up two tracks at the same time but before derailing had wedged up against a catenary pole. BTW the trailer train was one of the hottest on the railroad at the time. Oops!
CR

Posted from iPhone



Date: 10/03/20 16:24
Re: Come on, we have a derailment to clean up!
Author: wjpyper

Do you remember what mill the chips were headed for?
Bill Pyper
Lacey, WA
 



Date: 10/03/20 17:13
Re: Come on, we have a derailment to clean up!
Author: Railbaron

Please excuse my confusion but was the train headed TO or FROM Toledo? You mentioned "westbound" but on the Toledo Branch "West" was away from Toledo (compass direction east) and "East" was toward Toledo (compass direction west). Of all the times I worked the Toledo Hauler in SP days I never saw chips being hauled out of Toledo; they were always inbound to the mill. As such I am assuming this train was headed towards Toledo. As a note, MP 743 is about 2 miles "railroad west" (compass east) of Eddyville.

Update: I found the crossing (Nashville Road) on Google Maps and indeed the train was heading towards Toledo - mystery solved.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/20 18:22 by Railbaron.



Date: 10/03/20 21:02
Re: Come on, we have a derailment to clean up!
Author: WestinAshahr

Railbaron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Please excuse my confusion but was the train
> headed TO or FROM Toledo? You mentioned
> "westbound" but on the Toledo Branch "West" was
> away from Toledo (compass direction east) and
> "East" was toward Toledo (compass direction west).
> Of all the times I worked the Toledo Hauler in SP
> days I never saw chips being hauled out of Toledo;
> they were always inbound to the mill. As such I am
> assuming this train was headed towards Toledo. As
> a note, MP 743 is about 2 miles "railroad west"
> (compass east) of Eddyville.

That was true during the SP era. After the WPRR took over in 1993,  the timetable direction became geographic; ie, westward trains went TO Toledo.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/20 21:02 by WestinAshahr.



Date: 10/03/20 21:07
Re: Come on, we have a derailment to clean up!
Author: Railbaron

Ah, thank you, I kind of wondered about that.
 



Date: 10/03/20 21:59
Re: Come on, we have a derailment to clean up!
Author: roustabout

Railbaron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ah, thank you, I kind of wondered about that.
>  

RailBaron, I was following timetable directions. 

And in reply to the earlier question of how you could drag 10 cars, in the story I mentioned that they drug the head car, I think just one end of it, for two miles until the train got to the crossing that the nine following cars went off.  And that did stop the train.  As far as knowing that they were derailed, that's was my point about the conductor not looking back.



Date: 10/03/20 22:18
Re: Come on, we have a derailment to clean up!
Author: Railbaron

roustabout Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> RailBaron, I was following timetable directions. 

I failed to realize P&W reversed directions when they took over the branch, which is what had me confused. I was corrected on that.

> And in reply to the earlier question of how you
> could drag 10 cars, in the story I mentioned that
> they drug the head car, ...

That was somebody else who made that comment. I agree that either person could have easily looked back and seen the issue though. Could have been worse as another couple of miles and they would have hit the switch for the siding at Eddyville; would have probably been a bigger mess then.



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