KCS Derailment

Discussion in 'Railfanning Discussions' started by kcstexas, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. kcstexas

    kcstexas TrainBoard Member

    A Kansas City Southern train derailed this afternoon in Robstown, Texas. Ten covered hoppers (Southern Belle) carrying corn derailed just along the Highway that runs parallel with the tracks. The train had departed from Corpus Christi and derailed between Corpus Christi and the UP interchange at Robstown. Traffic was backed up along the highway while crews began the cleanup process. No injuries were reported and the cause of the derailment is still unknown. KCS officials could not be contacted for comment.

    Pictures of the derailment can be seen here:
  2. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    That's a LOT of corn on the ground. More than I could eat in one year. And those beautiful covered hoppers! Looks like some more weathering coming up! :thumbs_up:
  3. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

    Once again the TV news is sensationalizing an event to get ratings.

    I always have a problem with seeing a train on the ground, but is this another case of the media making a mountain out of a mole hill of corn?

    Up to nine car loads equals
    "What appears to be a massive load of corn that has spilled on to the ground."

    She does not even know what was spilled even with a crew on the scene. Wonder how she would describe the scene if more then 9 cars derailed? Nine cars of gain is nothing compared to what is shipped each day.

    Must have been a slow news day.
    "Of course Action 10 has a crew on scene, so we will bring you the whole story coming up tonight at ten."

    Sounds like it was the whole story.

    Back in my news paper days the facts were presented with 6 points

    • Who -- Train
    • What -- Up to 9 cars derailed with what appears to be corn on the ground
    • When -- Around 5 pm
    • Where -- HWY 55 just outside of Robstown
    • How -- Cars derailed
    • Why -- Cause unknown
    With an Action 10 crew on the scene why were the images stills, it's TV after all.

    Once again it is a case of the TV news sensationalizing the event to get ratings. The TV stations here in KY have at attitude that if a railroad is involved, the populace must be in grave danger.

    Next there will be a campaign to have the railroad relocated away from the highway because the clean up blocked traffic. That is what happened here in KY a few years ago when a train derailed and a few cars burned for a day or so. The tracks should not go through the city because of the danger with the unknown cargo and them blocking the streets. If these people only knew what was passing through the same city on the interstate highway less then a mile from the railroad, every minute of every hour of every day of the year. Lets forget that the railroad was there long before the city was planned. If it were not for the railroad the city would not be. The railroad have not been rerouted yet.

    The only good thing about the whole event in Robstown, is that when the corn is cleaned up what is left behind will be enjoyed by the birds and other wild life.

    I realize that I just opened the door to get a good flaming, but it is the news media's responsibility to REPORT the news not make or create the news.

    Okay I'll get of my soap box.

  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter


    What you read is either pure ignorance, or simply desperate sensationalism. It's why so many people these days no longer follow or believe any of the media.

    Boxcab E50
  5. kcstexas

    kcstexas TrainBoard Member


    I just passed by the location of the derailment and the hoppers were still laying on the ground. One lane of the highway was closed while vacuum trucks cleaned up what was on the ground and what remained in the hoppers. If I had to pick a cause for the derailment it would be the poor condition of the track. This part of former Tex-Mex track does not see as much traffic as the segment between Robstown and Laredo so the track is not the best to start off with. But the derailment occured on a siding that has even worse track than the main. The track is at a lower level than the main and goes up and down and even seems to be leaning of the ballast in some parts. The cars were laying where the lower siding goes up at an angle to connect with the main so that is most likely the cause of the derailment. I am pretty sure KCS will invest in upgrading the siding. It was just a couple months ago that they installed control switches at this location.

    Sorry no pictures.
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Perhaps someone will spot photos elsewhere on the 'Net. I would really like to see those track conditions.

    Boxcab E50
  7. kcstexas

    kcstexas TrainBoard Member

  8. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks for sharing those photos.:thumbs_up:
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    We can get some idea of the track, from those photos. Were these cars moving on the main track, or the siding?

    Boxcab E50
  10. fireball_magee

    fireball_magee TrainBoard Member

    Wow thats a whoops! I would like to say they couldnt be going fast enough for harmonic rock to be involved,but seeing that one hopper on its top! Its a bad thing.

    Gary if I could buy a news network I would put you in charge!!You sir are correct!
  11. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    What is harmonic rock?
  12. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    That is when a car starts rocking back and forth due to rough track and kind of hits a resonant frequency where it perpetuates itself and intensifies until it finally just rolls over. I think that is what it is anyway.:tb-wacky:
  13. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

    I thought Bob Dylan played harmonic rock. Back in my signal maintainer days the crews would say that they never wanted to go 18 mph. Thats where the cars would rock bad. Faster or slower was ok. One time a grain train was going around a curve and one of the cars got a wheel on the ground. They brought a crane in to lift it back on the track. Not sure of the logic there but thats what they did. Anyways, the guy I was training with stopped by to watch. The car was leaning over to one side a bit and had corn in it. Instead of hooking the crane to the top of the car they put a sling around the drawbar to lift it. Well, being an old farm boy I looked at the arrangement and thought if that was a grain wagon and I hooked it around a spot like that and there was dry corn it and it was leaning like that, well, the whole mess would just flop over as soon as you tried to pick it up. Dry corn has a property almost like water. It will shift when a wagon leans over.On the other hand there was probably a few hundred years of railroad experiance handling the operarion and I was certain they knew better than the new guy. Well, the crane took up the slack and started to lift the car and sure enough...BOOM.... it flipped over on its side and the lids flew open and corn spilled out. Even better was the fact there were some old beater cars there and they were covered in corn. The guy I was with figured we better move on so we left. They brought the big vaccuums in and cleaned up the mess. I learned that day that physics on the railroad were the same as on the farm. They wouldnt have believed a farm boy anyway if I spoke up.
  14. amtrakwolverine

    amtrakwolverine New Member

  15. kcstexas

    kcstexas TrainBoard Member

    The website is just down for a while. This happens from time to time but just try again later.

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