Thursday, July 10, 2008

Major Derailment!


Canadian National Railroad, Yale Subdivision, November 1959. The blog has been "off the air" these past weeks as a result of a major derailment in my life. I was struck down by a big time heart attack on June 11, ironically as I was in my “Exercise for Health Program” at Jefferson Hospital here in Port Townsend.

Apparently I was air evacuated to Harrison Hospital in Bremerton, some 50 miles south of here. But believe me when I say I don’t recall the flight.

In fact I was out like a light for two weeks on a respirator.

Then moved to a recovery center here in Port Townsend, and home today.

Since the theme tonight is derailments, let me share with you the latest update from Ms. Zoe Richmond, Union Pacific, on Coyote Mountain / Frazier slide, which shut down the Natron Cutoff for months.

Now there are some older items that I’ve previously posted on this update, but there is a new addition to the page, featuring a
slide show. Slow the slides down to appreciate the magnitude of the repair and slope stabilization, incorporating an astounding 700,000 tons of rock.

Now our focus moves north across the border to the absolutely magnificent Thompson River Canyon, just north of Lytton, where a rockslide dropped down onto a south bound
Canadian Pacific freighter.

We are not talking about a lazy flowing river; in fact the water flow is hitting its peak, as the Thompson heads toward its confluence with an equally fantastic Fraser River. I encourage you to read these articles to appreciate what the railroad is
contending with.

The work of a diving team risked life and limb to enter the rushing waters to inspect the downed cars. They measured the few holes they found in the double skinned tanks, and drove in custom designed hard wood plugs, based on their findings.

Next, rock bolts were driven into the canyon wall, and steel cables attached to the cars, to await the summer drop in water levels.

Both the Thompson and Frazer River Canyons has been the scene of
dozens of wrecks and derailments. Be sure to read this first-person account of what is is like to survive a derailment, accompanied by a beautiful set of photos that exemplify both the beauty and danger train crews routinely face every trip! This wreck was on the Canadian National right of way.

This demonstrates why crews preferred long nose first, not only on the Canadian Pacific, but also the Canadian National and Pacific Great Eastern, operating the wilderness of British Columbia!

In the top photo, taken in the Yale Sub in 1959, look carefully, and you can see the upper break away edges of the rock slide. CNR GP-9 4217 is working a ballast train, during the final stagtes of clean up.

2 Comments - Click here:

LinesWest said...

Nice to have you back! Glad to know you're doing better, hope things continue to go well for you.
-Leland

Oil-Electric said...

Thanks! It's great to be back. Hope I can continue to provide interesting posts - Robert in Port Townsend

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