Tuesday, July 5, 2016

BNSF train wreck update

I'm sorry I haven't kept up on this. Over the holiday weekend, BNSF finally released the name of the last victim. Conductor Lara Gayle Taylor, 45, was a single mother, survived by her only son, Jacob Taylor of Colorado Springs, CO. A memorial service was held for her today in Kansas City, MO.

The cleanup has just about finished, the only remains are the two lead engines of one train and the lead engine of the other. They're so fused together, NTSB wants them intact to study, so they'll remain here in town for the time being. The massive number of people has dwindled to a handful of BNSF and NTSB investigators. The last 4 blocks of our road remain blockaded as they finish hauling off the remaining trailers by tractor rigs. Which is kind of interesting since there isn't a load rated road out of that area and a truck hauling a maintainer already caved in a sewer main two blocks away. The asphalt is rutted and crumbling, and the residents have to dodge large trucks and heavy equipment just getting in and out. I don't want to be ghoulish, but BNSF really needs to fix our little road when they're done. Sorry, that was ghoulish, wasn't it?

Sonic and Dairy Queen are trying to out-nice each other with cold treats for the workers. Considering our high hit 106 today, I'm wondering if some of those cones are going down shirts and pants. Things are slowly getting back to normal. Prayers are still with the three souls lost.

As the trains approach the site from either direction, you hear the salute. Low,  toot-toot, toot-toot, toot-toot; then the loud approach whistle of the crossing. The low toots are one of the saddest sounds I've ever heard.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. And no, that wasn't ghoulish.
Those low toots are sad. Really sad.
Terry
Fla.

J Bogan said...

Still, it is nice they remember them. Think anyone will remember us?

stevierayv said...

They're gonna fix it up real nice.

hiswiserangel said...

You mean like the Justice Department is going to hold Hillary responsible? I like it when you tell me fairy tales, Uncle Bubba.

GuardDuck said...

You may be right that the low toots are a salute. But....

As an engineer I'd say it's more likely that they are following the rules for whistle signals when approaching trackside workers.

hiswiserangel said...

GuardDuck, in my mind and heart it's both. The workers wouldn't be trackside 24 hours a day for the last week had the wreck not taken three lives. Most derailments are cleaned up in a day or two. The massive scope of twisted cars and damaged track, the enormous scale of the operation, standing in my yard watching emergency vehicles scream past for three solid hours followed by heavy trucks hauling equipment, command trailers, living quarters, and a HAZMAT response unit for the next 8 hours, knowing that dozens of men and women from as many towns from 6 counties responded putting their lives at risk, followed by dozens more who worked round the clock next to the tracks trying to recover the bodies of the fallen, their brothers and sister, then the meaning of the toots is two-fold,

"We've lost three, let's not lose anymore. Godspeed and stay safe."

Anonymous said...

Any word on who the survivor is? I've looked, but may have missed where it was reported who that person is. I lived in Amarillo for several years (I too attended/graduated from WTAMU) and one of my old buddies was an engineer for BNSF at one time, not sure if he is still on with them.

Tom

Anonymous said...

Best make it known, the BNSF needs to repair/restore the road. They might not do it voluntarily. ---ignore amos

Anonymous said...

Better Not Send Freight