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  1. #1
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    TRAIN DERAILED IN WIND RIVER CANYON...

    This just happened a few hours ago...

    Thermopolis - A Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper patrolling US 20/WYO 789 in the Wind River Canyon was witness to a Burlington Northern freight train derailment into the Big Horn River shortly after noon today.

    After the derailment the two engineers aboard the locomotive were able to climb out the side window of the lead locomotive as the cab filled with water. The two were able to make their way to the safety of the hillside. The Trooper and the engineers were able to yell back and forth to each other across the river and the two engineers advised they had no serious injuries.

    The incident began when the Trooper noticed a huge rock resting on the rail line in the canyon approximately 6 miles south of Thermopolis. The Trooper notified the Wyoming Highway Patrol Dispatch Center in Cheyenne who in turn was on the phone notifying Burlington Northern of the blocked rail. The Trooper estimated the rock to be about 8 feet across and 6 feet high.

    Before Burlington Northern could make notification to their personnel a southbound train struck the rock. Both lead locomotives and the first three cars derailed with the lead locomotive going into the Big Horn River.

    The Big Horn River separates highway US 20/WYO 789 and the railroad line and the Trooper was unable to cross the river. It has been determined that the locomotives are spilling diesel fuel from their fuel tanks into the river. In addition, the first rail car behind the locomotives was loaded with bentonite which is also spilling into the river.

    Wyoming Highway Patrol Troopers remain on scene to assist the Hot Springs County Sheriff’s Department and the Hot Springs County Search and Rescue. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has also been notified of the hazardous material spill into the Big Horn River.

    At this time it is unknown how much damage has been done to Burlington Northerns rail line or the quality of the river. US 20/WYO 789 through the Wind River Canyon remains open to vehicular traffic.

    Troopers report snowfall and snow mixed with rain has been falling in the area since last evening.
    "Have fun, get a flyrod, and give the worm dunkers the finger when you start double hauling." ~Lumpy

  2. #2
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    Dec 2002
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    2,184
    Holy shit.
    I fished many rivers next to rail systems, and wondered, "what if?"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    the edge of wuss cliff
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    God fucking dammit that sucks!

    Seriously.... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Riverton, Wyoming
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    206
    Not good - not good at all.
    "and not when I come to die, discover that I have not lived"
    H.D. Thoreau

  5. #5
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    Nov 2006
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    idaho panhandle!
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    FUCK FUCK FUCK and FUCK. That river kicks ass. Hope they get control of as much of the spill as they can. Fuck me.

  6. #6
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    I don't know if the bentonite is all that harmful in the grand scheme of things (it is basically salty clay) but the fuel is definitely bad.
    "Have fun, get a flyrod, and give the worm dunkers the finger when you start double hauling." ~Lumpy

  7. #7
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    "Have fun, get a flyrod, and give the worm dunkers the finger when you start double hauling." ~Lumpy

  8. #8
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    Feb 2007
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    Major bummer.
    As a snowboarder... i fucking hate snowboarders in general. -advres

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by adipose View Post
    Not good - not good at all.
    Adipose - have you heard anything else about the impact? I am curious as to how they are going to get the wreckage out of there.
    "Have fun, get a flyrod, and give the worm dunkers the finger when you start double hauling." ~Lumpy

  10. #10
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    A video interview with a WYDOT employee here:

    http://trib.com/news/vmix_bf13dec4-5...cc4c002e0.html
    "Have fun, get a flyrod, and give the worm dunkers the finger when you start double hauling." ~Lumpy

  11. #11
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    Feb 2007
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    Looks like it was only a matter of time before one of those huge stones made its way onto the tracks.
    Wonder if the engineers will be culpable for the wreckage and impact... I have no idea what the visibility is like but it appears to be a straight shot leading into that boulder. Coming around a blind corner is one thing, but having a line of sight for a half mile is something else.
    How long does it take to stop a loaded locomotive traveling at ~30 mph?
    As a snowboarder... i fucking hate snowboarders in general. -advres

  12. #12
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    A good deal more than half a mile I'll bet. Inertia can be a bitch.
    Last edited by OSECS; 05-13-2010 at 12:54 PM.
    "You damn colonials and your herds of tax write off dressage ponies". PNWBrit

  13. #13
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    Oct 2003
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    OOTAH
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    How long does it take to stop a loaded locomotive traveling at ~30 mph?
    Unfortunately a little over a mile, them pigs dont stop on a dime.
    This sucks! I love this river, I always stop and eat lunch in the canyon when I go to my parents place in Cody, just to check out all of my favorite holes. Hope that is doesnt have any long term effects.
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by OSECS View Post
    A good deal than more than half a mile I'll bet. Inertia can be a bitch.
    Yea I figured as much.
    As a snowboarder... i fucking hate snowboarders in general. -advres

  15. #15
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    It's hard to tell from the photo, but there are very few long straight sections in Wind River Canyon. I'm sure the second they saw it the were trying to shut'er down. It's just not that simple.

    It was a big fucking rock too.
    "Have fun, get a flyrod, and give the worm dunkers the finger when you start double hauling." ~Lumpy

  16. #16
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    I also read in a story that not too long before, a pilot truck went through there ahead of the train; the rock fell sometime in between them. I know they patrol the track regularly. It was just bad timing.
    "Have fun, get a flyrod, and give the worm dunkers the finger when you start double hauling." ~Lumpy

  17. #17
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    ^ I read that too. Just to be clear, didn't mean to be pointing fingers, just curious about the extent to which those two guys will be investigated.
    As a snowboarder... i fucking hate snowboarders in general. -advres

  18. #18
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    Nov 2008
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    They'll be given piss tests immediately. But in a canyon on a gloomy rainy day, the color of rock doesn't really register on your eyes till you are getting close. Rockfall used to be so bad on the Teton Pass that WYDoT had to cover large areas of slope with heavy a wire mesh bolted onto the rock faces.

  19. #19
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    Sep 2005
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    Riverton, Wyoming
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    No major fish kill report that I've heard of at this point, keep your fingers crossed. I have fished hundreds of days and caught hundreds of fish within a quarter mile in each direction of the wreck over the last decade or so. A pilot truck cruises the track before every train, every time. It sounds like the rock fell just minutes before the train hit it, not a hell of a lot they could do about it. It doesn't seem like those trains go much over 30mph while in the canyon.
    "and not when I come to die, discover that I have not lived"
    H.D. Thoreau

  20. #20
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    It would be such a shame to see a fish kill in the Canyon.

  21. #21
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    Not that a fish kill anywhere is a good thing but this wreck is only about a half mile into the canyon on the downstream side (north) so even if there was some impact it's not impacting the entire stretch of canyon. If there is going to be an impact it's going to be right at the Wedding of Waters (where the Wind becomes the Bighorn), about a mile from the spill site.
    "and not when I come to die, discover that I have not lived"
    H.D. Thoreau

  22. #22
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    That, and the water supply for Thermopolis.
    "Have fun, get a flyrod, and give the worm dunkers the finger when you start double hauling." ~Lumpy

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