I have been hearing a lot about how common train derailments are in the US, and of course, I have questions.
First of course I verified the claim with at least 3 sources, that checks out so onward.
1,087 out of how many trains moving around the country during that time period?
That exact data was unavailable but it turns out derailments make up 1% of reportable RR accidents according to current guidelines.
OK, so what are those guidelines for reporting a train accident?
For that I had to reach back to my diesel mechanic days and pull out the bible.
49 CFR Part 225.5 under definitions.
Any collision, derailment, fire, explosion, act of God, or other event involving operation of railroad on-track equipment (standing or moving) that results in reportable damages greater than the current reporting threshold to railroad on-track equipment, signals, track, track structures, and roadbed;
Ok now we are getting somewhere, so what IS the current monetary threshold for reporting a train accident as defined in 49 CFR 225.5?
The new reporting threshold for CY 2023 is $11,500. The reporting threshold was calculated under the procedures published Dec. 9, 2020 (85 FR 79130). The average wage increased from $33.49 to $33.77, and the average equipment index increased from 205.03 to 209.11, yielding a reporting threshold $200 more than the previous threshold. The threshold remains $11,300 through December 31, 2022.
Ok. So, during a derailment even a small one, what is the primary damage that will result from it?
The weight limit for a loaded train car is 315,000 lbs. So if we figure 315k pounds coming down on the wheel set it is going to damage that wheelset, the track section, and the support members (ties).
There is no way around it. A wheel set alone will cost around $10,000 and you have to replace the set (AFAIK).
A section of track weighs 120-140 pounds at $700.00 per ton... well, they aren't cheap!
And none of this is including labor costs or other incidentals like bolts, nuts, clamps etc. and believe me every nut and bolt is accounted for.
Only $15-$25 each for the ties but my point is that even a standing still derailment from being pushed or whatever would most likely be a reportable accident simply due to cost.
The regulations concerning the condition and upkeep of those train wheelsets are brutal. It takes very little to pull one out of service.
So I call this narrative a bunch of horseshit meant to distract from and minimize the walking dead's interest in the whole thing.
We are not talking about 1% of train accidents being derailments over a matter of years folks, we are talking about around a dozen train derailments in less than 90 freaking days man.
This is not normal, neither is the way the Biden admin is treating them.
They are playing the game with these derailments as they do with mass shootings. The threshold is so low damn near anything is a reportable accident.
It is all misdirection.
Something to think about.