Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rules are rules

It was a normal day in Sharon Springs, Kansas, when a Union Pacific crew boarded a loaded coal train for the long trek to Salina.

Just a few miles into the trip a wheel bearing became overheated and melted, letting a metal support drop down and grind on the rail, creating white hot molten metal droppings spewing down to the rail. A very alert crew noticed smoke about halfway back in the train and immediately stopped the train in compliance with the rules. The train stopped with the hot wheel over a wooden bridge with creosote ties and trusses.

The crew tried to explain this to Union Pacific higher-ups but were instructed not to move the train. They were informed that The Rules prohibited moving the train when a part was found to be defective.

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