It Happened Again

‘To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.’

—Lady Bracknell, The Importance of Being Earnest

And we cite Lady Bracknell’s maxim only because another train owned by Norfolk Southern railroad has derailed in Ohio.

A Norfolk Southern train went off its tracks Saturday in western Ohio, leading to a brief shelter-in-place order and marking the company’s second derailment in the state in about a month.

I’m detecting a pattern here. Dare I shock everyone and suggest we have a bad corporate actor?

No hazardous chemicals leaked from the train, according to state, local and environmental officials. The 20 cars that derailed at around 4:45 p.m. in Springfield, about 40 miles west of Columbus, were carrying nonhazardous materials, Clark County authorities said Sunday, after state and local officials scoured the site.

In other words, they got lucky.

Some lawmakers have already proposed new regulations.

Legislation introduced by Ohio’s U.S. senators, Sherrod Brown (D) and J.D. Vance (R), would tighten safety rules for railroads, including requiring that rail carriers notify emergency response commissions about what hazardous materials are traveling through their states. Biden praised the bill, saying it would “make important progress.”

Brown said in a statement that Saturday’s derailment in Springfield demonstrated the need for the legislation.

“Ohio communities should not be forced to live in fear of another disaster,” Brown said.

A Republican suggesting regulations is indeed newsworthy, and I can hardly wait to hear which other Republicans are opposed. I’ll put down my marker on Rand Paul (and probably Ted Cruz).


This entry was posted in Ayn Rand's Grave, Bastards, CEO Bastards, Rat Bastards, Wingnuttia. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to It Happened Again

  1. ali redford says:

    Another small-consequence one happened over the weekend; .

    These never used to make the news until recently. Hmm. Also, Sen. Vance working with an actual liberal Dem? The full moon is at 6:40 AM CST tomorrow… 🌕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have seen dashcam footage from a vehicle waiting to cross at the place where it happened. Quite impressive. (note there are MULTIPLE different versions available, like this one by someone who is quite sensibly bugging the fuck outta there )

    You’re forgetting Mike Lee who will probably object because “The people can just move to some Blue Nanny State if they’re so askeered of a little train derailment. Profit über alles.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • MDavis says:

      They left themselves enough room for a u-turn out of there, didn’t just pull up to the next car’s bumper. That’s a strategy for any dodgy stop.

      Liked by 4 people

      • It just sucks supremely that we now have to consider ‘stopping for a train crossing’ as ‘dodgy’

        Liked by 3 people

      • MDavis says:

        Dodgy is everywhere, and this train stuff isn’t new (it’s just more prevalent, or more reported, or both) It happens at stoplights, too.
        In the 80s and 90s my hubby witnessed, up close and personal, TWO train accidents.
        The first one was a derailment of a train going over a trestle. It didn’t go too far of the tracks, just landed on the first two cars waiting there. Hubby was in the, I think it was, fourth car in line.
        The second time he was late getting to the base because of it. A teen girl in her brand new bug got stuck on the tracks. I don’t think she even stalled, she just couldn’t move the car because of traffic. People were trying to drag her out and she refused because she thought the train would have to stop for her. Her last word was “Daddyyyyy!”
        Hubby was in big trouble for reporting late, his (Um, not sure of terminology – army ranking, but not commander) boss was chewing him out for making up a crazy excuse until the commander came around with the news report and sent him home.
        Not all PTSD comes from literal war zones.

        ALWAYS leave yourself a way out when you have to stop while driving.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Jimmy T says:

    From what I’ve gathered the railroads have spent more than 5 hundred million dollars trying to eliminate regulations. Maybe it’s beyond time to turn them into public utilities…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. w3ski4me says:

    2 Derailments in the same State in a month’s time. Sure they can monitor themselves. Now to remove tongue from the cheek. I suppose they are insured against such stuff, so it doesn’t even cost them to wreck a whole train. Maybe that’s what’s going on. Cheaper to waste some older cars and collect the insurance, than it is to fix them. Plus they get new cars to replace them. A win-win for the company, except this time the EPA got involved, and now come the fines. A fine Rethuglickin business model.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Sirius Lunacy says:

    This country has averaged about 4 derailments every day for the last 40 years or so. The brake technology is the same as it was in the Civil War. The push for regulations started to gain some traction about 20 years ago. When the pressure started to intensify to where it looked like something might get done Norfolk Southern said no,no, we’ve got this. We’re developing a new brake system that will make our trains much safer. This worked for a while, but they dragged their feet on development and when they finally had a new brake system they decided they didn’t want to spend the money to upgrade. Then Obama made the new brakes mandatory and the railroads pretty much ignored it and fought it and postponed it banking on a Republican win for the White House after Obama. They got their wish and the hundreds of millions they spent buying politicians paid off and the regulations were dropped. So our freight trains are still running on Civil War era brakes and are still derailing an average of four times a day and IT’S ALL MAYOR PETE’S FAULT!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Redhand says:

    Delving into the money-mad world of “Precision Scheduled Railroading” (PSR) will be an eye-opener.

    The criticisms of it in the Wiki article are worth quoting:

    Precision railroading has been criticized on many fronts. Shippers complain about poorer service and delays. Railroad workers have raised concerns about safety due to reduced inspections and staffing. Under PSR, service is typically eliminated on shipping lanes and origin-destination pairs that have low traffic levels. Intermodal terminals have been consolidated, with the railroad relying on trucks for the last hundred miles. Fewer workers are needed, even with higher traffic volumes. As a result, over 20,000 railroad workers were laid off in 2019. The Surface Transportation Board estimates large freight carriers employed 30% fewer workers in 2022 as compared to 2018.

    PSR advocates claim that shippers benefit in the long run from reduced costs and more reliable schedules. However, PSR has been criticized as being focused on short-term financial benefits at the expense of long-term capacity. In particular, Precision Scheduled Railroading is impacting safety due to increased train length, up to three miles (5,000 metres) in many cases. This leads to a higher risk of derailments as well as crew stress and fatigue due to the difficulty of operating trains of this length, for which the North American railroad network was not necessarily designed.Footnotes omitted, my emphasis

    Sound familiar? I am a very casual railfan (not a “foamer!”) and as such, started to look into what it’s like “working for the railroad.” Bottom line is the owners have whittled everything down to the point where the workers are virtually on call 365/24-7. What’s especially obscene is that in the interest of “labor efficiency,”at least one railroad (Union Pacific) has proposed that these jumbo-sized trains powered by “Distributed Power Units (DPUs) be allowed to run with exactly one employee (the engineer) per train!! See Rail Carriers’ Cost-Cutting Is Endangering All of Us.

    If there is any good to come out of East Palestine, it’s that rail safety must be strengthened through strong safety regulations.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: