It has been raining a lot around here. I’m not sure if it is unusual for the area, but it is certainly a lot. The rains went on for 2 or 3 days straight before this derailment occurred. That frequent rain will cause enough erosion over time to effect changes in the landscape. If the railroad crews are not observant enough of the changing environmental conditions, then they can overlook disasters like this. This is one of those situations that they overlooked.
What happens next is a messy fix and clean up duty from the emergency crew. We all know that emergency crews tend to cost much more than the maintenance crew. It’s like the physical screening I had a couple weeks ago. I could have gotten my DOT Physical done in the ER for a few thousand dollars, or schedule an appointment at the clinic. Since, I didn’t need the physical done right away, I chose the clinic. Spoiler: I failed the hearing test.
Anyway, this accident could have been prevented. Why was the railroad not checked frequently enough? I’ll tell you why. These guys were trying to save money by reducing the number of times they check it. Also, the rail line has been getting abused in unusual ways. I have never seen so many trains operate on it at 5 MPH each and every day before. I think part of the problem has been excessive usage.
The trains have to pass by the Walmart area extremely slowly, so they don’t run over any homeless people by accident. They sound their horns and travel extremely slow. So, all that weight is bearing down on the railroad ties for unusually long periods of time, more than normal. This should void the warranty, right? Operate at your own risk if you are going to test the limits of the rail line.
Either way, the accident occurred and now Walmart is taking a bite out of their profits because of the railroads oversight.
I have the solution here and it has been working for major corporations for a few years now. This railroad company wants to save money on their inspections? Then don’t send your expensive crews out to the area every week. Hire a Gigwalker for $10 or $20 to go out and take pictures of the structure ever few months. If you know what you are looking for, you can communicate that to the photographer.
Photos are getting crisper and cleaner than ever. A Gigwalker can save you the expensive travel times and send you the photos you need for a fraction of the price. I have been taking photos for Gigwalk for a couple months now. I have saved the companies money by doing so. They don’t need to spend the travel time for expensive employees just to get a simple snapshot of the display case.
Consider improving how you perform inspections. It’s not so bad to have somebody who doesn’t understand the railroad to take pics. You can guide them on what to take. In turn, you help inspire someone to want to learn more about what you are doing and failing to do in the city.
Counter view point could be that the train failed instead. I am placing my bet on the rail line based on the factors that exist though.