• 26 years ago - a bad day for Ontario Midland

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by BR&P
Saturday March 5, 1994 was a bad day for Ontario Midland Railroad, as RS36 #40 derailed a few miles west of North Rose. The loco rolled onto its side and went part way down a high embankment. The crew suffered non-life threatening injures. The cause was ice and snow packed down by snowmobile traffic.

Winters Rigging rerailed the engine, but part of the fill had to be temporarily lowered to facilitate getting the Alco back upright and onto the track again. The unit was repaired, renumbered back to its original 408, and remains on OMID today.

OMID at the time was under interim operational management, bridging the gap between the original leadership of the first 14 years, and the current management which has done such a fine job of keeping OMID healthy and now past the 40-year mark of its history. Ironically, while earlier that winter the line's flanger was operated after heavy snowfalls to prevent such an issue, those trips were considered unnecessary and were eliminated. That was the first train operating on the east end in about a month, and had already experienced several lesser derailments before this incident.

This was the second time engine 40 wound up on its side. When OMID was less than 5 months old, (February 20, 1980) an eastbound freight derailed at Lawville Road, between Wolcott and Red Creek. The crew escaped with nothing worse than a bad scare, but the rerailing required sidewinders from Fischer in Syracuse to pick the unit up.
  by charlie6017
That must have been a scary ride for the crew, and glad they ended up ok for the most part. Further proof that it's
not worth cutting corners in the name of safety. Especially in the winter in this particular area!

  by BR&P
I wasn't around for the 1994 derailment. It may be off topic from the thread title, but here's a couple pics of the 1980 wreck I mentioned.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by NYCRRson
Just curious, in the second photo there is a big white piece of paper taped to the snow plow of that engine.... Is that a Parking Ticket ????

OMID should have gotten some EMD F7''s with the round roofs they tend to roll all the way over and land on their feet....

Sure glad nobody got hurt too bad,
  by BR&P
Not a direct quote, but those signs said something like "These premises are under the supervision of Wayne County Sheriff's Department, No Trespassing". It took a day or two before the cleanup and that was to deter the locals from climbing on and around the engine.

Quite a difference from 100 years ago, when you sometimes can't see the train in the pic for all the hundreds of people posing on the wreckage.
  by DGC-24711
BR&P wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:43 pm The cause was ice and snow packed down by snowmobile traffic.
A month or two back, I caught a video on the utube of CSX running what looked like a monster hair dryer on tracks in the Fredonia area. I was thinking "a little excessive? what kind of snow/ice can be a menace to such heavy engines etc?" Now I know.
  by BR&P
It's not just OMID. NYS&W lost one or maybe two Alco Centuries to incidents similar to the first OMID one. Keep in mind the ice does not have to throw the loco over, just has to lift the wheel enough for a flange to climb over the head of the rail. From that point you're on the ground, and momentum and terrain will determine how bad things get from there.