• Derailment in Westford Ma 2-20-14

  • Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

  by TPR37777
 
Newpy I have worn many covers, but never that of a fire helmet. We simply see this event from different perspectives. There are places in the world where train derailments are commonly used as targets of opportunity by terrorist organizations. Believe it or not there are also people who work all night while you sleep keeping track of such matters in an attempt to keep you safe. Lac Megantic sent shivers up and down the spine of the intelligence community, for obvious reasons. We need not expound upon that here. I stand by my thesis: some person or persons at Pan Am made a moronic decision to leave a derailed train with hazardous materials on a trestle without notifying any governmental officials. I find it hard for anyone to defend such a decision. The excuse that derailments are a daily occurrence on Pan Am is without merit. As for the fire chief being able to order the offloading of a loaded rail car involved in a derailment, my experience has been that such an order would hold up in any court, be it state or federal. Every scenario and situation can not be legislated, and from my understanding of the case law the courts have always turned to the reasonableness standard. Who would be in a better position to know his or her resources, have superior training in hazardous material incidents, and be in a position to direct incoming resources, a Pan Am office manager, 2 MOW workers with bottle jacks and cribbing, or Westford Fire Chief Joseph Targ? We have a fire chief on this very thread, maybe he can add to our discourse.
  by newpylong
 
We're on the same page - and my apologies, I thought I read you were a firefighter.

In response to your statement regarding the personnel from the railroad on the scene, I do believe that is unfair. Any mainline derailment instantly get's the area manager (ie Train Master or Road Foreman), the Division Superintendent (East or West), the General Manager and depending on how bad, the VP of Transportation. This is on top of the crews actually doing the re-railing. Pan Am has their own wreck train and carshops, I can tell you from personal experience they do amazing work in confined and hairy situations. Like I said, the Fire Department may have extensive training on the materials within the car, but the railroad knows what types of loads rail cars can take and what you should or shouldn't do to them.

Nevertheless, FRA is always on the scene and most likely EPA or State DEP. I believe this was the case with this one as well?

Yes, I think in a court would side with reason-ability.
  by MEC407
 
From The Valley Dispatch:
The Valley Dispatch wrote:WESTFORD -- The town manager is asking Westford's state and federal representatives to intervene in its broken relationship with Pan Am Railways and "protect our residents and public water supply."
. . .
Town Manager Jodi Ross sent letters on Friday to U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, state Sen. Eileen Donoghue and state Rep. James Arciero.

"Numerous attempts have been made by our town officials over the past several years to address with Pan Am our public health, public safety and environmental concerns regarding this ongoing issue, and there has been no improvement," Ross wrote to each legislator.
Read the rest of the article at: http://www.thevalleydispatch.com/ci_252 ... ble-pan-am" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by TPR37777
 
Incidentally I meant no disrespect to firemen or MOW workers in my last post. It looks like this issue has been kicked around before:

From Project Vote Smart;
Project Vote Smart wrote:Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has heeded his call and will investigate the Norfolk Southern train derailment that occurred in Elmira in November 2011, and will examine the reporting requirements of rail companies in New York State. Schumer applauds the FRA for this important step in response to his call in January, in which he urged the Administration to provide local officials and residents in Elmira with answers regarding the derailment. Upon completion of this probe, Schumer is pushing the FRA to close unacceptable loopholes in train companies' reporting policies that were brought to light in this Elmira incident. Specifically, Schumer will continue to push for the FRA to implement requirements of rail companies to notify local officials, first responders and community members of all such train derailments, through phone calls and other appropriate means, regardless of the number of cars or type of freight involved.
The entire article:
https://votesmart.org/public-statement/ ... xuo9tyFX8s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Dick H
 
A "courtesy" call to Westford FD and a conference on site
between a PAR supervisor and the FD OIC discussing the
incident, could have probably avoided all this and more.
As they say in politics, the coverup is worse than the deed.

"DEP worried about potential threats at derailment site"

http://www.lowellsun.com/breakingnews/c ... source=rss" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by MEC407
 
From The Valley Dispatch:
The Valley Dispatch wrote:U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, along with U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, in a letter dated Monday, asked Pan Am President David Fink to meet with them, Westford's Statehouse delegation and town officials from Westford to discuss the concerns.
. . .
"Numerous attempts have been made by our town officials over the past several years to address with Pan Am our public health, public-safety and environmental concerns regarding this ongoing issue, and there has been no improvement," [town manager] Ross wrote to members of Westford's state and federal delegations earlier this month.
Read the rest of the article at: http://www.thevalleydispatch.com/ci_254 ... am-meeting" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by KEN PATRICK
 
trying to arrest the town manager for trespassing at the scene was incredibly dumb. i'm sure the ripples will continue to grow. ken patrick
  by Trainman101
 
I agree ken. Town managers, secretarys, accounts, school committee members and every other town employee should be allowed to walk on to a derailment site and inspect the damage. Hell I volunteered for my kids elementary school and if I want to see what’s inside that overturned tank car no one can stop me.
  by KSmitty
 
newpylong wrote:
Trainman101 wrote:I agree ken. Town managers, secretarys, accounts, school committee members and every other town employee should be allowed to walk on to a derailment site and inspect the damage. Hell I volunteered for my kids elementary school and if I want to see what’s inside that overturned tank car no one can stop me.
.
That was either humorously sarcastic or incredibly stupid. I'm certainly hoping the former, and based on the commentator who's post was referenced, I'm thinking it was indeed sarcastic.
  by newpylong
 
I usually am pretty quick on the uptake, but this one slipped me. Pretty damn funny.

I edited my reply, mods you can delete it.
  by MEC407
 
Rightly or wrongly, everyone is on a hair trigger after Lac-Mégantic. Pan Am could have (and should have) avoided all this drama by simply contacting the town manager and/or the fire chief to give them a quick heads-up about what was going on, and then they wouldn't have had to go walking down the tracks trying to find a PAR manager to tell them what the hell was going on.

It's human nature that if people don't know what's going on and are left to their imagination, they'll fear the worst. That's Public Relations 101. PAR brought this situation on themselves. It's classic "Guilford 1.0" behavior and an example of how some things have not changed.
  by TPR37777
 
Trainman101 wrote:I agree ken. Town managers, secretarys, accounts, school committee members and every other town employee should be allowed to walk on to a derailment site and inspect the damage. Hell I volunteered for my kids elementary school and if I want to see what’s inside that overturned tank car no one can stop me.
Is it the thought that you lack any authority that emasculates you? Dumbing down the conversation does little to assuage such feelings, I would imagine. Maybe you could ask your kid's principal for a badge or something?
  by KSmitty
 
TPR37777 wrote:Is it the thought that you lack any authority that emasculates you? Dumbing down the conversation does little to assuage such feelings, I would imagine. Maybe you could ask your kid's principal for a badge or something?
See my above post, we've already had this conversation. Reread trainman's post in a Looney Toon voice adding an "aaaaahhhh What's up Doc?" and you'll get the point of the post...
  by Trainman101
 
TPR37777 wrote:
Trainman101 wrote:I agree ken. Town managers, secretarys, accounts, school committee members and every other town employee should be allowed to walk on to a derailment site and inspect the damage. Hell I volunteered for my kids elementary school and if I want to see what’s inside that overturned tank car no one can stop me.
Is it the thought that you lack any authority that emasculates you? Dumbing down the conversation does little to assuage such feelings, I would imagine. Maybe you could ask your kid's principal for a badge or something?
Well i meant it as a joke reffering to kens post(i wasnt serious). "emasculates and assuage" are words too big for me.