PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Download our free Wastewater Treatment Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Feds: Heat Caused Fatal Bridge Collapse

Friday, July 26, 2013

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

Record heat was to blame in a fatal train derailment last summer that collapsed a bridge, sending the entire structure and dozens of loaded freight cars crashing onto the street below, a federal report found.

On July 4, 2012, a Union Pacific coal train traveling about 15 feet south of the Shermer Road Bridge along the Glenview-Northbrook border in Illinois derailed, sending cars and the bridge plummeting to the road below.

The Federal Railroad Administration released its Accident Investigation Report on July 19, which determined the probable cause of the derailment was "thermal misalignment of the track due to an elevated rail temperature." The temperature was a record high of 103°F for the northern Chicago suburb of Northbrook.

Burt and Zorine Lindner, ages 69 and 70, respectively, were driving under the bridge at that moment and were killed.

Burt and Zorine Lindner
Family photo

Burt and Zorine Lindner were traveling under the bridge when it collapsed, crushing their car underneath the wreckage. Crews sorting the debris found their car with their bodies inside of it the day after the accident.

Originally, it was thought that no one had been hurt in the collapse. However, when crews began to sift through the wreckage the following day, they discovered a car with two bodies under the rubble.

Abnormally High Temperatures

At approximately 1:30 p.m. CT on July 4, 2012, 32 freight cars derailed, each carrying an average of 75 to 85 tons of coal, piling up on top of the overpass, which then collapsed onto the street below.

Due to the abnormally high air temperature, the rail at the point of derailment was in compression, making a track buckle more likely to occur, the FRA report concluded.

The report does not place blame for the derailment, Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis told the Chicago Tribune.

The 86-foot-long bridge structure consisted of two open deck, steel spans per track. Each track had a seperate superstructure, supported by separate steel pile piers in the center of the road and concrete abutents at each end.

Under the bridge is Shermer Road, a two-lane road with one lane in each direction on either side of the center bridge pier. After the accident, the only remaining portions of the underpass were the two concrete abutments and a small portion of the steel pile pier, according to the report.

It appeared that the span anchor bolts had been sheared off or pulled out. Three of the four steel spans and other portions of the bridge were found in the wreckage. According to the FRA report, none of the beams showed evidence of serious corrosion.

Morning Problem Reported

On the morning of the accident, a UP signal maintainer responded to a reported signal problem at the track when he spotted an anomaly in the south side of the track on the Shermer Road Bridge. He walked across the bridge to investigate and saw what he believed to be a bent weld. Since the signal maintaner was not qualified in track inspection, he called a track supervisor to report what he saw.

The track supervisor was already working his way down the track performing inspections, but he never made it to the bridge before it collapsed.

Shermer Road Bridge
Reader photo by Tony Nielson submitted to the Chicago-Tribune

Over a year after the accident, the road where the bridge collapsed remains blocked off.

Because of the extremely hot temperatures in the area, the train was operating at 38 miles per hour; maximum allowable speed under the heat restriction was 40 miles per hour.

Two crew members were on the train, and both were subjected to toxicological testing, which came back negative. The FRA also concluded that operator fatigue was not a factor in the accident.

The estimated track and structure damages totaled $3,704,500 and estimated equipment damage was $1,514,329, according to the FRA report.

Over a year since the accident, the road remains blocked, frustrating local business owners. Union Pacific selected a contractor to build the new bridge earlier this month. Construction is expected to last until at least December.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Fatalities; Federal Railroad Administration; Rail; Railcars; Roads/Highways; Steel

Comment from Billy Russell, (7/26/2013, 12:04 PM)

I am waiving the BULL#@%! Flag on that one, Look at the condition of these rail road bridges all across this nation ate up with Rust. I am not a structural Engineer strictly my personal opinion.


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.


RPB Respiratory
AN INSTANTLY CLEAN VISOR? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

With RPB Safety’s new Nova 3 Cassette Lens System which has been specifically designed to save you time and money! See the benefits for yourself now!


SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
http://www.sspc.org/

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !


Nationwide Overspray
Profession Overspray Removal Services

The Finest Name in Safe Overspray Removal. We specialize in removing all contaminants from any surface. Family Owned and Operated for 33 years! Fully insured. Satisfaction is guaranteed.


Bullard

The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable


Abrasives Inc.
Need abrasives FAST?

Emergencies happen – who bails you out? One call to Abrasives Inc. and it's taken care of. Period. Sales support available 24/7.
800-584-7524


Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Hydro Utility Penstock Overcoated in 1997. Was power washed and overcoated with major cost saving. No environmental impact with Termarust's low LC50 of 41,007 ppm.


Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
Portable Power from Absolute Equipment

•Compressors
•Lighting Systems
•Generators
•Light Compaction
Sales • Rental • Service
Call 1-866-931-6655
Over a century of
providing excellence.


Minerals Research & Recovery

HIGH PERFORMANCE ABRASIVES


“Made in the USA!”

Why recycle waste from other countries? Go FASTER, CLEANER, at 1/3 THE COST with MR&R “All-American” Sharpshot®HP!!

WATCH THE VIDEO


HoldTight Solutions Inc.
NO FLASH RUST -
NO CONTAMINANTS

Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. It has no equal; only wannabees.
Contact us for your
nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com