by Mark Schwendau
Those keeping records reported we had a little over 1,000 train derailments last year in 2022. This year we are on track to keep about the same record but the difference has been since the derailment at East Palestine, Ohio on February 3rd which involved cars that dumped and burned hazardous toxins in a rural small town, America has been on edge. Will this happen where I live?
While some conspiracy theorists were quick to blame Joe Biden, Donald Trump, space aliens, globalists, and others, it turns out there is actually a very logical business side answer to these events. This hypothesis will require Federal government intervention, and soon.
As of last weekend, more than 2 dozen train accidents occurred in the United States alone in early 2023 alone and the year is just getting started several more have just occurred with one notably captured on video. A freight train is seen having its wheels come off of one car in a BNSF train derailment in Verdigris, Oklahoma.
A video of the incident has also gone viral on the Internet. The 54-second video clip shows the train derailing and falling off railway tracks with the caption, “When is this BS going to end?”
Here is a list of a few of the most recent:
Montana 4/2 – a freight train derailed near Missoula, Montana involved 24 cars off the track with no reports of injuries or hazardous materials involved. One car of propane was involved in this latest BNSF derailment, but Montana Rail Link (MRL) said that there is no danger to the public or its employees. Much of the derailment was said to involve cases of beer. The drone video appeared to show cases of Coors and Blue Moon.
Minnesota 3/30 – a freight train derailment in Raymond, Minnesota, involved 22 cars off the track with no reports of injuries but hazardous materials were involved. The derailment included upgraded triple-hulled DOT-117 cars designed to better contain the chemicals in an accident. The BNSF railroad said the only hazardous material aboard was ethanol.
Alabama 3/9 – a freight train derailment in Calhoun County, Alabama involved 37 cars off the track with no reports of injuries or hazmat involved. Ironically this incident happened just hours before Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw appeared before Congress on Thursday to discuss another of the rail operator’s train derailments.
Oklahoma 3/7 – a freight train derailment near Verdigris was minor, with no injuries or spills. Emergency crews had the incident cleaned up and traffic restored in less than a day. The BNSF railroad reported the public was never in any danger.
Nebraska 2/21 – a coal train derailed in Gothenburg involving 30 cars of the Union Pacific Railroad in an area involving 3 other similar derailments of coal trains in 2022. No injuries or hazmat releases were reported.
South Carolina 2/13 – Near Enoree, a train derailed in a minor incident in Spartanburg County, but no one was injured and no freight was lost and no hazardous materials were involved. Three cars went off the track in an industrial spur track of the CSX railroad near U.S. Highway 221.
Ohio 2/3 – widely reported a train derailment of a 150-car freight train carrying toxic hazmat materials crashed off the tracks in East Palestine. Some 38 cars of that train were involved and most of them were carrying liquid hazardous materials. Many residents of the town were said to be suffering illnesses after that incident after chemical fires and explosions resulted from the derailment. Multiple lawsuits have now been filed against the Norfolk Southern Railroad. Senate hearings are to begin on Capitol Hill.
A video was shown on the news some weeks later from a security camera some 15 miles west of East Palestine that appeared to show a bad bearing was on fire beneath at least one of the cars of that ill-fated train going to East Palestine.
“NTSB preliminary report: Wheel bearing overheated before Ohio train derailment,” ABC News rreports.
So it turns out the real reason for these incidents is most probably not any conspiracy as noted before, but actually neglect for safety in the interest of profit. Journalist Paula Pecorella narrates a very enlightening and thoughtful 7-minute video on this recent rash of train derailments for More Perfect Union.
The video Pecorella offers shows how over the history of railroading in America, some 630 competing railroads have now dwindled and been merged into just 7: BNSF, CN, Canadian Pacific, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific. And those seven may soon be just 6!
In the video, Elgin, Illinois Mayor David Kaptain discusses his concerns about the potential for a future train derailment in his small populated town. His concern arises from the potential 31 billion-dollar merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern, which was just approved on March 15th. The merger could involve Elgin going from three freight trains per day to as many as 18 after the merger. The rail lines in Elgin run next to the Fox River.
Another person interviewed, Phillip Longman, the Policy Director of the Open Markets Institute, discussed how these rail mergers have impacted safety. More monopoly leads to less competition, and then safety is compromised due to deregulation and shareholders’ stock dividends becoming a priority. He claims the railroads have largely come under the control of hedge funds that demand substantial returns to shareholders in the short term. He mentions employee numbers have been cut, and safety is being compromised. The infrastructure of the rail system in America is being compromised as the track is being removed and scheduled upgrades are not taking place.
Interviewer Journalist Paula Pecorella notes that Norfolk Southern, as one example, has paid out stockholders over 4,500% over the last 20 years! Coincidentally, rail accident rates have gone up with stock dividend payouts. Pecorella interviews a rail car inspector anonymously for fear of retaliation who offers this:
“Inspections have been more hurried and things that we would typically be taking out prior we’re no longer taking. Very common would be something like what happened in East Palestine, obviously, the bearings coming off is going to cause derailments. That bearing is what the car sits right on top of; that’s where all the weight is. And if you lose enough lubrication in a bearing, then it’s just going to overheat. If it overheats and starts to catch the bearings inside, there stop moving, the internals will literally melt, and the bearing will come off there completely, and that will cause the derailment. From everything I read, the bearings on the train in East Palestine melted off the axle. You can’t just send these things over and over and over again and expect something like this not to happen.”
The anonymous rail safety worker goes on to mention that he has had cars he marked as “CONDEMNABLE” recommissioned, overriding his decision, and put back into circulation.
Phillip Longman concludes; Consolidation in the railroad industry, combined with deregulation, and combined with increasing control by hedge funds, has directly resulted in compromised safety.”
Some took to the Internet to blame the East Palestine rail incident on former President Trump and Republicans love of “deregulation”. This was yet another example of misinformation which means the Joe Biden ministry of misinformation must now imprison these fake pundits.
Not to take a cheap shot at former President Jimmy Carter in his last days but…
“The Staggers Rail Act of 1980 is a United States federal law that deregulated the American railroad industry to a significant extent, and it replaced the regulatory structure that had existed since the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887.” – Wikipedia
And Carter and Congress did so with good reason. Railroads were going bankrupt at an alarming rate back in those days such that what was faced was a National Security Threat.
Today, three Democratic U.S. senators whose states were impacted by the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio; Pennsylvania senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman joined Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown in introducing the Railway Accountability Act.
Fetterman jokes aside, for these three Democrats to do this in the face of Democrat donor and key BNSF hedge fund investor Warren Buffet is very brave and noteworthy. This is why I do not hate people by political affiliation but hate them for their lack of moral character and soul.
Take, for example, all the members of the climate change cult who remained oddly silent during the events playing out in East Palestine. These people are all partisan hacks, bought and paid for, hypocrites! To name but a few:
- Acting president Joe Biden
- Climate Czar John Kerry
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi
- Sen. Chuck Schumer
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC)
Two of the greatest climate calamities to occur recently were manmade; the train derailment at East Palestine, Ohio, and the intentional sabotage of the Nord Stream II gas pipeline, all the others involved volcanoes that are deemed naturally occurring. If the climate cult was sincere about their concern for Mother Earth, they would not have remained quiet about these two occurrences.
Copyright © 2022 by Mark S. Schwendau
Mark S. Schwendau is a retired technology professor who has always had a sideline in news-editorial writing where his byline has been, “Bringing little known news to people who simply want to know the truth.” He classifies himself as a Christian conservative who God cast to be a realist. His website is www.IDrawIWrite.Tech.