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Train derailment sparks major fire in Quebec's Eastern Townships

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posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 08:46 AM
reply to post by Montana

CBC news manipulating story, yesterday they had large format photos you could zoom into, now gone.
Best photo was of entire yard, some individual cars 1/2 mile from others, burnt. No sign of a engine, other than yard engine parked at other end near station.

Keep reading of cars unhooked separated, main train separated. If investigation blames sole operator (engineer) I think it was a setup.
Most likely to me, done to get ok for pipe lines.
Prayers for people involved.

posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 10:25 AM
reply to post by donlashway

CBC's French counterpart has a photo gallery here

posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 10:35 AM

Originally posted by donlashway
reply to post by Montana

Well, there is a photo in the news report showing the tank cars, lead two fine, all behind stacked up. Looks like they were going into that industrial siding. As I said first two fine, no damage strait on siding track, what if there was a track blocker that way that stopped them? Cars not all smashed up, just side ways all stacked up, perpendicular to track, so not going very fast.

News report says last 13 cars were pulled back away from the fire, again it wasn't going fast.

Three or more tracks there; industrial siding, side storage siding (small yard) and main line. The two intact cars on far left rails ( in direction of travel south); the industrial siding.

I've heard three people say it was going a lot faster than usual, some guessing at 60 mph.

I'm wondering about the car that's lying on top of the others, whether the force of the explosion did that or what? See this photo.

posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 10:50 AM

Originally posted by aboutface

I've heard three people say it was going a lot faster than usual, some guessing at 60 mph.

I'm wondering about the car that's lying on top of the others, whether the force of the explosion did that or what? See this photo.

Pretty common in derailments for the cars to stack up on each other. I would be surprised if there weren't any like that. Some rails even call derailments 'stacking them up'.

posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 01:24 PM
reply to post by donlashway

So sorry. RDI has also removed its photos as far as I can tell.

posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 05:48 PM

The Sureté du Québec (the provincial police force) has held a press conference to announce that there is an criminal investigation underway.

People are still not allowed anywhere near the red zone of the disaster as they continue to search for human remains. It is currently raining in Lac-Mégantic.

The return to their homes of the evacuated people that was announced previously had to be put on hold until this afternoon. Everyone will return systematically who are selected to return.

The president of World Rail company says that policy is immediately changing that will affect railways world wide. No train will be left unattended between crews, Nantes will no longer be a crew exchange point. Trains will stop at level terrain areas, and as of now, Sherbrook will replace Nantes as the transfer point.

Photo from

edit on 9-7-2013 by aboutface because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 06:47 PM
reply to post by aboutface

This is what World Rail, the parent company of the Montreal, Maine, & Atlantic, is just now changing their own policies to? These policies should have been in place to start with. One thing I have never heard of was stopping a train to change crews on a grade!! You put these policies in place to prevent things like this from happening in the first place. Another thing is that Nantes should never been a crew change point to begin with.

Since a criminal investigation has been launched as the authorities are correct in doing. This may come back as a case of criminal negligence against the railroad and its owners. I guarantee you that if anyone did anything wrong to cause this accident. It is going to come back on railroad as it being as result of their gross negligence. If and when the time comes that it does come back to be the railroads' fault. The victims of this tragedy will own every single piece of property that company owns after all of the civil suits are done in the courts.

posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 12:45 AM
reply to post by aboutface

Not sure if you've already posted this but a criminal investigation is being opened. It would seem the brakes from that previous fire weren't properly inspected and may have been the cause as it rolled straight down the hill.


posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 01:52 AM
Ok, folks, I have spent some time talking with other rails about the locomotives on this train and in the photo of the engine on fire at the beginning of this mess. First, engine MMA 5017 is a GE model C30-7 not a -9 as I stated earlier. This makes a difference because this locomotive is about 30 years older than I assumed we were talking about. This model of engine had insulation or 'lagging' over the engine compartment and around the exhaust stacks. The lagging was notorious for catching on fire. Looks like it happened again here. This locomotive is considered obsolete and is retired from all class 1 railroads that I am aware of, and even most Class 2 railroads. Only a short line like the MMA would still be operating it.

In the photo I stated I thought a caboose was next to the 5017, and this confused me since the MMA said the train had 5 locomotives, and you don't put cabooses in between them. Well, I guess I should say 'most' railroads don't do that. The MMA in it's quest to take greed to a new level has done just that. The caboose in question is a remote control car. Many switching yards have begun using a system to control the switch engines from a belt pack worn by the switchman instead of using an engineer. This is called RCO. I feel this is a dangerous practice, since it leaves no one in the cab as the locomotive moves around. If something or someone gets in front of the moving equipment there is no one to see it and stop the movement. The railroads get around this obvious safety concern by putting up signs saying "Cabs of moving equipment may be unoccupied". That makes it all better, doesn't it!

The locomotives that are in service on the MMA are so old that they are not able or designed to use this system. So Mr Burkhardt had several cabooses converted to 'Remote Control Cars' that receive the signals from the belt pack and send controlling orders to the locomotives.

Anyway, MMA, in it's never to be satisfied quest for the almighty dollar has developed the RCO system to control trains from a belt pack as well. In 'normal' railroads, if something breaks the conductor (or brakeman) gets down on the ground and directs the engineer to move forward and backward as necessary until the problem is fixed. The Engineer is able to watch the track ahead and stop before anything in the way gets hit. On the good old MMA the engineer gets down and- leaving the cab entirely unoccupied- moves the train around however he needs to fix the problem by himself. Here's the deal folks, there is no one in the cab to see someone stuck on the tracks, no one to see a kid playing near a crossing, no one to see the car that is broken down fouling the track. Hey, but it's cheaper, and that's what matters, right?

These RCO cars are not licensed for use in Canada, so trains heading west from Maine usually leave them at Lac Megantic and pick them back up on the way east to the States. This work apparently was done prior to the engineer securing the train and before the fire in locomotive 5017. This would support the railroad's statement that the train entered Nantes under remote control. Earlier I made the statement that there is no remote control of trains outside of switching yards. I was wrong, but it never entered my mind that regulators would allow such an unsafe practice. I stand corrected.

I also made the statement that a fire in the engine compartment of a locomotive would have no effect on the air brake computer. With this kind of Frankenstein equipment, who knows? Cabooses stuffed with electronic equipment being used for purposes it was never designed for in the first place being sprayed with water... yeah, anything could happen.

I don't know how or what occurred to cause this derailment, but I am sure this crappy equipment and the focus on profit at all costs had a lot to do with it. Remember that alerter system I said should have stopped the train before it even got to town? I would be willing to bet real money that in this old of a locomotive it was either non-functional or removed completely.

I do know one thing, though. There is NO WAY I would live anywhere near this railroad. I would feel safer in the middle of a hurricane.
edit on 7/10/2013 by Montana because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 02:53 AM
Omg.... Montana... Please, contact autority here... I dont know your knowledge, but you could help many family of victime here...

Now "MMA" look even worst... and we saw video of their Boss talking and kind of smiling.. ( surely he is timide... or i dont know..... )

Bring that compagy to the ground, they just want money,.....

And i add...

I'M NOT SURE, i have no source, but it's from RDI or 98.5fm montreal... But the tank oil,... was Tank for vegetal oil ... if i get it right...
edit on 10-7-2013 by FreeQuebec86 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 06:01 AM
I wonder what the criminal investigation is focused on. Maintenance negligence or something more sinister.

An al-Qaida backed plot to attack Canada's rail network was thwarted only a couple of months ago.

posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 06:02 AM
reply to post by Montana

I am gobsmacked by what you say. The boss of the company that owns the train is in town today and everyone is looking forward to hearing what he has to say. So far he doesn't come across as compassionate in any way and uses wry humor a lot.

This is not over by a long shot. Let's suppose they throw the book at the company. With the new mentality and laws to indemnify corporations, I wonder if anyone would see any jail time. My guess is no, unless they were to charge an underling.

posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 01:32 PM
CBC radio is reporting that the investigation is looking into the possibility that the brakes on the train were tampered with after the first fire.
Possibly kids pulling a prank.
The are not discounting the possibility for terrorism either but no one had made any claims.

posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 02:43 PM
reply to post by Beartracker16

Transport Canada and the Provincial Police of Quebec are saying that the brakes were improperly set when the engineer got off the train. This goes along with what I said earlier in a previous post. Someone did not follow standard operating procedures when it comes to the number of hand brakes that were supposed to have been set.

posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 03:49 PM
reply to post by Montana

Montana, don't know if this is of any importance to your assessment or not?

Scalia plans to come to work for parts of next week, when he is supposed to be vacationing, to ensure that the locomotive rebuilding project stays on schedule. Three of the locomotives will be additions to the company’s stock. They’re not new machines, but new enough: General Electric C 39-8s built in 1986 that the company bought and will have rebuilt with reconditioned engines, generators and other key components, Grindrod said. The rest will be older models that the freight company took out of circulation when they broke down, Grindrod said. Scalia also has to work on finding more workers. The company has rehired all of the people available now who were laid off from MM&A years ago. The rest still in the area work for other rail companies or have left the industry, he said. The training of new workers can take up to three years to complete, and Scalia worries that the company’s workload might leave the company scrambling for experienced help.

More News Releases from MMA

edit on 7/10/2013 by whatnext21 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 09:11 PM
reply to post by aboutface


The police say that they have recovered the remains of 20 people out of the fifty they believe have died, and one has been identified and the family notified. They are not et releasing the name.

There are three companies involved in the rail:
    The company who owned the crude oil and was shipping it
    The company who owns the trains and tracks, Rail World Inc.
    The company who was contracted to transport the shipment from one place to another, MMA

The interview with the chairman of Rail World received mixed reviews overall. He blamed the train engineer for not securing the brakes even though there is an investigation going on as to the exact cause, and frankly spoke too much, even though he said he was devastated by this tragedy. link to quotes from him
story summary

Montana, By saying earlier that I was gobsmacked, I meant by your revelations about the company, not by you, as my qords may have been misunderstood.

edit on 10-7-2013 by aboutface because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 10:13 PM
reply to post by gimmefootball400

I have a few questions:

How did the engine get unhooked?

Train got shortened, some stayed up on the hill?

At wreck cars can be seen on three different sidings, some explainable, but what I see as first two undamaged unburnt to the far left industrial siding?

No sign of engine in wreck photos of yard, yet close up of black box undamaged?

Sure want to see a complete report.

posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 11:58 PM
I figure what may have happened is the cars weren't uncoupled by someone unlike what others have said. This is starting to sound like the train was actually separated by the engineer on the train due to the railroad crossing where the train was parked. What's not being shown, and hasn't been shown in this thread, is that a couple of railfans took photos of this train while it was moving and there was more than one engine powering this train. The one picture of the lead locomotive in this thread, you can't see the other three locomotives behind the remote control platform.

This is the locomotive that was actually coupled up to the cars when they stopped.

As you can see from where the police car is stopped at. There is a railroad crossing that the point of where the train would have stopped at. As for the train being separated, it was separated to keep the crossing clear so that traffic could keep moving. What happened is that the brakes either failed or that the train had started to slide down the hill even with the brakes applied in full. The amount of weight behind the locomotives is one of the factors as to what caused this train to runaway. You had so much weight setting on a grade behind the locomotives that this was inevitable.

The two cars in the picture that were not burnt is more than likely due to where they were located in the train and when the explosion occurred. This appears to be a boil over type of explosion that caused the crude oil to explode with the violence that it did. The explosion itself occurred somewhere toward the middle of the pile of the wrecked cars. When the explosion happened, instead of the heat from the blast going to the right and out. It went straight ahead. This why you see nothing but the foundations of buildings that were in the path of the explosion. Hence, why you see the two cars closest to the railroad crossing and that black container with no scorch marks from intense heat.

This has sounded like gross negligence on the company's part since this accident happened. When it does turn out to be gross negligence. There will no longer be a Montreal, Maine, & Atlantic Railroad after civil suits and the criminal cases are finished.

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 01:27 AM
the train conductor was in a train derailment 11 MONTHS ago............

( in french ).

And if i get this right... he failed the drug test.... and the other guy was fired

posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 01:58 PM
reply to post by FreeQuebec86

Harding is nowhere to be found apparently.

If MMA goes belly up, Earkhart has 9 other companies that he would perhaps try to put in place.

In the meantime there is a plywood factory in Lac-Mégantic that employs 350 people. Its GM says they rely heavily on transportation of their goods by rail. In the meantime they must resort to truck transportation.

One man has lost his wife and children plus his house while he was out at a friend's. His parents have come from Sept-Isles to get him and take him to their home. His mom explained that when there is no body, no ashes, no paperwork, they don't know where to bridge the gap between shock and reality because there is nothing to hang onto. The red zone is fenced off and covered still. This is so completely sad.

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