CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

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CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby Super Chief » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:32 pm

WWMT Reporting 40 cars derailed inside CNs tunnel under the St. Clair river. Trackage also torn up on the Pt. Huron side.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby hoborich » Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:04 pm

Gonna be hard working in that confined space.
Looks like a lot of traffic will be going up the Holly for a few days.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby NS3322 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:20 pm

Bridge collapse north of Battle Creek, now this. 2019 has not been a good year for CN (at least in Michigan).

Supposedly 13,700 gallons of sulfuric acid spilled in the tunnel.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby DaveO » Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:30 pm

NS3322 wrote:Bridge collapse north of Battle Creek, now this. 2019 has not been a good year for CN (at least in Michigan).

Supposedly 13,700 gallons of sulfuric acid spilled in the tunnel.


I saw reports about a small spill. If it is really that much, the clean-up will be long and nasty.

Edit to add, I have read a more recent story about the spill. 13,700 gallons of concentrated sulfuric acid has leaked out of a tank car.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby trainjunkie47 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:59 pm

Since they can't run double stacks through the Detroit River tunnel, where would the reroute of 148 and 149 go? Buffalo and across CSX?
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby DaveO » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:35 pm

trainjunkie47 wrote:Since they can't run double stacks through the Detroit River tunnel, where would the reroute of 148 and 149 go? Buffalo and across CSX?

The shaved tunnel can do 8'6" double stacks. Just don't throw in a 9'6" high cube container because that won't work.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby Super Chief » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:17 pm

Supposedly there was a DPU on this land barge running east with a Canadian crew. Don't know how many units were pulling but maybe push came to shove and all hell broke loose.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby Burb8145 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:09 pm

Per On Sheet Southern Ontario on Facebook:

384-385 look to be Niagara routes as 332-333.

fwd: M36731 28 (M39731 28) ordered at Mac Yard for 1815 with CN 2918-CN 3064, planned to detour via CP between Windsor and Detroit and then head back onto home rails via Pontiac and Durand to Kirk Yard. M36731 29 and M36731 30 are also planned.

M36531 29 and M36531 30 (M385) are planned to run ex Mac Yard to Flat Rock via CP between Windsor and Detroit.

Q12731 29 (Q14921 29) is planned to run ex BIT tomorrow evening via Buffalo and Walbridge to Chicago via Detroit, Pontiac and Durand.

Q12291 28, Q12291 29 and Q12291 30 (Q148) are planned to run Chicago to Montreal via Durand, Pontiac, Toledo and Buffalo.

M35491 28 (M394) is ordered at Kirk Yard for 1915 to take a massive detour via Winnipeg to get to Toronto.

Other trains added into CN's Transportation Service Plan for the derailment but aren't planned to run yet include;

M32061 (Flat Rock-Toronto via CP Windsor)
M32491 (Kirk Yard-Toronto via CP Windsor - M394)
M32691 (Kirk Yard-Sarnia via CP Windsor and London - odd)
M32891 (Kirk Yard-Toronto via CP Windsor - M398)
M33261 (Flat Rock-Port Robinson via NS Airline Jct and Buffalo)
M33331 (Port Robinson-Battle Creek via NS Buffalo and Airline Jct)
M33461 (Flat Rock-Toronto via CSXT Walbridge and Buffalo)
M36931 (Mac Yard to Salem via CP Windsor - M399)
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby CAT345C » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:36 pm

Reroute it all via gladstone....
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby chapmaja » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:15 pm

Burb8145 wrote:Per On Sheet Southern Ontario on Facebook:


M35491 28 (M394) is ordered at Kirk Yard for 1915 to take a massive detour via Winnipeg to get to Toronto.



I wonder why they are going via Winnipeg rather than through the UP. I would think going through the UP to SSM then up to the trans-Canada mainline would make sense. Is CN so crew tight in the UP that they would not be able to run that train vai the UP?
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby DaveO » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:15 pm

chapmaja wrote:
Burb8145 wrote:Per On Sheet Southern Ontario on Facebook:


M35491 28 (M394) is ordered at Kirk Yard for 1915 to take a massive detour via Winnipeg to get to Toronto.



I wonder why they are going via Winnipeg rather than through the UP. I would think going through the UP to SSM then up to the trans-Canada mainline would make sense. Is CN so crew tight in the UP that they would not be able to run that train vai the UP?


I think there is a weight restriction on the canal bridges that might be an issue?
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby jrgerber » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:18 am

According to the Port Huron newspaper Times Herald
they hope to reopen the tunnel today
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby GTWChris » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:31 pm

jrgerber wrote:According to the Port Huron newspaper Times Herald
they hope to reopen the tunnel today

I believe the goal for today was to finish the cleanup of the sulfuric acid. Once the sulfuric acid is pumped out, the remaining cars can be removed. There is lots of infrastructure work to be done once the remaining cars are removed.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby Doktor No » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:34 pm

CAT345C wrote:Reroute it all via gladstone....
Crew availability would be the reason. Only so many trains up there and only so many crews for what they have. Anything extra would put a real crimp on things IMHO.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby JoJames » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:59 pm

Lots of damage inside the tunnel from the DPU pushing cars into the ceiling and the sulphuric acid.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby Super Chief » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:02 am

They were darn lucky the ceiling in the tunnel held then. Imagine the mess they would have had if the river and sulfuric acid started coming out of both sides of the tunnel combined? Since the tunnel has grades on both sides I'm surprised a DPU would be allowed on any train in there. Wouldn't the tunnel itself restrict the signal from the head end to the DPU? I'll bet the playbook gets rewritten.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby JoJames » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:48 pm

Super Chief wrote:They were darn lucky the ceiling in the tunnel held then. Imagine the mess they would have had if the river and sulfuric acid started coming out of both sides of the tunnel combined? Since the tunnel has grades on both sides I'm surprised a DPU would be allowed on any train in there. Wouldn't the tunnel itself restrict the signal from the head end to the DPU? I'll bet the playbook gets rewritten.


I think your on to something what caused the derailment.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby hoborich » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:55 pm

I'm surprised a DPU would be allowed on any train in there.

I'm sure they are rethinking that idea. Land barges could be pulled through in sections and recombined on the other side.

Just a thought here. Does anyone know if the DPU was actually in the tunnel when it occurred, or still out on the canadian side? They would have to uncouple and back out, or walk out, when it happened.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby GreatLakesRailfan » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:48 am

hoborich wrote:
I'm surprised a DPU would be allowed on any train in there.

I'm sure they are rethinking that idea. Land barges could be pulled through in sections and recombined on the other side.

Just a thought here. Does anyone know if the DPU was actually in the tunnel when it occurred, or still out on the canadian side? They would have to uncouple and back out, or walk out, when it happened.


They dragged the DPU out at some point Monday afternoon, from what was posted on Facebook.

It was also posted on Facebook that the only track remaining in the tunnel is the first 2,000 feet or so from the Port Huron entrance. The rest has to be completely replaced.


I remember being surprised to see DPUs show up a couple years ago. At first it was only a couple trains with them (398 I think was the first). I've seen them a little more frequently lately, but most trains I see through the tunnel have had all the power on the front of the train.

It'll be interesting to see the TSB report in a couple years to see what role the DPU played in this event.
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Re: CN Derailment in Port Huron Tunnel

Unread postby Steve B » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:20 am

Which agency does the investigation and report-- NTSB or Transport Canada-- depends on whether the accident started in Ontario or Michigan. This isn't clear yet, or at least hasn't been made public.
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