UPDATE: Investigations complete on two separate August train der - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

UPDATE: Investigations complete on two separate August train derailments

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Photo Courtesy: June Kennedy Photo Courtesy: June Kennedy

The first train derailment happened up by Cut Bank on August 2nd. 12 cars carrying grain derailed and no injuries were reported but Amtrak customers had to be diverted. The investigation concluded Mother Nature was to blame.

The investigation determined that the cause of the derailment was a thermal misalignment of the track. And that happens when extreme temperatures expand the track or steal resulting in a shifting of the track, said Ross Lane

BNSF conducts daily inspections of their tracks for thermal misalignment. Thermal misalignments are rare but tend to happen above 90 degrees. When this happens and a problem is detected, BNSF will stop traffic on that railway to fix it or issue a slower speed limit.

The second derailment happened right here in Great Falls on August 8th, it turns out it was human error.

This was a result of a train handling incident in which we did not have enough airbrakes on the train cars so we have added new procedures where our crews are required to add additional brakes for empty cars over 80, said Lane

BNSF also set new procedures for trains over 100 and 120 cars. They hope these additional brakes will keep derailments from happening in this area again. BNSF went on today to say even though they had 2 derailments, they believe 2018 will be one of their safest years on record.
 

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