This incident I think shows what is wrong with the NH Rail Authority and more specifically, its leader former Senator Peter Burling.
The various news accounts reported the extent of the derailment which was seven loaded coal cars “on the ground” and the disruption of motor vehicle traffic in the greater Nashua area in addition to the delay of an inbound coal shipment to PSNH- Bow.
As reported in the Union Leader newspaper Sen. Burling jumped at the chance to state the condition of the trackage was the reason for this derailment. Burling later went on to state that the NH Rail Authority supports expending capital, likely taxpayer capital on this railroad line. He doesn’t offer any financial or economic reasoning beyond this statement.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is investigating the derailment of the Bow Unit Coal Train as it’s called which is operated by Pan Am Railways. I believe that the FRA will conclude its investigation in support of and what executives at Pan Am Railways believe. And this is.
That wheel assemblies “David Fink, president of Pan Am, said preliminary investigation shows that one of the “truck sides” – or wheel assemblies, which contain axles, springs, and other equipment for suspension – had fallen off one of the cars. That caused a chain reaction among several subsequent cars.”- Source: Nashua Telegraph Newspaper. Karen Lovett. 11/18/09.
Wheel assemblies not track conditions.
I’m not a supporter of Sen. Burling or the NH Rail Authority. I don’t think they have done a single thing for New Hampshire except issue statements to the media touting the idea of the capitol corridor and asking for millions of dollars in grant funding to finance a project which has no basis or even analysis as to how it would be successful.
I think Pan Am Railways and it predecessor railroads, Guilford Rail System and the Boston & Maine Corporation have done an effective job in running this rail line and practicing capitalism at its best. Serving their customers and running a railroad!
In the meantime I think Sen. Burling needs to stop making statements to the media.