Turbine wind blade train pulled by two locomotives finally rolled into Newberry Springs at 4:15 P.M. on Sunday, May 9, 2021.

Turbine Blades Finally Arrive
16-days Late!

Posted: May 10, 2021
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
by Ted Stimpfel

    The blade train that was the subject of our April 24th news blog finally rolled into Newberry Springs.

    The train had a blade and railcar derailment on Friday, April 23rd west of Flagstaff.  The derailment blocked both east and westbound BNSF rail traffic between Los Angeles and Chicago.  Many dozens of trains and millions of dollars in freight were impacted.

    With corrections made, the blade train continued on its journey only to have another blade shift the next day partially off of its railcar cradle and protrude over the adjacent oncoming rail track.  Fortunately, before a tragic rail accident could happen, the blade train passed a sensor just west of Needles that alerted the railroad.

    The second stoppage of the rail line in two days by the same train was apparently too much for BNSF which then had the train moved to a siding.

    A public relations representative for BNSF thereafter refused to comment on the extended delay.  One can only speculate why the train sat idle for over two weeks.

    Two cranes and workers also sat waiting to unload the blades in Newberry Springs.  Many trucks to transport the blades to their final destination were obviously also hired and had to be placed on standby.  At the destination, more cranes and personnel to erect the massive towers, wind blades and turbines would have also been placed on standby.

    I would speculate that many attorneys were busy representing businesses and insurance companies assessing blame and pointing fingers as to who is liable for the damages.

    The first blade that fell off the railcar and causing the derailment is estimated to cost somewhere between $200,000 and $300,000.  It is reported that blades are balanced at the factory in sets of three, so if one is damaged, it impacts two others.

    So, who is liable?  The manufacture of the blades?  Perhaps the shipper or whoever loaded the blades onto the rail car?  Does liability fall upon whoever designed or who manufactured the cradles to which the blades were supposedly secured to?  Was BNSF culpable for operating the train during a period of high winds?  Ohhh! The legal finger-pointing!

    Was BNSF doing a power play by detaining the blades' delivery until the matter was settled?  The public will probably never know.

Happy Nodding Smiley Face

The blade railcars were divided and placed on parallel siding tracks Sunday evening in Newberry Springs west of Mountain View Road.
(Click for enlargement.)

Monday, May 10, 2021, crane crew was busy in Newberry.


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