Inbound blades west of Flagstaff.

Thar Back!
Wind Turbine Blades
Inbound to Newberry Springs

Posted: April 24, 2021
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
by Ted Stimpfel

High winds created hic-up
west of Flagstaff.

    "Train U-FTMNWB1-19.  Happened late afternoon 4-23-2021.  Retaining pin on cradle broke, allowing blade to swing out and catch a utility pole.  Derailed the car and put the blade completely off the car onto the ground.  Car was fouling clearance on Main 2.  Was moved enough to open Main 2 last night."  (Report and above photo by "tferk." Date: 04/24/31 08:33)

Photograph taken Friday, April 23, 2021, of a crane in Newberry Springs assembling smaller cranes to remove train transported turbine blades onto trucks.

    The wind turbine blades will once again be offloaded onto trucks at the prior offloading site just west of Mountain View Road in Newberry Springs.  The on-going turbine blade transport project is expected to last one to two years.

    To decipher the train number (U-FTMNWB1-19), the "U" means that the train is a Unit Train, all cars on the train are similar.  FTM means that the train originated in Fort Madison, Iowa.  Of interest is the following NWB which apparently stands for Newberry Springs, the first time that Newberry has received such a railroad designation.  The following 1 signifies that the train is the first section (of presumably others).  The "-19" is the origination date.


Update: Saturday - April 24, 2021  6:00 P.M. posting.
Photographs taken earlier in the day.

Update: Yet another incident.
Saturday - April 24, 2021  8:43 P.M.
This time... California

    More high winds misfortune for the Newberry blade train.  As the train was continuing on after leaving Arizona, a track warning sensor was triggered.

    "The first blade shifted off the flat car and was fouling both mains.  It was west of Needles, right before the track goes under I-40 near Java."

Update: Thursday - April 29, 2021
Blade train still hasn't reached Newberry.

    " can't make this stuffup.  Last Friday BNSF lost power to 3 meters powering signals in the Topock' area.  MEC (Mohave Electric Cooperative), our local co-op, responded to find that an errant wind turbine blade being sent to a project in Newberry had come off the carrying flat and wiped out a power pole.  Another of the dangers of wind power!  Crew got the pole replaced, the blade resecured only to have another blade fall off just short of Newberry."  (by "callum-out" 4/29/21)

    Note: On the second incident, the blade became loose and misaligned on the rail car, threatening operations on the adjacent track.



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