View Full Version : BNSF probes cause of crash southeast of Udall KS - Wed 1 Oct

10-04-2003, 07:28 PM
October 3, 2003 - Winfield (KS) Daily Courier

Railroad probes cause of crash southeast of Udall


UDALL - A railroad utility crew jumped to safety Wednesday morning just before their work truck was
hit by a 72-car moving train southeast of Udall.

A radio dispatcher warned the two-man crew about the approaching Burlington Northern and Santa Fe
train, police said. The men looked up just in time to see the engine heading their way. The truck
and train collided about a quarter mile outside of town, not far from the Udall Co-op.

"The guys heard them yelling on the radio, and they got out right before it hit them," said Udall
Chief of Police Matt Dennis. "They were lucky."

Dennis helped secure all roads coming into Udall, including K-55 and Cowley 3, for 3-1/2 hours. The
wreck occurred at 10:30 a.m.

BNSF spokesman Steve Forsberg said railroad investigators are still unsure how the wreck happened.
The welding truck and its crew had clearance to work on a side track that operates like a short
passing lane on a highway. The accident, however, occurred on the main line.

"Why the truck was in a position to foul the main is still something under investigation," Forsberg
said, speaking from his Kansas City office this morning. "We will be reviewing exactly what occurred
during construction between the dispatcher and the crew."

Forsberg said nearly $150,000 in damage was done, mostly to the truck. The customized welding truck
was an expensive piece of equipment because of its specialized tool bed and high-rail system. A
high-rail allows trucks to switch their wheels so they can travel along train tracks as well as

The train, which was traveling from Kansas City, Kan., to Temple, Texas, was able to continue on its
route, Forsberg said. The train carried 55 loaded cars and 17 empty ones. The two men operating the
train were uninjured.

The welding crew resumed working on the tracks later that day.

10-04-2003, 07:58 PM
they were lucky! :shock:

10-04-2003, 08:04 PM
An indispensable piece of equipment, the radio, again, saves lives. They were very lucky!

Gregory Wallace
10-04-2003, 08:08 PM
I've seen those trucks before, and have sometimes wondered if such a collision ever occurs. Scary... I'm glad no one was hurt.

Question: those trucks have regular tires, right? If they'd have had time, could the work-crew have driven right off the tracks?


10-05-2003, 02:36 AM
It sounds like from the article that they didn't have much time and perhaps they were in the wrong place from where they had authority for.