Old 12-21-2005, 04:34 AM   #1
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Default Cargo loss-- Who loses?

While watching a train pass the other day, I saw a powdery product leaking from a bottom door of a 4 bay covered hopper, and it was not a small leak-- I noted the reporting marks and gave the information to the conductor of a nearby switch crew-- He said he would call it in, but really didn't seem to care-- I got to wondering: In the event of a cargo loss like this leak, who takes the loss? The railroad, the shipper, the car owner??? Does the transporting railroad have any responsibility so far as stopping the leak and attempting repairs? So far as cargo items falling off of a train, who owns them?? Thanks, da Gator
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:33 PM   #2
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I've seen things like this before, mostly on the UP, but I watch BNSF trains more and it doesn't seem to happen. Anyway, the loss would probably go to the shipper, most likely it would've been the unloader's problem for not closing the hatches properly after emptying. The loader is at fault too for not checking to see if all the doors were closed properly. I believe every car has a small sentence saying "all doors must be closed before shipping".
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:51 PM   #3
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I've seen this once before in Joliet. A BNSF manifest passed through westbound (with a lot of chemical cars) and was leaking something. It looked just like flour. I would have reported it but the security guard had already seen it. I'm sure he took the appropriate action.
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Old 12-21-2005, 10:13 PM   #4
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I havent seen any 'leaking' cars yet, but the closest i have seen was about 10 to 15 units of stack train had the doors on all of the containers opened, mainly the bottom containers. The doors were wide open. I could see all the cargo, some motorcycles and packages. It was a moving train, i figure somebody broke into the containers well down the line, mabey in Tucson or before. I thought it was kind of cool to see what was inside, didnt look like anything was stolen because everything was fairly big in size. I didnt report it because i dont know any numbers to call.
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Old 12-21-2005, 10:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Lorenz
I havent seen any 'leaking' cars yet, but the closest i have seen was about 10 to 15 units of stack train had the doors on all of the containers opened, mainly the bottom containers. The doors were wide open. I could see all the cargo, some motorcycles and packages. It was a moving train, i figure somebody broke into the containers well down the line, mabey in Tucson or before. I thought it was kind of cool to see what was inside, didnt look like anything was stolen because everything was fairly big in size. I didnt report it because i dont know any numbers to call.
I seen stack trains like that every once and a while. Only when I see them they aren't carrying anything. I have a friend that lived near the CN/IC here in Freeport. The IC used to carry intermodal at the ends of their manifest trains(they don't anymore). The wesbound trains often stopped by his house waiting for a crew change, and he climed on the flatbeds and opened the trailers. The trains stopped at the yard office about a mile west of him so the engines were well out of seeing range.
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Old 12-22-2005, 01:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BNSF_SD40-2B
The wesbound trains often stopped by his house waiting for a crew change, and he climed on the flatbeds and opened the trailers. The trains stopped at the yard office about a mile west of him so the engines were well out of seeing range.
Oh, thats pretty smart....
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Old 12-22-2005, 04:29 AM   #7
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Ok, Mabey i didnt make myself clear, I didnt open the stack containers, they were already opened. I was viewing the moving train from a hill, and as it passed my position i was able to see what was inside, from the hill. I didnt jump on. I dont think that it would be a good idea to climb on an active train and start going through cargo.
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Old 12-22-2005, 05:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Lorenz
Ok, Mabey i didnt make myself clear, I didnt open the stack containers, they were already opened. I was viewing the moving train from a hill, and as it passed my position i was able to see what was inside, from the hill. I didnt jump on. I dont think that it would be a good idea to climb on an active train and start going through cargo.
I knew what you did, you made yourself perfectly clear.

I'm just saying that's what my friend did. I told him it wasn't smart after he did it, and I wasn;t there when he did it.
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Old 12-22-2005, 12:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BNSF_SD40-2B
The wesbound trains often stopped by his house waiting for a crew change, and he climed on the flatbeds and opened the trailers. The trains stopped at the yard office about a mile west of him so the engines were well out of seeing range.
As long as the engines couldn't see him, everything was OK. What a superb idea.
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Old 12-22-2005, 01:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Lorenz
The doors were wide open. I could see all the cargo, some motorcycles and packages.... figure somebody broke into the containers well down the line.
Sounds like East Saint Louis.
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Old 12-22-2005, 02:55 PM   #11
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Sounds like East Saint Louis.
But he left out the part about the he/she pre-op tranny hooker. That would've made it sound more like E. St Louis!
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Old 12-22-2005, 03:11 PM   #12
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But he left out the part about the he/she pre-op tranny hooker. That would've made it sound more like E. St Louis!
Yeah, that's on the other side of I-70. But you are right. I still miss seeing him/her/it/she/whatever.
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Old 12-23-2005, 02:14 PM   #13
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If you really want to get a reaction out of this sort of thing next time, tell them you think it was leaking HAZMAT. And you're feeling queezy.

Seriously, don't bother telling the crew of any other train as they generally don't care.

If you have no way of getting in touch with the crew of the afflicted train, best bet is just to call the local RR police and report it. By law, they have to document and record the call, and if something bad happens as a result, they can be held liable for damages caused. Plus if the customer who is to recieve that product requests an investigation, the information of that report has to be made available to them also by law.

Food for thought: When railroads make agreements to ship, they often have a clause in their service agreement that warns of possible cargo loss. Their professional liability insurance or the customer's normally covers for such loss.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by firegator
While watching a train pass the other day, I saw a powdery product leaking from a bottom door of a 4 bay covered hopper, and it was not a small leak-- I noted the reporting marks and gave the information to the conductor of a nearby switch crew-- He said he would call it in, but really didn't seem to care-- I got to wondering: In the event of a cargo loss like this leak, who takes the loss? The railroad, the shipper, the car owner??? Does the transporting railroad have any responsibility so far as stopping the leak and attempting repairs? So far as cargo items falling off of a train, who owns them?? Thanks, da Gator
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