Monday, April 19, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Freight Train vs Tornado

Above is absolutely spectacular footage from the rear-facing unit of a Union Pacific freight train encountering a tornado on January 7th of 2008, in northern Illinois on former Chicago Northwestern tracks. News indicated that twelve cars of the 1,880-ton train were blown off the track though you can see, on screen, the locomotive stays upright due to its weight.

Initially the train appears to be moving at good speed (I'd estimate 30+ mph). You then notice the trees at the periphery of the screen moving and blowing, then the rain squalls hit at roughly :35 seconds, with very heavy rain and winds at :55 seconds. The grain car starts to roll left at about 1:10. The locomotive, slowing now and crossing a trestle, is struck by a tank car which then rolls right, followed by a boxcar. The volume is low; if you increase the volume the video becomes even more frightening.

One tank car, containing ethylene oxide, requiring the evacuation of the unincorporated town of Lawrence, Illinois.


- discussion here;

- KOMO News here;

- National Weather Service link here.