Railway group warns that car error can cause derailments

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — U.S. Railroads was warned Thursday to remove certain cars from service after Norfolk Southern discovered loose wheels on a car involved in last weekend’s Ohio derailment.

It’s not clear that the loose wheels caused the Springfield derailment last Saturday, as the National Transportation Safety Board has just begun investigating that crash — the latest in a string of high-profile derailments that have made headlines. But the railroad said the car’s loose wheels could cause a derailment.

Norfolk Southern said in a statement that after the railroad discovered “additional instances of unusual wheel movement,” it acted quickly to notify accident investigators and the rest of the industry. The Association of American Railroads trade group responded Thursday by issuing an advisory on the suspect cars.

The trade group said the problem was related to new wheelsets being installed on Specialized Steel Coil trucks from August. The association said all cars with those wheels should be inspected and have their wheels replaced immediately.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many rail cars could be affected or their location, Association of American Railroads spokeswoman Jessica Kahanek said.

Railroad safety has been in the spotlight since a fiery derailment at Ohio’s Norfolk Southern last month. About half of the city of eastern Palestine had to be evacuated after several cars carrying hazardous materials caught fire. The railroad’s CEO answered questions about that wreck during a congressional hearing on Thursday.

In addition to the Springfield derailment, two others were reported across the country in the past week, though none involved hazardous materials.






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