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TIMELINE: Events leading up to Wellington train derailment

  • Derailment-gif

    ED BETZEL / CHRONICLE

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The timeline of events leading to the derailment of a CSX train on May 28 in Wellington.

  1. The first sign of trouble leading to the accident at 5:53 a.m. when a puff of smoke rose from the fourth axle of the second engine as the train passed over a railway flange lube. A flange lube system is a part of the railway that applies lubrication for the wheels on the train to avoid friction. The broken axle made the right wheel on the train car rub against the side frame holding the axle and wheels together, the report said. The puff smoke was created by the friction of the wheel heating the applied grease.
  2. A minute later, the report indicated the left wheel of the second engine struck the wooden part of a railroad crossing over Gore Orphanage Road between New London and Rochester townships. The collision knocked one of the left wheels partially, but not fully, off the track.
  3. Another minute later, the left wheel of the broken axle dropped off the tracks. The report said investigators found evidence at that point with the impact marks from the wheel hitting the spikes and anchors.
  4. The train continued for another eight minutes until it hit a switch track just north of Wellington Reservoir Park and east of the Lorain County Fairgrounds. A switch track is a point of railroad tracks that intersects with another set of railroad tracks heading in different directions. The left wheel, now derailed for nearly 10 minutes, hit the point of the intersecting railroad of East and South tracks, sending the remaining wheels off the rails.
  5. About 10 seconds later, the report said the train hit another switch track connecting multiple railroads, derailing the axles of the third engine and the 22 cars following behind.
  6. At 6:04 a.m., the train still on the tracks managed to stop with 22 cars and two engines off the tracks. The derailment sparked fire and the spilling of diesel and the cargo of produce, according to the investigation.


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