The deadline for south Louisvillians who were affected by the 2012 West Point train derailment is nearing.
The derailment, which was ruled to have been a result of a broken rail section, affected nearby residents as ten of the train’s 33 HAZMAT cars were damaged, releasing potentially dangerous chemicals. Many nearby residents were ordered to evacuate while those within a five mile radius were ordered to shelter in place.
In addition to $700,000 worth of damage to rail equipment and costly rail repairs and maintenance, a fund of $3,125,000 has been created as part of the settlement in the Susan E. Morgan, et al., v. Paducah & Louisville Railway, Inc., et al., lawsuit – Case no. 3:12-CV-00818-CRS, in the United States District Court of the Western District of Kentucky.
The settlement creates three classes of participants based on if and when affected residents were ordered to evacuate or shelter in place. Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 participants are eligible to receive “ordinary benefits” of $1, 353, $812 and $270, respectively for class compensation and $338, $203, and $67 for property damage. Affected residents who experienced damages or losses which would not be covered by the ordinary benefits are eligible to apply for “extraordinary benefits” of up to $7,500.
Claims forms must be submitted by November 24, 2014. Visit the West Point Derailment Settlement website for additional details and settlement documentation.
The 9 foot long, 200 pound wooden ties, which serve as part of the foundation for the track bed, are periodically replaced to ensure that the rail cars are fully supported. Wooden ties have a relatively long life span – typically between 40 and 70 years, although numerous factors can affect that longevity.
Unlike in past decades, the process of replacing the ties is a much less daunting task these days. Rather than having to manually pull spikes, dig out and replace ties, and hammer in new spikes, much of the backbreaking labor is now handled by heavy equipment built especially for the task. That equipment includes tie extractors/inserters, spike pullers, tampers and more. The foreman at the site I observed told me that, using this equipment, their team can replace approximately 2,000 ties per day.
You may recall R.J. Corman and the P&L Railway being in the news together after the R.J. Corman Derailment team responded to the October 29, 2012, derailment of a P&L train. The derailment at mile post 20.2 just south of Valley Station caused over $700,000 in damages to rail equipment, including damage to ten of the 33 HAZMAT train cars. The damage to the HAZMAT cars resulted in the release of chemicals that prompted widespread evacuation and Continue reading