UPDATE: Freight Service Resumes Along Union Pacific Rails

Construction crews have laid down a temporary rail where the bridge collapsed Wednesday afternoon. Traffic on Shermer won't reopen until the bridge is rebuilt.

Update July 6 at 12:10 p.m.

Freight service has resumed in one direction along the Union Pacific rail line. 

Original Story

Union Pacific crews worked through the night clearing debris from the in Northbrook after a freight train derailed en route to Wisconsin. Traffic on Shermer won't reopen until the bridge is rebuilt. 

Traffic will reopen "after the bridge is done and there’s really no time line on that yet," said Mark Davis, a Union Pacific spokesman at the scene. 

According to Davis, the cause of the derailment is still under investigation, but the collapse occured after 31 derailed train cars piled on the bridge. 

The railroad company anticipates clean-up to finish by Thursday night, but they will still have to fill a crevice formed during the collapse and build a new bridge for the freight line. 

"We don’t have a time table yet, on reconstructing the bridge, because we have to design it," Davis said. Union Pacific will construct the new bridge and they have started designing it.

This this is not the first derailment in the area, but according to Davis it is the first bridge collapse. 

"To my knowledge it hasn’t fallen," the spokesman said. "[There was construction] about two years ago, but what they did was the concrete abutment, they didn’t do the bridge itself just the concrete." 

Abutments are points in a bridge where two structures meet. Those were fixed in 2009 when two freight trains struck eachother at the same location

KB July 06, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Maybe they should let cars go through and have trains take alternate routes? What gives trains right of way over cars and trucks on a well used road?
Chris F July 06, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Trains create a drag force and observations made after the repair 2 years ago were that the repairs did not go far enough back along the tracks in either direction. Also, it raises questions as to why the bridge was not updated as well two years ago.
Winnetka July 06, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Saw ambulances and firetrucks racing to the derailment scene today around 11:30am. They drove W. Lake to Shermer.
Tom Kloempken July 06, 2012 at 09:40 PM
KB, I don't feel that it would be practical to expect the UP to use alternate routes for the period of time necessary to design and build a new bridge. One of the alternates would be use the old EJ&E line which I believe the UP now owns. Shifting all of the trains to this outer belt would really cause a riot with the people living along that route which goes through downtown Barrington and many other towns. It would create grid-lock in those communities. The other choice would be for the UP to run their trains into the northwest part of Chicago and then on to the rails that run through Edgebrook, Niles, Morton Grove and Glenview which have numerous ground level crossings. I believe they actually did this for the last two days since the accident. Imagine what problems this would cause with 100+ car trains holding up the traffic through these communties. I believe there are federal laws that give the railroads the right of way in these situations to answer your second question. As they say, it would be a heck of a way to run a railroad if the railroads had to deal with each and every governmental body along their miles and miles of right-of-way. If anyone has a right to complain about the inconvience, it is companies such as UPS, FedEx and Veolia. In order for UPS to get their trucks over to their service facility which is south of the destroyed bridge from the distribution center north of Willow, they must drive all the over to Patriot Blvd and through the Glen.
Rudolph S Caparros Jr December 13, 2012 at 07:00 PM
HazMat Experts and Firefighters petition Dow Chemical and Union Pacific for safe rail tank cars transporting gas chlorine. Secondary containment is a necessary improvement that must be implemented. See--PETITION C KIT for First Responders Comments.


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