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Amtrak Train Derails During Crash in North Carolina

Sometimes, something really big needs to be moved. Often, that means an oversized truck must carry it. And really large loads require special planning, because you have to ensure that the load will fit on the roads over which the truck must pass. This includes checking out bridges and overpasses, to ensure the oversized load will fit and that it is not too heavy and won’t exceed the bridges load limits.

Clearance is also important, as some load could be tall enough to strike bridge decks or power lines. And you must be certain the road does not have too many tight curves that make it impossible for a very long trailer to negotiate the corners. 

In addition, timing is important. You don’t want to drive through downtown Charlotte or Raleigh during rush hour. Nor do you want to be attempting to turn a 164-foot truck and trailer around a sharp corner when the Amtrak Carolinian is about to pass a grade crossing.

Ironically, a North Carolina state trooper was on the site of the truck-train collision as it occurred, has he had been attempting to assist the truck as it worked its way around the grade crossing which was located at a point on US 301 where it crosses the railroad tracks.

Fortunately, no one was killed in the accident, and while no criminal charges have been filed, one can imagine a host of negligence lawsuits occurring as a result of the crash. The trucking company should have known when any trains were passing critical grade crossing, and with a truck, half as long as a football field, the route should have been chosen more carefully to avoid problematic turns as occurred here.

Source: Wral.com, “55 hurt when Amtrak train slams into truck in Halifax County,” March 10, 2015