Monday, March 26, 2012


"No one can predict when a derailment will occur and that is why Hulcher Services Inc. is on call and available for service 24/7 365 days a year." So states Hulcher on their Mainline Derailment web page. On Wednesday I caught them at work, doing what they do, just east of Brewster, Minnesota on the Union Pacific mainline. Even though it was a very foggy day, I stopped to grab a few pictures just to capture some of what was going on.

This derailment had occured a few days earlier, and as a result I think the crew on site was substantially samller than what would respond initially. I believe that what they were focused on when I passed by was loading the bodies of cars that were worth repairing on to "hospital cars" for transport to a shop that could handle needed body work.

They were using two side boom cats to load the cars. It looked like the plan was to manuver the car to a spot near the tracks, where one cat could grab and end of the car and raise it far enough to let the train back under the car as it was suspended in the air.

In this photo you can see the huge Minnesota Soybean processing facility at Brewster. This line has no lack of online customers-ethanol plants at Bingham Lake and Heron Lake, the soybean plant, a number of shuttle loading elevators and a huge fertilizer plant at Brewster must generate a good amount of traffic. The Heron Lake ethanol plant is really big, with a double loop of track and two switch engines in their own paint scheme.

Oddly enough this short train had a DPU, which is barely visible toward the right side of the above photo.

Here's a view of the train, with a few of the damaged cars already loaded on it. It didn't look like they had enough flat cars to carry everything that was laying around, so another trip might have been needed.

Didn't spend much time watching due to work requirements, but what I saw was interesting.

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