Rail Lines in SW Washington Shut Down Due to Tampering

by lewwaters

Initial report here and here

Burlington Northern has ordered rail lines shut down through Southwest Washington as BNSF police and inspectors investigate tampering along the railway from north of Vancouver to Chehalis.

The first incident was discovered near Longview where recent union unrest has been repeatedly seen along the rail line.

Will be updated as more information becomes available.

Derailing of trains is not just criminal, it is about the most reprehensible act someone can make. Innocent people who live along the rail could be killed in large numbers should a train carrying hazardous substance be derailed and tank cars broken.

The last time I saw such action was instigated by a union in Florida striking against the Florida East Coast Railway. One of the longest an most violent strikes in history, lasting from 1963 to 1977. One derailment was near where I was growing up at the time, in the mid-1960’s. We were fortunate, the primary cargo was beer.

It appears the time the first incident was discovered coincided with the union president turning himself in to law enforcement. No one has taken responsibility for this cowardly act and I doubt they will step up and admit to it, but let’s face it, it’s pretty clear who is behind it.

UPDATE: The lines are now reopened here

Trains will continue to be escorted through the corridor near Longview and BNSF personnel will continue inspecting the tracks.

As union thuggery continues to escalate around Longview, what will it take for Governor Gregoire to activate the Guard to protect people from these violence prone thugs? Will someone have to die before actions are taken?

9 Comments to “Rail Lines in SW Washington Shut Down Due to Tampering”

  1. I thought it was supposed to be INNOCENT until proven GUILTY…..
    Oh wait, this is Cowltiz County and around here its GUILTY until proven INNOCENT…… Gotta be those ILWU “thugs”……

  2. Glad you realize that, Rob.

    Given the conduct and actions we have been seeing from ILWU “thugs” over the past few weeks, it’s a fairly safe assumption.

    And no, I don’t have an ounce of sympathy for any of the ILWU in Longview.

    It would suit me to see that local busted, as they deserve.

  3. Hey Lew,

    I just thought of some thing this early morning. How does the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway unions of which there are several feel of a fellow sister & brother unions from the ILWU doing what they were doing at several spots throughout their north – south rail link between Vancouver BC to Mexico?

    I wonder if they are not outraged by someone tampering with their lives!?!?! Would you be pissed if someone tampered with a rail line and I was driving a train on those rails and it cause an accident that killed me?

    And since it is probably a felonious criminal probe at the local or federal level, I doubt the railway or law enforcement has much to say at this point. But if I was a union leader and someone did this, there might be a nice call from me having a few choice words and if there was a sister hood link like a AFL-CIO link, my thoughts and feelings might go up the chain of command.

    You don’t mess with peoples lives! I do not care if your livelyhood is at stake. There are other jobs in North America for the ripe if someone needed them but when you cause a possible derailment or death I personally believe that is an act of terrorism or it rises to the level of a higher criminal level than just someone going out anc causing some minor crime.

    I do hope the people are found responsible for this act are held to the highest standard of conduct FOR their actions. And will be await the outcome of this case.

  4. Lew, it strikes me that in order to “tamper” (whatever the hell that really means) with mainline railroad tracks in 12 places over a sixty mile stretch, you need help, coordination and transportation. One person doesn’t do something like this alone, and the only group who has a demonstrated beef with the railroad is the ILWU Longview Local.

    But now these boys have crossed the line from mere protesting into full-blown domestic terrorism. Attempting to tamper with a train in any way is a major felony and I would not be surprised if Homeland Security is already all over this along with the FBI, BATFE and every other agency in the local terrorism Task Force. The Federal authorities cannot ignore this, no matter how pro-union some may think they might be. Go try and “tamper” with the runway lights at PDX and see how seriously the authorities take that….this is no different.

    The railroad for sure is not going to ignore this, and now would not be the time to attempt to take a refreshing Fall stroll anywhere near a BNSF right of way. BNSF fully understands the risks and the potential liabilities an accident on their rail line or property involves, and they don’t need some dickhead getting himself cut in half by a freight train while he’s attempting to loosen bolts.

    I’ll be very curious to find out exactly what went on with this, but I expect it will take some time before the details are released. In any case I think this is far from over…

  5. I can’t disagree with a word you wrote, Bob.

    I still wonder when Gregoire will call out the Guard, after people die?

  6. Bob, Thank you for saying it so succinctly.

  7. “Democrats and unions are like Democrats and taxes”.

  8. The potential for someone getting killed has been jacked up significantly over this. How long will it be until people who live along those 60 miles of railroad take matters in their own hands and start staking out the tracks against any more intruders themselves??

    Remember a year or so ago when someone was cutting down trees and power poles out around Sandy in the middle of the night?? The locals were out in tree stands with their deer rifles, just waiting for the sound of a chainsaw to start. Luckily the police busted the 13 year old kid who was doing it before he killed someone, and before some local vigilante forced him to assume room temperature.

    I hope it doesn’t come to that, but I have seen nothing in the form of any attempt to solve the differences here. If the Court rules against the ILWU Local 21, does anyone believe they will just accept that decision and stop this kind of felonious behavior??

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