Working on the railroad, in winter, in Ruso, ND

On Saturday, January 24, two Canadian Pacific diesels and a wedge plow operating between Ruso and Benedict, North Dakota derailed when they struck a twenty foot drift of snow. While this may not be the definitive answer to what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object, it does come pretty close.

The local news station, KXMC out of Minot, covers the story here, with some small pictures and video. They report that one man was treated at a local hospital and released.

While this may be a small story in the scheme of things, I think the following pictures are vivid reminders of how hard some people work in this country to keep our economy moving in the face of very harsh conditions. Despite boasting an average temperature of 1° Fahrenheit, Ruso was a chilly -11° F that day. Years ago, Senator Bob Dole used to quip about his father’s advice on looking for a job – to find something indoors that requires no heavy lifting. Clearly the work of keeping the rail lines open in a North Dakota winter fails that suggestion on both counts. We are all the beneficiaries of the efforts of these railroaders.

Here are the pictures of the derailment:

Also, a few shots of the units involved in better (and warmer) moments:

Soo plow 900182 – I have not learned anything about this unit’s origin or age.

Lead engine, unit 5926. A 1979 EMD SD40-2. General SD40 information here.

Trail engine, unit 4423. A May 1979 EMD GP38-2. General GP38 information here.

Rescue engine, unit 2016. A 1966 EMD GP40. General GP40 information here.

All pictures attributed via link – please click on them to see larger images and a full attribution.

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