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Wheel Bearing Believed to Cause East Palestine Train Derailment Was 253 Degrees Above Normal, How Long?


WLT reported last week on security footage that showed the possible cause of the East Palestine train derailment.

Security Footage Shows Possible Cause of East Palestine Train Derailment (WATCH)

In shocking security footage obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Norfolk Southern train that derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, traveled at least 20 miles with a malfunctioning axle.

The video shows sparks and flames underneath the Norfolk Southern train.


According to a new report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the train "registered a temperature 253 degrees above normal."

The New York Post provided further details:

The sensor “transmitted a critical audible alarm message instructing the crew to slow and stop the train to inspect a hot axle,” which the crew immediately listened to, according to the report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

As the crew worked to slow the vehicle, “the train engineer increased the dynamic brake application to further slow and stop the train,” NTSB investigators said.

When the train came to a stop, crew members noticed a fire, and immediately called the Cleveland East dispatcher, warning about a possible derailment. After receiving authorization, the crew “applied handbrakes to the two railcars at the head of the train, uncoupled the head-end locomotives, and moved the locomotives about 1 mile from the uncoupled railcars,” the report said.

The preliminary report said the train derailed at 8:54 p.m. local time.

According to a NTSB press release, investigators think the derailment was caused by a wheel bearing failure.

NTSB investigators have identified and examined the rail car that initiated the derailment. Surveillance video from a residence showed what appears to be a wheel bearing in the final stage of overheat failure moments before the derailment. The wheelset from the suspected railcar has been collected as evidence for metallurgical examination. The suspected overheated wheel bearing has been collected and will be examined by engineers from the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

A photo obtained by The Gateway Pundit timestamped for 8:13 p.m. local time on the night of the derailment shows a fiery glow beneath the Norfolk Southern train.

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*From The Gateway Pundit*

The picture indicates the wheel bearing was undergoing overheat failure at least 40 minutes before the derailment.

The Gateway Pundit noted:

This raises serious questions about existing checks for catastrophic failures like this.  There are reportedly “hot box detectors” placed periodically along the rails to check temperatures of critical components, including wheels and axles.

How long were the axles on fire in their entirety?  Was the sensor properly functioning?  If so, when was the crew alerted to this malfunction and what actions were taken?  Are the frequency of the detectors an appropriate distance apart if they failed to detect a malfunction of this magnitude?


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