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Bridge collapse in Montana severs railroad route taken by 737 fuselages to Renton

Bridge collapse in Montana severs railroad route taken by 737 fuselages to Renton

Old Jul 15, 2023, 12:00 pm
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Bridge collapse in Montana severs railroad route taken by 737 fuselages to Renton

An article from the Wichita Business Journal:
A Montana rail bridge collapse has created a logistical headache for the Boeing Co. in getting 737 fuselages from Wichita's Spirit AeroSystems to its Renton, Wash., facility, but the planemaker said the delay won't alter production goals.

A train derailed and a bridge over the Yellowstone River near Reed Point, Mont., collapsed June 24, sending 10 cars into the river. None were carrying fuselages.

But the route has been in use by Boeing for Wichita fuselages first made by Boeing (NYSE: BA), then Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE: SPR) beginning in 2005 since the 1960s.

After the bridge collapse, Boeing had to devise a way of bypassing the problem. According to FlightGlobal, It has contracted crane and trucking services as a workaround.

Fuselages are shipped from Spirit in Wichita on the same route, then transferred near the bridge site by cranes to trucks that cross the river on nearby I-90. Cranes return the fuselages to trains on the western side of the route to continue to Boeing's site near Seattle.
Link: Wichita Business Journal - Derailment, bridge collapse alter Spirit AeroSystems fuselages' route to Boeing (July 11, 2023)

I think this Railfan.com article was the first to report that the fuselages were being transferred to trucks:
On Thursday, five fuselages were brought to Craver where they would be lifted off rail cars. The railroad also stationed empty Boeing flatcars west of there to be ready for the fuselages.

MRL greatly appreciates the coordination and assistance from the Montana Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, BNSF Railway, and Boeing to make this plan a reality, Garland said. Construction is ongoing with the goal to move the first subassemblies in the coming days.
Link: Railfan.com - Boeing Fuselages to Take Brief Highway Detour Around Collapsed MRL Bridge (July 7, 2023)

And here is a tweet with a photo showing fuselages on the highway:
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