I can only hope that this damaged Wisconsin Central rail, in the city of Manistique, Mi., does not fail while I am in the neighborhood. Perhaps the rail is sound, perhaps not. Does the fracture extend into the main part of the rail? Could this wear result in a broken rail? Could this rail, broken, cause an accident similar to Ensign derailment earlier this year? Located within 200 feet of family residences, a derailment similar to the Ensign Derailment could be a disaster.
Various employees of Wisconsin Central have shown no concern over the past few years while I have watched it worsen. Perhaps, there is nothing to be concerned about. Perhaps my concern is misplaced and the mechanical integrity of the rail is not compromised enough to be considered a public safety hazard. Does some public service employee, of the City of Manistique, have the responsibility to insure that railroad related public safety hazards do not exist within the city limits? Does the City rely on the integrity of Wisconsin Central employees to maintain the safety of Manistique's public? Should the community be concerned?
Below is a more detailed photo of the fracture. You be the judge. Zoom your browser for greater detail.
The damaged rail was replaced this past week.