Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Sad Train Accident

As many of you know, I am a rail fan. While I lived over at Hurley, NM for a few months back in 2008-09, I watched the trains of the small South West Railroad come and go. At that time they only came as far as Hurley from Deming and hauled out mostly sulfuric acid which is a byproduct of refining copper ore mined at the Chino and Tyrone mines, the former just east and north of Bayard, NM and the latter west of Silver City on the highway running down to Lordburg. I took quite a few pictures of the trains as they came and went.

Since I left, they rehabilitated the line back up past Bayard--which is north of Hurley--to the tiny town of Hanover, just west of the Chino mine and the vanished Santa Rita townsite and on up a canyon to a reopened mine in Fierro. I have heard they mine mostly a form of iron there called magnetite which is hauled by rail to Mexico and then shipped to China. It is used as flux in some smelting and has other uses. Anyway, this past Monday (Dec 2) a train was coming down from that mine, one locomotive and eight hopper cars full of ore. No one knows what actually happened but the locomotive left the track and rolled down into an arroyo. It was demolished! The engineer, the other crewman and the engineer's lady friend who was along for the ride were all killed. The ore cars did derail but did not roll or move far from the tracks.

This shot I took in October when I was over there and it is at the crossing at Hanover, just north of the canyon where the accident happened. That day they had two locos on the line of ore cars. The wrecked locomotive was painted the same as these but was number 3000. A tiny bit of the Chino mine is visible over the first loco cab and the rock formation called the Kneeling Nun is just around that jut of cliff.

This little railroad has a good safety record and this is a sad blot on that. Of course the accident is being investigated very intensively and they may find the cause but so far I have not read of it. On one of the railroad and rail fan forums I frequent someone suggested a rock may have fallen onto the track and caused the locomotive to derail and tip far enough to begin the roll and drop. The engineer had many years experience but was new to that district and probably not real familiar with the track there yet. It does wind down a canyon with many curves and a fairly steep grade where the accident occurred.

Anyway I am sad about it and pray for the families of the three. I guess one could say they died doing something worthwhile that they enjoyed but I am sure they had a few horrible moments as the accident took place so my heart goes out to them as well. May the Powers grant them a fast and gentle trek to the Other Side.

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