An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Boeing Scraps Damaged Fuselages From Train Derailment

Some Boeing 7-37 customers will be getting their airplanes a little late this year. Remember the six fuselages that tumbled down a steep embankment in Montana earlier this month, three of which landed in the Clark Fork River? Boeing engineers looked over the damage and decided to scrap the big components which being shipped from Boeing's fabricator in Wichita Kansas to Renton Washington.They brought in a backhoe and a portable metal baler, and went to work chewing up the fuselages and smashing them down into big aluminum and titanium bales. The scrap metal bales were then on the way to Boise where Pacific Recycling has shredding capabilities.

Boeing depends on regular shipments of aircraft components from Wichita to its final assembly plants in Puget Sound. The aircraft maker is currently building 42 7-37s a month, making the venerable airplane easily the most popular passenger carrier in the world. Three fuselages riding on some of the 19 Montana Rail Link cars that derailed did not slide down the embankment into the river, but at least one of them had its tail ripped off, and another had a large gash.

Boeing has not commented on the salvage operation, nor has Montana Rail Link disclosed the cause of the derailment on July 3rd.  

Related Content