Extreme heat can contribute to train derailments

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The endless 100-degree days have changed the way the major railroad companies do business.

According to the Kansas City Terminal Railway Co., derailments are a greater possibility in extreme weather conditions.

Shawn Lauby, an executive with KCRT, explained the constant hot temperatures make the metal tracks expand and spread apart. 

"It can cause a derailment, so that's why we increase inspections when it's hot like this," Lauby said.

KCRT is now conducting inspections on local railroad tracks two times a day.

"Once it was consistently (in the) 90's, we upped the inspections," Lauby said.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, 12 percent, or about 80, of the 669 track-related train derailments in 2011 were caused by sun kinks in railroad tracks.

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