We’re sorry, embarrassed, and fixing our recent purchase. That was the sentiment from Puget Sound and Pacific this week to Commissioners at the Port of Grays Harbor, after recent slow-speed derailments in Grays Harbor.
“We’re in the business of moving freight, and we know that there is a lack of confidence in us to successfully move freight, and that’s what we do for a living.” Joel Haka, Senior VP of the Pacific Region railroads for Genesee & Wyoming, told Port Commissioners this week that the recent derailments are unusual, and unacceptable. “We don’t like to see derailments, and unfortunately we’ve had 3 pretty good sized derailments in the last month. We had a real small fourth one in Centralia about three weeks ago, in which nothing tipped over but it did leave the tracks and we had another issue.”
Haka said the first two derailments in Aberdeen were caused by mud spots, where he said mud pushed through stone underneath the railroad ties, the third derailment, behind Central Park, was caused by a thermal misalignment of the rail or “sun kinks.”
They purchased the local line from Rail America 18 months ago, Haka said they should have kicked the tires a little more, but “We believe in this railroad, we don’t have a lot of history with it quite frankly. We did not realize the state of the railroad and what it was , and now to insure that we don’t have any further derailments we have a real comprehensive 3-year plan.” Haka said the company plans to spend over 4.3 million this year, and nearly as much again next year on improvements to the line “That’s about three times the amount of money that Rail America put into this property. [in the two years prior]” The Puget Sound and Pacific Railroad operates about 150 miles of track from Centralia to the coast.
A tip led police on a high speed motorcycle chase, the wreck of a Montesano Police vehicle, and K9 track to arrest a Montesano man Tuesday night.
Grays Harbor County Undersheriff David Pimentel tells us around 10:45 last night detectives learned that a black motorcycle stolen from Federal Way would be traveling down Central Park Drive toward Montesano, where it was going to be sold. A few minutes later Deputy Tracey Gay spotted the motorcycle, where it took off at a high rate of speed down Central Park Drive to Devonshire road, where it dodged a Montesano PD road block and headed toward Pioneer, this is where the Montesano Police SUV slid off the road, as we reported earlier this morning.
The motorcycle headed to main street, then onto State Route 12 where it drove Westbound on the Eastbound lanes at speeds of 100 MPH and turned at Devonshire, again heading Northbound – this time striking an Ecology block on the West Wynoochee.
Pimentel said the driver fled on foot, and was tracked by K9 Maxx shortly after. A 28 year old Montesano man was taken into custody, treated at the hospital for injuries, and then booked into Grays Harbor County Jail for Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree, and Felony Eluding.