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Derailment Investigations

Pond Industries LLC has over 16 years of experience in derailment investigations.  Brett Pond, PhD, PE, CWI is our primary derailment investigator.  He is an expert in rail related forensic metallurgy, and has contributed to hundreds of derailment investigations and has participated in derailment emergency response teams.  A typical derailment investigation may include some or all of the following types of analyses:

  • On-site inspection of the derailment.  It is important to perform this inspection as near to the time of derailment as possible in order to get an accurate visualization of the wreckage as well as prevent spoilage of any potential metallurgical evidence.  Evidence to be gathered includes:

    • Precise location of point of derailment

    • Layout of the wreckage

    • Collection of any relevant metallurgical evidence such as fractured rail with indications of a pre-existing defect or other parts that may be considered causative

    • Witness statements (these are typically obtained by the rail authority)

    • Track geometry data (hand measurements)

  • Metallurgical evaluation of any evidence collected from the derailment site that may seem causative.  See Forensic Metallurgy for more information.

  • Dynamic simulations to determine whether a dynamic event may have caused the derailment

  • Review and analysis of all gathered and generated data to determine any primary or secondary causes of derailment

To avoid potential spoilage or loss of evidence, don’t hesitate after a derailment to investigate the cause.  Contact us today for a free initial consultation and rate quote.

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