Ford Authority

Ford Transport Train Smashes Into Bridge, Causes $2M In Damage: Video

We’ve seen what sort of carnage can occur when tall vehicles ignore low clearance signs on certain roadways across the world, and it certainly isn’t pretty. And yet, drivers continue to ignore or underestimate the height of their trucks, only to use an overpass as somewhat of a giant can opener. What we haven’t seen, until now, is that same thing happening to a train. But this Ford transport train operator recently learned the hard way that he isn’t exempt to low bridges, either.

The incident took place in Memphis earlier this week, to a train carrying Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific Railway cars in tow. Unfortunately, it comes upon a bridge that’s simply too low for it to slip under, and the resulting damage is quite severe. Trains don’t exactly stop on a dime, and even with the resistance caused by the roof peeling off multiple cars, it takes a while before this one mercifully stops moving.

Making matters worse, it wasn’t just the train that was damaged in this gruesome incident. Inside the Ford transport, there are a slew of Ford Explorer and Lincoln Nautilus examples, among other makes and models, all of them damaged beyond repair. Altogether, the video notes that this crash resulted in an incredible $2 million in damages, a truly astounding figure.

It’s hard to imagine, given today’s technology, that something like this could even happen. Modern advanced train dispatching systems typically prevent such disasters from occurring, but perhaps the system contained some inaccurate data regarding the height of the train or the bridge’s clearance.

The exact cause of this crash hasn’t been determined or revealed just yet, but we’d be interested to hear what went wrong.

We’ll have more crazy crashes like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news, Lincoln news, Lincoln Nautilus news, and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Robert A.

    Wow! Its not like those multi-level, high roofed vehicle hauling freight cars just rolled out onto the tracks in the past few months. I’ve seen those types carrying new cars for decades. The railroad company must have sent that train down a set of tracks they’ve never used before. You’d think there would be some sort of computer logistics program that would identify low bridges along the route, and reroute the train to a safer set of tracks. I’m just surprised that the bridge didn’t get broken from its moorings, although, who knows, maybe after all that force exerted by the train, the bridge may now be unsafe for trains using it. I would expect to see all of the damaged cars to show up at Copart Auto Auction lots, in the near future, although, for those wrecked cars there’s maybe only wheels and tires, and possibly engines and transmissions worth salvaging

  2. Merp

    Copart sucks

  3. Mike

    I didn’t know those train car roofs were The fold up type😳. I hope that was a new route or maybe the bridge sunk, global warming of course since that’s the cause of everything these days.

    1. HenryK

      Heresy! It’s Climate Change! Climate Change!

  4. Ford 500 guy

    This gives a whole new meaning to Convertible top train cars. The overpass bridge or train tracks must have heaved or sunk for this to happen. What does Copart have to do with this? Most of these vehicles will end up with rebuilders unless they are deemed unsafe to rebuild or structurally unsound. It’s to bad the rail roads aren’t more carefull when transporting these new vehicles . Well that’s what insurance is for. Time for a fire sale or should I say a “Rail sale”.

    1. Robert A.

      You obviously haven’t been to a Copart lot, lately. There are more than 100 throughout the US and Canada. California and Texas likely have over 50 lots between the two states. Each lot typically has several dozen vehicles on any day that never have any real chance of ever being repaired, because the damage is so severe. The railroad’s insurance carrier(s) will pay off the claims of the owners of the cars, take possession of them, and consign them to Copart or another vehicle salvage yard, which will try to auction the cars, so some of the claim losses can be recouped. Sure, maybe a handful of cars might be able to be repaired, but virtually any car on the top row would likely be considered totaled and unsafe for future repairs. From the photos. it appears that railcar roofs, crumpled up into a multi-ton mass of sharp steel, sheared off at least the upper portions of the cars, from the windshield back to the rear bumper, and likely caused major damage to the rest of the body structure. It would be cheaper to just buy a new vehicle than to buy one damaged this bad and spend cash to rebuild it, as you would be getting a salvage title to the car, which any reputable insurance company would not want to accept for a policy, and no possibility of warranty from the manufacturer, even if the car had less than 10 miles on the odometer.

      1. Ford 500 guy

        Copart is non existent around these parts. Just had to ask. Your probably right about all the roof and upper body damage to these vehicles. Most would likely end up going to the crushers any way. The power trains and suspensions may be usable but that’s about all. Any way it was a shame to see all these new Fords and Lincolns wasted like they are. It’s no damn wonder insurance rates are through the roof like they are. Sucks to be them. Gods speed.

        1. HenryK

          These vehicles don’t have motor vehicle liability insurance. Large railroads are self-insuring up to several tens of million$.

      2. HenryK


  5. knill

    The first frames of the video show the railcars backed off of the bridge more than 10 feet with the crumpled roof and a white car below the removed roof. Then the video shows the cars move right to left and recontact the bridge which continues to crumple the roof. The photographer being on site is suspicious, too. What happened here is not what is claimed. The insurance adjuster should take note.

    1. HenryK

      Railfans are everywhere.

  6. Carlos H.

    Does someone know the real cause of this incident? I saw it only today, and it’s shocking!! Hope it was only a mechanic issue, not a train driver fault!!

  7. Monkey D. Luffy

    snap predators:



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