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Full Coverage of the Union Pacific Derailment and Bridge Collapse

Ongoing developments and links to Patch's coverage of the bridge collapse in Northbrook that killed a Glenview couple.

On July 4, a train derailment along the Union Pacific freight line caused a bridge to collapse, killing a Glenview couple driving underneath. 

Here, read Patch’s full coverage of the recent tragedy: 

Aug. 29:

Northbrook and Glenview officials passed motions approving a redesign plan to replace the Shermer Rd. bridge that collapsed in July following a Union Pacific train derailment.

Aug. 27:

A public meeting of the Glenview and Northbrook Village Boards Aug. 28 is scheduled to review a bridge design estimated to cost $10 million.

Aug. 23:

Union Pacific is handling loss of business claims for local shops, including nearby Mario's Pizza and Beef, whose owner is still concerned about sustaining his business.

July 26: 

"UP is basically giving us options for what kind of a bridge would be replaced their, but the villages are going to have no direct involvement in terms of the engineering of the bridge," said Todd Hileman, Glenview's village manager. "What we’re being asked to do is provide input on what type of bridge and the length of the bridge that we want in there.”

July 25:

As the investigation into the July 4 train derailment and subsequent bridge collapse that killed a Glenview couple continues, Union Pacific officials change their initial statement regarding rail inspections.

July 23: 

The railroad industry has experienced at least four derailments in the last few weeks, according to an FRA release. Under existing laws, the FRA does not have the authority to deny the rebuilding of a rail bridge. 

July 19:

According to Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis, despite the result of the July 4 derailment, the signal maintainer who reported a rail abnormality acted appropriately and did just about everything he was trained to.

July 17:

A signal maintainer at the scene of the July 4 train derailment witnessed a rail abnormality before the accident and called for a Union Pacific inspector, who arrived "about simultaneously" as the bridge collapsed, said David Connell, Vice President of Engineering for Union Pacific, during a public forum with Glenview-Northbrook residents. 

July 13:

“My customers from Glenview are not coming here," Young Shin, a Glenview resident and owner of  told the Sun-Times. "Making our lease payment will not be easy."

July 11:

Chicago's Clifford Law Offices announced today the Lindner family has retained them as lead counsel in the wrongful death suit after . 

“We’re highly experienced in terrible tragedies," Clifford spokeswoman Pamela Menaker said. 

July 10:

Village officials recommend driving down Patriot Blvd. while Shermer Rd. remains closed for construction. 

July 10:

Union Pacific reps will appear at a public forum on Monday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m. at Glenbrook North.

July 9:  

"There was no better way to go than together," the Lindner's son Matthew said. "They were each other's world. He was her rock, and he couldn't endure life without her."

July 8:

A North Shore native reflects on Wednesday's collapsed bridge and recalls a similar event more than 30 years ago. 

July 6: 

Clean-up crews and freight service are ordered to halt for 36 hours as experts hired by the Lindner family's attorneys investigate the site of Wednesday's bridge collapse. Union Pacific is sued for wrongful death. 

July 6: 

Federal Railroad Administration inspectors determine Union Pacific's temporary bridge is structurally sound. A public meeting with Union Pacific to address resident questions and concerns is scheduled for July 16.

July 5: 

Glenview’s Burton Lindner, 69, and his wife Zorine, 70, were in a car traveling south under the Shermer Rd. overpass at the time of the bridge collapse, approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

July 5:

Construction crews have laid down a temporary rail where the bridge collapsed Wednesday afternoon. Freight service resumed in one direction. Vehicle traffic on Shermer won't reopen until the bridge is rebuilt. Union Pacific still unsure when bridge reconstruction will begin. 

July 4: 

A freight train carrying coal from Wyoming to a utility plant in Wisconsin derailed Wednesday, collapsing an overpass bridge near the Northbrook/Glenview border. According to officials, this is the second derailment at this location since 2009.

This post will be updated with developments as they occur. To stay up to date as this story unfolds, sign up for the Northbrook Patch or Glenview Patch morning newsletter.

C H July 08, 2012 at 08:29 PM
I can’t help but wonder what the role of the Village is in all of this? Sure, it’s easy to jump all over UP, and they surely will get theirs, but what role does the Village (Glenview or Northbrook) play in protecting the safety of residents/citizens from using that underpass on Shermer Road? I’m sure they would claim the responsibility of the safety of that bridge lies with UP and they have no say, yet the very fact that since this accident they have summoned UP, the FRA and IDOT to discuss the safety of that overpass leads me to believe they bear some responsibility for this accident. Their failure to ensure the safety of the public using their roads. Someone on another board posted a comment about this accident and stated that 5 years ago UP wanted to replace that bridge and that it would have taken 6 months to complete. Residents were upset by this inconvenience and relayed their frustrations to both Villages. In turn the Villages sided with public sentiment and UP had no choice but to make fixes to the viaduct without closing down the road. If that’s true, then that makes this tragedy even more unfortunate.
JMS July 08, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Please pardon my ignorance. I have not seen this question raised by anyone. Why is a train with 3 locomotives and 128 or 138 whatever the number is carrying coal from Wyoming to Wisconsin going thru Illinois? Seems to me there would be a more direct route from Wyoming to Wisconsin????
Curious Resident July 08, 2012 at 11:26 PM
CH...the bridge was closed from June of 2011 until October or early November of 2011, stating by the UP that the bridge needed to be fixed and updated. It was only supposed to be a 3 month project. This was two years after the 2009 train derailment in the exact same spot. The road on Shermer by the bridge has been closed, and I am sure that the citizens would not refuse for a new bridge to be put into place for further safety over making it a problem. JMS...that is the biggest question that a lot of us have. From my understanding with the three locomotives and the 128 cars of coal...that train should have been nowhere near that area. It was way over the maximum capacity. That is why I believe that the UP wanted to clean up and move everything as fast as possible. I am still wondering why both villages didn't insist on being there to make sure everything was cleaned up and every area of that bridge was investigated to make sure no more lives were lost. It was a holiday and a lot of people were going to the parade in Northbrook I am sure. I always see kids and people walking or riding under that bridge.
chris July 09, 2012 at 12:27 AM
If you think that's bad consider that it appears they were absolutely sure there had been no injuries and then 16 hours later while UP loader was cleaning up did they find a bumper and subsequently two poor souls. I am not an emergency responded, but if I arrived at a scene where there had been a collapse onto a public thoroughfare, I would automatically assume there were vehicles under that mess and would have begun a rescue operation with mutual aid. These unfortunately are the same people that say the residents of Sunset Village are safe despite the absence of working hydrants. It's really just a crap shoot.
Stan Golovchuk (Editor) July 09, 2012 at 03:51 AM
You're all raising excellent questions that I'll ask officials as I continue to report this story. Keep the suggestions coming.
Joe Ski July 09, 2012 at 01:06 PM
I'd be curious to hear what UP thinks about why these derailments keep happening in such close proximity to the Shermer Rd. overpass. Why are these trains derailing right at that spot rather than maybe a mile or even half mile either way from the overpass? I don't think the integrity of the bridge is so much an issue as no bridge could possibly hold up to the weight of all those coal cars piling up on it. And I agree with CH. What led the public officials on the scene to proclaim that there were no injuries/fatalities? They seemed almost eager to get out of the way as quickly as possible to let UP go to work on clearing the site and getting their trains rolling again. Maybe I missed it in all of the coverage/stories, but where and when will the public meeting on this be held?
LTH July 09, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Overloaded cars? Too heavy? I wonder...
Curious Resident July 09, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Joe Ski...I don't think it was the public officials as much as UP encouraging...just my feeling. Because they had the railtracks up less then 36 hours after the accident, with trains going. Public Meeting July 16th, I think at the Glenview Village Hall.
Meg Schmidt July 16, 2012 at 02:08 AM
The public meeting will be held on Monday, July 16 at 7 pm in the Glenbrook North High School auditorium.
Rudolph S Caparros Jr December 06, 2012 at 09:12 PM
HazMat Experts and Firefighters petition Dow Chemical and Union Pacific for safe rail tank cars transporting gas chlorine. Secondary containment is a necessary improvement that must be implemented. See--PETITION C KIT for First Responders Comments.

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