Three weeks after the event, and despite the opening of an investigation, we still do not know the causes of the train derailment in Montana which deposited several Boeing fuselages down an embankment and into the Clark Fork River in the United States. In the end it took five days for the teams on site to get the fuselage parts and other assemblies back on track.
Rafting enthusiasts in the region therefore had ample time to immortalise this spectacular and unexpected scene. It was on July 3rd., that a freight train, carrying six Boeing 737 fuselage parts as well as other 777 and 747 assemblies was derailed. Three of them, each weighing 20 tons, finished their journey tens of metres below the railway, near Alberton.
Although there were no casualties in this exceptional accident, this type of shipment, is quite common in the region. These fuselage parts are manufactured for Boeing in Kansas, by Wichita based Spirit Aerosystems, who then ships them by rail to Boeing's final assembly plant in Renton, near Seattle.
An almost always uneventful, nearly 3,000 kilometre (1,800 miles), crossing of the American West's Great Plains, the last accident was with a convoy carrying Boeing fuselage sections in June 2011, when a tornado in Nebraska derailed a number of railway trucks.
It is more than likely that the July derailment will not have any serious impact on the 737's production rate, which this year, should exceed 42 aircraft per month, and up to 47 units by 2017.