July 5, 2014 -- "These things cannot have a scratch on them," said BNSF Railway Group Vice President David Garin in a 2013 interview with Trains magazine, referring to the Boeing 737 fuselages that BNSF transports from Wichita, Kansas, to Benton, Washington, a job it has been handling for more than two decades. "We find we have to clear brush, tree branches. Literally a scratch on these things causes a lot of concern."
Yesterday afternoon, a shipment of fuselages suffered more than a few scratches when a BNSF train derailed in western Montana, causing three of the fuselages to plunge down a steep embankment, with at least two coming to rest in the Clark Fork River. In a statement, Boeing said, "We have been informed that a BNSF train carrying six 737 fuselages and assemblies for the 777 and 747 derailed near Rivulet, Montana. We have deployed experts to the scene to begin a thorough assessment of the situation."
BNSF has a fleet of 99 specially-modified 89-foot cars to carry the 737 fuselages.
Video of the BNSF plane train on the move.