One Day's Applause Is Another Day's Lawsuit

Kansas Viewpoint

Siemens wind turbine factory applauds value of rail shipment -- then sues railroad

Published on: May 6, 2011
Oh, how fleeting is fame.

The new Siemens Wind turbine factory in Hutchinson has started moving its first nacelles out of the plant. It issued a press release on May 5 that it was shipping by rail, which it logically and accurately pointed out is far more "green" than shipping by truck, given that the railroad can move a lot more freight for a lot less cost and a lot less fuel consumed.

Now to the flip side.

A day after lauding rail's more reasonable freight and greater ability to move more product, Siemens filed a lawsuit against Burlington Northern Santa Fe for allegedly damaging turbine blades enroute from its Fort Madison, Iowa plant to Liberal last August. Apparently all the turbines had damanged blade tips becuase the shipment hit a railroad overpass at Kansas Avenue and First Street in Kansas City, Kan.

I guess the good news for Kansas is that blades leaving the Hutchinson plant won't have to go through Kansas City to get to  Liberal. And there aren't very many railroad overpasses between Hutch and Liberal, either. Maybe zero?