A train carrying Boeing aircraft fuselages and parts from Wichita to Boeing assembly plants in Washington State derailed in Montana late Thursday, dumping its expensive cargo in the Clark Fork River. According to King 5 News, the train was carrying six 737 fuselages and subassemblies for 777 and 747 aircraft. Photos credited to Kyle Massick showed at least three fuselages in the water and pieces of others strewn through a forested area. There were no injuries.
The TV station said Boeing sent a team to “assess the damage.” Boeing cranks about 42 737s a month out of its Renton plant. The fuselages are built at Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita. How the potential loss of the fuselages will affect production wasn’t immediately discussed by the company. Also on the train were a leading edge for the 747 along with fuselage panels and a lower lobe for the 777. Trains were rerouted around the derailment and the line was expected to be back in service by Saturday.