By on July 11, 2019

If you were waiting for a special-order new GMC Sierra or Jeep Gladiator to show up at a West Coast dealership, you might have to wait a little longer. Unfortunately there was a train derailment in Lincoln County, Nevada, yesterday, and some of the victims were brand-new pickups.

Shared initially on the Facebook page for the county sheriff, you can clearly see that some of the damaged car carriers were carrying some Jeep Gladiators and GMC Sierra pickups. Most likely these were heading towards a California dealership. These high-dollar items, while damaged, seemed to hold up pretty well. If you ever wanted to see what a Gladiator would look like on its roof, you have your answer.

One of the concerns would be if any of the Jeep Gladiators on the train were some of the 4190 Launch Edition trucks that had special badging and unique features exclusive to the truck. We reached out to Jeep earlier today to find out, and a spokesperson told us, “FCA US is committed to supporting our impacted customers and dealers by replacing vehicles in a timely manner. Our team is hard at work to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. We’re also glad to see that there are no reported injuries. As this is a Union Pacific incident with an open investigation under way, we cannot comment further at this time.”

So while it doesn’t say which Jeeps were on the train, it should be reassuring that customers will be taken care of properly. We can also assume the same for the GMC trucks that were on board. This is why insurance exists, and while accidents like this unfortunately do happen, taking care of the customers should be the top priority.

Now, if only we could get one of those totaled Jeeps and put a Hellephant engine in it.

[Images: Lincoln County / Facebook]

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46 Comments on “Train Carrying New Jeep Gladiator and GMC Sierra Pickups Derails Causing Carnage...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    That’s one way to make a new Chevy more attractive!

  • avatar
    EGSE

    “That’s one way to make a new Chevy more attractive!”

    Beat me to it. I was going to say they don’t look any worse so we defined both ends of the range.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    What’s up with the wheels on those wrecked GM pickups? Do they fit special transit wheels that are narrower for shipping? That would seem like a substantial logistical headache.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yes those are shipping wheels, as many dealers like to equip many of the trucks on their lot with over priced aftermarket wheels so they order them w/o wheels and tires. There is also a whole host of factory accessory wheels that are often fitted.

      • 0 avatar
        scott25

        Generally any GM vehicle specced with 22 inch rims arrives at the dealership with those shipping wheels. It’s mostly to prevent damage to the actual wheels, not usually anything to do with aftermarket wheels.

      • 0 avatar
        la834

        Sad thing is that the shipping wheels look better than most of the wheels that will eventually be fitted

  • avatar
    R Henry

    What make our hearts bleed is nothing more than a somewhat minor insurance claim at this level.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Gladiangels are crying in Jeep heaven.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Oh, the humanity… * SOB *

  • avatar
    WhatsMyNextCar

    “If You Can Read This, Flip Me Over”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Train wrecks really do look like train wrecks.

    I’m no expert, but I believe the state of rail transportation in the US is abysmal.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Did they find out what caused the derailment?

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      It’s not abysmal, not even close. It continually moves significantly more ton mileage with fewer incidents with each passing year. I spent many years working in the industry and have been involved in advisement for the fast four years. The rail industry has changed dramatically since it was deregulated in 1980 and its future continues to be very bright. The major seven rail carriers that operate in the U.S. will invest a total of $11-12 BB each and every year in infrastructure, motive power, rolling stock and, now more than ever, in technology.

      That said, stuff happens and when it does, it’s a big mess and makes even bigger headlines.

      And with that, I have to tell you I was in a railroad meeting back in 1988 and one of my colleagues who was also attending the meeting told me that he had just learned that Jeep made a Cherokee convertible. I said, “What?, what are you talking about?” He said, “Well it isn’t a Jeep design but we just ran a bi-level (two deck auto rack) under the Hanover Street bridge (Baltimore) and converted a bunch of Cherokees into convertibles.” So…stuff does happen.

      • 0 avatar
        ScarecrowRepair

        Anyone interested in US railroads should read “Romance of the Rails”, all about passenger trains in the US, long-haul, inter-urban, and urban. Fascinating statistics showing how ridiculously inefficient light rail especially is, but all passenger rail. Airplanes beat long haul everywhere, and buses beat urban and inter-urban everywhere. I got a Kindle copy for $1.99 I think; don’t know what it goes for now.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I can name one train that goes almost fully packed every time it runs and also garners the title of the longest passenger train in America on a daily basis, at just shy of a mile long, nose to tail. It always makes a profit and is one of the few passenger trains that does.

        • 0 avatar
          deanst

          Not sure what your interpretation of efficient is. For trips of a few hundred miles or so, a train can be much quicker than flying as security checks are quicker and the trains tend to go right to the downtown giving them the advantage over far-flung airports.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            For trips of a few hundred miles just jumping in your car and getting directly to your destination is hard to beat. For me anything that can be driven in a long day I go by car

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          …Fascinating statistics showing how ridiculously inefficient light rail especially is, but all passenger rail. Airplanes beat long haul everywhere, and buses beat urban and inter-urban everywhere. ..

          Not where I live, though I guess you can choose what aspect of “efficiency” you are referring to. I’ve taken the train to work on the busiest commuter railroad in the nation for two decades, and have driven to the same general area for 11 (the car came with the promotion). If time is your metric, I can drive to work in the morning and be at work in an hour. That beats the train. But you have to like leaving your house no later that 5:15 AM. Coming home, it takes about hour and 45 minutes if traffic is good but more typically two hours. And you have to leave at 6 PM. So up at 4 AM and home by 8 PM. Contrast that to the train, which collectively for the round trip door to door is three hours. Winner: Train. Loser: My employer, as the train means no more typical 50 hour work weeks.

          By cost? Well, with a company provided car of course it is cheaper to drive. A personal car? Costs for 20K miles a year, plus parking. Compare that to a train/subway fare of $450/ month and again the train is more cost effective.

          So yeah, I love the car and drive everywhere – just not to work anymore. I gave the car back and am now on the rails. Home at 6:45 PM. Quality of life is more important than pretty much anything else.

          • 0 avatar
            ScarecrowRepair

            You’re confusing cost and price. The price is subsidized out the wazoo. The cost is so high because trains are political manna. No passenger train could be built today and pay for both build and operating costs in a free market. The book is full of examples. The Acela (?) that runs from Boston to DC doesn’t even pay it sown operating costs, let alone what it would take to build.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’m with you, golden2…I moved from the southern suburbs to the northern suburbs of Denver a couple of weeks ago, and I’m taking transit all the way to my office. I *could* drive it, but spending fifteen hours a week of my life sitting in the brain-dead parking lot / road rage zone otherwise known as “Interstate 25” is not going to do much for my mental health.

            Now if I could only talk my employer into an Eco-pass…

            And say what you want about how much transit costs – without it, Denver traffic would be a FAR worse mess than it is now.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @ScarecrowRepair: “No passenger train could be built today and pay for both build and operating costs in a free market.”
            — It only appears true and even then, only in the US. Even funnier, only in certain parts of the US. I can point out (and have) that certain passenger trains are absolutely profitable but their biggest drawback is their dependence on freight trackage where passenger trains disrupt freight schedules and cost so many dollars per day to EACH of the freight companies that own that track. If an Amtrak train rides across three Class I routes, even if only for a few minutes to interchange to a given destination, they pay all three a full day’s usage for every car in that train. That is where the biggest cost for passenger rail lies. If Amtrak owned all of its track and had passenger-exclusive rights of way, the initial cost would be prohibitive, true, but the ongoing costs would almost fall through the floor outside of regular maintenance. No more paying other railroads a daily fee per locomotive and car. No more paying other railroads for crew changes as they change divisions on a given route. No more having to slow down and wait for a freight to take a siding just for your train to pass (or your own train take a siding so the meeting freight can clear past you.)

            You need to understand rail operations and it’s clear you don’t. Few people outside of the rail industry have any idea what’s involved with freight and passenger operations. And to be bluntly honest, I would rather take a 1000-mile ride in a train than travel the same distance by air. The time saved by flying is not sufficient enough to counterbalance the discomfort and exhaustion experienced on arrival. More than 1000 miles? Sure, there’s an advantage. But ONLY if you ride in business class or better. Flights are packed too tightly for any level of comfort in coach.

            And with the AutoTrain, you take your car, truck or motorcycle with you.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Imagine the traffic to NYC from the ‘burbs without transit as an option. It is important to remember that while transit often has a problem paying for itself – think NY MTA as one example, the economic value that transit provides is enormous. Shut down NJ Transit, Metro-North and Long Island railroad and it would cost the NYC economy billions. And that’s just one metro area. The same can be said for most any big/medium sized city.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            There are specific cases where passenger train travel seems to be the best solution. The problem is that there is no price where users will be numerous enough to cover costs. It’s sad that there are people who don’t understand that the reason their train ride seems like a good deal is because it is stolen from the people who never use it. It’s an involuntary patronage system that this country shouldn’t engage in.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @ToddAtlasF1: “The problem is that there is no price where users will be numerous enough to cover cost.”

            I’ve already presented a couple of instances where that statement simply isn’t true. If you look in Europe, you’ll see that their rail systems are far more effective than ours in the US and even Asia has effective and profitable rail systems for passengers.

            The problem is that there are too few people in the US willing to put their money up front to make the system work as it should despite the initial cost. What the riders need to realize is that the benefits of riding exceed those of driving a similar distance, ESPECIALLY in heavily congested areas like urban centers.

            Here’s the thing: in many of those places the passenger rail rides on passenger-specific rights of way–freight is the exception, not the rule.

  • avatar
    ThirdOwner

    Didn’t even make it to their destination dealership, and someone is already doing an axle swap on one.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I feel bad about those Jeeps, those look like they were well optioned (which imo is key to making the gladiator look good). As everyone else said I could care less about the GM trucks, why didn’t they just send them from the Mexican plant? Or better yet leave them in Mexico where they belong.

    I’d also love to try those gladiator headlights in my H1 and H2, would be a meaningful upgrade if they fit as well as the JK lights do.

    • 0 avatar
      whynotaztec

      Agreed; the lower spec versions despite costing 43k don’t look very good at all

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        See base is just about the only Gladiator I desire.

        Comparing base to base from Gladiator to Tacoma to Canyon/Colorado to Ranger is when the Gladiator starts to look like a value due to all the hardware and capability that you get at the entry price.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Absolutely, like the H3T the base Gladiator is a steal for the hardware you get. And I’m not knocking the base Gladiator b/c I would buy one, but I would have to immediately put 35s on it to make it look good.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Sounds like a potential railroad salvage day coming up. Plenty of damaged trucks with zero (0) miles on them. A few bucks to get them back on the road and you’ve got a steal.

    • 0 avatar
      Hydromatic

      Doubt it. I wouldn’t be surprised if FCA simply wrote off all of the Gladiators and had them thoroughly destroyed a la Mazda to escape the liability.

      GM, on the other hand….

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Which is a criminal waste. Why not de-vin them and donate to a trade school for training? The schools would love to have something as new as these and the resources would not be trashed for no good reason. Making them impossible to legally register eliminates the only so-called “good” reason. Sure some profiteering money whore s-bag might fraudulently try to swap registrations but that’s not a liability to the manufacturer. And if they are delivered to the schools there is a check on where they went. Ultimately the manufacturer may say destroy after a certain period of time, like those first-gen Vipers that were donated to a school, but at least society got something out of them.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          If these brand new cars had been sitting on dealer lots when a tornado hit them, I suspect they’d have showed up in a Copart auction listing before long. Is it possible that the Mazdas had to be destroyed because most of them had no visible damage? These could be repaired and sold on branded titles. The Mazdas would have been at risk of being sold as-is to customers who were mislead.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Follow up thought on the topic: If Mazda received an insurance payout, wouldn’t that mean that it was up to the insurance company to decide what to do with the capsized cars? Did Mazda settle with their insurance carrier to let them keep the cars off the market?

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yeah typically in an insurance pay out the insurance company takes possession of the vehicle and it is their choice to do with it as they please. Of course it is possible to buy them back directly from the insurance company at an agreed upon price.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Yeah not uncommon to see vehicles that were damaged in transit donated to vo-techs and even High Schools. Back when I was in HS the auto shop got a new Corvette that fell off the ramps when being unloaded at the local dealer.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @golden2husky: Those Gladiators are infinitely repairable–probably far more so than their GM cousins, all considered. Oh, some of them may never be able to drive the streets again–legally–but they’d still work well for off-road toys.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    This is how our shop class was donated a brand spanking new Buick Park Avenue.
    :-)

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Ouch .

    Good to hear no one was hurt .

    Maybe these will show up in the insurance pool auctions .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    la834

    Well at least we know for sure now a Jeep Gladiator with removable top and doors can survive a rollover collision quite nicely

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      That does look like some impressive structural integrity. I guess there is a return for the roughly doubled mass since the first American Bantam GP.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    So I guess we have to invent the word “Trucknage.”


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