Off the Rails: Train Crash Damages New Ford F-150 Pickups

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

As if Ford didn’t have enough headaches in terms of pickup truck supply, the derailment of a train carrying a load of the things has thrown the automaker even further off track. According to local media, a freight train ran into trouble while hauling the things through Missouri, creating a stack of metal that Blue Oval suits certainly could do without seeing right now.

Here’s the good news: no injuries or environmental damage was reported, save for the new pair of pants that was surely required for the train’s operator.

The midday incident occurred earlier this week when nearly four dozen train cars jumped the tracks and caused quite the mess about 100 miles from St. Louis. Aerial photos from the scene show automotive carriers piled up as if a child has suddenly abandoned their playtime in a huff, with metal and debris scattered across the countryside. Close examination of the pics shows F-150 trucks in various states of undress, some hanging out of the now-open carriers like a dog’s tongue on a hot day.

Also among the wreckage were some Transit cargo vans, though it is surely the loss of F-Series pickup trucks that will keep Ford officials up at night given the nation’s inventory shortages of their cash cow. The company has an assembly plant in Claycomo, more commonly known as the Kansas City Assembly Plant; it is likely the vehicles were being transported from that location.

The train company, Norfolk Southern, is apparently investigating the cause of this derailment which caused a stoppage of train traffic for more than 24 hours. These types of wrecks can be tricky to scrutinize, given the sheer amount of material present over a wide area. In the moment, however, the mess was cleaned up by a recovery crew and repairs were made to the track. Missouri State Highway Patrol is reported to have not immediately found a cause for the derailment.

Ford has been taking it on the chin in terms of supply when it comes to its best-seller, with the ongoing microchip and semiconductor shortage wreaking havoc in assembly plants across the country. Year-to-date recorded sales are down 5.5 percent for F-Series, totaling just over 414,000 units. Last month alone, deliveries dove by 26.6 percent compared to July 2020 to 52,314. Those numbers are surely causing gnashing of teeth in certain corner offices of the Glass House, though it must be noted that if the bottleneck is addressed in the second half of this year, we’ll certainly be seeing boasts of ‘best month ever’ as a result of pent up demand.

The entire Ford brand is about flat for this year, down 0.7% to just over a million units.

[Image: Ford]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Aug 07, 2021

    Ouch. That must have made one hell of a racket!

  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Aug 08, 2021

    Interesting that the F-150s appeared to be in Transit somewhere, and if the smaller van was among the destroyed, you could say that all the vehicles were on the (Transit) Express to nowhere! I know, I know, when you have to work that hard for one of these…! Remember to tip your server (if the restaurant is still open)! I’ll show myself out!

  • Bd2 Geeze, Anal sure likes to spread his drivelA huge problem was Fisher and his wife - who overspent when they were flush with cash and repeatedly did things ad hoc and didn't listen to their employees (who had more experience when it came to auto manufacturing, engineering, etc).
  • Tassos My Colleague Mike B bought one of these (the 300 SEL, same champagne color) new around June 1990. I thought he paid $50k originally but recently he told me it was $62k. At that time my Accord 1990 Coupe LX cost new, all included, $15k. So today the same car means $150k for the S class and $35k-40k for the Accord. So those %0 or 62k , these were NOT worthless, Idiot Joe Biden devalued dollars, so he paid AN ARM AND A LEG. And he babied the car, he really loved it, despite its very weak I6 engine with a mere 177 HP and 188 LBFT, and kept it forever. By the time he asked me to drive it (to take him to the dealer because his worthless POS Buick Rainier "SUV" needed expensive repairs (yes, it was a cheap Buick but he had to shell out thousands), the car needed a lot of suspension work, it drove like an awful clunker. He ended up donating it after 30 years or so. THIS POS is no different, and much older. Its CHEAPSKATE owner should ALSO donate it to charity instead of trying to make a few measly bucks off its CARCASS. Pathetic!
  • RHD The re-paint looks like it was done with a four-inch paintbrush. As far as VWs go, it's a rebadged Seat... which is still kind of a VW, made in Mexico from a Complete Knock-Down kit. 28 years in Mexico being driven like a flogged mule while wearing that ridiculous rear spoiler is a tough life, but it has actually survived... It's unique (to us), weird, funky (very funky), and certainly not worth over five grand plus the headaches of trying to get it across the border and registered at the local DMV.
  • Kat Laneaux I get the point that Musk is making. I wouldn't want everyone to know my secrets. If they did, they could or would shout it out to the world. But then, if Musk certified certain folks and had them sign Confidentiality agreements, which would allow them to work on cars that Musk had made, that could allow others to work on his cars and not confine vehicle owners to be charged an arm and a leg for the service. It's a catch 22. People are greedy little buggers. If they can find a way to make money, they will even if it wrong. People...sad.
  • 285exp I have been assured that EVs don’t require maintenance, so this seems pointless.