Group using shunts in an attempt to disrupt, derail trains in state of Washington

Written by RT&S Staff
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Two women are now waiting on a second court date after they were charged with terror attacks against the railroad and released.

Ellen Reiche and Samantha Brooks were arrested and charged with one count of terrorist attacks and violence against railroad carriers. Both appeared in the Federal District Court in Seattle on Nov. 30, and their next court appearance will be on Dec. 14.

On Saturday, Nov. 28, Deputy Chief Tyler Nies of the BNSF Railroad Police investigated a motion alert from a camera in Bellingham, Wash. A photograph showed a trespasser and another person, and when officers arrived on the scene Reiche and Brooks there, claiming they were looking for car keys. They were detained for trespassing.

Since January there have been 41 cases of shunts placed on the BNSF Railway tracks in Whatcom and Skagit counties in the state of Washington near the Canadian border. The placement of shunts have created crossing guard malfunctions, braking system interference and almost derailed a train carrying hazardous materials. On at least 10 occasions, shunts were places where track and streets intersected, which put vehicles at risk.

Shunts were placed in three locations in Whatcom and Skagit counties on Oct. 11, which set off a braking system on a train that was pulling hazardous materials. The emergency braking caused a section of the train to separate from the locomotive, which could have led to a derailment.

A group against the construction of an oil pipeline across British Columbia, Canada, appears to be behind the shunt interference.

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