Boeing examining effects of train derailment on 737 plane production

A team of experts is assessing damage to six 737 fuselages that tumbled from the train

Boeing Co. is assessing the potential effect on production of its 737 airliner, its bestselling plane, after a train carrying fuselages to its final assembly plant in Washington derailed.

The Montana Rail Link train was en route Thursday from Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. in Wichita, Kan., when it derailed near Rivulet, Mont. According to reports, 19 rail cars of the train derailed.  

Cars involved in the derailment carrying assemblies for the 777 and 747 jumbo jet have been inspected and their content appears undamaged. But experts are continuing to assess damage to six 737 fuselages that tumbled from the train.

A white-water rafting firm snapped photos of cracked 737 fuselages sitting in the muck in the Clark Fork River.

Boeing said the cause of the derailment is under investigation and that the 777 and 747 assemblies will be shipped to Washington and arrive over the next several days.

Alternate rail routes are available for future shipments.

The Chicago aerospace giant builds 42 of its popular 737 jets a month in Renton, Wash.

“Once we determine the extent of damage we will assess what, if any, impact there will be to production,” said Lawrence Wilson, Boeing spokesman for supplier management.

Interested in things that fly? Follow @wjhenn for aerospace news.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World