Photo by Mark Danielson.
"In August of 1972 a few cars loaded with wheat fell into a coulee just east of Taunton, Washington. The wreck was blamed on heat expansion of the rails, causing them to bow. After they took the cars away and fixed the tracks, I watched them suck up the heaps of wheat with a giant vacuum cleaner."
I worked for an industrial vacuum company in Seattle in the 80's. (8" dia. hoses.) Every few years a Burlington Northern train would derail in the area and we had the contract to vacuum up the spill if it was a dry material, Once it was corn and was frustrating because we could not keep from vacuuming the rocks, also. To save disposal fees we found a farmer who led a 4H group that raised pigs. He said rocks didn't hurt pigs. They split up 10 cubic yards of free feed!
I've scooped a bit of spilled wheat recently. The chickens don't complain about the occasional rocks and dirt.
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