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Freight Train Carrying Ford F-150 Pickups Derails in Missouri

Adding to the automaker's production woes, the trucks are reportedly totaled.

What’s reported to be a 44-car train derailment took place in northeastern Missouri on Monday, crushing and dumping dozens of new Ford trucks and vans throughout the countryside. It’s unclear what caused the incident, though Norfolk Southern railway officials are investigating. Missouri Highway Patrol released a statement saying no injuries were reported; the vehicles, however, are totaled.

The Drive reached out to Ford for comment, though the company didn’t have any details to add. Seeing as the vehicles shown in overhead photos and videos of the wreck posted to Facebook are all F-150s and Transit vans, it’s likely they were being transported from the automaker’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri. Regardless, it’s a mess that will take days to clean up, as a railway employee explained to Lake Gazette. The halted train is completely blocking a local road in Ralls County.

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This is the latest delay Ford has faced in getting new vehicles—especially F-150s—to dealer lots. Because of the global chip shortage, Ford had more than 60,000 incomplete cars and trucks as of last week. Parking lots full of Super Duty pickups at Kentucky Speedway can be seen from space, and photos showing hundreds of unfinished Fords from around the country have been shared online. Without those key components, they’ll remain stationary; the month of July was also a big one for Ford factory shutdowns.

The supply chain stranglehold imposed by the pandemic has forced automakers to rethink how they manufacture and provide vehicles to customers. Ford itself said this week that it’d rather build-to-order than pack dealer lots full of cars in various trims and specifications, which has proven tough for the past 12 to 18 months. Something like a derailed train full of freshly finished Blue Ovals doesn’t help that, either.

We’ll update this space with more information as it’s released. Right now, it’s unclear just how many F-150s and Transit vans were entangled in the mess. 

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