Tag Archives: Freight trains

Train derails in Texas as rain, floodwaters soak state

Repost from CBS News/AP

Train derails in Texas as rain, floodwaters soak state

October 24, 2015, 10:05 AM
(Photo: CNN)
(Photo: CNN)

DALLAS – Heavy rains that brought a flood threat to North and Central Texas will spread into South Texas on Sunday as a stalled cold front causing the downpours is reinforced by remnants of Hurricane Patricia.

Much of the Texas heartland was under a flash flood watch early Saturday as the National Weather Service expected the Austin-San Antonio area to receive up to a foot of rain while already inundated sections of North Texas were expected to experience up to 7 more inches of rain.

In the latest sign of the floodwaters’ impact, a Union Pacific freight train derailed in flooded North Texas, near Corsicana, where the tracks washed away. Two crewmembers who were on board escaped by swimming to safety.

Union Pacific spokesman Jeff DeGraff said the derailment happened around 3:30 a.m. CDT Saturday in an area four miles north of Corsicana. DeGraff said Chambers Creek was overflowing and washed out the tracks.

One locomotive and several rail cars, hauling loose grave, went into the water and were partly submerged, DeGraff said. Both crewmembers on board “swam to high ground” and were rescued by emergency responders, he said. Nobody was hurt.

The 64-car train was traveling from Midlothian to Houston. DeGraff had no immediate details on how many cars went off the tracks since the flooded area was not accessible to cleanup crews.

Flash floods already have closed major highways in parts of North Texas. Floodwaters from more than 13 inches of rain closed Interstate 45 near Corsicana, backing up traffic for 12 miles, and closed parts of heavily traveled Interstate 35 near Waco.

Texas was contending with multiple storm systems, prompting emergency officials to gear up for heavy rains through the weekend and widespread flooding that may follow.

The rains already have scrambled the schedule of high school and college football games, forcing postponement of some games and rescheduling of others for earlier in the day.

Flight tracker flightaware.com reported nearly 100 flights canceled Saturday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

But for emergency officials, a primary concern is the widespread flooding expected over the weekend. Officials in Hidalgo County planned to hand out free sandbags to help residents prepare for the expected deluge. Heavy rains, gusty winds and tidal rises of up to 5 feet prompted a coastal flood advisory for the upper Texas Gulf Coast.

The potential for flooding comes five months after torrential spring storms caused more than 30 deaths and left large swaths of the state underwater.

The Memorial Day weekend brought an astonishing amount of rainfall, with some isolated areas receiving more than 20 inches. Homes were either damaged or swept away by river water southwest of Austin, about 1,500 homes in the Houston area alone sustained flood damage, and neighborhoods throughout the state were cut off by rising waters.

Little rain had fallen since then.

More than half of the state’s 254 counties had outdoor burn bans in effect Friday, due to previous dry conditions, the Texas A&M Forest Service reported.

LATEST DERAILMENT: Train hauling chlorine & hydrochloric acid derails near WV chemical plant, no leaks

Repost from WTOV9, Steubenville-Wheeling WV

No injuries in Marshall County train derailment

August 13 2015, 12:21 PM EDT

MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. – Officials were on the scene of an early morning train derailment in Marshall County.

Cars from a CSX Rail derailed less than a few car lengths from the Axiall Chemical Plant just outside of New Martinsville. CSX made the call to 911 around 2:30 am.

Moundsville, Washington Lands, and New Martinsville fire departments, along with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and Tri-State EMS, responded to control and clear the scene. Two cars carrying chlorine and two carrying hydrochloric acid derailed. However, there were no injuries, nor environmental releases.

“They responded to the incident, which occurred on CSX rail line crews from Axiall and CSX were able to determine there was no spill or any type of release,” Marshall County EMA Director Tom Hart said.

CSX Rail line is handling response and recovery. The cause of the derailment has yet to be determined. Axiall is working with CSX on the incident.

Union Pacific train derails south of Sacramento

Repost from KCRA.com, Sacramento
[Editor:  No injuries, no hazardous materials.  Galt is a small California community south of Sacramento, north of Stockton.  …KCRA photos.  – RS]

Union Pacific train derails near Galt cemetery

14 train cars went off the tracks, officials say
Jul 30, 2015, 6:28 AM PDT 
GALT, Calif. (KCRA) —Crews cleared a stretch of train tracks overnight after a Union Pacific train derailed south of the Galt cemetery.

GALT, Calif. (KCRA) —Crews cleared a stretch of train tracks overnight after a Union Pacific train derailed south of the Galt cemetery.

About 1,600 feet of track was damaged Wednesday afternoon when a train headed north from Lathrop derailed, sending 14 of the train’s 75 cars off the track, according to Union Pacific officials.

The train’s final destination was Proviso, Illinois.

Photos: Train derails in Galt; 29 cars go off tracks

Crews will be repairing the track Thursday, bringing in gravel to go underneath the track and about 26 track panels that will be layed on top.

The track should be open by Thursday night.

However, the derailment did not impact travel through the area because trains have been rerouted.

“You can see anywhere between 15 to 20 trains going through this area per day within a 24 hour period,” said Cosumnes Fire Department battalion chief Kris Hubbard.

Some of the cars tipped over on their side at Kost Road, but there was no real traffic impact.

“We were lucky enough to keep the train off of any crossings, so we don’t have any impact to traffic,” said Hubbard.

No injuries have been reported, and officials said the derailment is not considered a hazardous situation.

Union Pacific officials said the train was carrying consumer goods.

“It’s still under investigation, usually it takes several days, even weeks to determine the actual cause,” said Francisco Castillo, spokesperson for Union pacific western region.

There has been no impact to the Union Pacific train system, but one northbound Amtrak train was experiencing a 20-minute delay and a southbound train was experiencing an hour-and-a-half delay Wednesday afternoon.

“This is one of our busier lines, so the focus is clearing It up, getting the track fixed and opening it up in the next 24 hours,” Castillo said.

KCRA 3’s Kathy Park contributed to this report.

Sparks from train caused Portland fire near hazardous waste depot

Repost from The Oregonian

Sparks from train caused huge Northwest Portland fire near hazardous waste depot, officials say

By Betsy Hammond, June 29, 2015 at 3:30 PM
Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a three-alarm fire in Northwest Portland, as seen from a bluff on the east side of the Willamette River. This photo was taken at 5:50 p.m. (Photo courtesy of J. Jason Groschopf)

Sparks from a passing freight train caused the huge 30-acre grassland fire along Front Street in industrial Northwest Portland Friday afternoon, fire officials said Saturday.

The blaze, which burned only grass and brush, burned on land adjacent to the Metro Central Transfer Station, which accepts hazardous waste as well as garbage and recycling.

Firefighters warned Metro of the danger that smoke might cause in the area, said Lt. Tommy Schroeder, public information officer for Portland Fire & Rescue.

The fire agency mounted a huge response to the blaze, with more than 70 firefighters and other rescue officials at the scene, Schroeder said. That ensured the Metro hazardous waste depot never posed a serious fire jeopardy, he said.

The site that burned was on the south and east side of the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad track, just after the track crosses the Willamette River, Schroeder said. The fire remained north and west of Northwest Front Avenue.

That land is owned by at least three parties, including the city of Portland, ESCO Corp. and Starlink Logistics, public records indicate.

It is adjacent to Atofina Chemicals, one of the world’s largest chemical companies, which has since been renamed Arkema. The company suspended operations at its Portland plant in 2001.

No one was injured and no structures burned, Schroeder said.

Fire investigators determined the fire started in multiple locations all the same short distance from the railroad tracks, he said. Witnesses also told investigators that they saw the fire start next to the tracks, said Lt. Rich Tyler, another Portland Fire & Rescue spokesman. Those two factors led them to conclude that sparks from the train started the fire.

But Gus Melonas, a spokesman for BNSF in British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, said that workers on the BNSF train that passed through the area saw fire burning in the field far from the tracks and moving toward the track. He said the railroad is continuing to look into what happened.

Tyler said it is unlikely an individual started the fire in the middle of the field because fences and blackberry bushes made it difficult to access.

Schroeder said sparks from passing trains normally cause at least one fire in Portland every year.

Note: An earlier version of this article said, incorrectly, that the land that burned is owned by Atofina Chemicals. That global chemical company in fact owns the adjacent property, between Front Street and the Willamette.