Transportation

Derailment Topples Train Car Onto Roadway In Northwest Houston

A section of Old Katy Road in northwest Houston was closed Thursday as crews worked to clear a rail car that fell off a bridge. Investigators are now trying to figure out what caused the train to derail over a busy roadway.

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It was near the end of the morning rush hour when that derailment happened. The Kansas City Southern train was headed from Beaumont to western Fort Bend County when at least eight cars and a locomotive left the tracks.

One of the train cars fell down an embankment at Old Katy Road. Another car tumbled off the bridge and into the roadway.  

Union Pacific Railroad spokesman Jeff DeGraff says they were lucky no one was hurt, but there was a lot of damage.

“The track that the train was on has sustained significant damage, so we’ll be needing to cut rail and replace rail before we can open it back up,” says DeGraff.

While crews clean up and do repairs, DeGraff says investigators are now questioning the train’s two crew members.

“We’ve pulled the data recorders from both locomotives that will help give us an idea of how the train was functioning and what was happening when the event occurred,” explains DeGraff.  

Railroad officials say the cars that fell onto the roadway were carrying soybeans and plastic pellets, and there was no release of hazardous materials.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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