The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

May 25, 2010

Cars derailed

Three car train leaves tracks on Enid’s west side

ENID — A train derailment Tuesday blocked traffic on three east-west Enid streets for more than fours hours as crews worked to get the train back on the tracks.

Enid Police Department was notified at 10:18 a.m. of a three-car train derailment that blocked traffic at Elm, Randolph and Broadway at Johnson until the train was moved at 2:39 p.m., four hours and 21 minutes later.

EPD Lt. Eric Holtzclaw said the cars involved in the derailment remained upright and no cargo spilled. No injuries were reported. He said initial indications were heavy rain during the night and early morning likely was responsible for the derailment.

Mark Jones, transportation superintendent of Farmrail System Inc., said the cross ties were old, and when they become wet they often weaken. As the train rounded a curve the spikes did not hold, he said, allowing the cars’ wheels to drop off the rail.

“Luckily, I had a guy standing right there and he got them stopped right away,” Jones said. “I called the police immediately to get the traffic problem taken care of.”

The train involved belongs to Grainbelt Corp., one of two subsidiaries of Farmrail System Inc., and the track is owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

Farmrail is headquartered in Clinton, and the train runs between Enid and Southard five days a week, Monday through Friday.

According to the Farmrail website, Farmrail System is an employee-owned holding company for two Class III common-carrier railroads. Farmrail Corp. has acted since 1981 as a lessee-operator for Oklahoma Department of Transportation, managing an 82-mile east-west line between Weatherford and Erick and an additional 89 miles, Westhom to Elmer, acquired by the state in 1992. Another wholly owned affiliate, Grainbelt Corp., was formed in 1987 to buy 176 miles of track linking Enid and Frederick.

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