Train Derails in Lufkin

by Ramonica R. Jones

A Union Pacific train ended up stopped in its tracks Tuesday in Lufkin. The train was pulling about 20 cars when it ran over a section of broken railroad. Four of the cars derailed.

C. Michael Allen, Union Pacific Terminal Operations Manager, said, "Unfortunately, it's just one of those situations where we've had a lot of rain lately and temperature changes have an effect on the rail, and with all these heavy loads, it broke."

Part of the area near downtown Lufkin was closed to traffic for a little while, but the load inside the cars was not considered a danger to a community. The train cars were full of chicken feed being shipped to another East Texas town.

"We got two of the cars up," Allen said. "There are carloads of soybean meal, and it's going to be [Wednesday] morning when we get the other two cars re-railed."

Train derailments do not happen very often in Lufkin, but Tuesday's incident is a problem that won't take long to fix.

"We'll get some equipment down here [Tuesday] to ease our loads. They're real heavy, and they go about 130 to 135 tons apiece. We'll get some equipment down here to get them up in and then the track department will come in and repair the rail."

Union Pacific owns the track and the rail yard in downtown Lufkin. Some of the cars were privately owned by other companies.

Part of Bremond at Angelina Street was closed for part of the day as Union Pacific workers re-railed the train. The road will remain open Wednesday while the tracks are being repaired.