Local

Trains derail south of DuPont

Crews work at the scene of two Union Pacific Railroad freight trains that derailed early Wednesday south of DuPont. The accident cut power in DuPont, closed Old Nisqually Road, and canceled Amtrak passenger service for the day between Seattle and Portland.
Crews work at the scene of two Union Pacific Railroad freight trains that derailed early Wednesday south of DuPont. The accident cut power in DuPont, closed Old Nisqually Road, and canceled Amtrak passenger service for the day between Seattle and Portland. The Olympian

Editor's note: This story was published May 16, 2007.

Two Union Pacific Railroad freight train engines derailed and knocked several cars from another train off the tracks south of DuPont early Wednesday.

The derailment caused a power outage, shut down part of a nearby roadway and halted Amtrak passenger train service.

No one was hurt.

Crews were working Wednesday evening to right the derailed engines and clean up the debris. Heavy equipment and cranes were being brought in, said Jenny Sharp, a spokeswoman for the DuPont Fire Department.

"We're hoping the derailment will be cleaned up in the next 24 hours," she said Wednesday afternoon.

Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway were investigating the derailment. Its cause and the speed of the trains weren't immediately available.

The collision and derailment occurred at a switching area about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday. A southbound Union Pacific train from Seattle to Chicago derailed about 1.5 miles east of Interstate 5 near the Mounts Road-Old Nisqually Road exit, Sharp said.

Two of the four engines pulling the southbound train came off the tracks. One locomotive skidded at least 75 feet down a steep embankment and came to rest at a 45-degree angle in one lane of Old Nisqually Road. As they derailed, the engines pushed several freight cars of a northbound train off the track. It wasn't immediately clear whether the northbound train, heading from Portland to Seattle, was moving at the time.

The engines also took down some power lines, knocking out electricity to the City of DuPont. Puget Sound Energy had power restored by about 5:30 a.m., Sharp said.

The derailment closed Old Nisqually Road and Exit 114 of Interstate 5.

Union Pacific spokesman James Barnes said the southbound train had 111 cars, plus the four engines, while the northbound train had two locomotives and 98 cars. Both trains were hauling shipping containers, Davis said.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe shut down the tracks for the day, canceling the Amtrak Cascades and Amtrak Coast Starlight service between Seattle and Tacoma. The trains weren't expected to be available until sometime today, Amtrak reported.

Stacey Mulick stacey.mulick@thenewstribune.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  Comments