Issue: A Texas Pacifico train derailed Aug. 9 and toppled six cars off the tracks dumping fracking sand and causing a vehicle accident.
Local impact: The railroad traffic was delayed through Runnels County, which is important for transporting goods to and from Runnels County. Debris from the train caused a vehicle accident and sent one individual to the hospital with minor injuries.
RUNNELS COUNTY - A Texas-Pacifico train derailed last Wednesday, toppling six cars carrying frac sand and causing a minor vehicle accident.
The train derailed at 11 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9 the Runnels County Sheriff’s Office reports. The train was west bound.
There were reportedly six cars hauling frac sand that derailed, Runnels County Sheriff Carl Squyres reported.
When the derailment occurred, a portion of the rail sailed through the air and struck a vehicle on Highway 67 causing an accident. The passenger of the vehicle was transported to Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo with minor injuries.
Remediation of the damaged rail cars began almost immediately, said Elizabeth Miller Grindstaff, vice president of sales and marketing for the railroad company.
Crews were able to “right” one car, Grindstaff said.
Texas-Pacifico does not own the cars, so the next step will be for the owner of the cars to inspect them to determine if they are salvageable.
Grindstaff said that train traffic along the tracks stopped while the cars and wheels were removed. Trains were running by 8:30 a.m. Friday morning.
“The traffic has to stop so crews can get the cars moved away safely,” Grindstaff said.
The cars were carrying frac sand from Iowa. Grindstaff said there was no hazardous chemical involved, so no hazardous remediation of the sand was required.
A number of agencies were on the scene including the RCSO, the Miles Volunteer Fire Department and the Department of Public Safety. Law enforcement was on the scene for about three hours.
There have been several derailments in and around Runnels County in recent years.
On August 10, 2016, a Texas-Pacifico train derailed on sending 13 cars off the tracks adjacent to U.S. Highway 67, about two miles east of Valera in Coleman County. As a result of the derailment, 700 feet of track had to be repaired. The 104-car train was eastbound after loading at the Kasberg Grain Co. in Miles. The train was hauling milo and no injuries were reported.
The removal of the rail cars has taken more than a year, due to weather delays and the settlement of insurance claims. There is still debri near the tracks.
There was also derailment November, 15, 2014, 20 miles east of Ballinger near Talpa reportedly caused by broken rails. Fifteen of the 100 cars on that train were carrying frac sand as well.