Train Derailment Concerns - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Train Derailment Concerns

Train Derailment Concerns
By: Tony Hensley

POPLAR BLUFF, MO --Two different train derailments in two Heartland towns, both in one weekend. Long before the accidents happened people living near the areas have been tracking the railroad's safety.

Early Sunday morning 13 cars derailed inWest Paducah. The Canadian National and Illinois Central railroad cars were hauling corn. Then on Saturday, six railroad cars went off the tracks in Poplar Bluff. Luckily, no one was injured in either accident. Heartland News spoke to a few people who not only live but, work next to the rails.

We followed the tracks in Poplar Bluff to some people who live less than a mile from were the train derailed. Out of all the people we spoke with, only one knew about the accident. Why? Because people who live next to the railroad tracks get used to the sound of trains. Nick Schwartz says, “just that loud noise when you are not expecting it." Nick Schwartz and his buddy, Adrain Lamm work on their cars in a garage less than fifty feet away from the tracks where a Union Pacific freight train derailed Saturday.

Nick Schwartz says, “It kinda bothers me a little bit when we first started being up here. He's a lot calmer than I am. I'm a little more paranoid about these things." But, Adrain says he wasn't always at ease before rolling under his car to work. “When we first opened that was the first thing. We opened up the shop go out there and check it out and you hear the loud booms and you say what was that, and it was nothing. So, we would just come back and get to work."

“There is always the danger. This is real close to the tracks you can't get no closer." Manny Valdez said. Valdez has lived next to these railroad tracks since he was nine years old. While he's become custom to the noise from the tracks, his baby girl hasn't. That's why he says he helps inspectors keep an eye of the conditions of the tracks. Manny Valdez says, “Sometimes the spikes might be up a bent track. Sometimes a lot of debris fall off some of the trains. Sometimes they are hauling scrap metal and things fall off." As the rail cars roll past so do the chances for accidents and derailment. Manny Valdez says, “Living by the trains, that is the chance you take".

It will be several days before inspectors know what caused the derailments in Poplar Bluff and Paducah.

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