Railroad reports Elkhart derailment cause


ELKHART, Ill. (WAND)- A broken weld caused a 19-car derailment in May, according to a report by the Union Pacific Railroad.

The derailment happened around 10:30 p.m. on May 15. No one was hurt, although the derailment caused $1,554,781 of damage to equipment and $846,613 of damage to the track, according to the report, obtained online from the Federal Railroad Administration.

According to the report, the derailment happened when the 77-car train was moving north at 48 miles per hour.

“During a switch cut over … the new switch was clamped and lined for mainline. At some point, the weld on the clamp broke off, leaving the switch floating. As the train traversed over the mainline switch that serves industry, the switch gapped,” the railroad reported.  

The rail cars that derailed contained automobiles. According to the report, the train included two rail cars containing hazardous materials, but neither of those cars derailed.

The Federal Railroad Administration is conducting its own investigation of the derailment, and WAND has requested a copy of their report once it is complete.

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