Train derails in Galt; no injuries reported
GALT — A freight train derailed in Galt on Thursday afternoon, resulting in multiple cars spilling grain and at least two street closures, although no injuries were reported.
When labor foreman Christian Villanueva of Pacific Excavation was splicing lighting cables near the corner of E and Fourth streets in Galt at 12:45 p.m., the sound of metallic popping caused him to look up from his work to see a northbound Union Pacific freight train come off of its tracks near A Street.
“The first few wagons made it by OK, but at least a dozen came off the tracks. You could hear the springs and metal come loose,” Villanueva said.
Approximately 12 cars attached to the engine were either totally or partially derailed, with some even losing their axles completely. Officers from the Galt Police Department as well as employees from the Galt Department of Public Works responded to the scene at approximately 1:30 p.m. and set up roadblocks at the A Street and C Street railroad crossings, and no injuries were initially reported, according to Public Works Director Steven Winkler.
No hazardous materials or chemicals were on the train, which was carrying mostly grain, although the cause of the derailment is still being investigated, Winkler said. He reported minor damage at the C Street crossing, and that some of the grain might have damaged a pump at a sewer lift station on Fourth Street. He also predicts that A and Elm streets will remain closed at least until today, although he is not certain of the full extent of the damage or when the tracks will be cleared.
“There’s no preliminary estimate yet, but I imagine that crews will be working all night. It’s early, but the railroad is mobilizing crews to investigate possible causes,” Winkler said.
Grain spills from a train car onto a sewer lift station on Fourth Street in Galt on Thursday.