Union Pacific train derails in Oregon – UPDATED with Union Pacific statement

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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According to KGW-TV 8, the local NBC affiliate, a Union Pacific freight train derailed between Canby, Ore. and Oregon City (about 25 miles southeast of Portland) yesterday morning. The train ran into a tree that had fallen across the tracks. The National Transporation Safety Board and the UP police are investigating the accident.

The UP line in this area runs parallel to Oregon’s Highway 99. The Oregon Department of Transportation announced the closure of one southbound lane on the Highway, and expects it to remain closed for the next 24 hours.

The train appeared to be heavily loaded cars carrying lumber, and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said that no cars carrying hazardous materials derailed. (For a series of photographs of the derailment from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, visit the KGW-TV 8 website.

There were no injuries in the derailment other than the locomotive engineer complaining of pain.

As mentioned in the initial version of this story, RT&S reached out to Union Pacific for their statement on the derailment, but had not responded at press time. We have now received UP’s statement on the incident from spokesman Tim McMahan:

“At around 1:28 a.m. PT Jan. 6, a Union Pacific mixed freight train collided with a large tree that had fallen on the tracks, resulting in three locomotives and 15 rail cars derailing north of Canby, OR, near Pacific Highway 99 E. The train’s locomotive engineer experienced pain and stiffness after the incident, was accessed, treated and released at the scene. No hazardous materials were involved and there were no releases. Crews are on site clearing the scene.”

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