Union Pacific cleans site of train derailment in Illinois; environmental consultant says area is safe for residents

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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Damages from the Union Pacific train derailment in Dupo, Ill., appear to be limited to just the rail cars and track.

About 13 rail cars spilled on Sept. 10, with one of the carriers catching on fire. The flammable liquid turned out to be methyl isobutyl ketone, which is a solvent used for gums, resins, paints, varnishes, lacquers and nitrocellulose. The fire was extinguished by 3 p.m. on Sept. 10, and within hours crews were on the scene to make the necessary repairs. Ties were replaced as well as rail and ballast. The track was back open the morning of Sept. 11.

Union Pacific also sent out CTEH, an environmental consultant, to check to see if there was a health threat to local residents. Some of them had to be evacuated during the fire. CTEH conducted air quality monitoring and marked the area safe. Union Pacific also tested soil and cleaned ditches around the accident site.

No injuries were reported in the accident, and the Federal Railroad Administration is currently trying to determine the cause. An information hotline has been set up for residents to call if they are experiencing any side effects from the fire.

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Categories: Class 1, Freight, ON Track Maintenance, Rail News, Railroad News, Safety/Training, Track Maintenance
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