Train Derailment Leaves Four Cars Tipped Over In Howe - - No One Gets You Closer

Train Derailment Leaves Four Cars Tipped Over In Howe

 HOWE, TX -- Some scary moments for people in one Texoma town when part of a train derails and flips over.

The front of the Dallas Garland Northeastern train with more than 3 dozen cars had passed the crossing at Old Highway 6, south of town, but the back had just cleared F.M. 902 when several cars derailed.

Denise Hamner was on the way home from work when a few blocks from home, she had to stop at a train crossing.

"And I'm just sitting there waiting for the train to cross and it was kind of like one of those movies," says Hamner.

As the train went by, suddenly she couldn't believe her eyes.

"It was just shaking really weird and then the first car kind of caught a piece of the track, and it just kind of escalated from there," says Hamner.

"The conductor is walking around, assessing the damage," says police Sgt. Michael Hill. "The engineer operating the train, by their policy, he has to stay with the engine."

The train was carrying more than 3 dozen cars and the derailment happened around the 7th through 11th from the end. Four cars tipped on their side and a fifth was tipping.

"We were able to get the streets shut down, get it contained," says Hill. "It's only carrying rock. The last 2 tanker cars are only carrying limestone."

Police and neighbors say workers were replacing the wooden railroad ties through town as recently as a few weeks ago.

"For 3 or 4 months they were working on it," says Carolyn Jones. "They've got some machines where it pushes one out and put a new one in."

"It was just a very unusual long braking and screeching," says Reagan Rogers.

For residents who are used to seeing lots of train cars nearby.. "At one time I counted 131 the other night," says Steve Parks.

"Sometimes 5:30 in the morning or 12:30 at night and they honk their horn at every intersection," says Angela Muse. "Typically, it's always just the rock. It's either full going this way or empty coming back."

They count themselves lucky nothing hazardous was inside. "You know accidents happen and it's like I said, I've lived here over 20 years and it's the first time anything like this has ever happened," says Jones.

"I'm just glad it wasn't anything caustic or flammable. It could have been a lot worse," says Hamner.

 The front of the train went on toward McKinney after about two hours. Nobody was hurt.

####    Part of a train carrying more than three dozen cars goes off the tracks in the middle of a Texoma town.

Police say it happened around 3:50 p.m. on the tracks that run on a grassy island through the east side of town.

 The front of the Dallas Garland Northeastern train was past Old Highway 6 crossing, but the back just barely passed F.M. 902.

 Four cars toward the caboose tipped on their sides, dumping rock out onto the grass.

 The mess could take all night to clean up, police said.

No one was hurt.  The rest of the train left for McKinney around 5:45 p.m., the mayor said.

Because of another train derailment in the DFW area, officials said late tonight that the train company is having a hard time getting equipment up here so they hope to start removing the cars on Saturday.