On Friday afternoon, November 18, 2016, the Ellis & Eastern Company was switching cars into the Rail to Road Transloading facility on Rice Street and, as they passed through the Rice Street crossing, three cars derailed.
This crossing is more than 50 years old and was scheduled to be replaced in the spring of 2017. As the loaded cars passed over it, one of the steel rail broke and three of the cars derailed off that rail and are now resting on the ground.
Unfortunately, this also caused damage to the Rice Street road that has made it impassable to the general traveling public.
A contractor with special heavy equipment has dispatched one of its crews, and they are expected to set the cars back on the track over the weekend. On Monday morning, a rail contractor will begin work to remove and replace the entire crossing. This process is expected to take most of the week.
“We are thankful that none of our employees or any of the general public were hurt during this incident. We are also fortunate that we had the materials on hand and that a rail contractor was available to mobilize so quickly to begin working on the project on Monday,” says Clark Meyer, President of Ellis & Eastern Company.
Rice Street could be closed all week. The new crossing is expected to last 50 years.