Derailments spark concern over RR safety - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Derailments spark concern over RR safety

May 24, 2006

Albany - Two train derailments within a few hours raise concern over the safety of some south Georgia's railroad tracks.  

The first derailment happened around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon in Terrell County near the Graves community. Ten train cars derailed. Two containing peanuts spilled.

Georgia Southwest Railroad maintains the tracks in that area, which were damaged in the accident. The company did not return our phone call Wednesday, so we're not sure what caused the train to derail.  

A few hours later in Dougherty County three train cars jumped the tracks near Holly Drive. The cars were empty. No one was hurt in either accident, but the train cars still block both tracks.

A spokesperson for the Georgia-Florida Rail line, which maintains the Dougherty County tracks, says operator error, the condition of the tracks or an equipment malfunction could cause a derailment. The company is still investigating this accident.

The Federal Railroad Administration mandates companies routinely check the condition of the cars, engines and tracks. Passenger trains must be checked twice a week, cargo trains once a week. Companies can be fined if the tracks or trains are found unsafe.

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