CSX Repairs Tracks While It Searches For Derailment Clues - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/07/02

CSX Repairs Tracks While It Searches For Derailment Clues

North Central Avenue looked a lot like a railroad junk yard. Dented tankers, toppled boxcars and disconnected wheels littered the CSX right of way.

Getting the tracks up and running again was CSX's top priority. Moments after the derailment, the rail company sent a team of experts to Waveland. In a span of a few hours, the workers had rebuilt 850 feet of tracks, and moved parts of the damaged train out of harm's way.

So here's what's going to happen to the 24 rail cars that are now toppled over on their sides on North Central Avenue. First, the cars with paper products in them have to be emptied. Then a salvage company will come in and truck the cars out of town. But that may not happen until later in the week.

Almost a day after the near catastrophe, Waveland mayor Tommy Longo was still overseeing his city's emergency response efforts.

"Thank our lucky stars," the mayor said, "thank God that it wasn't any worse than what it was."

The mayor, his police chief and several firemen all said the derailment turned out to be a scary test that Waveland passed with flying colors.

"I think we did. The sheriff's office responded immediately to help us do that," Longo said. "We had all the people in the right places. Thank God we didn't have to see if they worked."

According to CSX, the tracks that run through South Mississippi have more hazardous materials on them than any other rail line. Because of that, the tracks are also inspected more than any other line, specifically to prevent train derailments.

By Brad Kessie

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