Local News

22 Cars Jump the Tracks South of Fayetteville

Posted July 25, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Crews are cleaning up a large freight train derailment in Cumberland County. It happened just south of the town of Hope Mills.

The CSX train was traveling from Hamlet to Rocky Mount when 22 of the train's 138 cars jumped the tracks.

It is expected to take a day or two to clear the wreckage and repair the ruined one mile stretch of track. The line is heavily traveled by CSX and Amtrak.

Six Amtrak trains are already being re-routed through Raleigh.

No one was hurt, but emergency workers say it was a very close call; hazardous and flammable materials were on the train but not among the wreckage.

The derailed train sits just a few yards away from several large neighborhoods. HazMat teams were called in to monitor air as a safety precaution.

The cars that were derailed were carrying grain, plastic and sand. Investigators do not yet know what caused the derailment.

Bulldozers and cranes were brought in to remove the wreckage so the track can be repaired.

In an announcement unrelated to the derailment, the state renewed its commitment to rail safety Monday. The Department of Transportation announced more than $500 million in rail spending. Part of the money will pay for more signals, lights and gates at crossings.

The spending plan also calls for new rails to cut the travel time between Raleigh and Charlotte.