Off the Tracks: How fast was it

Cap Metro still investigating train derailment

Off the Tracks: How fast was it
Photo by Sandy Carson

Within a block of the brightly colored trailers of the UT Elementary School on East Sixth, a train derailed Oct. 4, spilling a couple thousand gallons of diesel fuel. The engine of the 20-car train jackknifed and came to rest at a sharp angle to the tracks. Workers who had been riding the train gave a different story than the report provided by Capital Metro, which owns the tracks. Congregated under an oak tree and speaking in Spanish, a handful of service workers reported the train was going too fast – between 20 and 30 mph in a crossing zone designated 5 mph. "This is how the train fell off. It was going too fast. I felt it; I know how fast it goes," said one man. These workers were quickly deterred from speaking by a Capital Metro employee, who declared they were not authorized to speak on the subject. "These men are mine," he said. "They work for me. You can't talk to them." He redirected me to Cap Metro spokeswoman Misty Whited, who said the train was going only 3 to 5 mph, the legal limit, and that the cause of the accident had not been determined.

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