Railroad workers are out today laboring to clear the tracks near Mount Pleasant. Several train cars derailed, blocking the tracks and two railroad crossings. Steve Forsberg’s a spokesman with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad.Out of a 130-car BNSF coal train, he says 11 cars derailed as it was passing through Mount Pleasant. He says it’s still not clear why a handful of cars in the middle of the train went off the track. The 106th through the 116th cars in line “accordioned,” bunching up in a pile, Forsberg says, and one last car came to rest still upright with just one of its wheels off the track. Nobody was hurt in the derailment but the line’s blocked and Forsberg says that’s causing headaches for shippers. Both freight and passenger cars run on the rails through Mount Pleasant, and the derailment blocked both the east- and west-bound lines. It’s too early to tell what caused the incident, though Forsberg says the problem apparently wasn’t in the tracks. The preliminary investigation indicates it may have been a failed bearing in a wheel in one of the cars, but they’re still investigating. And Forsberg says it’s a mishap that’s more rare than the public thinks. He says there are an average of 3 derailments for every million train-miles traveled, a low number even when you consider the average train’s going about 900 miles between its origin and its destination. And of those derailments, more than half are “very minor” incident that take place in rail yards.
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