CSX officials rebuild track after derailment

19-car incident occurred in Wood County village of Tontogany

2/18/2014
BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Workers clear the wreckage from a train derailment in Tontogony, Ohio. Nineteen cars of a CSX train derailed shortly after 9:30 p.m. Monday on the Wood County village’s Main Street. Cleanup was ongoing throughout Tuesday.
Workers clear the wreckage from a train derailment in Tontogony, Ohio. Nineteen cars of a CSX train derailed shortly after 9:30 p.m. Monday on the Wood County village’s Main Street. Cleanup was ongoing throughout Tuesday.

The wheels of railroad cars are piled up as workers clear a train derailment in Tontogony, Ohio. Debris near the track could remain for months.
The wheels of railroad cars are piled up as workers clear a train derailment in Tontogony, Ohio. Debris near the track could remain for months.

TONTOGANY, Ohio — CSX Transportation Corp. crews and contractors set about rebuilding track Tuesday afternoon in the center of this Wood County village where 19 cars of a Toledo-bound freight train jumped the tracks Monday evening.

Carla Groleau, a railroad spokesman, said the derailment’s cause likely would take several weeks to formally determine.

The derailment occurred at the north switch for a siding track where, if necessary, trains can pass each other on the mainly single-track line between the Toledo area and Lima, Ohio.

Along with track damage, the derailment knocked down a signal used to instruct train crews, and debris from the wreck struck several buildings near the tracks, including the local firehouse. The Wood County Sheriff’s Office described the building damage as minor.

No one was injured in the accident reported at 9:40 p.m. Monday, and no hazardous materials were involved, Ms. Groleau said. All of the 19 freight cars were empty except for one carrying scrap metal.

As is common at derailment scenes, those freight cars that could not be rerailed promptly were pushed off to the side to clear the track for repair. Debris is likely to remain at the site for several months.

Tontogany’s Main Street was blocked for about five hours during the cleanup.

Trains that normally use the line, which also passes through Perrysburg, Haskins, and Weston, were detoured. Reopening was expected by early today.

The derailment followed by slightly less than three months a CSX derailment Nov. 26 in Willard, Ohio, in which a chemical spill forced the evacuation of 703 people from nearby neighborhoods for several days. Those closest to the tracks were kept out of their homes through Thanksgiving.

A railroad crossing signal is destroyed near  the derailment site. No one was injured in the incident.
A railroad crossing signal is destroyed near the derailment site. No one was injured in the incident.

Investigators blamed that derailment on a broken rail that failed as tank cars containing styrene monomer, a highly flammable industrial chemical, passed over it. One of the four cars that derailed was punctured and spilled an estimated 13,000 gallons of the chemical, from which vapor spread toward nearby homes.

Contact David Patch at: dpatch@theblade.com or 419-724-6094.