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Crews Repairing Damaged Railroad Line

CORVALLIS, Ore. –  After a partial train derailment Monday night left a street in Corvallis in shambles, cleanup is under way.

Crews worked all day Wednesday to repair the damage caused by a line of freight cars that partially derailed between 6th and 7th streets near Washinton Avenue, leaving a portion of the tracks unable for use.

For those within earshot, the accident came as a surprise.

“And it just didn’t sound right and I looked out the window and I saw the wheel, I yelled, ‘Alan Alan, the train is falling off the track,’” said Jodie Pastre.

The train, heading to Toledo, was one of many that run on 6th Street in Corvallis.  Officials say the freight cars came off as the train rounded a curve.

“Going around the curve section of track there, the wheels came off of the rail on one side,” said John Cyrus, Portland & Western Railroad Vice President.

“Sparks flying off the wheels of the train, you can see that the rail, one of the rails was popped and the train was not on tracks anymore,” said Alan Pastre.

So crews got straight to work, replacing nearly 200 feet of the damaged track and quite a few cross ties.

“It’s a substantial amount of work. They have to remove all of the existing cross ties and rail and then replace them with new,” said Cyrus.

The sliding freight cars also cut through part of the street, forcing crews to fix the asphalt as well.

Momentum helped re-align the train back onto the tracks as it moved forward, so damage to some of the cars was just minor.

“Not even on a monthly basis does this happen so it’s reasonably rare,” said Cyrus.

Although it wasn’t a big crash, it still shook up the neighborhood.

“Our house shook four times more than it normally does,” said Jodie.

“Our house began to rumble. It felt like an earthquake,” said Alan.

Portland & Western officials say they’re not sure what exactly caused the train to derail.  Their investigation is ongoing.

Crews say they expect the line to be back up and running by Thursday evening at the latest.

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