Train splits in town, blocks traffic for hours
March 11, 2013
A Union Pacific train blocked all railway crossings in Carroll except for Main and Clark streets after a connection between two of the train’s cars broke and forced an emergency stop.
Two railcars of a Union Pacific train destined for eastern Iowa separated this morning, which blocked all railway crossings in Carroll except at Main and Clark streets, where the train split.
"The knuckle that connects railcars together - that entire mechanism was pulled out," said Mark Davis, a Union Pacific spokesman.
The connection between two cars of the 1 1/2-mile-long, 122-car train broke about 8:20 a.m., he said, which stretched and severed the air-hose connection between the cars and caused an emergency stop.
Train engineers had no control over where the train stopped because the train's brakes automatically engage when they lose air pressure.
Repairs to the train were expected to take several hours as workers waited for a new knuckle to replace the one that broke.
This is the second time in three months that a knuckle broke on a Union Pacific train as it rolled through Carroll. A train blocked all roads in Carroll west of Maple Street for about four hours on Dec. 14.
But Davis said, "knuckles don't fail very often. They happen ever once in a while."
Today's stalled train was traveling from North Platte, Neb., to Clinton, Iowa. It carried lumber, frozen vegetables, potatoes, canned food and other items.
The Union Pacific railway runs three miles through Carroll and under two overpasses on the west side of town at U.S. Highways 30 and 71.
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