The train derailment capital of the United States, at least this week, is Massachusetts, where trains jumped the tracks twice in two days, fortunately causing no injuries but definitely inducing major headaches for the small towns where the trains had their derailments.
Actually, the second train derailment happened on Wednesday at 11:30 pm, only about eight hours after the first. But that second derailment in the town of Westford, was not discovered until 9:30 Thursday morning. In fact, workers for Pan Am Rail did not report the derailment to authorities and even refused to speak to the Westford Town Manager Jodi Ross when she showed up to investigate.
Ross told Boston’s WCVB News, the Pan Am manager on the scene called the police on her to get her away from the train derailment scene.
“We were not notified by Pan Am at all,” Ross said. “My fire chief stumbled upon the derailment.”
Initial reports said that five Pan Am trains jumped the tracks, but a later report in The Boston Globe put the number at 14 cars derailed. Two of the cars were carrying liquid petroleum gas. No damage to surrounding areas or injuries were reported.
At about 3:40 in the afternoon Wednesday in the central Massachusetts town of Gardner, a train derailment involving cars — not just train cars but the actual automobile cars they were carrying blocked the town’s South Main Street until workers from R.J. Corman Derailment services cleared the cars out of the way Thursday morning.
“We still have crews on scene investigating the derailment. However, no preliminary cause has been determined,” Providence and Worcester Railways Spokesman Charles Rennick said Thursday.
The train derailment happened at a point where the Providence and Worcester tracks merge with the Pan Am Railways tracks — making it a bad day for Pan Am Railways all around, as the company ended up involved in not one but two train derailment episodes in one day.