Train carrying coal derails in Somonauk

No injuries reported after two train cars carrying coal derailed, blocking most intersections, says police chief

Cranes and a loader upright a tipped over coal car after a BNSF Railway train traveling east derailed Wednesday, July 10, 2024, near Route 34 on the west side of Somonauk.

SOMONAUK – No one was injured after two train cars carrying coal derailed Wednesday, leaving most railroad crossings in the village of Somonauk blocked for two hours, Somonauk Police Chief Bill King said.

About 9:50 a.m Wednesday, two cars on a BNSF Railway train traveling east derailed at a track switch on the west side of town, leaving one car on its side, King said. Four cars became detached from the train at the crash sight, two of which derailed, King said.

About noon, King said, things were calm, and the portion of the derailed train that remained on the tracks was beginning to leave town.

“It is moving now, slowly, so probably in another five, 10 minutes, all the crossings will be open in Somonauk, including Somonauk Road,” King said.

Both railroad tracks and most railroad crossings in the village initially were blocked by the derailment, King said. For almost two hours, the derailment caused a blockage at all railroad crossing in Somonauk except Green Street and County Line Road, King said.

King said the village had to wait for BNSF employees to inspect the crash site and train to make sure it was safe to move the locomotive.

No injuries were reported from the crash, and King said there was no significant property damage in the village, but utility company representatives had come by to check their infrastructure.

King said the majority of the damage from the crash affected the railroad tracks, and he did not know how long it would take for the one overturned railcar to be cleared.

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