Another train carrying hazardous materials derails in Maine – THIRD crash this week
By Ethan Huff // Apr 18, 2023

For some reason, trains are having an increasingly difficult time staying on the tracks in the United States as yet another freight locomotive derailed and caught fire this week, this time in Maine.

The Canadian Pacific train had a total of three locomotive engines and six rail cars, which were carrying lumber and electrical wiring into a wooded area "where they caught fire and started a small forest fire," according to Maine's Forest Department.

There were several additional rail cars carrying hazardous materials, but authorities say those did not derail and are "not at risk" of leaking and catching fire like the others.

(Related: Check out our earlier coverage about the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, which is believed to have created the largest dioxin plume in world history.)

Trains are crashing in Ohio, Alabama, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and elsewhere – what's going on?

Reports indicate that the derailment occurred in a "track washout," which may have been caused by a build-up of melting ice and debris. Area residents were encouraged to "stay clear" of the area while cleanup efforts continue.

The derailment occurred about 15 miles east of Jackman, according to C. Doniele Carlson, director of communications for Canadian Pacific Kansas City.

"Our emergency response teams and hazardous materials experts have responded and continue to conduct a full assessment of the situation," Carlson said in a statement. "There are no evacuations and no threat to public safety."

Just this week, Canadian Pacific announced a merger with Kansas City Southern. The new joint company bills itself as the first and only single-line railway connected Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

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With numerous other train crashes in recent weeks, Congress and federal regulators are urging railroads to do more to stop these types of incidents, which seem to be increasing.

One such recent incident occurred in Jasper, Al., where 11 cars on a North Atlantic Southern train derailed. Two crew members had to be transported to a nearby hospital following the crash, but have since been released.

"According to Norfolk Southern, the train crew was briefly trapped in the engine room because the engine tilted over," Jasper Police wrote in a statement about that incident. There were no major injuries, but RPS was called to the scene to evaluate the crew and transported two crew members as a precaution."

"Jasper Fire called all personnel in to assist the crew in getting out of the train and managing the scene, along with Jasper Police. Norfolk Southern and Walker County EMA are remaining on the scene to return the track to service."

Just hours earlier, another Norfolk Southern train derailed in Pittsburgh, though that one did not result in any hazards or injuries. Five empty train cars reportedly came off the tracks near Telford and West Carson Streets in the city's Esplen neighborhood, according to the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety.

In that incident, city officials had to temporarily close off a few streets while equipment was moved through as part of the remediation process. It is unclear what caused that derailment.

"Sabotage, what nonsense," one commenter wrote about all this news. "In 2019 before East Palestine was ever a thought,1,338 derailments took place in the U.S. That was before Joe. The EU, by contrast, only saw seventy-three derailments that year despite having almost 6 times as much rail traffic."

"In the Biden years (and before) train companies have been practicing what's called precision scheduled railroading. That means spending a lot less on maintenance and giving billions back to shareholders. See the problem? Rail companies sabotaging their own businesses."

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