Canadian Pacific train derails in Franklin Park near Chicago
FRANKLIN PARK, Illinois - Two cars of a Canadian Pacific train derailed in a suburb of Chicago on Sunday.
The train derailment happened around 12:45 p.m. in Franklin Park, leading to closed crossings and hours’ worth of cleanup.
One car was carrying wheat and the other was empty, Canadian Pacific said in a statement.
Canadian Pacific said no one was hurt, and that there were no hazardous materials or public safety issues involved.
Still, witnesses said it was a scary situation.
"One of the cars started leaning a little bit and actually started scraping against the rocks," said Patrick Stralina.
Stralina and his family were holding an event at the neighboring Franklin Park Community Center.
"That red car up front there that’s empty, started to derail a little bit, I thought, maybe it’s changing tracks, but the next car started to go lower and sink in a little bit," he said.
He and his sister witnessed all the action.
"It started to go forward slowly, and then it was a sudden halt," said Katharine Stralina.
Meanwhile, Tyler Verschelden, a railway enthusiast, and friends had already been in the area for hours watching trains when it happened.
"This is kind of the last thing we expected," said Verschelden. "The train was wobbling a bit. We heard loud noises, banging, crashing."
Verschelden captured some of it on cell phone video.
For about an hour, he said several nearby crossings were blocked by the train. Rail crews removed those sections of the train, then got to work on the rest.
Piece by piece, the derailed train was removed with large cranes and heavy machinery.
Canadian Pacific said teams were on site assessing the situation in coordination with Metra, which is a passenger rail system in the Chicago area.
There has been increased concern about train derailments since two Norfolk Southern trains derailed in Ohio earlier this year. The derailment in East Palestine caused a massive fire and widespread concern about the toxic spill's impact on public health.
"I saw the tanker car and thought, ‘hmm what’s in that,’ because you never know, with all the things that have happened recently, it’s a little scary," said Joann Poellot, who lives in Franklin Park.
The derailment in Franklin Park also comes less than two weeks after regulators approved Canadian Pacific to acquire Kansas City Southern, the first major railroad merger in two decades, and one that several suburban communities have been opposed to.
By late Sunday night, Canadian Pacific crews were seen making repairs to the tracks. It was unclear how long crews would be in the area working.