Early morning storms in Lufkin produced wind gusts strong enough to throw cars of a train from a trestle onto the pavement below of Loop 287 in Lufkin. 

Highway 69/Loop 287 at that area will remain closed indefinitely.

No injuries were immediately reported with this incident.

No severe weather warnings were issued for Angelina County at the time of the derailment, however, tree limbs and portions of billboards in this area near the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company were blown down.  The National Weather Service in Shreveport will send a team to the area to determine whether straight line winds or a tornado were responsible for the damage.

The Texas Department of Transportation also released the following statement:

  • The train derailment on SL 287 that occurred on the railroad bridge between SH 103 West and US 69 North happened early Sunday morning and was reported to the Angelina County Maintenance Supervisor in the TxDOT Lufkin District by the Lufkin Police Department.
  • The railroad bridge is used by A&NR Railroad and the safety of that bridge and all railroads in Texas is monitored and maintained by TxDOT.
  • The section of Loop 287 between SH 103 West and US 69 North will be closed until further notice.
  • The railcars were empty at the time of the incident and there were no spills of any kind. No injuries were reported from the derailment.
  • Easley Cranes will work to remove the railcars from the roadway.

 

“We anticipate cleanup from this derailment to take hours and this section of the loop will remained closed during that time. We urge motorists to drive with care and avoid this area. This is a unique situation to have railcars blown from their tracks to a roadway beneath the bridge and our TxDOT professionals and all those involved will work and monitor the safety of the removal of these railcars and the highway will be reopened once the cars and any debris are removed.

In addition, TxDOT is also getting reports of high water in some areas of the Lufkin District. We caution drivers to avoid flooded areas today and don’t attempt to drive through them. Some creeks are already overflowing and we want motorists to remember that it only takes six inches of water over a roadway to push a vehicle off the roadway and possibly into a flooded creek. Don’t take the chance. Turn around, don’t drown.”

 

Photo credit - Melanie Reece