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MARATHON, TX – A Union Pacific train derailed on Monday, November 22 in Brewster County, TX between the towns of Marathon and Sanderson and backed up rail traffic for hours.

A Union Pacific rail car derailed on Monday, November 22, 2011 spilling over 75 tons of industrial steel and backing up rail traffic for hours.

Marathon is located in Brewster County, Texas in the southwestern part of the state about 521 miles northeast of Houston 54 miles northwest of Sanderson and 31 miles southwest of Alpine.


The derailment happened around 6:20 a.m. on Monday on the tracks about 10 miles southwest of Longfellow, TX and about 5 miles from the Brewster County line at the Rosenfeld siding. About 12 trains had to be delayed near Alpine and Marathon.

Map showing location of Union Pacific train derailment near Longfellow, TX at the Rosenfeld siding.

One rail car that jumped the tracks caused the mishap. The rail car was carrying 19 industrial steel pipes weighing more than 75 tons. The load shifted and caused the straps holding the steel to break. The rail car left the tracks and spilled the steel pipe onto the ground.

The 115-car train was on its way to Houston, TX from Los Angeles, CA.

Fortunately, no railroad workers were injured in the mishap. It was also fortunate that there were no hazardous materials involved and no evacuations had to be ordered.

Repair and clean up crews were called in from San Antonio. It took about 14 hours to clean up the mess and repair the tracks. The crews also had to reposition the pipe on two other rail cars that shifted because of the derailment.

Railroad officials reported that damage to the track was minimal. Rail traffic was delayed until about 9:30 p.m., Monday.

The cause of the derailment is not known at this time. The accident remains under investigation.

FELA Lawyer News Blog is a FELA, train accident and personal injury blog that publishes up to date train accidents and FELA legal news from across the United States. The Federal Employers ‘Liability Act, (FELA) allows injured railroad workers to recover compensation based on the negligence of the railroad company, in lieu of workers’ compensation. FELA defines negligence as the railroad company’s failure to use reasonable care.

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