No injuries reported in Bertram train derailment

Contributed/Hill Country Tribune

No injuries were reported when a Austin Western Railroad (Watco Companies) train derailed early this morning, April 19, on the west side of Bertram at the intersection of Texas 29 and County Road 252, just across from Johnnie Mae Wheeler Park.

Mechanical failure likely is the reason 22 rail cars and two engines left the tracks at about 1:17 a.m., with an early investigation pointing to a rail breaking, causing the No. 6 boxcar to derail, according to Bertram Police Chief J.J. Wilson. All of the cars were empty, so there was no spill to clean up. Only two engineers were aboard at the time of the incident.

Originally, two crossings in Bertram at Lampasas and West streets were blocked, but they were cleared by 3:45 a.m. Heavy equipment crews were on the scene, working to remove the toppled cars. A repair crew is being called in from Houston to repair the rail, which could take several days.

Amy Peck, a communications specialist with Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority (Cap Metro), which owns the track, said it is in compliance with Code 2.13 of the Federal Railroad Administration and could not confirm or comment on whether the rail had broken, saying the matter was still under investigation.

The Hill Country Tribune contributed to this report.

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