UPDATE: Runaway Union Pacific Ore Train Derails in California

The damage caused by a Union Pacific derailment in California on Monday. Photo Courtesy of San Bernardino County Fire Protection District.

UPDATE: Runaway Union Pacific Ore Train Derails in California

By Railfan & Railroad Staff

No one was injured when a runaway Union Pacific ore train derailed at the bottom of Cima Hill, east of Barstow, Calif., on Monday. 

According to a UP spokesperson, two locomotives and 55 cars derailed at about 8:30 a.m., on Monday in the Mojave National Preserve. Photos shared on social media show that nearly all of the cars were destroyed and that the train hit the ground with such force that it dug a trench into the desert sands. The crew was not on board the train at the time of the derailment.

UP said the cause of the derailment is under investigation. 

On Tuesday, UP officials announced that the main line reopened 26 hours after the derailment.

“Union Pacific crews worked around-the-clock to repair the tracks in the Mojave National Preserve, east of Barstow, where 55 railcars and two locomotives derailed Monday. The tracks have reopened to train traffic; however, it will take time to remove all of the cars from the site and complete remediation,” a spokesperson told UP.

This is not the first time a train has lost control on Cima Hill. In January 1997, a runaway UP train derailed on the same route causing millions of dollars in damage

This article was posted on: March 28, 2023