Trains are moving again for the Union Pacific following a close call in Bucklin area that could have led to a major train derailment and a long-term stoppage of traffic.
Quick action by a Union Pacific manager averted the problem after intense rainstorms dumped heavy rain across the area.


Trains are moving again for the Union Pacific following a close call in Bucklin area that could have led to a major train derailment and a long-term stoppage of traffic.
Quick action by a Union Pacific manager averted the problem after intense rainstorms dumped heavy rain across the area.

Walter Haste, Union Pacific manager of Road Operations, was notified that water was rising in an area where he had never seen water before even following other heavy rains.

“There hadn’t been water there since the 20s,” Haste said.
Haste went to investigate and found water rolling over the grade bed. He quickly called to find out if a train was coming and one was on the way and close. Haste told the train to stop. It topped a hill and was able to come to a stop in a very short distance just short of the flooded area under water even though it was moving down hill, Haste said.

Haste approached the water from one side and the train conductor approached the area from the other. While they were examining the area, the water broke through the roadbed and washed it out. If Haste had not acted when he did, the train would have derailed. The train was a long container train with two containers on each car. Had the train derailed, it would have damaged the track and cost the railroad many millions of dollars in delayed freight, Haste.

Without the derail, Union Pacific was able to repair the roadbed as soon as the water receded.

Bricks from buildings destroyed in the Greensburg tornado were used to help fill in the gap in the roadbed, Haste said.