March 3, 2021: Anderson County, S.C. Sees Third Derailment in Four Months

Pickens Railway, a short-line railroad that operates in Anderson County, South Carolina, is dealing with its third derailment since November 2020.
The first derailment took place on November 16, 2020. In that incident, several boxcars ran off the tracks but did not tip over. The second occurred on January 27, 2021 when several boxcars again derailed and buckled the track beneath them. The third derailment occurred yesterday when two boxcars tipped over and destroyed the tracks sending debris over a large area.
Pickens Railway released the following statement: “We are continuing to investigate each incident and are continuing our normal safety precautions. While it’s not our goal to have 3 derailments, derailments can be caused by a number of different factors which makes it hard to determine cause immediately.”
Tom Allen, Director of Safety, Transportation and Telecommunications with the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff said “Typically we see this situation occurring when maybe the railroad may have not done proper investment in their facilities. In other words, maybe the ties or the rails have gotten old, maybe they’re not quite inspecting them frequently enough. There could be multiple issues that are causing the derailments, but typically we see with some of these smaller and older railroads, short lines specifically, sometimes might not be making the adequate investment to maintain their system.”
There were no hazardous materials involved in the derailments and no injuries were reported.

Third Anderson County train derailment in 4 months raises track safety concerns

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