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Update: Latest On Train Derailment In Downtown Sonora

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Update at 5:30 a.m.: Traffic is once again moving on South Washington Street after a Sierra Northern Railway train derailment in Sonora yesterday morning.  A portion of Hospital Road will remain closed for the foreseeable future while repairs are made to the roadway and track. Traffic will be diverted through the parking lot of Tuolumne County Behavioral Health.

Additionally, USPS Communications Manager David Rupert relayed that the mail would be delivered on time today. He added, “Although the retail and lobby are open on Saturday until 2 p.m., we are asking customers to find an alternate location to do business. This will give emergency personnel and postal vehicles a wide berth in a constrained space.”

Regarding the cause of the derailment, a railway division manager on the scene, who only gave his first name as Isaac, tells Clarke Broadcasting that the “soaked, wet, soft ground was to blame.” He also stated that the cars were carrying propane, but they were empty. Two rail cars went off the track, and five vehicles near the tracks suffered damage. The NTSB has been notified of the derailment.

Update at 5:33 p.m.: Work continues to clean up this morning’s Sierra Northern Railway train derailment in Sonora on South Washington Street, near Hospital Road. Sonora Police spokesperson Cpl. Thomas Brickley updated that there was no leakage from the two cars that derailed, but he did not know exactly what was in them. He added, “There are bulldozers on the scene with cranes attached to them. They are moving the derailed cars from the roadway. We still have an estimated time of reopening at 7 p.m.”

Pavement damage from Train Derailment in Sonora
Photo by Sabrina Biehl

Regarding the cause of the derailment, a Sierra Northern Railway Division Manager on the scene, who only gave his first name as Isaac, tells Clarke Broadcasting that the “soaked wet, soft ground was to blame.” This picture shows some of the soggy conditions along the tracks. He also stated that the cars were carrying propane, but they were empty.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been notified of the derailment. Click on the video shot by Andrew Echeverria in the image box to see footage of the cars derailing.

Update at 1:39 p.m.: There remains no access to South Washington Street in Sonora due to this morning’s train derailment.

The Sierra Northern Railway train, based in Oakdale, derailed around 9:15 a.m. Sonora Police relay, “Railroad officials advise it will take considerable time to bring in the equipment to move the derailed cars.”
Currently, there is no access to Hospital Road between South Washington Street and Nevada Street.
SPD shares that traffic needing to access other portions of Hospital Road will need to use South Washington Street via Highway 108 and use Nevada Street by way of Calaveras Street.
The SPD anticipates that access to the west portion of Hospital Road will not be reopened until sometime this evening, but there will be diversions in place to route traffic through the Tuolumne County Behavioral Health parking lot.

Additionally, the U.S. Post Office is open. At this time, no further information regarding what caused the derailment has been released. An update will be provided as soon as new information comes into the newsroom.

Original post written by BJ Hansen at 9:58 a.m.: Sonora, CA — Several vehicles were hit and the roadway was damaged after a train derailed near the intersection of South Washington Street and Hospital Road in Sonora.

It happened at around 9:15 am. Thankfully, no injuries were immediately reported.

At least two rail cars went off the track. What caused the incident is unclear.

The crash is partially blocking South Washington Street, so the Sonora Police Department is asking travelers to avoid the area. Hospital Road is completely closed.  Washington Street is closed at the intersections of Restano Way and Calaveras Way. The closure is anticipated to last several hours.

We will pass along more information as it becomes available.

  • Bulldozers with a crane working to remove the derailed cars
  • Sierra Northern Railway crews working to repair rail tracks
  • Bulldozers with a crane working to remove the derailed cars
  • Road damage due to Train Derailment in Sonora
  • Road closed due to Train Derailment in Sonora
  • Train Derailment in Sonora
  • Train Derailment in Sonora
  • Pavement damage from Train Derailment in Sonora
  • Pavement damage from Train Derailment in Sonora
  • Train Derailment in Sonora
  • Train Derailment in Sonora
  • Train Derailment in Sonora
  • Train Derailment in Sonora
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