ROCKFORD — A Union Pacific locomotive derailed in downtown Monday when it crossed over concrete that was raised on one side of the track, according to the railroad company’s preliminary determination on the cause.
Union Pacific will send its findings to the Federal Railroad Administration, which will issue a final cause.
The train slipped off its tracks around 1:15 p.m., crumbling a small portion of concrete on Madison Street just south of the YMCA of Rock River Valley. The tracks share the roadway with vehicular traffic that moves on both sides of the railroad.
The locomotive remained upright and was stuck in the roadway for several hours before it was realigned and moved by about 6 p.m., according to Union Pacific. No one was injured.
The section of track where the derailment happened is currently cordoned off by orange barricades.
Rockford officials expect the railroad to repair the damage caused by the derailment, Capital Improvement Program Manager Timothy Hinkens said.
The city was already working to coordinate with the railroad on a larger $2 million resurfacing of Madison Street from East State Street to Y Boulevard to coincide with repairs to the tracks Union Pacific was planning when the derailment occurred.
Hinkens said Union Pacific contacted the city in January, anticipating rail repairs in 2021 along Madison Street. Because the pavement condition was poor, Rockford Public Works began work to add Madison Street to its five-year Capital Improvement Program.
Hinkens said coordinating the repair of the tracks with resurfacing the street and replacing 100-year-old water main located there should save taxpayer money. Still being worked out is which agency is financially responsible for resurfacing the center lane of Madison Street where the tracks are located.
The project is pending City Council approval.
Jeff Kolkey: email@example.com; @jeffkolkey
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