The little engine that couldn't: Train breaks apart
A CSX train traveling through Oxford Saturday evening broke apart and stopped, causing a traffic headache at nearly every in-town crossing that lasted for nearly an hour and a half.
According to Oxford Police Department (OPD) sergeant Jon Varley, OPD dispatch received a 911 call reporting the train had struck and completely rolled over a vehicle.
"It came in as a car versus train call," Varley said. "Officers walked the entire [two-mile] length of the train and found nothing."
The caller had heard an enormous bang and screech, which he assumed was a vehicle being struck, Varley said. However, that was not the case.
"The train was just passing through town like normal, and I guess the couplings in the cables were, for whatever reason... pulled apart," Varley said.
The train's sensors detected this break and brought the two-mile long locomotive to a stop.
"The train actually came unhitched around the South Main [Street] crossing," Varley said. "It came to a stop over by the Central Avenue crossing."
Most of the operation was executed by CSX, a private company, as the locomotive was private property on CSX's track. OPD could only advise residents via their Twitter account to avoid railway crossings.
"It blocked up those crossings for about an hour and a half before they were able to get backed up and moved out," Varley said.
While not particularly dangerous, Varley said crews must be careful when starting a train from a full stop, as there were workers on the train's cars, which violently jerk into motion as the train pulls out.
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