What could have been a tragic accident was avoided Tuesday when a runaway train in the vicinity of Kenton, Ohio, was safely stopped by CSX Transportation Inc. (CSXT) employees.
The unmanned train left CSXT''s yard at Toledo, Ohio, at approximately 12:35 p.m. and traveled almost 70 miles before being brought to a stop.
The train was carrying 47 cars: 25 cars were empty and 22 cars were loaded with freight, primarily paper and lumber.
Two cars contained molten phenol, a non-flammable product used to manufacture dyes, paints, pharmaceuticals and as a general disinfectant.
Trainmaster Jon Hosfeld, a 31-year CSXT veteran from Kenton, Ohio; Jesse Knowlton, a locomotive engineer with 28 years'' experience; and Terry Forson, a conductor with one year under his belt, teamed together to safely slow and stop the train.
Knowlton and Forson crewed a two-locomotive tandem that caught up to the runaway train, coupled their locomotives to the rear of the runaway at a speed of about 25 miles per hour (mph), and applied braking pressure to slow the 47-car train set.
Hosfeld boarded the locomotive of the slowed runaway, then traveling about 10 mph, and turned off its diesel power, bringing the runaway to a stop.
No injuries were reported to employees or area residents.
"I can''t praise these employees more highly," said Michael Ward, CSXT president. "Our company and the millions of TV viewers watching this situation as it unfolded have the greatest respect for their courage and actions taken under terrific pressure. We are proud of Jon, Jesse and Terry and express our deepest thanks."
CSXT said the incident continues to be investigated.
CSXT and its 35,000 employees provide rail freight transportation and distribution services across a 23,000 mile network covering 23 states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces.
by Virginia Sutcliffe