MANOR, Texas (KXAN)— If it’s not the sound of bull dozers scooping up gravel, it’s this:
“Very loud, clunking like, bam, bam!,” Daniel, a Manor Resident said.
That’s what Daniel said he heard in the middle of the night on Monday. A train derailed right next to his home.
“My son comes out [and said], ‘The train derailed again.’ It’s a known thing. We just hear it all the time.”
A train transporting gravel derailed around 2:30 in the morning near the intersection of East Parsons and North Lockhart Street. No hazardous materials were in any of the train cars, according to officials.
The tracks where it happened are owned by Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority. However, the agency told KXAN a company called WATCO uses the tracks for its freight trains, and is therefore responsible for maintaining them.
“There were five rock cars from the 65-car train that derailed, three were on their side,” a Watco Public Information Officer said. “There were two crossings that were initially blocked, and both were cleared and reopened by 10 am.”
While the cars are going to be repaired, Manor city officials still have questions.
“Is it a fault of the train equipment, or is it the fault of the track?,” Manor Police Chief Ryan Phipps asked.
According to Phipps, train derailments have been happening about twice a year in Manor, for the past five years.
“We do see maintenance trucks out there…I don’t know what’s actually occurring.”
TxDOT said its responsible for inspecting train tracks across the state, though hasn’t said when the last inspection on the railroad in Manor was.
“TxDOT works with the Federal Railroad Administration to promote safety on railroads in the state of Texas,” a Media Director with TxDOT said. “We distribute federal funding to improve safety at railroad crossings and inspect railroads to ensure compliance with federal railroad regulations.”
It’s not clear whether the tracks are in line with federal regulations.
“Obviously, we have a problem somewhere,” Phipps said. “That’s why I’m going to reach out to these partner agencies to help try to figure it out.”
Daniel said his family has lived in the area for five generations, and doesn’t understand why this is still a problem.
“Kind of getting redundant when it’s happening over and over and over again,” he said.
No toxic materials are on trains that travel through the Manor area where the latest derailment happened as far as Phipps is aware.
Companies that own tracks and regulate safety, aren’t required to report information to cities, according to Phipps. That’s why he said he’s reaching out to get information.
Though no one was hurt this time, neighbors are worried.
The Manor Independent School District said transportation usedalternate routes to pick up and drop off students.