News: Unity (Train Derailment - 1977)

Contact: Robert Lipprandt 

Surname: Goldhamer

----Source: The Tribune - Phonograph (Abbotsford, WI) 12/16/2015

Originally published in the Tribune-Phonograph, Wednesday, December 14, 1977

Train derailment in Unity Saturday

No one was injured when 16 cars of a Soo Line train derailed in Unity Saturday morning, shortly after 10:30.

The train was No. 18 running its usual run from Park Falls to Stevens Point when a journal burnt out and froze up causing the derailment.

A spokesman for the firm said that usually journal boxes smoke or break out in a blaze, but with snow conditions impairing vision along the track it was unknown whether this one was on fire or just froze up.

The sixteen cars involved in the derailment dumped wood chips and pulp all along the right of way. Nearly all cars in the wreck were owned by the Soo Line.

Bob Goldhamer, Abbotsford, a traveling agent for the company, was driving southbound on Hwy. 13 about one-half mile behind the train when the mishap occurred. “I could see the train up ahead and all at once it looked like a big cloud of steam. I thought that the train had hit a milk truck or something at the crossing. Well I could see this big dark spot near the highway as all the snow began to settle, I knew what it was right way the,” he said.

Goldhamer said it was lucky no one was injured because of the way the railroad cars headed for the highway. One of the cars came to rest near the shoulder of the road. The crossing signal was damaged and trains will have to flag themselves through until repairs are made.

Work will continue throughout the week in finishing repairs at the site.



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