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Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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Union Pacific Clears Railcar Debris in Dallas Neighborhood


Contract workers from Hulcher move sand and debris during the aftermath clean-up from a derailed Union Pacific train car alongside Carbondale St. | Image by Rebecca Slezak, The Dallas Morning News

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Residents in a southern Dallas neighborhood concerned about the unclear wreckage and debris from a train derailment were relieved after Union Pacific began clearing the scene last week.

“I am grateful there weren’t any chemicals on there, other than grain,” Miriam Matthews-Fields, a neighborhood resident, told FOX 4 News. Matthews-Fields revealed that her first concern was whether the train cars’ contents carried toxic materials.

Pauline Logan, a neighborhood resident since 1957, said she is glad that the work to clean the tracks has begun but maintained that Union Pacific should have communicated more with residents. Logan is involved in the steering committee for the Joppa Environmental Health Project, a three-year Texas A&M study measuring the health effects of air pollution on area residents, according to The Dallas Morning News.

“It’s a concern, and it’s disappointing to know that it takes them that long to respond,” Logan said. “I don’t know; it’s just disturbing.”

Alicia Kendrick, another steering committee member who moved to Joppa five years ago, expressed her frustration that clearing the debris was not made a priority. “That’s 10 days of it just sitting there, and the neighborhood is just used to it,” Kendrick said. “And that’s very unfortunate.”

“They could come and explain if there was a care, but they do not care to explain, apparently,” said Shalondria Galimore, a resident and the president of the South Central Civic League Neighborhood Association. “If it was anywhere else, this wreckage would have been cleaned up long ago,” Galimore told NBC 5 News.

Alexi Felton, 14, and her mother, Lakeisha Oatman, both described the wreckage scene as “embarrassing” and an “eyesore.” Felton said, “The fact this is just sitting out there for anyone who is driving by to see, it’s kind of embarrassing.” She believed her family “deserve better than to be treated like this.”

On July 14, seven cars of a Union Pacific train derailed at its facility off South Central Expressway near Carbondale Street, adjacent to Joppa. Surveillance video showed when the rail cars went off tracks, kicking up a cloud of dust and spilling their contents.

Even though the tracks were immediately repaired, damaged cars, grain, and debris remained at the crash scene for days. Crews in hazmat suits were called to the scene, but they determined the train cars were carrying cornmeal. No injuries were reported from the crash.

Union Pacific had previously released a statement saying the cleanup would not begin immediately because the derailment was still under investigation. The Dallas Express can confirm that the cleanup process began on Monday, July 25. Union Pacific said it would move on to cutting up and removing the damaged cars once the debris and grains had been cleared.

“We understand the neighbors’ frustration,” said company spokesperson Robynn Tysver, “but it takes time to coordinate with various contractors to remove debris from the derailment, which was contained on Union Pacific property.”

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Charles Barchuk
Charles Barchuk
1 month ago

The second I read any article and someone starts flapping their gums about “if this occured anywhere else” or “if it effected blah blah blah”. Of course these race baiters never have an example to support their claim. Yes, the train derailed or whatever happened and they were like, “meh, it’s in a black neighborhood. We can take our time”. Always victims in the sun community. Nothing is ever their fault. Homicides, covid, climate change… These all effect minorities on a much larger scale than anyone else. Keep crying wolf and no wonder everyone ignores you.