NEW UNDERWOOD, S.D. — Lilith Tucker steadied her tiny bicycle with one foot and surveyed the wreckage of derailed railroad freight cars blocking a downtown street in New Underwood on Friday morning, June 28.
“What happened to the choo-choo train?” she asked her mother, Karen, who pushed a stroller nearby.
“It fell off its tracks,” Karen explained.
Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad investigators are asking many of the same questions after six empty cars of a westbound RCP&E derailed and overturned near a grain elevator in New Underwood at about 9:50 p.m. Thursday.
Michael Williams, vice president of corporate communications for the RCP&E’s parent company, Genesee & Wyoming of Darien, Conn., said a total of 82 cars, called a consist, made up the westbound train that partially derailed.
A social media post from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said the train’s locomotives and other cars had continued west for about a quarter mile after six cars detached and derailed. A string of rail cars still stretched off to the east behind the wreckage Friday morning.
No injuries were reported and with the cars being empty, no hazardous materials were involved, Williams said.