Errant wheel on empty boxcar caused Ashland train derailment

4 weeks ago

ASHLAND, Maine — A boxcar wheel slid off the track and temporarily derailed a train in Ashland on Tuesday, March 26.  

The minor derailment occurred near the railroad intersection on Sheridan Road, about a mile from Ashland.

“I can confirm that we had a single wheel from an empty Maine Northern Railway boxcar temporarily derail yesterday afternoon in northern Aroostook County,” said Anne McInerney, vice president of communications for Saint John, New Brunswick-based J.D. Irving, which owns Maine Northern Railway.

The train was traveling about 5 miles an hour when the boxcar wheel left the track, McInerney said. 

No one was injured and the car remained upright. No damage occurred to the train or the track, she said.

McInerney said she could not specify the cargo that was being hauled due to confidentiality, but did confirm there was no hazardous material on the train.

Personnel returned the boxcar to the track and service was restored sooner than expected, she said.  

At the Sheridan Road intersection Tuesday, upright railcars sat on both sides of the track. Several Maine Northern vehicles were parked and railway crews were at the site.

From Sheridan Road south, the track crosses Route 11 in Ashland near the Aroostook River. Law enforcement officials closed that part of the road temporarily Tuesday afternoon. 

The Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office advised travelers via social media to take alternate routes.

The road was reopened around 3 p.m.

Maine Northern Railway is a part of Irving-owned NBM Railways, which also operates NB Southern and Eastern Maine Railways.