Freight train derails in downtown Sonora. Autos damaged but no injuries, police report

A freight train derailed Friday morning in downtown Sonora, police said, damaging parked cars but causing no injuries.

It happened at about 9:30 a.m. where the Sierra Northern Railway track crosses South Washington Street, at the south end of the central district.

A photo posted on the Sonora police Facebook page shows the train was hauling lumber cars and propane tanks. They did not overturn, but two tankers at the rear slid onto the pavement.

“At this point, there is no indication of any type of hazardous situation,” the post said.

The railroad runs between Oakdale and the Sierra Pacific Industries sawmill east of Sonora. It moves slowly due to the winding route in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Lumber is one of the top products hauled by rail from Tuolumne County. Propane is shipped there for use in home heating.

Police said South Washington would be closed for several hours Friday between Restano Way and Calaveras Street. The cause of the derailment is not yet known.

At 8:55 p.m. Friday, Sonora PD updated its Facebook post with: “Traffic is once again moving on S. Washington St. As previously mentioned, a portion of Hospital Rd. will remain closed for the foreseeable future while repairs are made to the roadway and track.”

City workers responded to the scene with the California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire.