Train derails in Mojave National Preserve east of Barstow
A Union Pacific train derailment near Kelso Depot in the Mojave National Preserve was reported to San Bernardino County Fire officials on Monday.
Two locomotives and 55 rail cars loaded with iron ore derailed around 8:30 a.m. near Kelbaker and Kelso Cima roads, roughly 80 miles east of Barstow and between Interstate 15 and 40, according to fire officials.
There was no fire found when crews arrived on the scene, county fire spokesman Eric Sherwin said. Additionally, there were no passengers involved.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that UP spokeswoman Kristen South said, “The crew was not in the cab at the time of the derailment and there was uncontrolled train movement … the cause is under investigation.”
The UP train derailment followed a BNSF freight train derailment on March 15 near Exit 9 along I-40 in Arizona, according to Mohave County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Anita Mortenson.
The derailment, near the California and Nevada border, involved a train carrying corn syrup, according to Mortensen, who was not aware of any spills or leaks.
Weather conditions and flooding made it difficult for responding agencies to make it to the scene, said Mortensen.
The cause of the derailment is under investigation.
On March 16, a BNSF train derailment spilled diesel fuel on tribal land along Puget Sound in Washington.
No injuries were reported and the cause of the derailment is under investigation.
The derailment in Washington occurred on a berm along Padilla Bay, on the Swinomish tribal reservation near Anacortes.
Most of the 5,000 gallons of spilled diesel fuel leaked on the land side of the berm rather than toward the water, according to the state Ecology Department.
Officials said there were no indications the spill reached the water or affected any wildlife.
In early February, a train operated by Norfolk Southern that was carrying toxic chemicals derailed in eastern Ohio, igniting a fire that covered the town of East Palestine in smoke, the New York Times reported.
The Ohio derailment set off evacuation orders, school and road closures, and a national conversation about railroad safety.
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz
This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Train derails in Mojave National Preserve east of Barstow