Crews clean up after train derailment in Aiken County

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 7:03 PM EST
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Crews are still cleaning up after a train derailed last night in downtown Aiken.

Officials say the train derailed around 5 p.m. Tuesday night, where Union Street meets Park Avenue, right next to the Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum.

Park Avenue just opened back up, it was shut down for 22 hours while crews worked to clean up a derailed train. Part of Union Street is still closed with some cars at a standstill on the tracks.

Enough work has been completed so traffic can continue to pass through safely

“It happened probably around the four to five-span because I hadn’t closed up the building yet when it was already derailed. It was pretty quiet, I didn’t notice anything until I realized that all of my windows were train cars, and it doesn’t ever stop. It takes a slow path from downtown out to the Aiken mine,” said Madison Bartlett, tourism secretary for the City of Aiken, Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum.

Work was already planned for this section of tracks. The Western Carolina Railway Service says they recognized some poor conditions with some of the rail ties and had scheduled work, but last week’s bad weather delayed them.

“These are pretty old lines and they’re only used by this one train so they don’t get a whole lot of attention,” said Bartlett.

The president of the rail company says they’ll continue to install new rail ties so this doesn’t happen again.

“It’s certainly given everyone something to do on slow days in the middle of the week, I’ve had a bunch of people walking around checking it out, but luckily there are no injuries and it’s nothing particularly dangerous,” she said.

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