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Local News

Train traffic reopens on railroad in Plainfield

Police and emergency officials supervise Saturday the cleanup of a downtown Plainfield train derailment at Route 59 and Riverwalk Court.
Police and emergency officials supervise Saturday the cleanup of a downtown Plainfield train derailment at Route 59 and Riverwalk Court.

PLAINFIELD – Canadian National (CN) crews have completed repairs on the railroad where a crude oil train derailed on Friday, Plainfield police said Sunday.

According to a post on the police department's Facebook page, the first train to use the repaired railroad went through around 6 a.m. on Sunday. Railroad crews and their contractors are expected to remain on the scene through Wednesday or Thursday to remove the remaining damaged rail cars, recovered product and debris.

CN spokesperson Patrick Waldron said trains will operate through the derailment area at reduced speed “for some time.” Plainfield police ask locals to keep in mind the slower moving trains if their route involves railway crossings.

Plainfield Deputy Fire Chief Jon Stratton said there are still some cars near the track that haven't been removed yet as of Sunday afternoon, but he could not say how many.

All businesses on 143rd Street between Van Dyke Road and Route 59, were authorized to resume operations. Access to businesses on Riverwalk Court will be limited for the time being due to the major recovery activity there. The EPA is monitoring the air in the area.

The 115-car train derailed shortly before 7 p.m. on Friday and spilled about one and a half car's worth of crude oil near Route 59 just south of the 143rd Street crossing. Each car can carry 30,000 gallons of crude oil.

The Federal Railroad Administration is handling the investigation as to the cause of the derailment and how much oil was actually spilled. The Environmental Protection Agency will be assessing the damage caused. Foam was used at the site to mitigate the damage caused by the oil. Responders were able to keep the oil from getting into the nearby DuPage River.

Businesses within a 1,000-foot radius of the spill were evacuated Friday night, but no homes were ordered to evacuate. Multiple nearby roads were closed to traffic. No one, including the operators of the train, was injured as a result of the derailment.

The cause of the derailment remains under investigation.

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