A train excursion from North Judson to LaCrosse almost turned deadly yesterday when five cars of the train derailed. The cars were being pulled by the historic 765 steam engine when the cars suddenly left the track.
Mark Knebel from the Hoosier Valley Railroad Organization talked about the mishap.
“We were entering LaCrosse on our first run this morning and we had some cars come off at the State Road 8 railroad crossing,” explained Knebel. “We had some minor injuries reported. There was a person who suffered a broken finger, a little boy had a bump on the head and someone else suffered a bruised hip. Those people were all medically treated by the local officials who were right there anyway. We had great emergency response right away. Once those folks were taken care of, we immediately took action to clear the highway crossing. I think we’re going to run shorter trips on Memorial Day. I won’t know until the guys get back and I hear a report if the track is repaired. There wasn’t a lot of damage to the track and no major damage to the cars. There may be a couple of broken pins or some twisted bars, but nothing major.”
“We had about five cars come off the track. We transferred the passengers then from those cars back to our other cars and we took those folks back to North Judson. The people at LaCrosse are just super. They were feeding the guys who were doing the hard work, trying to put the cars back on. On a holiday weekend it’s so hard to get stuff coordinated with people gone especially officials, tow truck companies and wreck companies. Everybody just worked together and made a bad day a better day. We’re just glad no one was seriously injured.”