Digest: Evacuation area reduced around KCS wreck; schools remain closed

News Wire Digest second section for Oct. 30: SunRail board votes for DeLand extension, but prospects remain uncertain; Scottish rail line to reopen almost three months after fatal wreck
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Some evacuations remain in place near the site of a KCS derailment in Mauriceville, Texas.
Orange County Sheriff's Office

More Friday morning rail news:

Evacuation area reduced around KCS wreck; schools stay closed, power restored

The evacuation area around Thursday’s Kansas City Southern derailment in Mauriceville, Texas, was reduced Thursday night, although some residents remained out of their homes because of five tank cars that were breached in the accident. The Beaumont Enterprise reports that four of those cars contained a petroleum product that was not considered a threat to the population; the fifth contained a chemical described as a corrosive material. About 600 residents and students at two schools were evacuated after 25 cars of the KCS train, 15 of them loaded, derailed about 7:30 a.m. Thursday.  The derailment also knocked down power poles, leaving 2,400 people without power at the peak of the period. Power was expected to be restored late Thursday night. The Mauriceville schools will remain closed, with classes online today, because of roads unavailable because of the derailment.

SunRail commission votes for DeLand extension, but questions over funding remain
The commission overseeing Orlando-area commuter railroad SunRail has voted in favor of a much-debated 12-mile extension to DeLand, Fla., but the actual future of the project remains unclear. The Orlando Sentinel reports that even with the 3-2 vote, it remains unclear if Volusia County — where DeLand is located and which opposes the extension — can be forced to contribute, or if the Florida Department of Transportation must carry out the project, which could cost $100 million and take 2½ years to complete. The state DOT is in control of $34 million of federal funding which has been committed to the DeLand extension, but could choose to use those funds elsewhere. Volusia County has previously asked to leave the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission and forego the DeLand station in order to escape its share of SunRail operating costs and the construction costs of the extension [see “Florida county asks to leave SunRail …,” Trains News Wire, Aug. 30, 2019]. The board had also been scheduled to discuss a partnership with Brightline, but that was postponed in anticipation of a lengthy discussion of the DeLand issue.

Service to resume on Scottish rail line that was site of fatal wreck
Trains will begin running Tuesday on a Scottish rail line that was the site of a fatal accident in August, following repairs to the route at the site of a major landslide. The Scotsman newspaper reports the wrecked train was not moved from the accident site on the Stonehaven line for a month, until detailed examination of the equipment was completed by police and the UK Department for Transport’s Rail Accident Investigation Branch. Three people died in the Aug. 12 accident [see “Digest: Denver RTD rejects proposal …,” Trains News Wire, Aug. 12, 2020].

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