(Palestine, Texas – March 25, 2012)
Although numerous witnesses saw at least one train, rolling out of control across grade crossings between Palestine, TX and Jacksonville, TX Sunday night between 8:00 and 9:00 P.M., Union Pacific’s often-heard public relations spokesperson, Raquel Espinoza, was quick to defend UPRR and the alleged uncontrolled movement of a freight train consisting of one locomotive and 26 freight cars by saying “It was a mechanical issue,” that led to the train rolling away from the Palestine yard.
“There was a specially trained engineer aboard the locomotive at all times,” claimed Espinoza in attempting to explain the obviously uncontrolled train movement that reached speeds of up to 27 mph and ended when the train reached an uphill grade five to seven miles from where it had first begun its wild ride.
“There were no injuries and we put measures in place to resolve the situation as soon as possible,” said the spokeswoman who did not elaborate on why the “specially-trained engineer” could not stop the train, nor exactly what the “measures put in place to resolve the situation” were.
Admitting that the train’s air brakes failed somehow, she further said that there was a lot of misinformation provided to the news media by various internal UPRR sources.
Regardless, public law enforcement officials in Cherokee County maintained that not only was the train unmanned, but that it failed to activate crossing signals at several locations.