TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) — Train tracks stretch all across Central Texas, which is why emergency responders from across the region gathered in Taylor to learn more about the transportation of crude oil and hazardous materials. Three train cars travel the country to give first responders an up-close education. They made a stop Wednesday in Central Texas.
A locomotive, chlorine tank and classroom offered crews the chance to train on how to control a spill or leak, from those critical first few minutes of the emergency to the end.
Taylor Fire Chief Pat Ekiss said the training will help them in the event of an actual derailment.
“It does give us an understanding of what can happen in a train derailment, perhaps on a small scale and then expand it, if you will, to a large scale,” said Ekiss.
Agencies from Williamson and Travis County were on hand and will take part in more training exercises on Thursday.
One of the worst derailments in Central Texas history happened back in December of 1987. A Union Pacific freight train carrying liquid propane derailed, forcing the evacuation of more than 5,000 people in Round Rock. Remarkably no one was injured.