Crews worked for days to clean up and repair a portion of the railway just before Shaw Station Road in Leitchfield following a collision between a semi tractor-trailer and a train engine on Tuesday morning, Aug. 2.
The Paducah and Louisville (P & L) railway was severely damaged during the collision, which occurred at the railroad crossing on Shaw Station Road, and crews worked to repair the damages through Thursday afternoon, Aug. 4.
Ernie Perkins, of Grayson County Emergency Management, said on Friday, Aug. 5 he had been informed that the railway had by that time been repaired and was operational.
Emergency personnel, including the Leitchfield Police and Fire Departments, as well as the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office and Leitchfield Public Works, responded to the scene of the crash at 8:34 a.m. on Tuesday.
These agencies were joined by Grayson County Emergency Management, crews from the Grayson County Detention Center, and the state emergency response team, and emergency personnel remained on the scene through Tuesday and into the night, Perkins said.
Prior to the crash, the P & L train, driven by Engineer Forest Robinson, was travelling west on the train tracks, and the tractor-trailer, driven by Matthew Taylor, was travelling south on Shaw Station Road and hauling lumber from Baillie Lumber Company, according to Leitchfield Assistant Chief of Police David Riley.
As the semi began to cross the tracks on Shaw Station Road, it collided with the train, and the crash caused the semi to be dragged about 50 or 60 yards from the point of impact, Riley said.
No injuries were reported, but between 1,500 and 1,800 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled as a result of the crash, according to Perkins, adding that while the spill was a concern, its location allowed it to be well contained by the Leitchfield Fire Department (LFD).
Lumber being hauled by the semi was also spilled into the roadway, and LFD and Baillie Lumber personnel, as well as Grayson County Detention Center crews assisted with moving the lumber.
The train engine, which came to a rest partially off the railway following the crash, was removed from the scene by Tuesday evening, and the semi, which came to a rest facing westbound alongside the train engine, was removed that afternoon, Perkins said.
“All of our response team did everything to perfection,” said Perkins. “Luckily, no one was injured, and, luckily, it was just diesel that spilled.”
Perkins hopes the crash brings awareness to the possibility of collisions on Grayson County’s railways. He said many incidents occur that citizens do not know about.
P & L Railway declined to comment on the incident.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.