UPDATE: Tracks reopen after Dubuque Co. train derailment - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Tracks reopen after Dubuque Co. train derailment

Posted: Updated:

The day after a train derails in the small community of Massey Station, many in the area still reacting, like John and Marilyn Keller.

"We've lived here, it'll be in May 55-years, so we've never seen anything like this happen before right here in front of...back of us," said Marilyn.

More than 20 cars of the Canadian Pacific train went off the tracks coming just a few feet away from nearby homes.

The cars were empty.

The Kellers' tell KWWL this doesn't worry them too much. "The only thing I worry about is these cars full of oil...chemicals or something, something like that woulda come down blowed up, fire, smoke, that would been pretty concerning," John said.

But that did happen before.

Just two years ago another Canadian Pacific train derailed, also in Dubuque County.

Some of those cars caught fire and spilled ethanol into the Mississippi River.

Key West Fire Chief Brian Arnold says there's always concerns when transporting hazardous materials. "I don't know if there's a way to make it safer than what it is now. The railroads have actually regulated themselves a lot higher quality inspection and maintenance than what they were years ago," he said.

Chief Arnold says his department was not dispatched to the train derailment although its their jurisdiction.

Regarding safety, he says railroads have pretty good inspection programs. These situations happen at some point because of equipment failure. 


Early Sunday morning outside Dubuque, Kerry Rogers jumps out of bed when a train derails outside her home.

"We were in bed sleeping sound asleep and there was a horrible noise...and it felt like an earthquake, it really felt like an earthquake. The whole house shook, our dogs started freaking out. It was bad, it was scary," she said

Scared by the sound of crushing metal because more than 20 cars derailed, landing feet away from the Rogers' home.

They were also afraid of what the cars might be carrying. "Scared to death, scared to death cause I didn't know what was in the cars, you know, you see where like the trains blow up. Yeah I was scared," she added.

Experts say all cars were empty, but everyone is in disbelief over the aftermath, including Kerry's mom. "I've lived in this area for 71 years and I can't believe its happened and its happened right by my daughter's house. She called me at 6:05 this morning and she said -- mother, we coulda all been dead," said Betty Thill.

Despite the property damage, everyone is happy nobody was hurt.

For that, the Rogers family says they feel blessed and thankful.

As of Sunday evening, crews are still doing cleanup and recovery. They are also investigating the cause of the derailment.


A Canadian Pacific train derails near a home in Dubuque County.

It happened Sunday morning 10 miles south of Dubuque on the 4600 block of Massey Station Road. 

According to Canadian Pacific spokesperson Andy Cummings, about 26 cars derailed. However, they were all empty. The locomotive was BNSF.

The homeowners nearby tell KWWL, they woke up to the sound of crunching metal like an earthquake. They're thankful to be okay.

No one was injured.

The derailment is under investigation.

We'll have more on this tonight on KWWL.


A BNSF train derailed just outside Dubuque city limits Sunday morning, right behind a home by Massey.

Thankfully no one is hurt.

A spokesperson says the apprx. 26 cars were empty and there is no public safety concern. 

We have a crew on scene and will bring you information once it's made available

KWWL's Shirley Descorbeth contributed to this report.

Powered by Frankly