Cleanup process continues for derailed train in Howell

Image 1 of 5

It's been nine days since a train derailed in Howell Township but the mess still isn't cleaned up and people who live nearby want to know why it's taking so long.

FOX 2's Hannah Saunders got a close up look at the cleanup process. According to engineers with the railroad, this is just part of the process.

"We're in phase 2 right now which is rebuilding The truck system and rerouting the equipment. As we looked at it phase 1 was to put the track back in place just to get our freight moving, because if the wheels are turning we are not earning," said Chris Bagwell with the Great Lakes Central Railroad.

The derailment of 23 carts of the 85 cart train is one of the biggest on the Great Lakes Central Railroad which stretches from Ann Arbor to Petoskey. Bagwell said the rails sanpped and caused the train to pileup.

Fortunately, the carts were all empty, they were on their way to be filled with grain in Middleton, about 45 minutes north of Lansing.

"When this happened, we were in a three-day rainstorm that just caused us to get stuck, and these trucks, once they come off the rail, they just fall apart," Bagwell said.

The tracks were cleared two days after the derailment, so other trains could come through. Off to the side, the salvageable carts are being reconstructed. The GLC is working overtime to get the carts rebuilt and back on track.

"Now freight is back moving and we're running Michigan grain in Michigan commodities up-and-down this line every night," Bagwell said.