Railroad officials report tampering to tracks
EYOTA — Railway and county law enforcement officials are investigating an incident that is believed to have been designed to cause a train derailment.
The criminal damage to property was reported about 8 a.m. Tuesday on the Canadian-Pacific Railway in the 11500 block of 19th Street Southeast in Eyota Township.
According to the report, the low-speed track is primarily used to store railroad cars, specifically, propane cars. Each railroad tie has a plate, affixed with two spikes; 17 spikes were removed, causing "a significant risk of derailment," said Detective Kirby Long of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office.
Twenty consecutive ties were affected by the removal, he said, involving about 15 yards of track. Without the plates and spikes, the rails push outward as the train approaches, potentially causing the train to derail.
The section tampered with was on a curve, and happened between May 10-26, the report says.
Railroad officials say the damage doesn't appear to be the work of scrappers, Long said, but to cause a derailment.