KALAMAZOO, MI: On July 3, 2018, at about 06:50 AM, Kalamazoo Public Safety responded to the report of box cars tipped over in the downtown area. Approximately 15 cars have overturned blocking several major intersections in the downtown including Michigan Avenue and Kalamazoo Avenue. Motorists are strongly encouraged to avoid this area as significant delays are expected. The cause of the derailment is unknown at this time and is under investigation.
At this time, no injuries have been reported. Also there are no indications of any hazardous material releases. The derailment has caused some other related issues including damage to power lines and other property. Public Safety Officers are working with several agencies to address these issues in a timely fashion.
Public Safety will provide additional information as soon as more details can be confirmed.
Anyone having information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at 337-8139 or Silent Observer at 343-2100.
UPDATE #1: Please see the attached map indicating the affected area. Please note that the yellow highlighter indicates the approximate location of the train. And the red indicates the approximate location of the cars that are overturned.
Motorists are encouraged to avoid the downtown area while clean-up efforts continue. The immediately affected areas include:
• E Michigan Avenue east of Pitcher Street.
• E Kalamazoo Avenue west of Walbridge Street.
• Porter Street south of E Ransom Street.
• Walbridge Street south of E Ransom Street.
• Harrison Street south of Ransom Street.
Please note that the ripple affect caused by the blocked roads means detours are necessary and alternate routes are strongly encouraged.
It is too early to tell how long the clean-up process will take. However, motorists should assume it will take several hours and will likely affect this evening’s commute. Public Safety will provide additional information as it becomes available.
UPDATE #2: The work to remove the over turned rail cars has begun and is proceeding well. However, the removal process is involved and time consuming. Motorists should expect delays and are encouraged to seek alternate routes. This entire process will likely continue through the night and into the morning hours.
Some areas that were closed have now opened. The following map is an update on the closures reported above.
UPDATE #3: On July 3, 2018, the last train car was brought upright at about 9:30 p.m. and all roads were opened up by about 10 p.m. The investigation is ongoing and will be conducted by agencies other than the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. Public Safety wishes to thank travelers for heeding the warning and avoiding the downtown area when possible and for your patience.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Authority: Ex. Lt. Diaz
Date: July 3, 2018
Address: 150 E. Crosstown Pkwy. Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Contact: Captain Huber, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety 337-8139