WALLA WALLA, Wash. — A runaway tank car reportedly reached speeds of up to 50 mph on a trip of more than 15 miles Tuesday before finally being stopped when it reached an upgrade, the Walla Walla Union Bulletin reports.
The GATX tank car broke loose from a Columbia-Wall Walla Railway train in Walla Walla before being stopped near Touchet, Wash. Walla Walla County Undersheriff Joe Klundt told the newspaper that the car had slowed to about 3 mph while rolling uphill when an employee was able to jump onboard and apply the brakes.
KEPR-TV reports the empty car broke loose about 1 p.m., with officers from the Walla Walla and College Place police departments, Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office, and Washington State Patrol working to block grade crossings along the car’s route.
Railroad owner Paul Didelius told the newspaper the cause of the incident was under investigation.
The railroad operates 55 miles leased from Union Pacific and 37 miles leased from the Port of Columbia, according to UP information.