Truck stuck on tracks causes train tie-ups

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- A cargo train that hit a loaded trailer in Delano brought hundreds of Friday-afternoon commutes to a grinding halt on the rails.

"High centered on the tracks" is a term not often heard around railway stations or trucker intercoms, which describes the precarious situation when a long trailer gets stuck crossing the raised area near railroad tracks.

The term was heard in Delano on Friday afternoon when a trailer loaded with a tractor became "high centered on the tracks" with a cargo train approaching fast.

Officials said it all started at around 3:30 Friday along Highway 43 when a truck towing a trailer got stuck crossing the tracks at Pond Road.

Witnesses say a cargo train traveling north could not stop in time and smashed into the trailer.

The main track between Wasco and Corcoran had to be shut down for hours.

Two Amtrak trains were affected by the accident. One going from Bakersfield to Oakland and the other coming from Oakland to Bakersfield. More than a hundred passengers aboard both trains sat stranded on the tracks from around 4 pm 'til 9 pm as crews worked to clear the railway.

The train leaving Bakersfield sat idle on the tracks in Wasco for around five hours while the one arriving in Bakersfield sat in Corcoran.