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Ennis Daily News

Broken-down train car caused parade delay

The combination of thousands of spectators in town for a national event celebrating Czech heritage, a broken down Union Pacific railcar and miscommunication between the city of Ennis, parade organizers and the train company created the perfect storm Saturday.
What resulted was a number of spectators stranded on the wrong side of the tracks to watch the annual polka parade.
According to Raquel Espinoza, Union Pacific’s corporate relations and media director, a Houston-bound train arrived in Ennis at 8:45 a.m. and immediately started attempting to fix the brakes of a railcar at the rear of the train. Espinoza said the railcar wasn’t operating in its proper manner and Union Pacific was trying to separate the working cars from the single non-working one. It wasn’t until 9 a.m. that the company was notified of a parade that was to take place in an hour.
“I know people were upset,” Espinoza said. “We just didn’t know there would be a parade happening. We didn’t receive advance notification from the city nor the parade organizers.”
Espinoza said the railcar that was malfunctioning was 75 cars back from the locomotive and it took a while to maneuver the train in order to get the non-working railcar off the tracks, which resulted in about an hour and 15 minute’s time of Polka Festival parade spectators stuck on the east side of the tracks wanting to cross.

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Posted by on May 26 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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