After a thorough investigation and successful inspections of the locomotive, carriages, tracks and all other associated systems, the C.P. Huntington train at Noccalula Falls Park is returning to service. The first public train rides will begin Friday afternoon, July 13th. The Fleet Maintenance Department, aided by the Gadsden Police Department, completed the investigation of the incident and determined that a malfunction of the train’s whistle caused a loss of air pressure, which triggered a series of events that affected the air brakes, allowing the train to reach an unsafe speed and ultimately derail.
The City of Gadsden Fleet Maintenance, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works Departments all worked to repair the tracks and equipment damaged in the derailment. RailWorks Track Systems inspected the track system to ensure that repairs made by the City of Gadsden meet all current safety standards.
“We wanted an independent inspection of the track since it was damaged during the recent derailment. It’s always good to have a second set of eyes when you’re talking about safety” said Mayor Sherman Guyton. RailWorks was chosen because of their history with the track at Noccalula Falls Park. The Georgia-based company completed the Noccalula Railroad Track Replacement in 2004, which consisted of all new rails and ties, regrading of the existing railroad bed, and other incidental work.
Although the train ride is reopening, the wait may be a little longer than patrons are accustomed to, especially for the Noccalula Falls Open House Saturday the 14th. The original engine and carriages will be the only train operating while the second train, damaged during the derailment, undergoes repairs.
City officials say that they are confident that the train ride at Noccalula Falls Park is safe. Preventative maintenance and routine inspections are conducted in order to keep passengers safe when riding the train. We look forward to patrons returning to ride the train at the park. The City of Gadsden is committed to keeping staff and patrons safe at Noccalula Falls Park and all facilities within the City of Gadsden.