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Crews Clear Derailed Train, ACE Service To Resume Wednesday

SUNOL (CBS SF) -- Work crews on Tuesday afternoon were able to recover the last car from the ACE train that derailed after hitting debris from a mudslide the night before, according to authorities.

All day, Union Pacific crews worked steadily and diligently to lift the last rail car out of the water. Inch by inch, a crane hoisted the 250-ton passenger train car up the canyon

The recovery operation was completed shortly before 4 p.m. As the car was raised, damage visible from the derailment impact was visible, including shattered glass and holes on the top of the car.

When asked if there were any concerns about the hillside or red flags to that area of the track prior to the derailment, Francisco Castillo with Union Pacific said there weren't.

"No. In fact, a train went through here an hour earlier with no problems," said Castillo.

ACE Train No. 10, heading from San Jose to Stockton with 214 passengers slammed into the mudslide at 7:30 p.m. Monday night.

Nine passengers were taken to the hospital with injuries, most of them minor. Others were left soaking wet from the frigid waters of Alameda Creek while they waited for rescue, but everyone survived.

"This is a miracle in the canyon," said Congressman Eric Swalwell as he surveyed the damage. This is his district.

"I'm just concerned. We have intense weather and we want to make sure passengers are safe," said Swalwell.

The spot where the hillside gave way was still visible Tuesday. The train slammed into the dirt and debrib but kept going before the front rail car went down the canyon and into the creek.

As crews cleared trees and debris around the mudslide area, KPIX 5 asked Union Pacific representatives the question on everyone's mind: What's being done to make sure that this doesn't happen again?

"We can only do so much as a railroad," said Castillo. "So we have individuals inspecting the right of way to ensure that things are stable. We inspect it twice a week."

ACE Trains announced early Tuesday evening that normal scheduled service will resume early Wednesday morning. However, delays are expected through Niles Canyon due to orders requiring trains to slow down in the area.

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