Eight cars from a San Diego-bound freight train derailed here Sunday morning, causing some minor traffic delays but no injuries, authorities said.
Officials with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Co., which operated the train, blamed the 6:45 a.m. accident on a broken rail.
"There's not much you can do to predict broken rails. Sometimes they just happen," said company spokesman Michael Martin. "It's a rare occurence."
Six of the eight derailed cars fell over on their sides. Martin said that while the extent of damage to the tracks and the signal system is still unknown, the mishap caused $23,360 in damage to the derailed cars. He called this figure "relatively small" for such an accident.
He added that the train company got lucky in the contents of the train: The six open-top cars that dumped parts of their loads were carrying ballast, a gravel used to line railroad tracks and aid in drainage and support.
"That'll be easy to clean up," he said.
The other two derailed cars, carrying fiber board, did not tip over and appeared to sustain little damage, he said.
The derailment, near the intersection of Walnut Avenue and Lemon Street in Orange, delayed a southbound Amtrak train by about 25 minutes and a northbound Amtrak by about 40 minutes.
Martin said the track was expected to be reopened late Sunday night. The train, with five locomotives and 57 cars, was heading to San Diego from San Bernardino at 15 m.p.h. at the time of the accident.