The Effect Of Train Derailments on Trenton


Riley Russell

Railroad tracks

Riley Russell, Reporter

Some Edgewood students are curious about what would happen if a train derailed on the tracks less than 200 yards from the high school after the disaster in East Palestine, OH on February 3, when a train derailed and spilled toxic chemicals. 

EHS is located near a train track, the same track that runs through the entire town of Trenton. It isn’t unreasonable to wonder what damage could be done to Trenton residents, after looking at how residents of East Palestine and nearby towns were impacted by the derailment. 

Train derailments have happened on the tracks surrounding Trenton before. On November 24, 2020, a train derailed at the intersection of Hamilton Eaton Road and Trenton Oxford Road at four in the morning. According to Local 12 News WKRC, the nearby area was closed down for clean up but the school and town remained virtually unaffected. 

The School’s Emergency Guidelines as well as any and all emergency procedures are handled by EHS Safety Coordinator, Alex Ahlers. 

“We have safety plans in place for every natural disaster or potential danger, chemical and otherwise,” Ahlers said. 

If a chemical spill were to occur from a derailment, sports and the facilities the teams use located near EHS would be greatly affected. Sophomore Nick Kelhoffer is a member of the varsity boy’s baseball team that practices every day after school and on Saturdays at Edgewood’s field in the Jim Woodrey Sports Complex. He thinks it is possible that a train derailment could happen in Trenton. 

“I think a train derailment could happen here, just by a simple mistake,” Kelhoffer said. “I think that’s what happened with the derailment in Palestine and I think it should be something we all know what to do about if it does happen.”

Despite believing it is a possibility, Kelhoffer is not too worried.

“I know it’s a possibility but it’s not something I’m really worried about,” Kelhoffer said. “Everything in life is a risk.”

The school has plans laid out for crisis events like school evacuation, sheltering in place, and more. They have plans for how to keep students safe against any threat or disaster situation, and it’s all put together in the EHS Emergency Guidelines. 

“The school district has a written plan for any possible scenario that we have to submit and get approved by the state each year,” Ahlers said.

According to the EHS Emergency Guidelines, “In the event of an emergency situation during which a parent chooses to remove his or her child from school or one that requires students to go home, our school district will care for each student until a parent arrives or until it is safe to transport the student home using district school transportation.” 

Ahlers believes the school has prioritized safety.

“We are prepared for any threat, no matter what, and encourage any students with safety concerns to reach out,” Ahlers said.