Dozens of brand-new vehicles were destroyed due to a Union Pacific freight train derailment outside of Caliente, Nevada early Wednesday morning. Multiple reports say that the train came off the tracks at around 9:00 a.m., causing a massive wreck and destroying several train cars carrying the likes of Jeep Gladiators, Wranglers, Chevrolet Silverados, and GMC Sierras. Luckily, no injuries have been reported.
Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said the train was also hauling hazardous materials but thankfully those weren’t damaged in the accident. The crash was so massive that it also blocked the adjacent Country Road 4230 linking Elgin to Carp, Nevada, forcing authorities to close it due to the field of debris left behind. Caliente is in Lincoln County about 30 miles from the state line and approximately 100 miles south of St. George, Utah.
Lee told reporters that the road will likely remain partially closed for the next two weeks to give crews ample time to clear the road and to repair any damage to the infrastructure in the area. Details as to how the derailment occurred aren't yet available, but Union Pacific is reportedly investigating the cause of the crash and will hand over findings to the Federal Railroad Administration.
It's unclear if this unfortunate event will affect West Coast customers awaiting Jeep Gladiator orders, as the total number of vehicles damaged is still unknown. We've reached out to Jeep and GM to get an idea of how many vehicles were involved and what kind of impact this will have in overall vehicle availability. GM has yet to confirm any specific casualties, while FCA provided us with the following response:
"FCA US is committed to supporting our impacted customers and dealers by replacing vehicles in a timely manner," an FCA spokesperson told The Drive via email. "Our team is hard at work to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. We're also glad to see that there are no reported injuries. As this is a Union Pacific incident with an open investigation under way, we cannot comment further at this time."