Cleanup from derailment could take 60 days

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Crews with Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe work to clear rail cars from tracks Wednesday morning, Jan. 30, 2013 near the Highway M overpass in Rockview. More than 40 cars on the Union Pacific train derailed after 9 p.m. the previous night. (Laura Simon)

A pile of rail cars still litters the field to the west of Highway M just outside of Chaffee, Mo. According to officials with Union Pacific, the cleanup could take up to 60 days to complete.

Mark Davis, a spokesman with Union Pacific, said because of the large amount of rail cars and containers that were derailed, the process will take longer than normal.

Construction crews began building a temporary road to the derailment site Monday to allow tractor trailers access to the containers.

More than 800 feet of track were replaced or repaired last week after the 48-car derailment.

During this time, UP trains normally scheduled to travel the line are being rerouted to a line from Poplar Bluff, Mo., to Chicago.

The derailment occurred at approximately 9:20 p.m. Jan. 29 because of high winds. A tornado warning had been issued in the area before the train's engineer applied the brakes.

There were no injuries associated with the derailment. The train was hauling automobile parts within oceangoing containers and was en route to Mexico from Chicago.

There is no cost estimate for the cleanup at this time.

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