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Union Pacific train hauling grain derails in Nugget Canyon

Posted: Monday, May 20th, 2013


KEMMERER In the early morning hours of Saturday, May 18, a westbound Union Pacific train hauling corn derailed in Nugget Canyon west of Kemmerer at mile marker 38 on U.S. Hwy. 30.

According to Mark Davis, spokesman for Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Neb., the westbound train was hauling corn from St. Paul, Minn., to Minidoka, Idaho. Davis noted that 35 of 110 total cars derailed.

There were no injuries, and no hazardous material spills of any kind occurred in the train derailment. The incident is still under investigation by Union Pacific Railroad officials and, according to Davis, the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) will not be involved in the investigation since there were no injuries or hazardous material spills.

Train traffic was detoured at Green River, and Pocatello, Idaho to bypass around the closed section of track in Nugget Canyon as a result of the derailment.

Union Pacific resources were immediately called into action after the derailment early Saturday morning to assess the situation. Crews, equipment, materials and parts came from around the area and region to clear and repair the track as quickly as possible.

"Our resources come from anywhere we can get them," said Davis.

According to Davis, 2,000 feet of track was replaced, and the line reopened for train traffic at 12:01 a.m. on Monday morning.

Union Pacific Railroad, which owns and maintains the track, is responsible for paying for all costs associated with the derailment, including the grain customer and contractors involved with the cleanup.

Crews continue to work to remove the corn from the derailed cars, and Davis noted that the cleanup could take up to two weeks to get everything removed from the site.

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