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Tracks reopened after coal train derailment

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Energy Dickinson,North Dakota 58602
The Dickinson Press
Tracks reopened after coal train derailment
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

PILLAGER, Minn. — BNSF Railway tracks are open again near this central Minnesota town after a coal train derailment Sunday, but mammoth piles of coal still litter the area.

The tracks reopened at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday near Pillager, west of Brainerd, but crews now have the task of clearing the coal.

There’s no estimate on how much coal spilled, but the typical car carries 119 tons, said BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth. With about 45 cars derailed, the amount could be about 5,300 tons.

The 122-car train was traveling from Montana to Wisconsin, carrying three crew members. The train cars left the tracks at about 11:15 p.m. Sunday. No one was hurt, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Department.

Crews have moved all of the cars and repairs have been completed on the main track, McBeth said. Coal removal will start early next week, but BNSF officials aren’t sure how long it will take.

The railroad’s investigation into the derailment will likely continue through next month. The company will submit its report to the Federal Railroad Administration.

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