Thursday, October 31, 2002
Steamboat Springs Cleanup efforts continued Thursday at the site of a train derailment a half-mile east of Milner.
Union Pacific officials have still not determined what caused sixteen railroad cars to derail at the Milner junction at about 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Mark Davis, a spokesman with Union Pacific, said officials would continue investigating the cause of the accident.
The Union Pacific train was loaded with coal and headed east for Memphis when it derailed.
No one was injured, but extensive damage to the tracks and the volume of wreckage to sort through shut down railroad traffic Wednesday and Thursday.
Union Pacific crews from Wyoming and Denver worked on detangling the derailed railroad cars with cranes through Wednesday night.
Davis said the final railroad car was picked up at about 3 a.m. Thursday.
The train was carrying coal from Twentymile Coal Co. Davis said crews have been cleaning up all the coal that was held in the derailed railroad cars.
None of the spilled coal purchased by Mississippi Power Co., an electric utility provider for southeastern Mississippi, was salvageable.
Crews had to replace about 160 feet of track damaged in the accident. Davis estimated trains would be running through the area by midnight today.
Twentymile Coal supplies about two trains a day with coal, so the halt in train traffic did not adversely affect its business.
The Routt County Sheriff's Office responded to the accident. Some initial concerns were raised about the proximity of power lines to the derailed cars, but Yampa Valley Electric Association was immediately called to the scene to shut off the power.
The Sheriff's Office found no criminal activity associated with the derailment. A train derailed in the same general area last year.
"We are calling it an industrial accident," Sheriff John Warner said.