Minor Derailment, Major Headaches


Train traffic east of Minot was stalled out this morning due to a train derailment.
BNSF officials say a single locomotive derailed upright around 7:45 this morning at Gavin Yard, between Minot and Surrey.
Officials called it a “minor incident” – but as Tim Olson reports, it caused some major headaches in Surrey.

(Tim Olson) Rail traffic near Minot was backed up for miles Tuesday morning, thanks to the second minor train derailment in under a week in the area.
But there was nothing minor about the impact it had on Surrey – as both north/south arteries in town were walled off by stopped traincars.
Just ask Mark Choquette, who was just trying to get home to get some shut-eye.
(Mark Choquette, Surrey) 561 “I work for the City of Minot, the street department. I just got off the night shift, clearing some roads out and stuff.”
(Olson) By 10:15 – and after a 45-minute wait at the crossing, train traffic finally got moving again – and Choquette could reach his home on the north side of town.
For much of the morning, the only way to get across town was to travel all the way to Minot, over the tracks, and back.
Surrey’s City Administrator sees danger in that long detour.
(Jason Vaagen, Surrey City Administrator) 566 “It adds considerable time. When you have life-threatening events, it can be very difficult for our responders.”
(Olson) This is Surrey’s Fire Department – located on the south end of town, which means that if a fire had broken out on the north side of the railroad tracks while train traffic was stopped, response time would have increased dramatically.
Fortunately, no emergencies occurred while Surrey was split down the middle. Now, residents are hoping this doesn’t happen again any time soon.
(Choquette) 565 “Go back to work, do it all over again. Hopefully tomorrow morning the train won’t be here.”
(Olson) In Surrey, Tim Olson, KX News.

A BNSF spokesperson says that extreme cold weather can present challenges for the railroad – but that Burlington Northern keeps a close eye on the condition of the railway to avoid incidents like this.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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