Train derails in Colorado, dumping tons of coal; no injuries

The Associated Press

HUDSON, Colo. — A train jumped its tracks early Sunday, dumping tons of coal from more than two dozen cars near the northern Colorado town of Hudson.

No injuries were reported, but there was significant damage to the tracks, which have been shut down for repairs and cleanup.

BNSF Railway Co. spokesman Joe Sloan didn’t provide an estimate on how much coal was dumped in the accident near the town of Hudson.

There were 120 cars on the train, carrying 17,000 tons of coal, he said. At least 27 freight cars derailed and lost their cargo.

Firefighter Rodney Mullis, spokesman for the Hudson Fire District, said the train jumped the tracks as it headed through the farming town of 2,300 people early Sunday, damaging rail crossings.

None of the cars overturned until the train got south of town on Colorado’s sparsely populated eastern plains.

“We’re thankful none of the cars came off the tracks in town and hit any houses,” he said.

Mullis said there was no environmental impact and front-end loaders will be used to clean up the coal that spilled.

Sloan said the railway has a number of options until the tracks are cleared, including sending trains through Cheyenne, Wyoming.

He said little impact is expected on interstate commerce.

“Cold weather is ending and the demand at coal plants is tapering off. Some of them already have coal in stockpiles. They can also get coal from other sources,” Sloan said.

There was no timetable for when the damaged track might reopen.

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