Train service back on track |

Train service back on track

Ryan Graff
Special to the Post Independent
Post Independent Photo/Jim Noelker

GLENWOODCANYON ” Union Pacific reopened the railroad through Glenwood Canyon Wednesday morning.

Up to 100 people worked around the clock Monday and Tuesday to open the track after a 105-car coal train derailed at noon on Sunday, said Union Pacific spokesman John Bromley.

The first train passed through the canyon at 5 a.m. Wednesday.

About 1,500 feet of track had to be cleared and repaired, said Bromley.

Union Pacific is still “bringing the track up to speed,” said Bromley. Trains are allowed to pass through the canyon, but will have to maintain a lower speed until Union Pacific is confident that the track’s rock ballast is aligned and supporting the track properly.

Twelve trains a day pass though the canyon, including Union Pacific trains, Amtrak passenger trains, and Burlington Northern and Santa Fe freight trains.

Amtrak’s California Zephyr trains that departed Wednesday morning from Chicago and San Francisco are scheduled to pass through the canyon today without delay, said Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari.

“We’re back in business,” said Magliari.

While Union Pacific repaired the track, Amtrak bused passengers on the California Zephyr line between Denver and Salt Lake City, said Magliari.

The investigation into what caused the train to derail is still under way, said Bromley. He’s not sure how soon the cause will be found.

“It could take 10 minutes or ten months,” he said.

Though the track has been replaced and trains are passing through Glenwood Canyon, the sides of the track are still littered with wrecked coal cars and spilled coal.

The priority for Union Pacific was to reopen the track, said Bromley. The cleanup will take several more days.

The spilled coal is not an imminent threat to the environment, said Bromley, and will be taken to a landfill once it is removed.

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 534

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