Sunday, December 28, 2008

Nevada derailment: Trains from and to California delayed,

A trestle on the UP main line colapsed this morning at Pallisade Nevada. This will cause train disruptions and rerouting for weeks.

A freight train derailed Saturday in northern Nevada, triggering a bridge collapse and disruptions in rail service on one of the country's main east-west lines, Union Pacific officials said.

The line across northern Nevada connects Oakland, Calif., and Salt Lake City as well as other points east. Amtrak uses the same line, but it was not immediately clear the impact the bridge collapse would have on its California Zephyr service, a spokeswoman said.

Location: Derailment occurred in a remote area along the Humboldt River about 10 miles west of Carlin and 260 miles east of Reno, rail company spokeswoman Zoe Richmond said.

The 102-year-old bridge spanning the river collapsed a couple of hours after the derailment, Richmond said, and railroad officials are unsure how long it'll take to restore it.

"We have crews looking at how to clear the mess," Richmond said. "Any derailment is tough, but we knew this one would be a bit tougher because it involved both a bridge and a derailment."

With the line shut down, Union Pacific's closest alternate east-west lines are located well to the north and south, with one going through Portland, Ore., and the other passing through Las Vegas.

Union Pacific officials said they hope to come up with a plan by Monday on how to deal with the bridge.

Current sizeup: The train was passing westbound through an 875-foot tunnel when the derailment occurred. Three cars derailed inside the tunnel and at least a couple of cars ended up in the river, No injuries reported. Thirteen cars containing grain were involved in the derailment.

Cause: Derailment is under investigation by the rail company.


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