Union Pacific replaces track, reopens line

Union Pacific reopened its track through Glenwood Canyon on Friday morning after a shutdown of more than a day because of a derailment involving 30 cars.

Company spokesman Mark Davis said the Union Pacific freight train derailed around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday near Dotsero east of the canyon. It involved a 103-car, five-locomotive train traveling from Denver to Salt Lake City. No one was injured in the accident.

About 15 trains a day normally travel the western Colorado route through Glenwood Canyon, Davis said. He said the derailment forced Amtrak passenger train travel between Salt Lake City and Denver to be detoured through Wyoming.

He said the derailment occurred when someone failed to release a hand brake on one of the cars.

“Crews had to replace about 1,200 feet of track that was damaged as a result of the derailment,” Davis said.

One of the cars was carrying a flammable liquid, but none of it spilled, Davis said. He said that although the wheels of that car simply derailed, other cars ended up off the track.

He said 20 of the derailed cars were carrying sand, four contained pipe, two were carrying soybean meal, two more were transporting railway equipment and one was empty.

Davis said he didn’t know whether the contents of any of those cars spilled or what the tank car carried.


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