Freight Cars Removed From Essex Derailment Site

By Beacon Staff

ESSEX – Sixteen freight cars have been removed from a site in northwestern Montana where a BNSF freight train derailed over the weekend.

Seven of the cars had tipped on their sides and had to be uprighted.

The train was carrying new automobiles and was en route from Chicago to Seattle when it derailed Saturday afternoon.

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas (muh-LOH’-nus) said Tuesday that crews were still doing some cleanup work; but he said rail traffic was moving and that the main line across northern Montana would be fully open at about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The derailment disrupted holiday travel for more than 3,000 Amtrak rail passengers. One eastbound and one westbound Empire Builder train between Seattle and Minneapolis-St. Paul were canceled. Others were delayed, one for 22 hours.