Main line open after train derailment, coal goes to landfill
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Rail Link officials say the main freight line across southern Montana has re-opened after a coal train derailment at Columbus.
Company spokesman Jim Lewis tells The Billings Gazette the spilled coal will go to a landfill because it was mixed with dirt, railcar parts and other debris after the derailment late Tuesday.
As many as 40 cars carrying about 4,720 tons (4,282 metric tons) of coal went off the tracks. The train was traveling just under 40 mph (64 kilometers per hour).
More than 60 Montana Rail Link workers using heavy equipment were able to clear the wreckage and the main line re-opened at 3:40 a.m. Thursday. Train traffic has resumed.
Lewis said crews will continue cleaning up the coal.