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Train reopens after track derailment

Two cars tipped completely and 17 others left the train tracks near Bay Point Park on Sunday. About 50 people were involved in the response, cleanup and repairs, a Canadian Pacific spokesman said.1 / 2
Train cars came off the tracks when a Canadian Pacific freight train derailed in Red Wing Sunday morning. All affected cars were empty and no injuries were reported.2 / 2

The area of track where a Canadian Pacific freight train derailed Sunday morning has been repaired and traffic has resumed.

The line was opened just after 6 p.m. Monday, nearly a day and a half after 19 empty cars left the tracks near the Bay Point Park area. Two of the cars fell off the tracks completely.

Canadian Pacific is working to determine the cause of the derailment, spokesman Ed Greenberg said.

"It's still too early to speculate on the cause," he said. "A comprehensive investigation process has begun looking into what took place."

Greenberg said he could not provide a timeframe for the results.

About 50 people worked to clean up and repair the track, and it was inspected before reopening, Greenberg said. Canadian Pacific was able to reroute traffic while the area was blocked Sunday and Monday.

While there is no typical amount of time for a cleanup, Greenberg said the work in Red Wing went well.

"Every incident is different in terms of the time it takes to do the necessary cleanup and track repair and inspection work," he said, but the area provided easy access for workers and equipment.

Mayor Dennis Egan, who was on the scene Sunday afternoon, said the Canadian Pacific crews seemed to mobilize quickly.

"I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged by their response and their willingness to ensure that the tracks got cleaned up and put back in place," Egan said.

Egan spent time at the "command center" that had been set up near the site to coordinate efforts and maintain safety. Canadian Pacific security, Red Wing police and a number of others were stationed at the center and throughout the area.

Egan said he wanted to make sure the cleanup went quickly because a number of local companies and Amtrak use the line, and a portion of the street near the Depot and YMCA was blocked.

"I impressed upon them the need to be efficient and effective on getting that cleaned up," he said.

There were no injuries reported from the derailment and Canadian Pacific officials said throughout the event that there was no danger to the general public.

Moving forward, the community and rail company should work together to fix any structural issues that might have caused the derailment, Egan said.

"We were lucky this time around that the cars were empty," he said. But "looking at the long term ... we want to see if there's a design issue or other problem on that stretch of rail."

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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