TWO HARBORS, Minn. – Authorities are investigating what caused a train to derail just south of Two Harbors, Minn., Thursday (Dec. 5) afternoon.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office, along with Two Harbors Police, the Minnesota DNR and rescue squads were called to the incident around 1:15 p.m.
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This incident occurred despite prior notices from the SMART Transportation Division’s Minnesota State Legislative Board asking railroads operating in northern Minnesota to prepare for inclement weather.
According to reports from SMART TD local officers in Minnesota, Canadian National Railway has not reacted appropriately to the severe weather conditions, Minnesota State Legislative Director Phillip Qualy said.
Reportedly, CN had six runaways on Steelton Hill in the last 30 hours after nearly three feet of snow fell in northern Minnesota.
The board reports that CN has not flanged or winged hills properly, despite the availability maintenance-of-way crews on equipment, waiting for track time.
To view copies of SMART TD’s letters to CN, BNSF Railway, Canadian Pacific, Union Pacific and Red River Valley & Western Railroad regarding winter safety action plans, snow removal and maintenance of way, click Winter_Safety_Letters_MSLB_120213.
The board asks that local officers post copies of the letters on all on-property bulletin boards.
The board also asks that, as always, members report all unsafe conditions immediately, including switches, switch channels, walkways, roads, crew-change locations and industry tracks not cleared of snow, sanded, salted or maintained.