Northstar Service to Restart this Weekend after Freight Train Derails in Ramsey

Updated: 06/13/2014 3:06 PM
Created: 06/13/2014 5:24 AM
By: Megan Stewart

A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train with about 16 empty cars derailed Friday in Ramsey.

Because of the derailment, the Northstar commuter rail service was canceled between Big Lake and Ramsey. The two lines use the same tracks.

Northstar officials say buses are running at regular Northstar departure times in Minneapolis from Second Avenue North at Fifth Street North, about one block southeast of Target Field.

Busses will stop on demand at Fridley, Coon Rapids-Riverdale, Anoka, Ramsey and Elk River stations. Customers who are traveling on to Big Lake, Becker or St. Cloud will transfer at Elk River to a Northstar Link commuter bus operated by St. Cloud Metro Bus.

Officials say the buses won't be able to handle all of the people who typically ride the Northstar train. The bus trips will also take significantly longer and won't be on the regular schedule.

Northstar trains will start operating again Saturday and Sunday.

A spokeswoman for BNSF says the trains could be running by Friday night and that three of the cars are already back on track.

KSTP Reporter Naomi Pescovitz reports the tracks were damaged and she was told crews would need to replace 27 40-foot panels, which is more than 1,000 feet of track.

The Ramsey Police Chief said law enforcement officers train for these types of situations, and their last training was just two months ago. He added that the incident could have been much worse if there had been hazardous materials on the train.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

Learn more about the Northstar Link Commuter Bus here.

Photo: KSTP-TV/Naomi Pescovitz
Photo: KSTP-TV/Naomi Pescovitz
Photo: KSTP-TV/Naomi Pescovitz
Photo: KSTP-TV/Naomi Pescovitz

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