Train derails at power plant

No one injured in accident, officials say


Eight cars of a train carrying coal derailed on Craig Station power plant property Tuesday morning, closing the railway and sending five cars onto their sides.

The train derailed at 7 a.m. Tuesday. Eight Union Pacific cars derailed near the power plant, five of which landed on their sides, said Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis. In addition to damage to the cars, between 100 and 200 feet of rail spur is damaged.

The train was hauling coal from Colowyo Coal Co. to the plant. No one was injured in the incident.

The cause of the derailment is still under investigation, said Mac McLennan, senior vice president of external affairs for Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which operates Craig Station.

"At noon (Tuesday), they were still doing the preliminary investigation," McLennan said.

Davis said the railway typically checks four disciplines when examining the cause of a derailment: human factor, the track, weather and mechanical, such as the rail cars or locomotives.

McLennan said the top priority in handling the incident was to clean up the site.

"We want to get damaged cars moved aside so we can get the line back into service as we go forward," McLennan said.

He said he does not have an idea of when that might be.

In the meantime, though, Craig Station has 45 days worth of coal, said Tonya Sandman of Tri-State's communication department.

"It won't hinder output because we have a coal supply there, and Trapper Mine (just south of the plant) supplies coal," Sandman said. "In most cases, that would be a problem, but in this case, it's not as big of a problem."

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