WALNUT GROVE, MN – Fifteen cars of a DM&E train loaded with grain derailed just east of Walnut Grove, MN on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011.
Walnut Grove is in Redwood County, Minnesota in the southern part of the state. It is located about 38 miles southwest of Redwood Falls and 148 miles southwest of Minneapolis.
DM&E (Dakota Minnesota and Eastern Railroad) is a line operated by the Canadian Pacific Railroad. The derailment occurred on Tuesday night around a quarter to 11 p.m. near the railroad crossing at County Road 80 (Duncan Ave.) east of town right near the grain elevator.
The parent company of DM&E, Canadian Pacific, reported that there were no injuries as a result of the mishap. Fortunately, no railroad workers were injured in the incident.
Although there is not a definitive answer as to what the cause of the derailment was due to, it is believed that cold may have been a factor. The mishap is currently under investigation.
The steel rails are affected by the cold and there are cases where they pull apart due to contraction. Railroad officials did point out that this was not necessarily what occurred in this incident, though.
All 15 rail cars involved in the derailment had to be scrapped and the damaged section of track had to be replaced. They were hopper cars that were loaded with wheat.
In the cleanup efforts, a big vacuum was brought in to remove the grain. Some of the grain was loaded into semi trucks to be hauled away.
Work crews managed to clear the tracks by Thursday after working through the night Wednesday. The tracks were repaired and trains were running again by Friday morning arount 2:45 a.m.
Published by FELA attorneys Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP