Diesel Spill After Train Locomotive Derails in Colorado

What happened?

Early Wednesday morning, a cargo train locomotive derailed in Loveland, Colorado, causing a fuel tank to rupture and spill hundreds of gallons of diesel. The incident occurred at a switch in the tracks on the Great Western Railway Line, a short line railroad that serves northern Colorado.

The locomotive did not tip over, but it went off the rails and slid on the ground, puncturing the fuel tank on its side. No one was injured in the derailment, and the other locomotive and three cars carrying sugar remained on the track.

How was the spill contained?

The Loveland Fire Rescue Authority responded to the scene and found that the spill was contained by a natural berm and did not reach any waterways. The fire department said that about 400 gallons of diesel had leaked from the tank, which had a capacity of 2,000 gallons.

The fire department worked with a hazardous materials contractor to pump out the remaining fuel from the tank and clean up the spilled diesel. The contractor also placed absorbent pads and booms around the spill area to prevent any further contamination.

What are the next steps?

The Great Western Railway, which is owned by OmniTrax, a transportation company based in Denver, said that it will inspect the tracks and the locomotive before resuming operations. The railway company also said that it will cooperate with the Federal Railroad Administration and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to investigate the cause of the derailment.

Diesel Spill After Train

The railway line serves several industries in the area, including a sugar factory, a brewery, and a steel mill. The derailment did not affect the traffic on the nearby roads, but it caused some noise and odor complaints from the residents.

Is this the first train derailment in Colorado this year?

This is the second train derailment in Colorado in just over a week. On Jan. 30, an Amtrak train derailed after it crashed into a truck carrying milk at a rail crossing in Julesburg, a town in northeastern Colorado. The collision badly injured the engineer and sent three passengers to a hospital.

The Amtrak train was traveling from Chicago to Emeryville, California, with 163 passengers and 14 crew members on board. The truck driver was not injured, but the truck was destroyed and the milk spilled on the road.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the Amtrak derailment, which was the first passenger train accident in Colorado since 2017.

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