Union Pacific commences flood detours

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MINNEAPOLIS — Union Pacific has begun detouring some trains out of the Twin Cities area as high waters have closed two routes into the city. UP’s Twin Cities-Des Moines, Iowa, and Twin Cities-Omaha, Neb., main lines are closed on account of the floods, and conditions are expected to worsen.
Floodwalls are in place in St. Paul and South St. Paul, Minn., which have led to the closure of the Albert Lea Subdivision. UP spokesman Mark Davis said water is over the top of the rail at Henderson, Minn., which has forced closure of the Mankato Subdivision. He said the railroad is detouring some of its trains over the “Adams Line” through Wisconsin to Chicago.
Canadian Pacific is unable to serve customers in the Twin Cities area that it accesses via UP trackage rights, so it’s embargoed service to Rosemount, Northfield, and Savage, Minn. The railroad told customers it’s concerned about high water at its St. Paul Yard. Water is nearing the top of the levy near UP’s Hoffman Yard, which is adjacent to the CP hump yard, and both could be impacted by rising water.
East of the yard area, near St. Croix Tower, BNSF is raising a quarter-mile of its main line roughly one foot to keep it above water. It’s also planning to use eight pumps to move water over the levee near Division Street in St. Paul. The railroad tells customers it believes it’ll stay open through the forecasted crest.
Cold weather in the Upper Midwest has delayed snowmelt, and that’s pushed the forecasted crest back. But Davis said forecasted storms in the next week could make things worse, and he said it’s possible the Mississippi River will see two crests.

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