Nebraska Central Railroad also suffering flood damage after Mid-March rains

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Pacific Junction Iowa
A BNSF Railway track backhoe removes debris from flooded trackage on the Creston Subdivision on the Southeast edge of Pacific Junction, Iowa on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.
Steve Smedley
Nebraska Central Flood damage
Looking west at the Nebraska Central Railroad's bridge over the Loup River at Monroe, Neb., on Tuesday evening.
Steve Smedley
Pacific Junction Iowa flooding
Looking north on the BNSF Railway's Council Bluffs subdivision on the North side of Pacific Junction, Iowa, on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.
Steve Smedley
OMAHA, Neb. — The Nebraska Central Railroad's line from Columbus, Neb., west to Monroe is severed after a flooding Loup River washed a bridge off its pilings on the west side of the farming community of Monroe. The bridge was not destroyed, workers have hauled in rock and new ties and are rebuilding the track from the east towards the bridge.

''All of our lines have flooding damage,'' shortline vice president Michael Haeg says. ''I have been in a helicopter all day surveying damage. We had a very cold February, with the ground still frozen when we were hit by the weather. All the snowmelt and water had no where to go."

''Our customers have been fantastic, I've had several ask how they can help us. The city of Norfolk, Neb., had predicted we were going to get hit. The one good thing is we rebuilt the Elkhorn River bridge at Norfolk in 2010 and it has no damage.''

''We have about 300 miles of track, with 100 employees,'' says Robert Bach, president of Rio Grande Pacific Corp., which operates Nebraska Central and three other shortlines from the home office in Fort Worth, Texas.

''The important thing is no one was hurt,'' Bach says.

Further east, the small farming community of Pacific Junction, Iowa, is under water after a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers levee failed along the Missouri River. The city has been evacuated, while crews from BNSF Railway wait for the water level to drop. A track backhoe was working on moving debris along the Creston Subdivision on the Southeast side of town.

On the north side of Pacific Junction, the BNSF's Council Bluffs Subdivision has debris covering tracks along with several washouts.

Union Pacific re-opened both tracks of its transcon mainline at Columbus, Neb. Freight was moving again from Fremont, Neb., west to Columbus, while the main line into Omaha was also back in service.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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