Digest: High winds cause BNSF derailment in Oklahoma

News Wire Digest second section for Aug. 11: Denver RTD to consider ending use of contract police; Washington state rail interchange project advances
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More Tuesday morning rail news:

Winds derail BNSF train in Oklahoma

High winds derailed a BNSF Railway train near Gage, Okla., on Monday night. The community’s fire chief estimated as many as 25 cars were derailed by winds up to 70 mph, according to KWTV News in Oklahoma City. The train included three cars of hazardous material, but they were not involved the derailment. BNSF said in a service advisory to customers that the accident occurred about 8:30 p.m., that both main tracks were affected, and that it did not yet have an estimate of when the route would reopen. Gage is about 150 miles east of Amarillo, Texas, on the railroad’s Panhandle Subdivision.

Denver RTD to consider replacing armed guards with outreach workers
Denver’s Regional Transportation District would cancel its use of armed private security guards and off-duty police officers, replacing them with outreach workers including mental-health professionals, under a proposal to be considered by the agency. The Denver Post reports the RTD currently uses about 600 armed and uniformed officers through a $22 million contract with Allied University Security; the proposal would leave armed security matters to the agency’s own dozen or so transit police officers. The proposal is scheduled to receive its first formal hearing at a committee meeting today, but is drawing skepticism from board members, while the RTD’s operators’ union is expressing safety concerns.

Eastern Washington rail interchange project advances
Track and infrastructure design for a rail interchange in Connell, Wash., is complete, the Connell Rail Interchange Coalition said in a press release. The project will redesign an outdated  interchange between the BNSF Railway and Columbia Basin Railroad, which handles approximately 10,000 carloads of agricultural products and serves about 60 active rail shippers. Completion of the design work means the project is now eligible to pursue state and federal funding. More information is available at the coalition’s Facebook page.

 

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