Digest: Durango & Silverton won't run to Silverton this year

News Wire Digest for Aug. 15: 35 cars of CSX train derail in Georgia; Utah woman arrested for extensive vandalism of commuter train
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A Durango & Silverton crosses the Animas River as it returns to Durango in October 2018. The railroad has said it will not run to Silverton in 2020.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Saturday morning rail news:

Durango & Silverton won't reach Silverton in 2020

The Durango & Silverton has given up hopes of operating to Silverton this summer, and will continue operating excursions between Rockwood and Cascade for the remainder of the 2020 season. The Durango Herald reports the railroad will offer a minimum of five daily 2-hour round trips from Rockwood, about 18 miles north of Durango. The Silverton trips have been ruled out because of factors including a washed-out bridge about 5 miles from Silverton, as well an ongoing issue with the U.S. Forest Service regarding the railroad’s fire-mitigation efforts along its right of way. Originally, the Forest Service halted work on the bridge, but granted permission for repairs to proceed as of July 27. There is still no timeline for that work to be complete, John Harper, general manager of railroad owner American Heritage Railways, told the newspaper. Meanwhile, the railroad and Forest Service have yet to resolve the fire-mitigation effort, in which the railroad was clearing brush and trees from 100 feet on either side of the railroad right-of-way. Without that mitigation, the railroad faces liability issues, Harper said.

CSX train derails near Kingston, Ga.
Thirty-five cars of a CSX Transportation manifest train derailed Friday near Kingston, Ga., leading to closure of an adjacent roadway through the weekend. The Daily Tribune News of Cartersville, Ga., reports the accident occurred about 5 a.m. Friday, and involved a train en route from Nashville, Tenn., to Cayce, S.C. Some fuel spilled from a refrigerator car, along with materials carried in some of the other cars, but no hazardous materials were involved and no injuries were reported. A Bartow County official said a 3-mile section of Hall Station Road is expected to be closed until at least Monday while the derailment is being cleaned up. Kingston is approximately 55 miles northwest of Atlanta.

Woman arrested for vandalizing UTA train
An Ogden, Utah, woman was jailed after an incident in which she allegedly broke into and vandalized a Utah Transit Authority FrontRunner commuter rail train, causing more than $10,000 damage. The Ogden Standard-Examiner reports Brenda Ann Stone, 51, was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail after being arrested Thursday morning, about 5 hours after the 2 a.m. incident involving a train parked at the Odgen station overnight to be used as the first train of the morning commuter service. A statement by UTA police said a woman identified as Stone entered the train by breaking out an emergency access panel, removing emergency exit windows and shattering them; removing access panels to fire extinguishers, a first aid kit, and emergency tools; and damaged car doors. Stone was booked on two second-degree felony charges: criminal mischief, reckless cause and threat to critical infrastructure; and criminal mischief, damage exceeding $5,000



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