Cleanup, Repairs Underway after Train Derailment - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Cleanup, Repairs Underway after Train Derailment

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SUPERIOR -

Crews are still pulling 12 train cars -- some out of the Clark Fork River, some off the tracks -- after a Montana Rail Link train derailed early Wednesday morning east of Superior.

Montana Rail Link officials said about 40 people worked through the night to remove six train cars off the tracks. They said they've made good progress with the help of heavy machinery, but they've still got four cars to go.

"Our goal is to have our trains running by tomorrow morning and therefore we'll have to get these three and a half out, as well as repair track," said MRL public information officer Lynda Frost.

Frost said it's been a difficult process because of the rugged terrain surrounding the accident site.

She said, "There's a steep embankment on both sides, and therefore what that leaves is no room to get equipment in there to help move the derailed cars."

And once those cars -- and a large amount of 2x4 boards and wood chips -- are moved off the tracks, Frost said there are still eight cars on the river bank and in the water.

"We will be back on Monday to continue that cleanup, and it will no doubt take at least several days to get that complete," Frost said.

Frost said the 66-car train was bound for Laurel when it crashed, and the cause of the derailment is still unknown.

"We're making progress in realizing what did happen, but it's still under investigation."

Residents in the area said they've seen several boaters attempt to float up to the derailed cars in the river, causing major concerns for MRL. Frost said they're working with other agencies to keep bystanders clear of the area.

"We need to keep it safe, and we need to be able to move forward and not let anybody get in our way so we can get this done," she said.

MRL officials said since the derailment, trains have taken detour at Paradise, and head east through Dixon and past Arlee.

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