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23 Cars of Burlington Northern Train Derail

February 5, 1985

RANDALL, Minn. (AP) _ Twenty-three cars of a Burlington Northern freight train derailed early Monday, dumping a cargo of lumber, aluminum ingots and new cars and trucks at the northern end of town.

Although homes and businesses parallel the track as it runs through the town, no injuries or structural damage was reported, authorities said. Some of the wreckage came within a few feet of homes and businesses in the central Minnesota town.

The train jumped the track at 3:47 a.m., Burlington Northern officials said, at the Morrison County Road 1 crossing.

Wally Thompson, a Burlington Northern spokesman, said the train was headed to Minneapolis from Seattle. It carried huge aluminum ingots, lumber in assorted sizes and five carloads of new Nissan cars and pickup trucks. Each of the five railcars carried an average of 10 to 12 vehicles.

In all, about 300 feet of track was torn up, with the force of the crash twisting the track and ripping spikes from railroad ties.

″The cause is under investigation, but it would be a reasonable assumption at this time to say that a track broke,″ Thompson said.

Cleanup is expected to take at least two days, although the railroad hoped to have at least one track openned later Monday.

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