BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said the train with three locomotives derailed at 1:55 a.m. Thursday, five miles east of Bonners Ferry. The train, which originated in Great Falls, Montana, and was heading through Spokane to Pasco was carrying 116 loads of general merchandise, including beer products (what? You’ve got my attention), rock material and grain.
Melonas says up to 19 cars derailed, and some “rock product” spilled. Response teams are on the site and the railway line could be closed for up to 24 hours during the cleanup. The cause of the derailment has not been determined.
In the meantime, this seriously delayed the arrival of the Amtrak train in Spokane. According to an Amtrak employee I talked to this morning (we work in the same building), passengers were put on buses in Montana and are being driven to Spokane. No word when they’ll arrive.