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Crews get derailed train back on track, work remains

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 6:43 AM CDT
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Federal investigators are now working to determine what caused a train to derail early Wednesday morning in Merrill. It happened below the County Highway K bridge over the Wisconsin River near South Park Street and River Street.

Mathieu Gaudreault, a spokesman for Canadian National Railway, said the train derailed around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. He said reports indicate that two locomotives derailed on their side and two lumber cars derailed but are still upright.

There are no injuries. The train was not hauling anything dangerous and no leaks have been reported.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

“CN would like to thank local emergency services for their collaboration and to apologize for any inconvenience that may have occurred as a result of this incident,” Gaudreault said in an email.

Around 9:20 a.m. crews arrived to lift the cars back upright and both engines were cleared around 4 p.m.

The Merrill Police Department asked people to avoid the area to give crews the room needed to clear the scene.

Chief of Police Cory Bennett said this allowed the crews to work swiftly.

“We want to provide them all the ability they can get with this rebuilding effort,” Bennett said. “It’s amazing that they came in this morning, got this cleaned up, and they’re already rebuilding it. I don’t think a lot of people think about that with our transportation systems, but it’s a pretty amazing thing to watch and they did a good job.”

As of 10 p.m. crews used machines to place rocks under the tracks. According to crews on sight, work on the railroad track is expected to continue after midnight.

No word yet on when they will be ready for full operation.

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