Bridge Washes Out, Train Derails In Fridley

FRIDLEY, Minn. (WCCO) — Authorities are on the scene of a bridge that washed out in Fridley due to area flooding and likely caused a train derailment early Saturday morning.

According to Anoka County Dispatch, emergency crews received a call at about 7:09 a.m. that several train cars had derailed, including the locomotive, over Rice Creek in Fridley. Rice Creek feeds from Rice Lake into the Mississippi River.

The train is from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe company. At least two workers have been injured, but there are no other reports of serious injuries at this time.

BNSF Spokesperson Amy McBeth said it appears a washout occurred as a result of heavy rains in the area and likely caused the train derailment. The washout was west of the railroad bridge, which was damaged as a result of the derailment.

McBeth said 17 cars, including two locomotives, derailed Saturday morning. An engineer and conductor were the only people on the train when it derailed. They were transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The spokesperson said the train had a total of 110 cars and three locomotives. The spokesperson also said about 50 trains use that route on a daily basis. The tracks there will be out of service  “for a while” as crews work to clear cars, repair the tracks and conduct an investigation to determine how exactly the train derailed.

The spokesperson said the train was carrying corn from Minnesota to North Dakota. Fridley Police are also advising no recreational use of the creek west of University Avenue.

A witness at the scene said the derailment woke him and many other residents nearby out of bed.

“The whole trail is filled with corn and the whole bridge is collapsed. Two bridges are completely collapsed,” said William Vicenko, a witness at the scene. “The damage is pretty extensive. A lot of trains fell off the tracks. It was like 7:30 in the morning and it woke me right up out of bed. It’s crazy.”

Authorities have set up booms at the mouth where the creek meets the Mississippi River to catch diesel from the derailed locomotive. Crews are working hard to prevent fuel from spilling into the river.

train derailment Bridge Washes Out, Train Derails In Fridley

(credit: CBS)

AAn official with Metro Transit said the Northstar Commuter Rail service between Big Lake and Minneapolis has been canceled through Tuesday morning due to the derailment. The cancellation interrupts six regularly scheduled trains, three that go each way, between Minneapolis and the northwest metro.

The service also won’t be available for commuters attending Twins games scheduled through Monday. Metro Transit Spokesman John Siqveland said more than 1,000 people use the rail line for special service to Twins games. He also says the Fridley station will be closed until further notice while express bus services will continue to serve Park and Ride lots at Anoka Station, Coon Rapids-Riverdale Station, and at the Fridley station.

Click here for a full photo gallery of the train derailment

fridley derailment2 Bridge Washes Out, Train Derails In Fridley

(credit: CBS)

  • Train Derails Over Creek In Fridley « CBS Minnesota

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  • Ferris Lind

    what do the bridges and the vikings have in common??? they both suck

    • nmh

      This will take weeks to repair, if not longer.

  • julie

    Another bridge that slipped through the cracks.
    How many more would fail inspections?

    • J

      Did you realize that there were many inches of rain yesterday? A lot of rain will cause washouts! Enough with the ignorance!

    • JR

      5 inches of rain in less than 2 hours will cause damage. I live by there. I saw the damage. Don’t blame needlessly.

  • tonya

    Come on people. This is not a joking matter. People have been hurt. Nothing to be joking about.

    • J

      Thanks Tonya, someone who has posted here has a brain!

  • jan

    We’re not joking, just mad as hell that they don’t fix bridges but are going to spend all that money on a stupid vikings stadium instead.

    • Wu

      You know, the State spends a lot of tax dollars in a lot of other non-critical areas, do you complain about all of them? Or just the things you personally don’t like, such as a Vikings stadium?
      …By the way, accidents will always happen regardless of how much money the State spends.

      • must be a purple clown Wub

        You damn right most of us do – falls on deaf and dumb ears until crisis occurs

        • Wu

          So I’m a purple clown? Yea, you’re brilliant. Who is talking about crises? Like I said, “non-critical”. You know, projects like the Guthrie (among many other “non-critical” buildings and projects) that are paid for with tax dollars. Or do you just think you should be able to decide what’s important and what isn’t? Dope!

          • Jeff "Gangsta" J

            Um……the Vikings are NOT important…..

            Never have been…..

            Never will be….

            Joke of the NFL……..move em down to L.A.!!

            • JamieinMN

              Worrrrrd. The Vikings are THE Joke of NFL. They have absolutely nothing to offer to anyone. Most certainly no talent, nor skill.

            • momo

              Attaboy ! Vikes Blow !!

      • Frederick

        Just so that you know, freight railroad capital and infrastructure is purchased and maintained with private funds, so this is unrelated to the state. Although technically it is a bridge failure, it appears to have happened because the ground under the rails was softened by heavy rain and became washed out near the bridge abutment.

    • J

      Huh?!?! Did you notice all that rainwater in the area? What are you talking about they don’t fix bridges? The I-35 bridge fell at no fault of the state, it was because of a design flaw, can you name any bridges that have fallen because it was the states fault? NO. No money has gone toward a Vikings stadium yet, so calm down


      let me guess……. You R republican

  • Jake

    These damn railroads need to invest in infrastructre iimprovements as does the State. Just look at the railroad bridge in downtown St. Paul by the river (horrible). This could have been a lot worse depending on the cargo in the railroad cars.

    • J

      Do you suggest they block water from crossing under this bridge? Is that your solution? RR’s put a lot of money into their infrastructure! But if you didn’t pay attention to the RR’s, you wouldn’t know and would post stuff like this.

    • Jake Sr

      Invest in infrastructure? What, you think $2 billion BNSF invested in capital for 2011 isn’t enough. Get the facts before you post something you have no knowledge about.

  • km

    So who is in charge of maintaining rail bridges? The rail companies or the State?

    • TL

      The rail companies

  • J

    Are there any posters on here who live here? Many inches of rain fell yesterday, and mix in a lot of rain, a rising river/creek, while rushing by quicker than usual will wash away earth!!!! Train crews even said they had never seen the river/creek so high before. So before posting, know the facts, and quit whining about the state and the RR in saying it is there fault!!!

    • Peter

      I had 2 inches just from this mornings rain, and I live in Blaine.

    • dummies

      Okay J – tracks here and Minnehaha Creek. 3.5″ of rain. 4 trains already since am I don’t see ’em in the creek. Facts are the infrastructure in USA sucks. SUCKS. But the money is spent of the dumbest things … so things fall apart

    • Michael Paradise

      You are the only one making sense. Thank you!

      • kieron

        Money isn’t SPENT. It’s SENT: sent overseas to other countries, leaving nothing for us. We’re being bled dry for countries whose name begins with I.

    • JR

      I live blocks from the derailment. We had 5+ inches in less than two hours. Where the bridge washed out the creek bottle-necked so water had to have been rushing through quite rapidly taking the ground with it.

  • David Wudinich

    I heard the crash this morning .

  • David Evans

    Come on people look at the picture, do you see the ground is missing under the railroad! a bridge didnt fall because it failed it fell because the rain washed the ground around it open yours and be smart!

    • J

      Thank you!

    • cb

      Ok. I smart. I will design a bridge. I will design it to NOT wash away. I will design it to not wash away even after “abnormally heavy” rains. I will then maintain the bridge. I will maintain the bridge to ensure it does not wash away. If I do not do these things and it washes away, it is a FAILURE!!! The bridge fell because it failed. It failed because of heavy rains. THE BRIDGE FAILED to perform its intended purpose. HUMANS FAILED to ensure that the bridge could continue to perform its intended purpose. This is a failure, plain and simple. IT IS NOT THE WATERS FAULT!!!
      Don’t bother trying to be smart.

      • SG

        @CB – So you are claiming you can control the forces of nature? Really that would be interesting to see.

      • J

        We’ll make sure to hire you the next time a road or bridge is built, since you have the smarts to make sure there is never ever ever a washout again.

      • Jake

        All that knowledge, and all that ambition, and yet you still stock shelves at Walmart.
        Keep up the good work. ;)

  • timmy

    Just so everyone knows these bridges are maintained by a private company and do not need the state mandates inspections so it is not money out of are pocket. god speed to the train crew

  • MAJ

    This effects many people and especially the RR. It is not easy to detour a train like you can detour an automobile. Am sorry for those that have to repair all this damage. What ever they earn isn’t enough when they have to work in this hot, hunid weather.

    • car

      Thank you MAJ my son-in-law is currently out there working on cleaning up this wreck. And you are correct, they do not get paid enough! Everytime he gets called out on a wreck I hope and pray he comes home safe. Just for the record he is NOT employed by the state or the RR.

      • coupe

        Also a Thank you to MAJ .My son is also a train wrecker.who is out there and will stay out there until it is finished.His safefty is all I have on my mind and with this exterrme heat.This will make it even more diffcult for these men.

  • nervous

    Isn’t it normal practice to inspect roads and bridges if you have a large amount of rain fall. Isn’t this considered public safety. I understand the Northstar train would have travel over this overpass numerous times today as well. Wow – I’m so sorry for the 2 crew members who crashed inside the locomotive. I can’t imagine that their injuries are minor!

  • Iconoclast

    This has been a location report from red neck news…….back to you in the studio.

  • That There Funny, I Don't Care Who Ya Are

    HA! LOL!!!!!!

  • chuck shibley

    You folks are funny,about as funny as the right-wing nuts in Virginia. i was planning on moving back to Minneapolis nex year,but it seems you too have your share of right-wing nuts! As for the vikings go; try living in a secondary market without any professional teams…

    • kieron

      We do indeed have way too many wingnuts who are drunk on poisoned tea.

  • Ann Hill

    My little brother was on this train and although severly sore, and will soon to be brusied, he will be ok. My dad who has just gotten off the train was close by still and when he heard emergency on the radio he rushed to help them to safety. This was not anyones fault but mother natures. Not much you can do when the roads flood due to massive storms.

    • SG

      Glad to hear your family is alright Ann.

  • AntiTeabagger

    I am just glad it was not the Northstar Train on there, I ride that EVERYDAY!

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  • HooDatIS?

    i wish michele bachman was on that bridge we would have been happy if she was washed away

  • RIII

    At least the Northstar will not waste any fuel for a while going back and forth with 4 people on it.

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