Lucerne train derailment damages Northern Feed & Bean facility
January 26, 2017
No one was injured when a train derailed about 11 p.m. Wednesday in Lucerne.
However, the derailed cars caused extensive damage to the nearby Northern Feed & Bean Co. facility.
"I don't know how many cars it is at this time, but there were about six of them that came into our facility," said Larry Lande, Northern Feed & Bean spokesman. "The amount of damage is pretty huge. We had three huge holes."
About 25 coal cars were derailed near U.S. 85 and Colo. 392. Some of them were overturned, spilling their cargo, according to a news release from the Weld County Sheriff's Office.
The Northern Feed & Bean facility, just off U.S. 85 in Lucerne, was the only structure damaged, but Lande said the damage was extensive. Even the roof of the building was suspect, he said.
"We have not been able to really assess the damage, although we know it's huge," he said.
The cause of the derailment is unknown; Union Pacific Railroad crews from Denver and Utah responded to the scene and will perform a full investigation. Union Pacific Railroad spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza said in an email the train was carrying coal from the North Antelope Rochelle mine in Wyoming's Powder River Basin to the Martin Drake power plant in Colorado Springs.
Colorado State Patrol troopers as well as Eaton Police Department police officers responded to the scene to assist with traffic control.
Colo. 392 was closed at U.S. 85 for much of the night. However, the highway was reopened Thursday morning as cleanup efforts continued.
The Northern Feed & Bean facility was closed when the train went off the tracks.
"That was a good thing," he said. "Nobody was in the building at the time."
He said because of the damage at the Lucerne facility, regular operations there were completely halted Thursday. The company has another facility in Ault, where he said operations were continuing.
Company officials have been in contact with UP officials and with their insurance company.
"All those wheels are in motion," he said. "I think the big thing is getting the damage — the structure — shored up where it's safe."
He said it was too soon to say how badly the damage will affect the company's operations.
"It's a mangled mess up here, that's for sure," he said.