BNSF train derailment clean-up underway - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

BNSF train derailment clean-up underway

Posted: Updated:
Charred trees -- and railroad track getting ready to be laid -- at the site weeks after a train derailed near Galena. (Olivia Mancino, KWWL) Charred trees -- and railroad track getting ready to be laid -- at the site weeks after a train derailed near Galena. (Olivia Mancino, KWWL)
  • KWWL.com LinksMore>>

  • Dubuque News

    Dubuque News

    Local news and information for Dubuque, Dyersville, Epworth, Peosta, Cascade, Farley, Asbury, Balltown, Luxemburg, New Vienna, Holy Cross, Durango, Sherrill, Dubuque County and the Tri-States area.More >>
    Local news and information for Dubuque, Dyersville, Epworth, Peosta, Cascade, Farley, Asbury, Balltown, Luxemburg, New Vienna, Holy Cross, Durango, Sherrill, Dubuque County and the Tri-States area.More >>
GALENA, Ill. (KWWL) - Clean-up efforts are underway at the Galena train derailment site where cars carrying crude oil exploded and caught fire earlier this month.

All the cars have been removed from the site. But with almost two acres of damage to restore, there's much work to be done.

Workers have built a dam around the site to catch any water that could come through.

If water were to catch in the trenches, it would be sent to a treatment facility and pumped back into the Mississippi and Galena rivers.

Air quality tests have come back clean, but soil tests are still pending.

"The soil sampling is taking steps now," says BNSF spokesperson Andy Williams. "You can expect there will be oil in the soil, but it's a matter of how far down it went. Luckily, the ground was frozen and the ground was saturated so it kept a lot of the oil, we believe, from leeching too far from the surface."

While cleaning the area is their top priority, they still need to replace the tracks, too.

"The track was out for some time, so a lot of trains that come through here were in holding patterns -- some were rerouted," says Williams.

More than 100 workers have been working around the clock to complete the restoration. That includes BNSF workers and EPA workers.

But all of the construction takes a toll on the town of Galena.

"They'll present us with bills of damages done to the roads, to manpower, labor, all of that will go through our claims office and we will reimburse them," Williams says.

Investigators are still looking into what caused the fire.

BNSF leaders still won't say where the train was going.
Powered by Frankly