Montana Rail Link hopes to have the main line cleared by later Tuesday afternoon or evening after Sunday night's derailment of over 30 cars filled with coal derailed near Noxon.

Spokesman Jim Lewis said efforts include removing equipment and coal from the derailment site. He also estimates that very little material actually made contact with the Clark Fork River, The overall cleanup could take several weeks to complete.

Research reveals that each fully loaded coal car weighs 143 tons, and since over 30 cars derailed, the total tonnage spilled could have been as much as 4,290 tons.

Lewis said MRL is coordinating with state and federal agencies regarding the cleanup effort. The cause of the incident is under investigation and MRL is cooperating with the Federal Railroad Administration in their investigation.

One of the companies that MRL contracts with in derailment response is Hulcher, Incorporated. According to their website, some of Hulcher's services include rerail locomotives and rail cars, remove unserviceable locomotives and rail cars from the track, clear debris from derailment area, remove damaged track from derailment area, prepare grade to rerail, deliver and lay track panel, and clean up spilled materials.


More From Alt 95.7