Clean-up Continues to Remove Railcar and Coal Following Sunday’s Train Derailment


The cleanup effort to remove a derailed railcar and coal from the middle fork of the Feather River is ongoing.

On Sunday, 15 cars derailed just outside Blairsden near Camp Layman Rd. Officials state that eight of the derailed cars settled in the riverbed, 20 feet below the trackline, with three cars spilling part of their contents into the river, releasing coal into the water. The exact amount of spilled coal is still to be determined as a unified command between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fish and Wildlife, and Union Pacific Railroad are working together to recover the remaining railcar.

The railway had to halt operations through Tuesday as crews worked to clear the site. Ongoing efforts include environmental impact assessments. Officials report no observed impacts on fish or wildlife, and monitoring will continue. The Unified Command will conduct water quality testing, and state and federal personnel on-site will review all ongoing environmental data collected. The investigation into the cause and total amount released is ongoing.

While the work site is remote with limited public accessibility, work may be visible while traveling home or work this weekend. There are currently no road closures, but it is recommended to consider an alternative route if traveling in the area due to the presence of trucks, equipment, and trailers near the work site. Signage will be displayed in the area for guidance.