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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Train collides with barge, sending coal, fuel into Mississippi River

Train collides with barge, sending coal, fuel into Mississippi River

By | November 15, 2021

No injuries reported in Iowa incident

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BNSF Railway logoMONTROSE, Iowa — A collision between a BNSF Railway train and a barge sent coal hoppers and diesel fuel into the Mississippi River on Saturday night, the Burlington Hawk Eye reported.

The barge was parked along the shore of the river in a position that left the nose of the barge extending over the adjacent railroad tracks. A southbound train hit the barge at about 11:50 p.m., derailing two locomotives and six cars, BNSF officials told the newspaper. Two cars landed in the river, while three others ended up partially in the water.

No injuries were reported, but several hundred gallons of fuel from the locomotive was spilled, with some seeping into the river, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The department and railroad are working with the Environmental Protection Agency and Coast Guard on cleanup efforts.

Unlikely as a train-barge collision sounds, it does have a historical precedent. Burlington’s Mark Twain Zephyr derailed after striking a barge near Keokuk, Iowa on Nov. 16, 1951, as reported in the book “Mark Twain Zephyr: History, Restoration and Rebirth,” by Kandace and Robert Tabern with John Kelly and Dave Lotz. The prow of the barge had extended over the tracks. Less than a year later, on Aug. 19, 1951, the train narrowly avoided another such collision at almost the same spot, this time stopping short of the intruding barge.

6 thoughts on “Train collides with barge, sending coal, fuel into Mississippi River

  1. The Mark Twain Zephyr accident occurred on Nov. 16, 1950. A newspaper account said it “slithered into the snout” of the protruding barge.

  2. So I wasn’t the only one. I ran into a boat with my motorcycle years ago. Ok iy was on trailer but it was still a motorcycle – boat accident. Try telling that to your insurance Co.

  3. Ok I have another one. I was stopped at a stoplight and was almost hit by a moving boat! It’s trailer became unhitched from the pickup that was towing it. Fortunately, it barely missed my bumper, striking the support wire for an adjacent utility pole. another, you would not believe this……..:)

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