Crews continue work to clean up train derailment
By The Hays Daily News
The cleanup following the July 16 derailment of a Union Pacific freight train at the rail yard in Hays is progressing.
UP gave an update on the cleanup at the site of the accident, near Eighth and Vine:
* The contractor responsible for removing the chicken meal has completed transferring the stockpile to the Barton County landfill. The contractor now is removing soil with meal and diesel fuel that is in the rail yard.
* The contractor responsible for removing the damaged rail cars should have completed work Thursday.
* An odor masking agent has been worked in reducing the odor from the chicken meal.
* The stormwater ditches have been cleaned. Crews have spread grass seed and placed erosion control matting on the ditches.
* Union Pacific anticipates having all of the chicken meal removed from the rail yard by Aug. 23.
* Water captured in tanks containing fire foam and diesel fuel continues to be filtered on-site in accordance with the KDHE-approved work plan.
At approximately 1:25 a.m. July 16, a Union Pacific train with three locomotives and 79 cars was westbound from Salina to Denver when it left the main line and crashed into the rear of a stationary train on a side rail. Four cars from the sitting train and four cars sitting on an adjacent line -- which all were empty -- were derailed, as were 10 cars from the train, which was diverted from the main line. Three of the derailed cars from the Salina train contained beer, six had wood products and one had poultry meal.
At Thursday's work session for Hays city commissioners, City Manager Toby Dougherty informed commissioners Union Pacific has been sent a bill for $39,073 for use of city equipment and labor to put out the fire after the train wreck.