A Saturday derailment west of Kalispell that shut down Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway tracks and U.S. Highway 93 has been cleared, but more winter weather has closed the tracks again, a spokesman said this morning.
BNSF Public Affairs Director Matt Jones said the tracks by about 6:30 Sunday night had been cleared from the 45-empty coal car derailment that occurred Saturday afternoon, but an avalanche was discovered Sunday night that has again closed the tracks.
Jones said the avalanche, east of Essex, was discovered about 11:30 p.m.
No estimate of when the tracks will be reopened was available this morning, Jones said.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the Empire Builder trains that run between Chicago and the West Coast along the Hi-Line are being held in Shelby and Whitefish and Spokane. The national passenger rail service is chartering buses to transport the passengers and the trains will turn around and head back to complete the transit, he said.