BNSF service on our Northern Transcon route through northern Idaho was restored this afternoon. As we reported, a train derailment occurred Wednesday night near Katka, Idaho, approximately 120 miles east of Spokane, Wash. The first westbound train cleared this location around 3:30 p.m. Central Time, and other trains that have been holding will move through during the next several hours.
The derailment, which was caused by a rockslide, occurred in a remote location with no road access. Since the incident occurred, crews and contractors have been working around the clock to clear the scene, repair affected track and, most importantly, ensure the safety of future train movements once operations resumed. As part of this challenging work, engineers were deployed onto the steep incline above the track to remove rock hazards as well as conduct inspections of the rock slope.
Throughout the outage, BNSF operations teams have also worked aggressively to minimize the disruption resulting from this incident. In coordination with Montana Rail Link (MRL), more than 20 trains were rerouted to reach destinations in the Pacific Northwest or locations in the Midwest, including Chicago.
Some customers may continue to experience delays on shipments designated to move through this corridor until operations have fully normalized. If you have questions regarding your shipment(s), please contact BNSF Customer Support at 1-888-428-2673.