SRP coal train derails

KAIBETO, Ariz.

A coal train derailed yesterday evening on the Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad, according to Salt River Project.

The coal train, owned by SRP, operator of Navajo Generating Station, derailed 20 miles east of the plant around 9:30 p.m., said David Tso, railroad and heavy equipment manager at the plant.

At least a dozen coal cars were involved.

“There were no injuries,” Tso said. “(Just) some material damage, but nothing that can’t be repaired.”

This incident will not interrupt the operation of the plant and the cause of the accident is under investigation, said Tso, adding that the BMLP private railroad will be cleared in order to get the locomotives back on track.

“Because safety is our daily priority, we will not consider the site safe until all damaged equipment is removed and tracks are repaired,” Tso added. “But there is no hazard to the traveling public. We will have security personnel 24 hours a day to ensure security and safety.”

The train transports coal 78 miles from Peabody Western Coal Co.’s Kayenta Mine to the plant in LeChee, Arizona. The railroad is isolated from the national rail network and does not interchange with any other railroads.


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Krista Allen

Krista Allen is the Western Agency Bureau reporter for the Navajo Times. She covers the western half of the Navajo Nation, including Page, Tuba City, Kaibeto, Cameron, Tonalea and Shonto. She can be reached at kallen@navajotimes.com.