Derailment disrupts commuter rail service

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News,Business

RAMSEY, Minn. (AP) — Service on the Northstar commuter rail line was canceled Friday and Amtrak trains from North Dakota to the Twin Cities were detoured after a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train derailed and blocked the tracks between Big Lake and Ramsey.

But commuter rail service will resume Saturday, Metro Transit said. All Northstar train trips will be free on this weekend for the opening of the light-rail line connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The derailment happened about 2:15 a.m. when about 16 empty BNSF freight cars jumped the tracks, said BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth. There were no injuries.

Metro Transit offered limited bus service from Elk River, Ramsey, Anoka, Coon Rapids and Fridley on Friday morning, but advised customers to find other transportation. Replacement buses also will be used for the evening commute home, Metro Transit said.

Customers will not be charged for replacement bus service, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1l7Xu7q ) reported.

Amtrak trains between Fargo, North Dakota, and St. Paul were being detoured and using other tracks owned by BNSF. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the trains were being routed through Willmar, bypassing stations in Detroit Lakes, Staples and St. Cloud. Charter buses were being used at those stations.

The city of Ramsey said BNSF hopes to reopen the westbound track by the end of Friday.

Ramsey Police Chief James Way said the cause of the derailment might not be known until next week.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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