Jobs remain off the rails for some in wake of train mishap

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) -- Crews were still working Wednesday to clean up after a train derailment in northwest Douglas County.

It happened Tuesday morning near the intersection of Highway 36 and Old Highway 275 between Valley and Fremont.

As crews work to clear the tracks where 24 cars derailed Old Highway 275 remained closed with a reopening slated for later Wednesday night.

The remains of cars are beside the tracks and might be there for some time. Spilled coal also litters the area.

Rail workers say both tracks of the mainline were damaged and need replacing.

Meanwhile, for the second consecutive day, Heath Wuebben was not able to get to his job at Nebraska Turf Products. The only road in remains closed.

“Obviously this isn't something that I can control,” he said, “but it’s also not my fault. And it upsets me that something like this happens.”

While Wuebben and his coworkers have not been able to work or get paid repair crews say they have worked 28 straight hours trying to clear the damaged cars and reopen the tracks.

Wuebben thinks train speed through here part of the problem. “Sure enough a train happened to derail and who knows what that cause may have been but, like I said, if anything like this happened, it hurts my job.”

Around 12:45 a lengthy, fully-loaded coal train slowly crept along the eastbound tracks. Flat cars loaded with rails and concrete ties also crept along.

While the cause of the derailment is still under investigation, Heath Wuebben believes one thing may help prevent future problems. “I just would ask that trains would slow down when they go through there.

Weubben should be able to get to work Thursday. A U.P. spokesperson says a temporary road to Nebraska Turf Products will be available.

The spokesperson says the railroad contacted the owner of Nebraska Turf Products who would need to file a claim for any lost revenue.