A Burlington Northern train derailed west of Fort Madison about 2:30 this morning in southeastern Iowa, spilling coal but apparently causing no injuries. Railroad officials say one of the cars hauling coal may have developed a “hotbox,” a wheel-bearing problem that’ll lock up the wheels.
That made 20 to 25 cars loaded with coal derail, and another ten were off the rails but upright near the grade crossing where they derailed. Officials say the train was hauling about 140 coal cars at the time it happened, and they brought in heavy equipment to right some of the cars and to clean up a big mess of spilled coal. Officials say they may have to reroute other train traffic onto tracks through Quincy and Beardstown, Illinois.