|A little after 2pm on Saturday,
Nov 4th, 2000, a westbound, light engine movement sideswiped an eastbound,
loaded coal train. The derailment occurred at the west switch of
Yarmony siding. The westbound EDVGJ-04 with 8 units hit the CWELXR-31,
an eastbound, loaded coal train, a few cars behind the mid-train distributed
power. It was reported that four of the coal cars were derailed,
but I could not see how many because of limited access to the south of
the tracks due to the river. To familiarize yourself with the derailment
location check out this map of Yarmony
and the general
area on Topozone.com.
There were 3 engines derailed
out of the eight total on the EDVGJ-04. This was a light engine move
of coal train power between Denver and Grand Junction, Colorado.
The lead unit, UP 7193 was leaning at a 30-35 degree angle west of the
switch and the front end was buried up to the deck. The cab was also
quite mangled with the headlight now pointing nearly straight up, but eerily
still on, along with the one remaining ditch light on the engineer's side
of the cab. The second unit, UP 8029, was leaning about 10-15 degrees
and was mostly past the switch. The third unit, SP 359, had the front
truck derailed but was upright. The remaining 5 units were untouched.
Reports at the site indicated
that both crewman from the EDVGJ were okay and able to move under their
own power. The engineer had a few scratches and the conductor had
a few gashes, including some to the head, but medical staff from Eagle
County had checked them out and cleared them to ride in a crew van to Vail
Hospital for a more thorough check-up. They were sitting down between
the second and third units on the side of the hill when the crew van arrived
around 16:20 or so.
I will not speculate on why
the accident occurred. Both trains were entering Yarmony at about
the same time though as far as I understand. The light engine movement
was in the siding and the coal train was on the main line. We'll
have to wait for the official word. Thankfully, all the people involved
There was heavy scanner traffic
with MOW supervisors calling their people in to help and corridor managers
asking that the locomotives involved have their info downloaded ASAP.
It seemed that most of the MOW people were out hunting, so things didn't
get hopping until it was dark and most of those guys had returned home.
There is very little cell service in this part of Colorado and no phones
near the derailment site, so the only form of communication is via the
radios. I think half of those conversations would have usually been
A work train was assembled
in Bond using two of the units from the Craig Branch local which arrived
in Bond about 12:45 that Saturday. SP 148 & 314 were on the west
end of a flatcar of panel track, 6 hoppers full of ballast, a boxcar, and
the two flatcars with the sideboom bulldozers that are usually stationed
at Bond. Reports also indicated a work train left Denver with most
of the former DRGW equipment in tow.
I overheard that track damage
included the switch machine at West Yarmony and approximately 25 or so
ties. Estimates were that the mainline would be reopened around midnight
or so, but revenue trains did not pass over until Sunday afternoon. The
track was taken out of service between Center Bond and East Radium to facilitate
the movement of MOW equipment. A hi-rail vehicle was supposed to go get
a crew at Gore and there was an empty coal train parked at East Bond, but
it was already past the derailment. Otherwise, no other trains were affected
in the immediate area. Town of Avon and Eagle County Fire/Rescue
were on the scene in case fuel leaks became a problem.