Tracks repaired, but cleanup continues at site of coal train derailment north of Lawrence

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

A Union Pacific train runs on tracks north of Lawrence that were repaired over the weekend after a derailment at the location on Friday, June 17, 2022, mangled them and spilled coal.

Trains are running again on tracks that had been seriously damaged Friday when a coal train derailed north of Lawrence.

The Union Pacific tracks were repaired over the weekend, and railroad crews with excavators continued to clean up coal and wreckage along the rail line.

The derailment occurred after 5 p.m. Friday near the intersection of U.S. Highway 24-59 and North 1900 Road. Approximately 20 train cars detached from the engine, and a “large amount” of coal spilled out, George Diepenbrock, a spokesman with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, said Friday afternoon. The derailment caused significant damage to the rails and the railroad crossing at North 1900 Road, he said.

Mike Jaixen with Union Pacific told the Journal-World in an email that 30 cars carrying coal had actually derailed. No fires or injuries were reported.

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Multiple excavators were on site Monday morning to remove debris after a Union Pacific train derailment north of Lawrence on Friday, June 17, 2022.

On Monday, Robynn Tysver, a representative with Union Pacific, told the Journal-World that crews worked throughout the weekend to clean up the spilled coal and to remove the damaged cars from the right of the way. They also worked to repair the track, which reopened to traffic early Sunday morning.

Tysver said the incident remained under investigation and had no timeframe on how long that would take.

“We file our initial report with the Federal Railroad Administration, which issues the final report,” Tysver said. “That could take six months to a year.”

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Excavators on Monday, June 20, 2022, work to remove debris after a train derailment north of Lawrence on Friday, June 17, 2022.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.