Light-rail train derails on Front Range |

Light-rail train derails on Front Range

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

LITTLETON, Colo. ” A light-rail passenger train collided with a coal train early Tuesday as a storm hit metropolitan Denver during the morning rush hour, reducing commuters to a crawl. No injuries were reported in the accident, authorities said.

The light-rail train, part of the Regional Transportation District, was delivering passengers from the southern Denver suburbs to the downtown area when 25 cars out of the 106-car coal train derailed, spilling debris onto the light-rail tracks, Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said.

Railroad officials were trying to determine what caused the derailment but the storm delayed the arrival of investigators and heavy equipment for moving the coal, Davis said.

Crews were working to clear the debris but there was no immediate estimate of when traffic could resume using the tracks, Davis said. Nearly 30 freight trains travel between Denver and Pueblo daily and Davis said the railroad was looking at possible detours.

RTD spokeswoman Daria Serna said two light rail stops in Littleton were affected by the collision. Passengers were taken by bus from a Littleton stop to one in neighboring Sheridan, where they could ride to downtown Denver.

Two light rail cars were damaged when they struck the coal, but Serna didn’t know the extent of the damage.

The storm moved into Colorado overnight, delivering from 3 inches to 6 inches of snow along the foothills of the Front Range, and up to 3 inches in north-central Colorado, the National Weather Service reported. A snow advisory for the region was canceled in the afternoon.

The snow also diminished in southern Colorado Tuesday afternoon, prompting cancellation of a winter storm warning.

Moderate to heavy snowfall of up to 2 feet had been forecast in the southwest mountains Tuesday while southeastern Colorado was to receive light freezing drizzle.

Typical commute times in metropolitan Denver were doubled as snowplows worked to keep the highways and streets clear.

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