DUPONT, Wash. -- Transportation crews have removed the remaining locomotive from the site of Monday’s Amtrak derailment in DuPont, Washington. The derailment killed three people and hospitalized more than 70 others.
While work remains at the area near the Mounts Road overpass, the removal brings officials closer to reopening the closed portion of southbound Interstate 5.
“We’ve got our fingers crossed it’s going to be later today,” said Washington State Patrol captain Dan Hall in regards to the reopening.
The final railcars were removed from the site overnight, but the Washington Department of Transportation said that the 270,000-pound locomotive’s size required special equipment. The locomotive was previously lifted onto a “lowboy” trailer, but a reinforcement beam was brought in from off-site in order to make the trailer moveable.
“This configuration as it’s going to leave the scene is about 270 feet. So it’s quite an ordeal,” said Hall of the locomotive’s removal from the site. Hall said that the locomotive would travel roughly five miles North to a site at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Special travel permits were issued for the locomotive and trailer, which were considered a “super load” according to Hall.
“This has been a huge drain on our personnel,” said Hall of the cleanup process. “Fortunately the contractors that were down there worked tirelessly. They, like us, understand that we need to get this roadway open. And they were able to do a fantastic job under very extreme conditions.”