Minnesota Highway 23 reopened Friday night at Raymond after train derailment

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has reopened Highway 23 at Raymond. It had been closed since Thursday when a train derailed on tracks running parallel to the highway.

Over 100 workers are on the site of the BNSF train derailment in Raymond. The derailment occurred around 1 a.m. Thursday on the western edge of town. Efforts by firefigthers to contain the blaze were credited by federal and state lawmakers on Friday with preventing its spread.
More than 100 workers have been on the site of the BNSF Railway train derailment in Raymond shown Friday, March 31, 2023. The derailment occurred around 1 a.m. Thursday on the western edge of town. Efforts by firefighters to contain the blaze were credited by federal and state lawmakers with preventing its spread.
Tom Cherveny / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR โ€” The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced at 9:30 p.m. Friday that it has reopened Minnesota Highway 23 at Raymond. The highway had been closed there since early Thursday due to the BNSF Railway train derailment.

More than 20 cars derailed about 1 a.m. Thursday, and the ethanol that leaked from some of the tanker cars burned. Much of the town was evacuated until late Thursday morning.

The Willmar City Council has OK'd payment for services related to BNSF Railway certification, which designates rail-served sites as meeting the rail company's readiness standards for development.
A purchase agreement has been drafted and signed by Midwest & Bluegrass Rail for the development of a 145-acre intermodal distribution center.
A National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report states a section of fractured track has been sent to a laboratory as part of investigation into cause of the March 30 derailment of a BNSF Railway train in Raymond.
BNSF Railway provided Raymond residents with $300 gift cards as cleanup continues at a fast pace after a train derailed there Thursday forcing evacuation.
Following a 22-car BNSF train derailment during the early-morning hours of Thursday, March 30, 2023, workers continue cleaning up the site this week.
State and federal lawmakers toured the site Friday of the BNSF train derailment in Raymond.
The Minnesota Valley Regional Rail Authority, based in Morton, had one of nine projects that received funds from the Minnesota Rail Service Improvement program.
Residents evacuated from their homes after a BNSF train derailed at 1 a.m. in Raymond on Thursday, March 30, 2023.
Many Raymond residents were not awakened by the sound, but it wasn't long before neighbors, volunteers and law enforcement officers were knocking on doors to start the evacuation process.
Everybody who was trained to help in emergency situations such as the train derailment overnight in Raymond showed up and knew exactly what needed to be done.

Cleanup was continuing Friday, and the National Transportation Safety Board was at the scene investigating the cause of the crash.

The highway had been detoured around the city of Raymond.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "West Central Tribune staff report." Often, the "West Central Tribune staff report" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email: or phone 320-235-1150.
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