U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar says her 'heart sank' to hear of Raymond, Minnesota, derailment

Klobuchar says she was relieved to hear that the train that derailed and caught fire in Raymond did not cause long-term contamination

Raymond Train Derailment 033023 020.jpg
Workers surround a pileup of rail cars in Raymond following a BNSF derailment on Thursday, March 30, 2023.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said the train derailment and fire in Raymond early Thursday has added urgency to legislation which she co-sponsors about rail safety.

Klobuchar said she was notified early Thursday by Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

“My heart sank,” she said of receiving the news.

Amy Klobuchar
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar, who plans to visit the scene Friday, said she has been working on rail safety legislation with Ohio’s senators, Republican J.D. Vance and Democrat Sherrod Brown. Several other senators have signed on to the bill as well.

She was relieved that the situation in Raymond did not cause the type of contamination that resulted from a derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.


“We’re very fortunate, with very different circumstances in terms of the long-term impact,” she added.

“The work of our first responders in the Raymond area and Kandiyohi County is incredible; they were there all night,” she said.

Klobuchar said the legislation the senators are sponsoring should be moving through Senate committees in the coming months.

“I’ve been working on rail safety for years, and I’ve never been more optimistic,” she said. “We need better safety standards for the trains. We’re seeing longer trains; we need two people on the trains.”

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: or phone 320-214-4340
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