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'Track issues' stalls BNSF train along Hwy 210, blocks south Brainerd-Baxter

A BNSF train stalled on the tracks Saturday, March 23, by Northwest 4th Street in Brainerd. The train blocked traffic for about an hour and a half. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

A BNSF freight train came to a halt late afternoon Saturday, March 23, for undisclosed "track issues," a mishap that blocked important thoroughfares in Baxter-Brainerd along Highway 210 between Northwest 4th Street in Brainerd to Elder Drive in Baxter.

According to the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, law enforcement dispatchers received reports at about 4:50 p.m. of a stalled train blocking traffic. A Brainerd Police Department officer traveled to an end of the train located by Northwest 4th Street in Brainerd to find a conductor exited from the train and walking alongside the tracks.

This conductor, Brainerd officers reported, said the train was immobile because of "track issues," but didn't elaborate further on what those issues were. BNSF officials could not be reached Sunday for comment. Both the Brainerd Police Department and Crow Wing County authorities said they received the same answer from BNSF officials.

Local radio stations gave notice to the public through a series of broadcasted warnings while agencies—including the Baxter Police Department, Minnesota Department of Transportation and BNSF employees—worked to get the train operable and redirect traffic. According to officials, the train got moving again and crossings were cleared at roughly 6:20 p.m.

During the more than one and half hour stall, traffic slowed and congregated near railway crossings, primarily at the intersection of highways 210 and 371, as officers directed drivers to the nearest south-northbound intersections at 4th Street in Brainerd and Knollwood Drive in Baxter.

Gabriel Lagarde

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