On January 11, 1997, at approximately 6:00 a.m., mountain standard time, a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad freight train, Extra 8520 West, derailed 22 cars at milepost (MP) 326.5. The crew was uninjured. Estimated damages were $72,800.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the rail breaking as a result of an internal defect referred to as a detail fracture. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the inability of the ultrasonic rail detection equipment to readily identify internal defects in rail with surface defects.