Breaking News
More () »

Lawmakers visit train wreckage in Raymond

Democrats and Republicans say there is bipartisan support for added rail safety.

As the National Transportation Safety Board continues its investigation, lawmakers were on-scene in Raymond Friday to receive the latest on Thursday's early morning train derailment.

Twenty-two cars of a BNSF train derailed, causing ethanol to spill and hundreds to be evacuated. 

Democrat Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, alongside Republican Representative Michelle Fischbach and State Senator Andrew Lang, heard from BNSF and local authorities.

The tour still left lawmakers with questions about how this happened, but they’re not questioning the need for higher safety standards on our railways.

Klobuchar and Smith, alongside Ohio lawmakers, are co-sponsors of the Rail Safety Act.

"The major ideas will be increased safety standards and inspections," said Klobuchar. 

"We're here in Minnesota farm country where train transportation is essential to the rural economy and the ag economy," said Smith. "Everybody in this community knows that and it is why we are so committed to making sure that transportation is safe."

The two Republican lawmakers echoed similar sentiments about rail safety. 

"I'm looking forward to looking at you know, there's some bipartisan language both on the state and federal level, about rail safety definitely has been at the forefront," said Lang. 

"This has been handled, just with great precision, and everything has been handled very, very well," said Fischbach. 

So far, there haven't been any toxins of concern found in the air or water. 

Local authorities tell us that the track may be cleared within 48 hours as long as the weather holds up. 

Watch more local news:

Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities and across Minnesota in our YouTube playlist:

Before You Leave, Check This Out