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Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Burlington Northern Santa Fe crews were working Sunday to reopen the railroad's main east-west line, which was blocked when a coal train from Wyoming derailed here.

The railroad hoped to have the line reopened late Sunday night.

In the meantime, rail traffic was being rerouted through Minot, N.D., and Galesburg, Ill., said Gus Melonas, a BNSF spokesman in Seattle.

The derailment would cause train delays from Fargo, N.D., to Glendive said Jerry Suko, trainmaster with BNSF's Twin City Division.

Melonas declined to say whether the derailment was causing major backups in other states.

Thirty-six cars left the tracks near the State Penitentiary around 2:45 p.m. Saturday, shutting down the railroad's main east-west line. No one was hurt.

The 123-car train was carrying coal from Wyoming's Powder River Basin to Superior, Wis. The railroad said no hazardous material was on board.

It will take a couple of weeks to clean up the coal and remove the cars, he said. Each of the cars can hold more than 100 tons of coal.

Joe Faust, a BNSF spokesman in Fort Worth, Texas, said Sunday that investigators were on the scene looking into the cause of the derailment.

It was the second Burlington Northern Santa Fe coal train derailment in North Dakota this year.

On March 9, 19 cars of a 114-car train derailed and spilled on the outskirts of Richardton, about 90 miles west of Bismarck.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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